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MEET THE GREEK… ANOTHER GREAT ADVENTURE!

MEET THE GREEK… ANOTHER GREAT ADVENTURE!

I must confess there are many things that have caught my attention since I arrived to Greece. But undoubtedly, the first was the language!

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Since I arrived here I’m facing my biggest fear, speaking in a foreign language. When I took the bus from the bus station in Athens I looked carefully and a bit terrified at the advertisings and street signs on the side of the road written in those peculiar letters…

Eventually I have decided to take the things little by little and to face the challenge of the language. Luckily in Lefkada, almost everyone speaks English. This is a comfort for me, even though I don’t speak this language much…So it’s time to study two languages at the same time… and one of them is the Greek! I really must have patience and courage!

I never studied Greek  and until I got in Lefkada it really was a language totally unknown to me. When I arrived in Athens, in the airport and then on the street  I started to listen to the people and my first  impression was  that the people were talking in Spanish … when I arrived to the island the other Spanish volunteers  told me exactly the same! I realized that it was not only my impression…

As I was saying above, in general everyone speaks English here but even so, the Greek Language you encounter in some specific places. Buying products from the supermarket is where the adventure begins: every product here comes with Greek label in Greek Alphabet so I must rely much on appearance and especially intuition. You should watch me shopping; it’s a real show!

Shopping for clothes is even more complicated because you have to know both the name of what you want to buy and how you can ask in Greek questions related to the price, the sizes etc.

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Last week I began my Greek classes and step by step I am starting to be able to read the letters. Now I walk down and up the streets capable to read every name of every store. I read and even though I do not understand everything this is a great achievement for me!

Step by step things are getting better with my Greek Language adventure…in stores and public places of course I speak in English but I also sneak some basic Greek words such as good morning, have a nice day or thank you very much…all those together with a smile really help! As I was saying I have to start with the basics… :)

Going more deep into the study I actually realized that despite the difficulty of learning Greek there are also advantages for me as a Spanish speaker. Luckily, the Spanish language adopted much more words from the Greek Language than the English Language did. So I am starting with the common words…and thank God there are many such words! :D

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In Lefkada they recommended me to listen to a Spanish song talking about Greece, called “Mi ultimo tango en Atenas”. I strongly recommend you to listen to it because everything about it is perfect! ;) For now I try not to put much pressure on me or to get overwhelmed with the learning of English and Greek, especially with Greek and this is why I never leave home without my guidebook. And talking about guidebook, I must tell you a story related to it that happened to me and that should make you all not trust 100% these guides. Long story short, in my guide they switched the yes with the no. Imagine the problems I could have if I wouldn’t find out soon enough about this mistake. To say yes every time you want to say no!  Luckily I found out about the mistake on the first days of my arrival.

To sum up, making efforts and puting passion in the learning of the two foreign languages, faceing this fear: this is one of my biggest challenges in this experience…

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