"My father is an artist."

Translation:Ο πατέρας μου είναι καλλιτέχνης.

October 3, 2016

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Random question/observation: by this point I can read out anything in Greek...but writing down anything I hear- that is a different story. There are so many ways to represent the /i/ sound in Greek: η, ι, υ, ει, οι...How does one know how a given word containing /i/ sound(s) is spelled if one just hears it? For this exercise, I wrote "καλητέχνις" for "artist" and of course it was marked wrong. I am not angry about it (after all, I did misspell it- I was trying to do it from memory), but I would just like to know if there is some pattern to all the η, ι, υ, ει, οι? Is one spelling more common in verbs (for example, I noticed that verbs always end in omega rather than omicron)? Is one used more often in masculine, feminine, or neuter nouns? At the beginning or end of words? Etc.


Very keen observation, indeed all verbs that end with the /o/ sound use an omega! Also all neuter nouns ending with the /o/ sound use an omicron. All feminine nouns ending with the /i/ sound use an eta. Of course these are not the only endings possible but by following these general rules you will avoid making glaring orthographic mistakes.

Καλή τύχη!


Yes Greek orthography is hard. I have read that the orthography is historical, that is in order to understand why είναι is written as it is you must know ancient Greek. As for καλλιτέχνης I have slowly realized that -ης is a masculine ending and now seldom make mistakes with that.


Unfortunately, things are more complicate than that and modern greeks do not know how to pronounce the ancient greek language the way it was pronounced in the past. Actually nobody does since there is no registration. Just many, very interesting, conclusions that the privileged scientists handle. Greek orthography represents, partially, this old pronunciation but not at all its musicality which it is supposed to be very harmonious.


Of course we cannot get it all. But I simply love this Ancient Greek which I get from "Forvo". Have you tried it:

Write a Greek word and if Forvo has it you get it both in Ancient and Modern Greek.

Here I asked for μισθός and got it together with the phrase:

προφέρετε Ἀρετῆς μὲν μισθός ἐστιν ἔπαινος κακίας δὲ ψόγος


P.S. I took μισθός because I think that σθ is pronounced st in Modern Greek and not s+th from think like everybody says. This is what I hear in Forvo. Your opinion is what?


To me itt clearly sounds as sth


You are right!


Thanks. Something must be wrong with my ears. Now I can almost hear sth when the man speaks but I still hear the woman say st


You may hear people pronouncing it as «st», especially in southern islands, but it is not usual. As for the opposite, that is to say, «στ» pronounced as «sth», not at all.


Thank you for the link to this site!


isn't ζογράφος an acceptable synonym for καλλιτέχνης?


Yes, if the artist is a painter. Note ζωγράφος, ζωή/ life, φράφω/ write, e.g. one who writes life.




«ζωγράφος» means painter and «καλλιτέχνης» means artist


I think we’ve been here before in another question but in English “artist” taken in isolation basically means painter. So if you say “my father is an artist” that means he makes art, ie art you see in an art gallery. Now that admittedly could mean sculptor or video artist or something but it would predominantly mean painter without further qualification. It does not mean artist in a more general sense, eg recording artist. Therefore I think ζωγράφος should be an acceptable translation as that is exactly what I understood the sentence to mean.


For anyone still interested in this, I've added it now.


Hey! Just a random question what I can't figure out the reply. I don't understand why sometimes you need to put the article ενα/μία and sometimes not like here. Although the translation is "an artist". If somebody has the answer I would be very glad!


You can say "Ο πατέρας μου είναι ένας καλλιτέχνης" to add emphasis or to specify your phrase. Both phrases with or without the " ένας" are grammatically correct.


BatBat If the noun is a predicate and not an object, it has an indefinite article in Greek only for emphasis. Usual verbs which link a subject to a predicate: to be, to become, to be chosen, to be called = είμαι, γίνομαι, λέγομαι

Jannis is/ becomes a doctor= Ο Ιάννης είναι/ γίνεται γιατρός

This animal is called a chameleon =Αυτό το ζώο λέγεται χαμαιλέοντας

(a funny thing: predicate is κατηγορούμενο in Greek but κατηγορούμενος is accused)

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