Greek YouTube Channels to Immerse Yourself in The Language

There are different YouTube channels dedicated to the Greek language and culture, such as Helinika. Two examples are LinguaTree and EasyGreek. Here are some of the best Greek YouTube channels that are not targeted at Greek language learners. They are commentary, comedy, lifestyle, and other types of channels, which can help you immerse yourself in the language.

 If you are an absolute beginner, you might find it hard following their videos. But if you have a basic understanding of the Greek language, watching the content these channels produce will significantly improve your fluency.  

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Greek Comedy Channels

Most of the Greek comedy YouTube channels belong to actors and real comedians, rather than professional YouTubers. Here are Helinika’s recommendations:

Labros Fisfis

The comedian Labros Fisfis has a nerdy, self-deprecating sense of humor that can be enjoyed by an international audience. At the same time, you will learn about certain aspects of the Greek culture that even we, Greeks, make jokes about. It is recommended to watch his videos on Greek motherhood and Greece in general.

Giorgos Vagiatas

Giorgos Vagiatas is a personal favorite, since he is gifted with making everything sound funny. His sense of humor could also be described as nerdy and foreigners will also find many Greek “inside jokes” that will help them understand more about the Greek culture. Vagiatas is also uploading travel content from time to time and he is known for his “camper” traveling series here on YouTube.

Dionysis Atzarakis

Dionysis Atzarakis is a very talented actor, director and comedian, with a very sophisticated sense of humor. No loud noises, weird face expressions, or try-hard jokes. Just pure sarcasm and irony. His jokes might be harder to understand, since he adds many references to Greece’s pop culture and media.

Greek Scientific & Informative YouTube Channels

The Greek YouTube community includes many scientists and knowledgeable people.

Astronio

Astronio is a YouTube channel dedicated to the science of Astronomy. It explains complicated phenomena of the cosmos in an easy and understandable way. Behind the channel there is a real astronomer named Pavlos Kastanas, who is also a science lecturer at Mediterranean College. You can also find interviews of other scientists on this channel.

Kathimerini Physiki

 Kathimerini Physiki (Καθημερινή Φυσική) translates to “Daily Physics”. It is a Greek YouTube channel that explains scientific phenomena to a broad audience. The face of the presenter is not shown on screen.

The Skeptic Theory

A very interesting Greek YouTube channel is “The Skeptic Theory”, which covers a wide range of topics – from religion and conspiracy theories to human psychology, ethics, and logic. The face of the presenter is again not shown and viewers who are currently in the process of learning Greek will be able to expand their vocabulary.

Yannis Sarakatsanis

Yannis Sarakatsanis is a mathematician and actor here in Greece who uploads high quality content on YouTube. His videos on various philosophical matters are very well researched and he also gives great book recommendations.

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Greek Commentary Channels

Commentary channels can get controversial. Here are two commentary channels that belong to independent thinkers and do not necessarily fall under a specific political ideology.

Konstantina Adamaki

Konstantina Adamaki is a Journalism graduate who creates mostly commentary videos but also some satirical videos. By watching her videos, you will get an understanding of Greece’s current affairs. The YouTuber has been called a “leftist” and a “conservative” by commentators, since her opinions do not follow a specific political agenda.

Nefeli Meg

Nefeli Meg is a young lawyer who posts informative and entertaining content. She usually comments on Greece’s current affairs and, as a lawyer, she is able to present both sides of the story. It is as if she debates with herself, which requires a lot of research. Both native and non-native speakers should watch her videos, since they can improve their Greek vocabulary.

Greek Lifestyle Channels

There are several Greek lifestyle YouTube channels but here are the ones recommended by Helinika.

Evelina Nikoliza

Evelina Nikoliza is a singer and presenter who also shares parts of her life on YouTube. She has a great sense of humor and she has some of the most hilarious storytime videos. Greek language learners will easily follow her stories.

