June 20, 2010 | Greek

I Can Compose Original Sentences

In which I have a (very small) Greek exchange.

Today I woke up early and went to Central Park to take pictures of a Father’s Day race, which I would probably have been running if not for my injury. It was a pea soup kind of day, hot and heavy.

The Fades, on Father's Day in Central Park

The Fades, on Father’s Day in Central Park

Several members of my running team, the New York Harriers, are in a band called the Fades, and they performed in the park immediately after the race, with the Manhattan skyline in the background. One of the band members even ran straight from the 5-mile race, which he completed in 28 minutes and 11 seconds, to be on stage. Impressive!

Besides filing hundreds of e-mails today (nothing hyperbolic about that phrase, I’m afraid), I did some Pimsleur and some work in my Teach Yourself Greek book. The language highlight of the day, however, was a conversation I had with the Greek doorman in our building when I went to check the mail.

He saw me coming, crossed his arms, and said, “Okay, let’s hear what you’ve learned today.” It was a lot of pressure. I closed my eyes, and thought about all the Pimsleur I had been doing, and this is what I came up with in the moment: NoMEEso oti to xenodoHEEo EEnay kondAH.

He looked surprised, though perhaps also impressed. Thanks to Pimsleur, I can now compose mildly suggestive, somewhat inappropriate Greek sentences on the spot.

The sentence in English: “I think the hotel is close.”

Comments (2)

Katherine • Posted on Mon, March 21, 2011 - 1:48 pm EST

My mother knows only two phrases in another foreign language which happen to be in Russian, from when I was in an exchange program to Moscow in high school and we had a Russian girl named Sveta living with us for a month. One day a few years ago I introduced my Mom to a coworker of mine, an old Russian woman from Ukraine also named Sveta. I told my Mom to repeat her two Russian phrases “Sveta ochen xoroshaya devushka.  Ya lyublyu Svetu” Translation: “Sveta is a very good girl.  I love Sveta”. I never saw my coworker laugh so hard, it was a great language moment.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Mon, March 21, 2011 - 8:43 pm EST

I love this story!

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