"Pork is meat"
Translation:Το χοιρινό είναι κρέας
The definite article is used before most nouns even when not used in Eng. e.g. Proper names, "Η Ελένι είναι εδώ." -> "Eleni is here."
I thought when nouns have a general meaning, we don't use articles (you said this regarding the sentence "wine and cheese," in which the Greek translation uses no articles: "κρασί και τυρί.")
In your example above "Ellen is here," you are talking about a specific person, Ellen. But, when saying pork is meat, it is referring to all pork, not this specific plate of bacon sitting in front of me.
Should the answer be, "όλα χιορινό είναι κρέας"?
In this sentence, while you cannot omit the from the Greek sentence you can from the English. We could also say, "The pork is meat.'' when perhaps referring to a particular plate as in your example. In Greek we could say " όλο το χοιρινό είναι κρέας" but I think that would only be done to really emphasize it. Otherwise, we'd just depend on context to show the meaning.
Nuances. I'll get the hang of it, eventually. I'm certain Greek isn't nearly as convoluted as English. I admire those who learn it (English) as a second language.
I agree with you. Yes, you'll get the hang of it and yes Greek is not as convoluted as English. I teach English and I don't envy my students, English has so many stumbling blocks!
Is it fair to say that the subject of the sentence (pork / το χοιρινό in this case) almost always needs an article in Greek?
I don't know whether it's safe to extrapolate from one or two sentences, but as far as generic sentences are concerned, yes, the definite article is necessary in Greek ;)
You cannot omit the article from the Greek sentence. However, the English one is fine without it as a generalisation: the equivalent of having countable nouns in plural for generalisations like "Birds fly".