Πηγές για την Κυπριακή διάλεκτο

Σηκώθηκα πρωί πρωί σήμερα και ήρθα σε μια καφετερία στο κέντρο της Λευκωσίας νωρίς. Είπα θα διαβάσω διάφορα, θα κάνω καμιά δουλειά. Εντωμεταξύ πήρα και την Avantgarde, life-style εφημερίδα, που διανέμεται δωρεάν σε διάφορα σημεία στην Κύπρο. Έχει πολύ ωραία άρθρα και ανάμεσά τους πάντα έχει τουλάχιστον ένα γραμμένο στην Κυπριακή διάλεκτο.

Και κάπως έτσι, αποφάσισα σήμερα, 1η Οκτωβρίου, που είναι και η Ημέρα Ανεξαρτησίας της Κύπρου να μοιραστώ μαζί σας κάποιες πηγές από το διαδίκτυο (και όχι μόνο) όπου μπορείτε να διαβάσετε για την Κυπριακή διάλεκτο.

Wikipedia

Πρώτα θα αναφέρω το άρθρο αυτό, το οποίο θεωρώ πολύ καλό: Κυπριακή Διάλεκτος της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. Αρκετά καλό είναι και το αντίστοιχο άρθρο στα αγγλικά: Cypriot Greek.

Wikipriaka

Μετά έρχεται ο απόλυτα κυπριακός ιστότοπος wikipriaka. Όπως μπορείτε να διαβάσετε στην εισαγωγή του «Τα γουικιπριακά εν ένα ζωντανό λεξικό της Κυπριακής γλώσσας, που μπόρει όποιος τζε νά’ναι να συνεισφέρει όσον ημπόρει».

Όλα τα μενού και κείμενα είναι γραμμένα στην κυπριακή διάλεκτο. Ο ιστότοπος λειτουργεί ως λεξικό όπου τα λήμματα περιέχουν ετυμολογία, σημειώσεις, προφορά και αποδόσεις των λέξεων στα ελληνικά και στα αγγλικά. Για παράδειγμα σας έχω εδώ ένα στιγμιότυπο οθόνης με τη λέξη «αάπη» (δηλαδή «αγάπη»).

kypriaki-dialektos-screenshot-wikipriaka

Translatum

Εδώ μπορείτε να βρείτε ένα σύντομο ελληνοκυπριακό λεξικό το οποίο περιέχει τις πιο συνηθισμένες λέξεις.

Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου

Το Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου έχει επίσης μια πολύ καλή και περιεκτική βάση δεδομένων για την κυπριακή διάλεκτο εδώ: Λεξιλογική βάση δεδομένων της κυπριακής διαλέκτου

Γλωσσάρι Κυπριακής Διαλέκτου

Ιστολόγια

Οι πιο κάτω σύνδεσμοι περιέχουν πολλά κυπριακά ιστολόγια με αρκετά ποστ στην διάλεκτο:

http://thecyprusblogs.blogspot.com.cy/

http://kypriakaistologia.blogspot.com.cy/

http://kypriakablogs.blogspot.com.cy/

Άρθρα

Κατα καιρούς βρίσκω ενδιαφέροντα ακαδημαϊκά άρθρα στο διαδίκτυο (τα πιο πολλά στα αγγλικά):

Linguistic Practices in Cyprus and the Emergence of Cypriot Standard Greek της Amalia Arvaniti

A (Brief) Review of Cypriot Phonetics and Phonology της Amalia Arvaniti

Corpus linguistics in historical dialectology: a case study of Cypriot – Io Manolessou & Notis Toufexis

Και τέλος, θα αναφέρω τις έντυπες εκδόσεις (εφημερίδες που κυκλοφορούν δωρεάν) που υπάρχουν και online και πάντα έχουν τουλάχιστον από ένα άρθρο ανά τεύχος στα κυπριακά: City Free Press και Avantgarde.

Καλή ανάγνωση 🙂

Some Photos To Remind You How Beautiful Santorini Is

This post is dedicated to the beautiful Santorini.

All Greek islands are beautiful and fascinating. Santorini belongs to the most charming ones, though. Probably it has to do with the sunset, the architecture or the caldera, or with the combination of all these. If you haven’t visited the island yet, just note it down in your “places to visit” list 🙂 It is a must.

