The Questionable Usefulness of Pimsleur Modern Greek 1 for a Childless Non-Driver in Greece

June 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

I am enjoying learning Greek, of course, since it allows me to eavesdrop more efficiently on my neighbors.

However, because I won’t shell out for actual live lessons, I am using the remarkably effective Pimsleur method, which has no textbook and relies entirely on conversational learning.

It is marvelous, and I would not hesitate to use it to communicate with the natives in any barbaric non-Anglophone jungle I wandered into next.

Unfortunately, I have just spent the last few weeks patiently drilling conversations that force me to repeat such falsities and irrelevancies as the following:

I have a lot of dollars.

How much is it in dollars?

Do you have any dollars?

I live in America.

My family is in America.

I have five children, two boys and three girls.

The boys are big. The girls are small.

I have a car. I have a big car.

Is there gasoline in the car?

Put gasoline in the car, please.

It’s in my car.

My family is in the car.

I have one girl and two boys.

I have many children.

Do you have children?

Yes, that is my little girl.

My wife is in America.

And so on.

I have managed on my own to cobble together the sentence

Ένα αυτοκίνητο είναι πάρα πολύ ακριβό! (A car is too expensive!)

and

Δεν έχω παιδιά! (I don’t have children!)

But I really need more.

If you are a Greek speaker, please let me know how to say the following, which so far the Pimsleur method has not included in their lesson plans:

I have two stepchildren who live in England.

Me, I don’t have any children.

Sure, I’d like children.

You do go on about children.

Did my mother send you?

I have a scooter.

I’m not allowed legally to drive the scooter because it is one cc above the limit for driving without a scooter license, which no one told me until after I’d bought it.

No Greek, civilian or bureaucrat, can tell me how to get a scooter license.

I don’t have any dollars.

Who has dollars in Greece?

Come to think of it, who has euros in Greece?

My stepdaughter is small.

By which I mean she is taller than me.

I still weigh more. Much more.

None of your business.

Your lane is a meter farther right than you think it is, sir.

Do you still live with your mother?

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

§ 5 Responses to The Questionable Usefulness of Pimsleur Modern Greek 1 for a Childless Non-Driver in Greece

  • Persolaise says:

    Sorry, I can’t speak Greek… but maybe you ought to look ahead and learn a language that might be useful in the years to come. Cantonese? Hindi? Arabic??

  • LOL! Nobody said you can’t cut to the chase. 🙂 Pay attention and say these as I write them next time! (I can imagine the surprised faces on some)

    Here you are:

    I have two stepchildren who live in England.= Έχω δύο θετά παιδιά που μένουν στην Αγγλία.

    Me, I don’t have any children.= Εγώ δεν έχω δικά μου (βιολογικά) παιδιά.

    Sure, I’d like children.= Βεβαίως, θα ήθελα παιδιά!

    You do go on about children.= Το’χεις κουράσει το θέμα με τα παιδιά, λέμε…

    Did my mother send you?= Η μάνα μου σ’έστειλε;

    I have a scooter.= Έχω βέσπα.

    I’m not allowed legally to drive the scooter because it is one cc above the limit for driving without a scooter license, which no one told me until after I’d bought it.= Δεν νομιμοποιούμαι να οδηγώ τη βέσπα γιατί είναι ένα κυβικό εκατοστό πάνω από το όριο στο οποίο οδηγεί κανείς χωρίς άδεια, κάτι που κανείς δεν μου είπε προηγουμένως.

    No Greek, civilian or bureaucrat, can tell me how to get a scooter license.= Κανένας, Έλληνας, πολίτης ή υπάλληλος, δεν μπορει να μου πεί πως να βγάλω άδεια για βέσπα.

    I don’t have any dollars.= Δεν έχω δολλάρια.

    Who has dollars in Greece? =Ποιός έχει δολλάρια στην Ελλάδα; ~The smart ones, Tania, the smart ones 😉

    Come to think of it, who has euros in Greece? = Τώρα που το σκέφτομαι, ποιός έχει ευρώ στην Ελλάδα;

    My stepdaughter is small.= Η θετή μου κόρη είναι μικρή.

    By which I mean she is taller than me.= Αλλά στην ουσία ψηλότερη από μένα.

    I still weigh more. Much more.= Παρ’όλα αυτά ζυγίζω περισσότερο, πολύ περισσότερο.

    None of your business.= Δεν σας αφορά!

    Your lane is a meter farther right than you think it is, sir.= H λωρίδα σας είναι ένα μέτρο πιο κάτω απ’ότι νομίζετε, κύριε.

    Do you still live with your mother? = Μένεις ακόμα με τη μητέρα σου; 😀

    Seriously now. Did you actually buy the scooter? If not and/or if you can exchange it, why don’t you get one of these big, fat things that the under-18 drive? (It sounds like a toy but they’re quite efficient! And safe-ish, due to low centre of gravity, they don’t overturn easily) These do not need a licence to drive, as far as I know.

  • Vanessa says:

    Yours are much more useful phrases, every last one. My best friend studied ancient Greek at our school (they had to hire in a teacher specially as she was the only taker), and she wrote in my autograph book – aged 12 and somewhat old for her years – the Greek for “know thyself” and “nothing in excess”. I have been blithely ignoring both axioms ever since, but the second one may come in handy when the waiter in Rhodes asks if I want a second helping of that strawberry flan.

  • […] I complained heartily of three days in a row of repeating listlessly in Greek that I have children, in several […]

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you for the laugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The Questionable Usefulness of Pimsleur Modern Greek 1 for a Childless Non-Driver in Greece at honeyandthunder.

meta