Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Still Thinking in "American"

There are two areas in which I'm finding difficulty switching over to the Greek/European mindset.

The Alphabet

There are several Greek letters that remind me of English/Latin letters, and it's causing a little difficulty for me in my language classes and in reading signs, etc.

Β β - βήτα: English pronunciation "vita". Makes the "V" sound in English, but I keep thinking of the letter "B".

Η η - ἦτα: English pronunciation "eeta". Makes the "EE" sound. I'm pretty OK with the upper case, which looks like an "H", but the lower case still makes me think of the English lower case "N". Doubly confusing because this particular sound is made by three different letters, and it all depends on the gender, type of word, or placement in the word as to which letter to use.

Ν ν - νῦ: English pronunciation "nee". Makes the "N" sound in English, and the upper case is obvious but the lower case still makes me think "V".

Υ υ - ύψιλον: English pronunciation "ipsilon". Makes the "EE" sound also. Except when it makes the "F" sound. Once again, I'm cool with the upper case, especially since it never falls in a word where it would make the "F" sound as far as I know, but that lower case just F's me up:-)

And this is just the alphabet. Don't get me started on the various cases and gender crap.

The Euro

Every time I go to an ATM and hit the "300" button for amount of withdrawal, I'm still thinking in terms of dollars. I have very carefully budgeted this trip to include an Excel spreadsheet that recalculates when I enter my new bank balances, etc. But I have a feeling I'm spending a lot more than I think I am. The other day at the grocery store I thought to myself after checking out, "Hey, THAT'S not bad for all that I got!" Then I realized that I had to add about 30% to the figure, and I wasn't quite as pleased.

The picture has nothing to do with the post...just thought I'd share the awesome waves we had today. The wind, on the other hand, was not quite as "awesome". Gave up after about an hour of being pelted by flying sand. Although a freakin' bumble bee managed to fight the headwind and come directly at my face after I brushed him off of my chair. But I ran, and he didn't catch me :-p

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