After the previous post Some Photos To Remind You How Beautiful Greece Is, Emeline Jamoul and Sofia Polykreti convinced me to prepare another post dedicated strictly to Santorini. As Emeline said there is no such a thing as “too many pictures of Santorini”. 🙂

If you want to see really amazing photos of the island, I’ve pinned many in this pinterest board: “Santorini; Greek Islands“. 

Now, here are my photos: Enjoy

Fira_beautiful_Santorini

Fira, Santorini > A view to a hotel and the sea

 

Beautiful_Santorini_Fira_Caldera_sunset

Fira, Santorini > View to the Caldera and a sunset

 

Fira_Santorini_Caldera

Fira, Santorini > View to the Caldera

 

beautiful_Santorini_door_sunset

Fira, Santorini > A door to the sunset

 

Fira_santorini_church

Fira, Santorini > A church and houses

 

Santorini > stairs, houses and the sea

Santorini > stairs, houses and the sea

 

Oia_santorini

Oia, Santorini > Waiting for the sunset

 

Perissa_beautiful_santorini

Perissa village, Santorini > Street with white houses

 

red_beavh_santorini

The Red Beach, Santorini

 

red_beach

The Red Beach

 

Oia, Santorini > Church

Oia, Santorini > Church

 

fira_santorini_stairs

Fira, Santorini > Stairs and the sea

 

church_fira_santorini

Church in Fira, Santorini

Some Photos To Remind You How Beautiful Greece Is

I’ve always wanted to share some old photos from various Greek islands and Greece in general. It seems that now, that all looks are turned towards Greece, it is the right time.

The country might be in crisis these days, but as social media posts and pictures say: Greek sea and beauty are not in crisis. You can see these here: Greek beauty photos

Greece is a very beautiful and charming country, especially in the summer. And even if you don’t like beaches and the sea, there are so many archaeological sites and other places of interest that you could visit and fall in love with 🙂 

This article from the Guardian says it all: Want to help Greece? Go there on holiday

beautiful greece - santorini by night

Fira in Santorini by night

 

Beauriful Greece and Santorini

A view to Santorini port

 

Beautiful Greece and church

A church in Perissa village in Santorini

 

Oia Santorini Greece

Church in Oia, Santorini

 

Mouse Island Corfu

Mouse Island, Corfu

 

Corfu - Beautiful Greece

Corfu Island

 

Thassos island

A small bay in the island of Thassos

Acropolis Athens Greece

A view to the Acropolis in Athens

Thessaloniki Greece

Thessaloniki; View to Aristotelous Square

Thessaloniki skyline

Thessaloniki skyline

What I Learned From Speaking a Greek Dialect In a Bilingual Family

sarakatsanoi-and-greek-dialect

Sarakatsanoi in traditional costumes

I come from a kind of bilingual family. Why do I say “a kind of”? My dad belongs to a minority in Bulgaria called Sarakatsani. (“Каракачани” in Bulgarian and “Σαρακατσάνοι” in Greek). Their mother tongue is the Sarakatsani Greek dialect. My mom speaks only Bulgarian language, which was also the prevailing language at home. We were mainly speaking Bulgarian, unless my father’s parents were around. They, as most people of age from the minority, knew very little Bulgarian and were speaking mainly the dialect. So, on one hand, I was speaking Bulgarian with my parents, friends and other people, watching Bulgarian TV, reading Bulgarian books. There were no books for bilingual children at that time, not to mention that there was no internet, nor blogs which help parents raise their bilingual kids. On the other hand, I was using the Sarakatsani dialect with my grandparents and all other relatives from my father’s side. And believe me, they were (and still are) a lot! A typical Sarakatsani family is usually much bigger than a Bulgarian one. This means that I have lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives who speak the dialect.

What did knowing a Greek dialect help me with?

Switching Fast Between Languages

(which also means interpreting for my mom in many cases)

As I mentioned above, my mom speaks only Bulgarian language. She understood almost nothing of what was being said when my father was speaking with his relatives (including his parents, brother and sister). I believe various family gatherings such as engagements, weddings and other events where everyone was using the dialect, were tiring for my mother. In such cases I was “interpreting” for her, telling her who said what.