I Mikri Ollandeza

Danae Georganta is a half-Dutch – half-Greek YouTuber who is known as “I Mikri Ollandeza” (the little Dutch girl). She was one of the first people who made YouTube their career in Greece. Danae started with beauty and fashion videos but, at the moment, she mostly uploads vlog and lifestyle content.

By exploring these YouTube channels you will probably come across other Greek creators, whose content will be interesting to you. If you watch any of their videos, feel free to leave a comment, letting them know how you discovered them. Have a nice day and keep learning!

Learn Greek at Home During Quarantine

If you are interested in learning Greek but there are no classes taking place in your area, don’t be discouraged. Helinika, a platform dedicated to the Greek language, history, and culture, offers affordable Greek language lessons online. Learn Greek during Quarantine.

This Is Your Sign for Learning Greek

You have been debating whether you should start learning modern Greek and you constantly postpone it. Whatever the reason might be, here is the sign you were looking for. Start learning Greek today.

Greek Books to Learn Greek | Modern Greek Literature

One of the best ways to learn Greek is to immerse yourself in the language. When it comes to learning the modern Greek language, avoid limiting yourself to classical Greek literature. Here is a list of the best Greek books of modern Greek literature that will inspire you to learn Greek or improve your Greek skills. You can order these books in Greek (reaching B1 level is essential) but you can find some of them translated in your native language.

Greek Literature and Modern Greek Authors

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Best Greek Books:

  • Το οριζόντιο ύψος και άλλες αφύσικες ιστορίες – Αργύρης Χιόνης
  • Το καπλάνι της βιτρίνας – Άλκη Ζέη
  • Η μωβ ομπρέλα – Άλκη Ζέη
  • Ένα παιδί μετράει τ’ άστρα – Μενέλαος Λουντέμης
  • H φόνισσα – Αλέξανδρος Παπαδιαμάντης
  • Το αμάρτημα της μητρός μου – Γιώργος Βιζυηνός
  • Πάπισσα Ιωάννα – Εμμανουήλ Ροΐδης

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Top 10 Misunderstood Women in Ancient Greek Mythology | #GreekMyths

Ancient Greek mythology features many outstanding and admirable female characters, such as goddess Athena and heroine Atalante. At the same time, there are countless other women that got a negative reputation due to a lack of knowledge or shallow knowledge regarding their background. Let’s see the ten (10) most misunderstood mythical women.

10 Misunderstood Mythical Women:

  1. Gorgon Medusa
  2. Helen of Troy
  3. Medea
  4. Electra
  5. Lamia
  6. Clytemnestra
  7. Pandora
  8. Hera
  9. Hecate
  10. Circe

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Before we look at every character, it is important to remember that characters in ancient Greek myths are not necessarily “evil” nor “saints”. These terms were introduced centuries later. In the Greek pagan religion, gods and goddesses were similar to humans, meaning that they possessed negative and positive characteristics. With this in mind, we should understand that ancient Greeks were not necessarily judging these heroines the way they are judged today.

10: Circe

Circe was a mythical sorceress featured in Homer’s Odyssey and other legends. She is known as the “evil witch” of ancient Greek mythology and she has inspired a fictional supervillain that appears in DC Comics with the same name. Was she really that bad? Circe would use her potions and magic powers to transform her enemies into animals and to hold the men she desired as captives. Odysseus was one of these men. She was definitely not a saint but, if you count and evaluate the crimes she committed in the Odyssey with those committed by Odysseus, she is quite innocent.

9: Hecate

If you are not new to this channel, you are already familiar with Hecate. Hecate was the goddess of darkness, witchcraft, and necromancy. She was also a chthonic deity, meaning that she resided under the surface of the Earth and not on Mount Olympus with Zeus and the rest of the gods and goddesses. In Christianity and other monotheistic religions, the underworld is a place of punishment and a place were evil resides, contrary to the heavens in the sky. Therefore, Hecate is often considered a fallen angel, a demon in the Judeo-Christian sense. However, Hecate is one of the least evil deities in pagan mythology. Yes, she would help people who wanted to put a curse on someone, however, she did not commit a series of crimes like other gods and goddesses with a good reputation.

