1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "This glass is ancient."

"This glass is ancient."

Translation:Αυτό το ποτήρι είναι αρχαίο.

January 6, 2017



When I see "ancient glass" I do not think of a drinking glass, but rather glass as a material- that is γυαλί in Greek, right? I understand it could be either, but since the sentence is ambiguous as is, my answer should be accepted, right?

  • 1574

I'd agree; it's not clear from the sentence whether it's referring to the material or a drinking vessel. I think glass was first produced in Mesopotamia in about 3,000BC, so you can certainly have ancient glass ;-)


Oh my, I just realized what you mean. Of course, it's not just a drinking glass. In fact, as you state the idea of it being ancient fits much better with the material rather than the item. We do need to add that version right away. Ah, I see you have added it to the incubator comments. Many thanks.


How should we distinguish αρχαίο from παλειό? Sorry if I've spelt that wrong. I'm thinking about the meaning of the two words.


Well in English, which compared to Greek is the new kid on the block, we use "ancient" for something that occurred 1400-1500 years ago.

For Greek "αρχαίο", we'd have to go back around 2,500 years. The Parthenon in Athens is 2,466 years old. It was constructed between c. 447 BC-432 BC.

Of course, we can use "ancient" and "αρχαίο" metaphorically, as in, "We've got an ancient couch which is very comfortable." "Έχουμε έναν αρχαίο καναπέ που είναι πολύ άνετα."


Right - good. So what about παλειό - when should we use that word? Important for us not to confuse αρχαίο with archaic - which of course is a negative meaning in the new kid on the block English!

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.