Getting Acquainted With Sounds Not Existing In Bulgarian Language

There are couple of phonemes in Greek (and its dialects) which do not exist in Bulgarian language:  [γ] (this is how it is pronounced) , [θ] which is “th” as you “thank you” and [δ] which is “th” as in “them”.  These sounds could be quite difficult for most Bulgarians to pronounce.  As the Sarakatsani dialect was native to me, I don’t remember facing any difficulties with the pronunciation of the above. What’s more important, later on, when I started studying English, I’ve never found it difficult to articulate the English phonemes “th”, as they are almost the same as the Greek ones.

Studying Greek Language at University

You may ask why I studied Greek at University, if I had already known a Greek dialect. Well, what I had known until then was a form of the language which is colloquial and has a limited vocabulary. Moreover, none of us, the native speakers of the Sarakatsani dialect, knew how to write Greek (only later classes of official Greek language were introduced as a selective subject in primary schools in cities where our minority was mainly living in). In order to understand how different the Sarakatsani dialect and official Greek language are, I need to tell you that I did not understand almost anything when trying to watch a Greek TV channel, for example. So, I was studied Modern Greek Philology in University and knowing our Greek dialect helped me a lot. It gave me an invaluable advantage in comparison to my fellow students. They had to start from scratch and get acquainted with pronunciation, rhythm of language, grammar structures. I knew more or less all these.

Developing an Interest For Other Dialects

Sarakatsani dialect is not the only dialect of Greek language. There are many other dialects, such as Pontic Greek, Cypriot Greek, Tsakonian, just to name a few. Knowing one of them, make you develop an interest for the rest, or this is at least what happened with me. Very often, when I hear people speaking Pontic Greek, I start comparing it with Sarakatsani and try to find similarities or common patterns. The same is valid for Cypriot Greek, which I have closer relationship with now. 

Understanding Other Cultures

We all know that a second language opens new doors for us. It unveils traditions, beliefs and cultures not known to us previously. It makes us more open to other people and unfamiliar life styles.

Experiencing Greece

You can always visit another country and try to communicate in English. In some countries (like Cyprus for example, where most people speak English) this is easy. In other countries, especially in smaller cities few people know foreign languages and tourists may find it difficult to interact with the local population. It is quite different when you know the local language (or even one of its dialects). The first time I visited Greece, I was 7. I knew no English at that time. If I hadn’t spoken the Sarakatsani dialect, I wouldn’t have been able to speak to other children, to buy ice cream, to ask a waiter for extra cheese in order to feed a stray cat, mewing next to me in a small tavern. 🙂

Finally, I have an old post in Greek language where I describe my experience with the Sarakatsani dialect: Τα σαρακατσάνικα και εγώ

Cypriot Greek Words – How Should They Be Written?

Menu & Cypriot Greek Words

Menu in Cypriot Greek

Will we soon be using uniform written forms for Cypriot Greek words? I mean how should those dialectic words different from the official Greek ones be written? This post does not come to give an exact answer to the question. It is just an afterthought, following a play I watched at the theatre few months ago. I wrote about a similar topic in a previous post Translation of Marketing Content to Cypriot Greek Dialect. There I pointed out that a marketing text cannot be localised into Cypriot Greek as the dialect is only colloquial and there is no accepted form about how exactly to put it into writing.

Greek Cypriots speak Cypriot Greek in their everyday life. The dialect is more or less only colloquial, despite of the fact that it is the accepted form used by locals. There is a chance that you hear them use the official Greek in conversations with Greeks or with other foreigners, probably because they want to be sure they are understood, but still this is not a norm. Many would use the dialect in a chat with other Greek-speaking (non-Cypriot) folks.

Let’s leave everyday speech and continue with other ways of communication. Here, I am coming back to the play I mentioned above. Directed by a Cypriot playwright, performed by Cypriot actors, it was entirely in the Cypriot Greek dialect. Moving on to TV in Cyprus, there are a couple of Cypriot TV dramas (series) where the actors mainly use the dialect. As long as radio is concerned, you could hear a couple of commercials in the Cypriot Greek, most of them are funny, entertaining ones, but still, they exist. I have even attended a TED event (TEDxNicosia) where one of the speeches was delivered in the Cypriot dialect.

What happens with writing?

Social Media

If you have a look at Social Media channels such as Facebook updates, shares, tweets and others, you can see that Greek Cypriots write Cypriot Greek words (using mostly greeklish, which means that they use Latin letters and not Greek ones).