8: Hera

Hera, the goddess of marriage, is one of the most vengeful mythological characters, punishing the women Zeus would cheat on her with. If you have watched all videos made by Helinika, then you might know that she tormented Leto by keeping her from giving birth anywhere on planet Earth. At the same time, it is worth understanding her background. Hera was eaten alive by her father, Chronos, and she was finally rescued by her brother, Zeus. In the end, she was forced to marry him and witness his infidelities, without complaining. As a protector of the sanction of marriage, she wanted to protect her own marriage from any external forces but she picked the wrong targets. But is she up to her terrible reputation? Absolutely not.

7: Pandora

The myth of Pandora’s jar has been featured on Helinika’s channel in the past. Pandora was a robot-like woman; a creation of Zeus and Hephaestus that was offered to humanity as a “gift” and “curse” at the same time. Just like Eve in the creation myth, Pandora is often blamed as the woman who damned humanity by opening a jar that contained all evils. But if we look closely to the myth’s details, if someone is to blame here, that would be Zeus. The king of the Olympian gods and goddesses wanted to give some disadvantages to humans, since they had acquired the element of fire, enabling them to create advanced technological innovations. Pandora had free will but, at the same time, she was created in a way that predetermined the opening of the jar. The gods gave her the trait of curiosity and then offered her an unlocked jar and told her to never open it. Pandora was indeed curious, she was made that way, but she did not have any bad intentions when she opened the jar. She was simply a pawn in Zeus’ plan.

6: Clytemnestra

You might know Clytemnestra as the woman who murdered her husband Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, with the help of her lover. Fewer people though understand why she committed such a crime. Clytemnestra, sister of Helen of Troy, had a daughter, Iphigenia. When Helen was abducted by Paris and taken to Troy, Agamemnon gathered his forces to help Menelaus, Helen’s husband, bring her home. However, the winds were weak, and they were unable to sail away. According to an omen, goddess Artemis had to be appeased by sacrificing Iphigenia, Agamemnon’s daughter. The man sacrificed his daughter and then sailed to Troy and came back with a concubine named Cassandra. Clytemnestra was enraged with the fact that her husband had killed their daughter and then had the audacity to come home with his lover. She killed him and Agamemnon was remembered as a hero of the Trojan war and she was remembered as the jealous wife who killed her husband.

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5: Lamia

If you have watched Helinika’s video on ancient Greek vampires, then you might remember Lamia. A monster that would take the form of a woman to seduce men and feed off of them. She was also known for abducting babies from their cribs. But why did she target men and why was she abducting babies in the first place? Lamia was another victim of Zeus and Hera. Zeus had forced himself on her, getting her pregnant. Hera got enraged and decided to punish the victim by killing her babies and cursing her with the inability to sleep. Lamia was deeply traumatized and turned into the monster we know today.

4: Electra

You might know Electra from Carl Jung’s neo-Freudian Electra complex, which describes the hostility of a daughter towards her mother. Electra is a character in ancient Greek mythology and numerous Greek tragedies. She was the daughter of Clytemnestra and the younger sister of Iphigenia. When Agamemnon returned home, she was out of Mycenae and she was unaware of his heinous acts. As soon as she came home and learned that her mother had killed her father and was now living with her lover, Electra plotted the murder of Clytemnestra with the help of her brother, Orestes. We do not know whether Electra had inappropriate feelings for her father or if she was always hostile towards her mother, despite the popular belief.

