Greek Listening Comprehension – C2 | Greek Listening

This Greek listening comprehension exercise is for beginners. You will listen to three audio files in modern Greek and then you will be requested to answer a few questions. Be aware that, in order to make this exercise a bit more challenging, the last two audio files will only play once.  

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Greek listening exercise example for advanced speakers (C2).

Greek Listening Comprehension – B2 | Greek Listening

greek audio b2

Καλημέρα. Good morning. This Greek listening comprehension exercise is for intermediate speakers. You will listen to three audio files in modern Greek. Then you will be requested to answer a few questions.

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Untold Stories from Athens, Greece

stories athens

Each city has its obvious, well-known places and landmarks. Athens, the capital of the Hellenic Republic of Greece, has the Acropolis Hill, Syntagma square, the Agora, and so many other historical sites and attractions. Today, we discover some hidden, secret stories that are tied to some of the most popular Athenian landmarks. These stories include creative assassination plans, ancient curses, and hidden rivers.

Stories Behind Popular Attractions in Athens:

  1. Monkey Attacks the King of Greece at the National Gardens
  2. The Magic Olive Tree on the Acropolis Hill
  3. Ancient Curses and “Voodoo” Objects in Kerameikos
  4. Tricking Ancient Athenians To Becoming Active Citizens… With A Rope

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Tricking Ancient Athenians into Becoming Active Citizens… With A Rope

The first story behind a popular Athenian attraction takes place in the ancient Agora of Athens and the Pnyx; both places can be visited in the Greek capital. The Agora of Athens was a marketplace and meeting point for ancient Athenians. The Pnyx was a place designated for public speaking and hosting assemblies during the years of direct Athenian Democracy.

According to some historical records from Thucydides – but mostly from plays written by the ancient comedian Aristophanes – we get the impression that ancient Athenians loved to discuss politics but often despised attending the assemblies. Sometimes, when they were called to attend the ecclesia (the citizen’s assembly) at the Pnyx, they would stay at the agora, gossiping and engaging in casual conversations.

It is said that in order to encourage the citizens to engage in political conversations and vote on important subjects, certain people were assigned a peculiar task. They would grab a rope that was painted red that they called “μεμιλτωμένον σχοινίον” and start walking across the agora, forcing the crowd to follow them. They would basically herd the citizens towards Pnyx to attend the meetings.

Since we mostly know of the so-called “μεμιλτωμένον σχοινίον” from an ancient comedian, this story is often considered exaggerated. Some scholars believe that the red rope story was told by oligarchs who wanted to diminish the importance of the ecclesia. However, everyone agrees that there is… some truth to it.  

Ancient Curses and “Voodoo” Objects in Kerameikos

Kerameikos neighborhood is known for an archaeological site that includes parts of the “Iear Odos, the Sacred Way, the led Athenian to Eleusis for the Eleusinian Mysteries. They were held by a cult dedicated to goddess Demeter and Persephone and its members believed that they could reveal secrets about the afterlife.

The archaeological site also includes the ancient necropolis of Athens. Necropolis means “city of the dead” in Greek. It used to be the cemetery of Athens from the 9th century BC till the Roman era.  People can visit the area and observe the tombstones of that time.

Perhaps, the most interesting part of this site is the museum that preserves and showcases the artifacts that were found in the burial ground. Some of these artifacts reveal a secretive and lesser-known aspect of the daily lives of ancient Athenians. If you visit the museum, you will not only see pottery, jewelry, and offerings to the dead, but also some… stone tablets with curses that aimed to inflict harm on people.

Although witchcraft practices were banned in classical Athens, certain people would seek help from the paranormal to take revenge on those who wronged them or to cause harm to their political and legal opponents. In one of these tablets, for example, a man is requesting to have his opponent’s tongue tied during his speech in court.

The reason why the people buried these curse tablets in graves is related to the belief that the souls of the dead would carry them in the underworld. Hades was not just housing human souls. It was also the home of chthonic deities, such as Hecate. The latter is a goddess associated with the darkness and witchcraft. She would supposedly gather the tablets and she would then decide whether she would make them come true.

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The Magic Olive Tree on the Acropolis Hill

If you visit the Acropolis Hill of Athens, the sacred hill of the Greek capital, you will not only the Parthenon, but also the Erectheion. It is a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon, the gods who competed against each other for the title of the protector of Athens.

As the name of the city suggests, Athena was the winner. That was because she made an offer Athenians couldn’t reject: the olive tree. According to the myth, the citizens saw a business opportunity in exporting olive oil all over the Mediterranean. They voted for Athena and she introduced the first olive tree in Athens.

Believe it or not, this olive tree can be found next to the Erectheion to this day. Of course, we do not know whether it was in fact created by an ancient Greek goddess. But we do know that it is somehow connected to the olive tree that ancient Athenians worshipped as such.

You may notice that this particular olive tree is quite slender and doesn’t look old enough. That’s because the tree reportedly spawned from a branch from the original sacred olive tree that was partly destroyed during World War II.

