La Academia loves language!  All the languages that our teachers offer have their own idiosyncracies and charm, Greek possibly more so than any other.

It’s always fun to try phrases in another language, though often it’s an equivalent rather than a direct translation. Here’s a few fun phrases in Greek that show what we mean, including how to say “it’s all Greek to me” in Greek!

  • A Greek doesn’t say “I have no idea what’s going on”, he says “I’ve lost my eggs and baskets” (έχω χάσει τα αυγά και τα καλάθια)
  • A Greek doesn’t just “make your life hell”, he will “make your life a roller skate” (σου κάνει τη ζωή πατίνι)
  • A Greek isn’t just “doing nothing”, he’s “swatting flies” (βαράει μύγες)
  • A Greek isn’t just “very busy”, she “runs and doesn’t arrive” (τρἐχει και δεν φτἀνει)
  • In Greece, something is not “unbearable”…but it “can’t be fought” (δεν παλεύεται)
  • Greeks aren’t just “exhausted”…they are “in pieces” (κομμάτια)
  • A Greek person isn’t just “stupid”…he’s a “brick” (τούβλο)
  • A Greek isn’t just “fit”…he is “slices” (φέτες)
  • Greeks that are really drunk aren’t “wasted”…they are “pie” (πίτα)
  • A Greek doesn’t get “beat up”…he “eats wood” (τρώει ξύλο)
  • A Greek doesn’t refer to something incomprehensible as “is all Greek to me”, instead he says “you are speaking Chinese to me” (μου μιλάς Κινέζικα)
  • There is a Greek saying: “Έφαγα τον κόσμο να σε βρω,” which literally translated means “I ate the whole world to find you.” The meaning is an exaggerated way of saying “I tore this place apart looking for you”
  • The Greek saying: “Δεν ειναι Γιάννης, είναι Γιανάκης” translates literally as “It’s not John, it’s Johnny.” What is means is “It’s one and the same.” Like saying “po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe” in English
  • There is a Greek saying: “θα σου βάλω τα δυο πόδια σε ενα παπούτσι” which translates as “I will put your two feet in one shoe” and which means “I will put you in your place.”
  • When Greeks say: “Τα πολλά λόγια είναι φτώχια”, the literal English Translation is: “The many words are poor,” and they really mean: “Talk is cheap.”

For a final fun Greek phrase, try reading this challenging Greek tongue twister:

Meea papeea ma poeea papeea, meea papeea me papeea (Μια πάπια μα ποια πάπια, μια πάπια με παπιά)

Meaning “A duck, but which duck, a duck with ducklings”

If you’d like to know more Greek phrases come down to our language school in Cheadle, and carry on the fun we’ll help Greek not to be all Greek to you!