3: Medea

Medea is a character known by most people, whether they are interested in ancient Greek mythology and drama or not. She was Circe’s niece, priestess of Hecate, and, as you can imagine, these two facts would be enough to put her in the “evil” category. The woman, however, is known for murdering her children. This act can’t be excused. What we can do, is try to understand how she ended up there. If you have watched the Argonautica on Helinika’s channel, then you might remember that Medea was the princess of Colchis and was used by the goddesses of Mount Olympus as a pawn in their plan to help Jason flee with the Golden Fleece. Medea was blinded with Eros arrows and got madly in love -literally madly- with Jason. That meant that she would do anything to stop something or someone who stood between her and Jason. The hero did not have any feelings for her but married Medea anyways to receive the Golden Fleece and gain power. After having two children with her, he decided to get married to a younger woman, which enraged Medea. The latter went on a killing spree and fled the city of Iolcos. Her story will be narrated in this channel in the future, so make sure to subscribe and stay connected.

2: Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy was one of the first “trophy wives” to have ever existed. Known as “the most beautiful woman in the world” she was married to king Menelaus of Sparta and either abducted by Paris of Troy or tricked into following him to Troy. She is often blamed for starting the Trojan war and being the source of so many evils. Her reputation was tainted, although she never took any actions herself. She was simply the apple of discord between two men: Menelaus and Paris. Her reputation was restored with a play called “Helen” by the ancient Greek dramatist Euripides. I wont reveal too much about the plot, since it will be discussed in a future video, however, Euripides condemns war and hostility, as the roots of all evils, and portrays Helen as a frank, reliable, and misunderstood character.

1: Gorgon Medusa

The most misunderstood female character in ancient Greek mythology is Gorgon Medusa, a terrifying monster with venomous snakes on her head. Those who gazed into her face would turn to stone but she was finally destroyed by the Greek hero Perseus who used her head as a weapon. Medusa has been interpreted by Freud as a representation of the fear of castration in little boys. However, Medusa is now considered a symbol of female rage against gender-based violence. The monster was once a woman who was assaulted by Poseidon in goddess Athena’s temple. The goddess then decided to blame the victim for the attack and turned her into a serpent-headed monster that no one would be able to look in the eyes without turning to stone. As a result, Medusa hid in a cave in the island she resided in and, although she did not commit any heinous acts herself, she was killed by Perseus and her head was used as a weapon against his enemies.

What is the Meaning of Hellas, Hellenes, Hellenistic, Hellenism, and Philhellenism?

You might be wondering why Greece is officially called “Hellenic Republic” or “Hellas” and why Greeks are often called “Hellenes”. The same goes with adjectives such as “Hellenic” and “Hellenistic” instead of Greek. Another common term is “Philhellenism”, meaning friend/lover of Hellenism. What do these terms mean and how are they connected to Greece?

Hellas and Hellenes

The reality is that Greeks/Hellenes today use the terms «Ελλάδα» (Hellada), «Έλληνες» (Hellenes), and «ελληνικός» (Hellenic) when talking about Greece, Greeks, and Greek (adjective) respectively. At the same time, many western countries are more familiar with the Latin “Graecia”, hence the common use of the words  “Greece” and “Greek”. In this sense, “Greece” and “Hellas” can be used interchangeably, but the second option is more accurate than the first.

Origins of the Terms Hellas and Hellenes

There are various theories surrounding the etymology of “Hellas”. We know from the ancient Greek poet Homer that Hellas was a place in central Greece, where the women were described as “very beautiful” (καλλιγύναικος). You might have also heard of the mythical Helen of Troy, considered the “most beautiful woman in the world”, whose abduction started the Trojan War. Her name, which is still a very popular given name for girls, means “bright”/ “of light”, leading us to the conclusion that Hellas was “the land of light”. Greece is still referred to as “the land of light”, not only because of its clear skies and many consecutive days of sunlight, but also because its history inspired the Age of Enlightenment.

The term started describing all Greeks thanks to the conquests of Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC). Up to that point, the Greeks were organized in city-states, such as Athens and Sparta. Greeks were aware of their common characteristics in religion, language, and appearance, and would distinguish themselves from people of different cultural backgrounds.