 Monkey Attacks the King of Greece in Athens

Perhaps the most peculiar story that takes place in Athens is the factual monkey attack against King Alexander of Greece in 1920. King Alexander was a 27-year-old who was stripped of his powers by the liberal party of Greece and who was used as a “puppet-king”, according to historians.

One day, he decided to take one of his long walks with his dog in nature. Some say that he took his walk in the Royal Gardens of Athens that are now known as “National Gardens”. Others suggest that he took his walk in Tatoi Forest which surrounded the estate of the former Greek Royal Family.

During his walk, Alexander came face to face with two… monkeys that got scared by the barks of his dog. One of the monkeys tried to attack his dog, while the other ran towards the king and bit him on his leg. The wound didn’t seem serious at first. However, it soon got infected by bacteria, leading to sepsis. The doctors could save him by amputating his leg, however, this option was denied. An amputated king would give off a weak image of Greece, according to those in power.

The event was so peculiar that rumors started spreading. Some believed that the monkey attack was an assassination that was carefully planned by his opponents. Monkeys are not native in Greece after all. It is said that they belonged to the botanist who took care of the National Gardens and the Forest of Tatoi. He has imported them from Africa and kept them as pets.

The attack occurred during the years of the Greco-Turkish War which aimed at regaining regions in Asia Minor that were part of the Byzantine Empire. According to historians, this attack ended up creating a political turmoil that resulted in the Great Fire of Smyrna two years later. As well as the exchange of populations between the two countries, with the exodus of Greek refugees to mainland Greece. This is why Winston Churchill once wrote that: “it is perhaps no exaggeration to remark that a quarter of a million persons died of this monkey’s bite.”

10 Greek Verbs You Should Know in ALL Tenses and With Examples! | Greek Grammar

Today’s video is dedicated to Greek grammar. You will learn ten (10) very common Greek verbs in all tenses. You will be provided with the first-person singular for each verb, which you can memorize. You will then be presented with some examples. Take pen and paper and let’s get started!

10 Greek Verbs in ALL Grammatical Tenses

Ενεστώτας – Αόριστος – Παρατατικός – Παρακείμενος-Υπερσυντέλικος-Μέλλοντας Στ.-Μέλλοντας Εξ.- Μέλλοντας Συντελεσμένος

  1. είμαι – — – ήμουν – — – — – — – θα είμαι – — – — – — –
  2. έχω – — – είχα – — – — – — – θα έχω – — – — – — –
  3. κάνω – έκανα – έκανα – έχω κάνει – είχα κάνει – θα κάνω – θα κάνω – θα έχω κάνει
  4. μπορώ – μπόρεσα – μπορούσα – έχω μπορέσει – είχα μπορέσει – θα μπορέσω – θα μπορώ – θα έχω μπορέσει
  5. λέω – είπα – έλεγα – έχω πει – είχα πει – θα πω – θα λέω – θα έχω πει
  6. ζω – έζησα – ζούσα – έχω ζήσει – είχα ζήσει – θα ζήσω – θα ζω – θα έχω ζήσει
  7. παίρνω – πήρα – έπαιρνα – έχω πάρει – είχα πάρει – θα πάρω – θα παίρνω – θα έχω πάρει
  8. βρίσκω – βρήκα – έβρισκα – έχω βρει – είχα βρει – θα βρω – θα βρίσκω – θα έχω βρει
  9. βλέπω – είδα – έβλεπα – έχω δει – είχα δει – θα δω – θα βλέπω – θα έχω δει
  10. βάζω – έβαλα – έβαζα – έχω βάλει – είχα βάλει – θα βάλω – θα βάζω – θα έχω βάλει

Examples with Basic Greek Verbs

«Είμαι, ήμουν και θα είμαι ειλικρινής.» “I am, I was and I’ll be honest.”

«Είχα μάθημα το πρωί.» “I had a class in the morning.”

«Θα έχω κάνει πολλές δουλειές μέχρι τότε.» “I will have done many jobs by that time.”

«Σε πήρα τηλέφωνο γιατί δεν βρίσκω τα κλειδιά μου.» “I called you because I can’t find my keys.”

«Του είπα ότι θα δω ταινία το βράδυ.» “I told him I’ll be watching a movie tonight.”

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No More “Ναι” or “Όχι”. Upgrade Your Greek with These Synonyms

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“Yes” (Ναι) and “No” (Όχι) are standard answers in all languages. But, as you progress in your language journey, it is time to move forward and start using synonyms to express negation and affirmation. Usually, conversations between beginners in Greek are as follows:

-«Πεινάς;» (are you hungry?)

-«Ναι.» (yes.)

-«Κατάλαβες;» (was it clear to you?)

-«Όχι.» (no.)

Here are some words and phrases that will upgrade your Greek vocabulary in minutes. These will help you express affirmation and negation in Greek.

