July 21, 2010 | Greek
My Reading Skills Advance
I enjoy reading what on June 1 was all Greek to me.
Today I finished lesson 24 of Pimsleur. I also did some reading in the book Essential Modern Greek Grammar by Douglas Adams, and was pleased to discover I could read and understand Greek phrases such as the following without difficulty:
- το ωραίο κορίτσι = the pretty girl
- το κρύο νερό = the cold water
- ένας σοφός άνδρας = a wise man
- ένα δωμάτιο σε ένα ακριβό ξενοδοχείο = a room in an expensive hotel
It is exciting to look at what would have been utter nonsense at the beginning of June and make real sense of it. This is rewarding in a way that goes well beyond what you experience—or what I experience, in any case—when learning to read languages with a familiar alphabet.
After all, even if you don’t know Italian, you can recognize the word ristorante when you see it and make a reasonable guess at pronunciation. But there is no hope for you to get anywhere with εστιατόριο (Greek for “restaurant”) until you master the Greek alphabet.
When you do master it, it is good stuff.
I went back to the East River tonight, for a running team workout that I helped time since I couldn’t participate in it. Walking through the East Village on the way there, I took pictures of some of the kinds of things you tend not to see much of on the Upper West Side.
An East Village Mural
Another Mural, With Aliens?
A Community Garden
Another Garden, With Graffiti
I find these places rather beautiful.