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April 30, 2006

Don't you "Ελα! Ελα!" me, young lady

One of the joys of gradually getting to grips with a new language is when you suddenly understand that the shrieky teenage girls behind you are having a go at you, because you are holding them up as you let an old lady get off the bus. It means you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you are now deliberately annoying someone who is being rude about you in a foreign language.

Now, please don't get the wrong impression of my command of Greek though. Recognising an exasperated "Ελα! Ελα!" when I hear it does not make me a fluent speaker yet.

In truth, I can still barely muster 20 words that I can say or understand in Greek.

And that includes counting up to fifteen.

And "οφσαιντ".

Which is Greek for "offside".

And is pronounced in almost the exact same way as it is in English.

And isn't a great deal of use in the kind of general day-to-day interactions I tend to have with shopkeepers and internet cafe owners.

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