To help learn Greek vocabulary, I am looking for cognates with other European languages. Γάλα doesn't seem like Latinate, Celtic, Germanic, or Slavic words for milk (latta, leche; laezh, bliochd; milch, melk; mleka, moloko) -- except for the "L" in γάλα.
Teachers sometimes point out the predictable shifts in phonemes between European languages. For example, P and D in Romance languages often correspond to F and T in Germanic languages, e.g. padre:father, pied:foot. The endings -ita or -idad in Romance are predictably -ness in English and -heit or -keit in German. It helps a lot when teachers point out these patterns. Does Greek also have semi-predictable shifts in phonemes and word endings from their cognates in other European languages? If so, knowing these would be a huge help in learning words, like γάλα, which seem totally unrelated but may actually have close cognates in other languages we know!
Wiktionary is often a good source for this: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B3%CE%AC%CE%BB%CE%B1
As you can see, the “λα” part indeed corresponds to the romanic “la“ in “latte” etc.
Also, as you were probably aware, you can find γάλα in the word galaxy, meaning Milky Way.
I am still looking, but this dictionary is helpful, at least I found the word for calf. μοσχαράκι
The Greek wikipedia might be useful too: https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%93%CE%AC%CE%BB%CE%B1
Also, I notice γάλα is similar to semitic words for milk, e.g. חלב (khalav), حليب (hlib) -- as kh and h can easily shift to gh and g in these languages. Phoenicians spoke a Canaanite language similar to Hebrew. Could ancient Greeks have gotten the word γάλα from Phoenician merchants, or vice versa, or both from another common source?
I'm wondering about the etymology of αγελάδα. It seems an unusually big word for such a basic thing as a cow. Please excuse my blind guessing, but "áge-láda" seems to resemble "milk cow" in Romance languages, for example the Portuguese "vaca de leite". Is this just a silly coincidence? What is the origin of αγελάδα?
Higher up someone mentions that in Peloponnese that γαλα is referring to goat's milk. So, you might have something there, the Romans may have used the Greek word for cow to refer to cow's milk to differentiate it. The Italian word for milk "latte" is even closer. cow milk: mucca or vacca latte, but they would say "latte di mucca". http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-italian/cow%20milk
Αγέλη means herd, so cow took the name herd animal - αγελαίον ζώον-αγελάς-αγελάδα. Mind you; many ancient greek words were lost: like Σώστερ (ILIAD Homer) meaning: as you already understood - sister! Now we use αδελφή: from δέλφις - uterus. Another paradigm: Νερό from νεαρόν (fresh) ύδωρ-water.
First here is a link to the Greek alphabet it's in two sections. The comments will also be helpful. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22424028
How to know when to pronounce Γγ as g as in go or as y as in yes.
There is no exact equivalent sound in English for Γ, γ gamma. It is pronounced like g as in go otherwise like y when it comes before e, u, i; . The sentence above uses both. "αγελάδα "ah-ye-la-dha and "γάλα" gah-la.
For other resources see the Greek Forum https://www.duolingo.com/topic/936
I am confused why the translation is not 'The cow drinks milk'. I thought that πίνει meant 'drinks' and not necessarily 'is drinking'. I know in English, 'is drinking' and 'drinks' essentially imply the same act in the same timeframe, but why is it 'is drinking' in this case?