Text messages & emails

If you take emails and text messages exchanged between friends and family members, they are also composed in the dialect (again mostly with the help of Latin letters).

Blogs

Interesting fact is that a lot of blogs are also composed in the dialect, especially such blogs that imply some irony, humour or sarcasm, but not only. All these means of written expression are casual, apart from the blogs, which are usually intended for a larger audience but cannot be regarded as official as media portals, for example.

Menus

The photo featured in this post represents a piece of a café’s menu (Ermou 300 coffee shop in Old Nicosia). As you could see, it is written in Greek and it contains a great number of Cypriot Greek words. This menu is composed with lots of humour and the use of dialectic forms makes it both funny and interesting one. I haven’t seen localized menus in other places though, so menus in the local dialect do not represent a norm.

Official publications and websites

Official publications, printed or online media, books, academic works and others are all composed in the official Greek language. There are no exceptions.

Some years ago I receive an online survey (a kind of multiple-choice questionnaire) prepared by one of the academic institutions in Cyprus. As far as I can remember, It contained approximately 50 questions. Each question contained a Cypriot Greek word. You had to choose between 3 variants on how the word can be written using the Greek alphabet in such a way that it keeps the Cypriot pronunciation. An example from the survey: How would you write down the word “και” (pronounced [ke] in Greek) so it keeps the Cypriot pronunciation which is approximately [che]. There were 3 or 4 choices to select among for example: τζαι, τζιαι, or else. The existence of such a survey shows that linguists are working to find a uniform system for the written form of the dialect. We cannot predict If this will happen sooner or later, but it will be interesting to see which forms of words (which spelling) will be chosen as prevailing ones.

Few Things We Can Learn From a Day Trip to Lefkara

lefkara

Lefkara is a picturesque village in the mountains of Cyprus, situated in less than an hour’s drive from the capital Nicosia. It is famous for the traditional hand-made lace and it is mentioned in most travel guides for Cyprus. Even if you are not interested in handicrafts, its narrow cobbled streets and old stone-walled houses will fascinate you. Here is what I learned from a short one-day trip to Lefkara on a sunny Sunday.

Brunch is definitely in fashion in Cyprus.

Going for a brunch has been really trendy in Nicosia for quite some time. I had no doubt about this! It looks as if every week new cafes and eateries are being opened and all of them offer brunch options. Ok, fine with the capital, but I was really surprised to see that this small village of Lefkara with limited number of restaurants also has a place that offers brunch. Not only this, it was fully booked as well!

Cobbled streets are fascinating.

There is something charming and calming when it comes to cobbled streets. These are the kind of narrow streets where a car passes with great difficulty and sometimes you wonder if this is a street or someone’s back yard. And you take plenty of photos which afterwards just do no justice to the real images you have captured in your memory.

 

Sometimes a trip to a village can be better than a trip to the seaside.

Now, many people love mountains and actually prefer them rather than the sea. I’m not one of them, though 🙂 . If asked, where I would prefer to spend a Sunday afternoon and have a coffee or just a walk, I would definitely choose the seaside. I love the sound and the colours of the sea. Especially those of the Mediterranean. Plus, I usually get dizzy when driving on curvy roads that climb up to higher altitudes. However, we need to get out of our routine from time to time. The blue of the sea is missing from Lefkara (and from other similar villages), but there are other colours, sounds and scents that can make your day and trip a nice experience.

Word of mouth is the best advertising.

I mentioned above this place that serves brunch and the fact that there are only few other eateries in the village. If you google Lefkara accompanied by “where to eat” or just “eat”, you will see this place mentioned on various social media platforms or travel-related forums. The few other coffee places were not easily found online. Furthermore, before going to the village someone had already recommended to me this coffeeshop in order to check it out. It was fully booked and I think it would have been booked for the rest of the day. The same was valid for a tavern located somewhere on the road from Lefkara to Vavatsinia (a village not far away). Friends had recommended this tavern and when we went there around noon, we wouldn’t have been able to find a table, if we hadn’t done reservation in advance.

Sometimes simple things are those that matter. You don’t need to think much about your attire, what shoes to put on or make a detailed plan about what you are going to do in the village. You know the place is small, you do not expect too much and there is no need to schedule you every moment well in advance. Just park your car somewhere and let the village guide you to explore it. Happiness can be found in simple things.

A day-trip to any new place can inspire you to be creative. And write a new blog post about it. 🙂