Greek Synonyms of “Yes” and “No” | No More “Ναι”/”Όχι”

  1. Βεβαίως – Sure
  2. Φυσικά – Of course
  3. Αποκλείεται – No way
  4. Αμέ – Yep
  5. Τς/ τσου – (disapproval sound, informal no)
  6. Άπαπα – Oh no/ Νο way
  7. Μάλιστα – Sure/ Indeed
  8. Οκέι (οκ) – Okay (ok)
  9. Σίγουρα – For sure
  10. Σαφώς – Definitely/ Clearly
  11. Προφανώς – Obviously
  12. Εννοείται – Of course/ It goes without saying
  13. Οπωσδήποτε – Definitely
  14. Ούτε καν – No way/ Never/ Not at all
  15. Ούτε να το σκέφτεσαι – Don’t even think about it
  16. Δεν παίζει – No way (slang)
  17. Με την καμία – No way (slang)
  18. Σε καμία περίπτωση – No way

Let’s see some examples:

«Διάβασες;» (Have you studied?)

«Φυσικά και διάβασα.» (Of course I’ve studied)

«Κρασί;» (Wine?)

«Βεβαίως…» (Sure…)

«Πάμε για ποτό;» (Shall we go out for a drink?)

«Αποκλείεται!» (No way!)

«Έχεις αναπτήρα;» (Do you have a lighter?)

«Τς…» (No…)

«Θέλεις γλυκό;» (Would you like some dessert?)

«Άπαπα, έχω σκάσει.» (No way, I’m full.)

«Γνωρίζεστε;» (Do you know each other?)

«Ούτε καν…» (Not at all…)

«Έχεις να μου δανείσεις πέντε ευρώ;» (Can you lend me five euros?)

«Με την καμία.» (No, no way.)

Well, these were some examples of words and phrases that express affirmation or negation in Greek that are not “yes” or “no”. If you found this video helpful, don’t forget to click subscribe; it’s free and you’ll discover many more free videos like this. You can always visit helinika.com and don’t forget to check the description for some helpful links. Till next time!

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7 Facts About Poseidon | #GreekMyths

Known as the ancient Greek god of the sea and waters, Poseidon (Ποσειδώνας in Greek) is one of the most popular Olympians. His Roman equivalent is Neptune and you might have seen statues of him in squares in Greece and Italy. He is usually depicted as muscular, sporting a beard and holding a trident. There are many temples dedicated to him that are still standing; a great example of that would be the temple in Cape Sounio, near Athens. Here is a list of interesting facts about the ancient Greek god, Poseidon.

7 Facts About Poseidon | Ancient Greek Mythology

  1. Poseidon is the god of the seas and the protector of seafarers.
  2. He is also the god of horses.
  3. Poseidon was eaten alive by his father and saved by his brother, Zeus.
  4. Poseidon and Athena fought over the city of Athens.
  5. Triton and Poseidon are not the same person.
  6. God Poseidon is responsible for Odysseus’ dangerous homecoming journey.
  7. Poseidon’s domain was rumored to be Atlantis.

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Poseidon is the god of the seas and the protector of seafarers

As the god of the seas, Poseidon was also considered the protector of sailors. He was worshipped by sailors as their patron who would pray to him to feel protected during their trips. Today, the protector of Greek sailors is Saint Nicholas.

He is also the god of horses

It may be hard to see a connection there, but Poseidon was also the god of horses. It is believed that he was the one responsible for introducing the species in Greece.

Poseidon was eaten alive by his father and saved by his brother, Zeus

Poseidon was one of the unlucky children of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He was eaten alive by his cannibalistic and power-hungry father, only to be saved later by his younger brother, Zeus. Zeus then assigned an element to each of his siblings. Poseidon’s specialty was no other than water!

Poseidon and Athena fought over the city of Athens

Greek city-states usually had a patron who protected the land and the citizens. According to an ancient Greek legend, goddess Athena and god Poseidon competed against each other for the city of Athens, with the citizens voting for their preferred patron. The Athenians chose Athena for introducing the olive tree on their land. Now you may be wondering what Poseidon offered them. You can learn more about this myth in our dedicated video and article.

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Triton and Poseidon are not the same person

You may know Triton from various movies and books, including the Disney adaption of the “Little Mermaid”. Many people confuse Poseidon with Triton, thinking they are the same person. In fact, Triton was one of Poseidon’s sons and was a mermaid.

God Poseidon is responsible for Odysseus’ dangerous homecoming journey

If you have watched Helinika’s playlist narrating the Odyssey, then you already know this fact. The king of Ithaca, Odysseus, was on his way back to his island from the city of Troy. But he ended up spending years in the sea, since he lost the favor of Poseidon. The god of the seas was furious at Odysseus for injuring and mocking one of his sons, Cyclops Polyphemus. Injuring Polyphemus wasn’t the worst part; Odysseus was trying to save his life in this case. But it was the fact that the king felt invincible after this that made him commit a hybris.

Poseidon’s domain was rumored to be Atlantis

In the past, we saw Plato’s allegory of the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis, according to Plato, was a rich and powerful city-state that flooded and disappeared from the face of the Earth. The reason? The gods and goddesses were furious at how greedy and unethical its citizens had become. According to the legend and allegory, the city was Poseidon’s domain. The first ruler of the city was no other than king Atlas, one of Poseidon’s sons.

If you enjoyed watching this video, don’t forget to like, share, comment, and subscribe. In the description, you will find some helpful links, including your Udemy discount for learning Greek. Till next time!