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Thread: GREEK Culture & Language Help

  1. #1
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    GREEK Culture & Language Help

    I project I will be setting my sights on soon will involve a Hogwarts student from a Greek immegrant family. Being a first generation child, I alread have some ideas of what a struggle it can be to balance the old country and home, while assimilating to the culture around you.

    But I am not Greek, and I am by no means British, so that is why I started this thread. The main character I'm working on came to England when she was four, so I assume she's fairly assimilated to British culture by now. But she probably has a very traditional Greek homelife; her family probably even speaks Greek at home.

    So any cultural or language tidbits you think are important, or even if your first generation yourself and want to write some of your own life experience, feel free to post.

    In the meantime, I write, and hope I get it right!

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  2. #2
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
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    Hello!

    In one of my newest fics I've got a Greek living in Britain too. Only difference is that he is a boy and he came to Britain when he was three. ha, huge differences, I know. His name is Demitri Kaligaris. What is your character's name?

    I'll leave you the links to a site or two that I use (mostly for language, although if I can find the food one, I'll post it too). Other than that, the only thing I know about Greeks is that they usually have large families and they same their first son after their father (so, like my theatre teacher is Greek and he is named Nick, after his grandfather. That is a very common Greek name, by the way, but of course your person is a girl, so I suppose all that doesn't really matter). I also know that they can be very traditional and usually only like to marry other Greeks and that sort of thing, but thats probably more with the older generations. They can be very festive, and food, marriage, and lots of children are important to them. Of course, I'm not Greek, myself, so anyone that is please forgive me if any of this is a misconception. Right, so, here are the links;

    http://www.explorecrete.com/various/greek-language.htm

    http://www.greekcuisine.com/ (In case they are ever eating something, you know.)

    http://www.kypros.org/cgi-bin/lexicon/

    That first one is really great; I use it all the time. I hope I was able to help a bit. There are also a lot of sites on culture and whatnot that you can find just by googling it (or going on goodsearch.com, which I recommend because it allows you to give to a charity as you search).

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  3. #3
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Thanks for the sites. They were a major help with my character charts. As to the name, her name is Kalypso Zabat and she came to Britian when she was four. I know what you mean: HUUUUUGE differences!

    Her family is not so large, only her, her mother, Antigone, and her little sister, Sappho. But I can definantly see them coming from a very festive home, and Kalypso loving to play and skip and sing around the British city were she lives. She probably bound to get a few odd looks and comments too. Oh, the possiblities!

    There is probably only going to be one scene where we see her family, but like my mentor always says, you have to know your characters right down to what her favorite flavor of ice cream is.

    Also, I have a character thread for Kalypso in the original characters thread. If you really want to help out, why don't you post a few questions for her there. She actually has a pretty interesting family history.

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  4. #4
    Black-Sand
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    G'day

    How do you say : 'Excuse me but that's mine'?


    'Hello Mother, do you want help?'

    and,

    "Yes, Willow, I would, but tell me about school as well.'

    I know Willow isn't a Greek name, her mums Greek, her dad's not.

    Oh, do you know any Greek boy names?

    ...xXxLove SandyxXx...

  5. #5
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I'm sorry, I don't know any Greek, so I cannot give you a translation. But I do have a couple of my favorite world name sites that I can share with you so you can find a Greek boy's name.

    20,000 Names-Male Greek Names
    Behind the Name-Male Greek Names

    There you are! I hope you have luck finding what you are looking for.

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  6. #6
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    hey does anyone know how one says 'sancuary' or 'refuge' in greek? And something like... 'the ones with power'?
    *help*
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  7. #7
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Andi,

    I always find those translation sites on Google are useful. However with the Greek language uses a different alphabet so when I googled 'sanctuary' it came up with Greek lettering which I can't type - sorry.

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  8. #8
    Queen of Foals Slytherin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black-Sand
    G'day

    How do you say : 'Excuse me but that's mine'?


    'Hello Mother, do you want help?'

    and,

    "Yes, Willow, I would, but tell me about school as well.'

    I know Willow isn't a Greek name, her mums Greek, her dad's not.

    Oh, do you know any Greek boy names?

    ...xXxLove SandyxXx...
    So, I've used this Greek translator website in the past so I looked up your queries. I can't be 100% that these are grammatically correct but I hope it helps.

    συγγνώμη είναι ορυχείο <--- Excuse me but that's mine
    Sygknomi einai orycheio

    γειά σου μητέρα. μπορώ να σας βοήθεια. <---- Hello Mother. Can I help you?
    Geia sou mitera. Mporo na sas boitheia.

    ναι Willow με πέστε για το σχολείο <------ Yes, Willow, but tell me about school.
    Nai Willow me pefto gia to scholeio.

    Greek boy names... hm, Homer

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  9. #9
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    I love Greek!!!!! And I happen to use it as one of my fonts, sometimes. Using Greek lexicons are really helpful, and googling for words or phrases usually helps. What I really love is that ναι (nai) means yes and όχι (ochi) means no. It will mess with the brain a little!

    Tips for using the language- if the perspective is from a character that speaks Greek, it would be wise to use the actual spellings of Greek words, though you don't have to use their alphabet. But if the perspective is from someone who doesn't speak Greek, it would probably be better to write the dialogue as how your character hears the language, rather than exact spelling. That way, the reader really has a sense of what the character is going through.

    And perhaps put in some Greek mythology! And also remember that the Greeks pretty much invented the Olympics and the marathon. They LOVE entertainment- plays, sports, and any other forms of Greek entertainment.
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  10. #10
    fire-lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by the opaleye View Post
    So, I've used this Greek translator website in the past so I looked up your queries. I can't be 100% that these are grammatically correct but I hope it helps.

    συγγνώμη είναι ορυχείο <--- Excuse me but that's mine
    Sygknomi einai orycheio

    γειά σου μητέρα. μπορώ να σας βοήθεια. <---- Hello Mother. Can I help you?
    Geia sou mitera. Mporo na sas boitheia.

    ναι Willow με πέστε για το σχολείο <------ Yes, Willow, but tell me about school.
    Nai Willow me pefto gia to scholeio.

    Greek boy names... hm, Homer
    I'm sorry that i tell you that, but the translation is wrong.
    Συγγνώμη, είναι δικό μου--------> Excuse me but that's mine
    Γεια σου μητέρα, θέλεις να σε βοηθήσω-------->Hello mother, Can I help you?
    Ναι, Willow, αλλά πες μου για το σχολείο--------->Yes, Willow, but tell me about the school.
    And now boys greek names:
    Yiannis(Γιάννης)
    George(Γιώργος)
    Thanasis(Θανάσης)
    Nicos (Νίκος)
    Dimitris (Δημήτρης)
    Stefanos(Στέφανος)
    Ilias(Ηλίας)
    Alexandros(Αλέξανδρος)
    Do you want to say more?I have no problem, I live with a lot of them(yes, I live in Greece, anything you want to know go to me!!!)

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