With the creation of the vast empire of Alexander, these differences became more prominent and Greeks started recognizing themselves as one group: the Hellenes. Ancient Greek historian Thucydides was also using the term “to Hellenize” (ελληνίζει) when referring to the spread of the Greek language and culture.

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Hellenistic Period

The Hellenistic Period is the historical period that starts with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and ends with the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire. This was the time when the Attic dialect of the Greek language, that you may know as Koine Greek, became the lingua franca in the Mediterranean and other regions that were reached and influenced by Alexander. Some scholars often refer to it as an age of decadence, since it marks the decline of the Greek Classical Era. However, the Hellenistic Period was a time of prosperity and was characterized by a great progress in arts, mathematics, philosophy, architecture, and science. Stoicism and Epicureanism saw a rise during this period.

Hellenism

“Hellenism” has three different meanings. Today, the term describes the culture(s) of Hellas and Hellenes (Greece and Greeks) from ancient to modern times. Sometimes, scholars might use the term Hellenism to describe only the culture of the Hellenistic Period, as described in the previous paragraph. In the European Romantic era, “Hellenism” was a synonym of the neoclassical movement in art and architecture, which was inspired by the Greek Classical era.  

Philhellenism and Philhellenes

Philhellenism derives from the Greek «φιλώ» (to befriend, to love, to adore, to kiss) and the term Hellenism, which is a synonym for the Greek culture and aesthetic. Philhellenes are the admirers of Hellenism and Hellenes (Greek culture and Greeks). Philhellenism became a movement in Western Europe and other regions in the 17th, 18th and 19th Century thanks to the neoclassical movement that focused on the study of Classical philosophers and thanks to the tradition of the Grand Tour; a coming of age trip for upper-class European men in the archaeological sites of Italy and Greece. Philhellenism played a crucial role in the start and completion of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.

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Greek Listening #1: The Greek Dialects | Greek Comprehension

greek listening exercice

Welcome to Helinika’s new video series “Greek Listening”/ “Greek Comprehension”. Today, we discuss the topic of the Greek dialects within and outside the Greek borders.

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Read the Entire Script:

Γεια σε όλους.

Hello everyone.

Σήμερα θα μιλήσουμε για τις διαλέκτους της ελληνικής γλώσσας.

Today we will talk about the dialects of the Greek language.

Οι πιο χαρακτηριστικές διάλεκτοι της ελληνικής είναι

The most characteristic dialects of the Greek (language) are

εκείνες των Ελλήνων της Κάτω Ιταλίας, της Κύπρου, της Πόλης, και του Πόντου.

those of the Greeks of Southern Italy (Griko), Cyprus, (Konstantinou)Polis, and Pontos.

Στην Κύπρο, τα ελληνικά ακούγονται πιο μελωδικά, σχεδόν τραγουδιστά.

In Cyprus, the Greek (language) sounds more melodic, almost like singing.

Επίσης, υπάρχουν διαφορές στη γραμματική και στο λεξιλόγιο.

Also, there are differences in grammar and vocabulary.

Αρκημός, επί παραδείγματι, σημαίνει αρχή. Βαρκούμαι σημαίνει βαριέμαι και ούτω καθεξής.

Arkimos, as an example, start. Varkoumai means I am bored and so forth.

Οι Έλληνες της Κάτω Ιταλίας μιλάνε μια διάλεκτο που μοιάζει αρκετά με τα αρχαία ελληνικά.

The Grikos (Greeks of South Italy) speak in a dialect that resembles the ancient Greek language.

Για παράδειγμα, χρησιμοποιούν ακόμα το αρχαίο ελληνικό απαρέμφατο.

For example, they still use the ancient Greek infinitive (form of the verbs).

Στην Ελλάδα, την διάλεκτο αυτή την αποκαλούμε «Γραικάνικα».

In Greece, this dialect is called “Grecanica”.

Ωστόσο, ακόμα και εντός των ελληνικών συνόρων, υπάρχουν κάποιες διαφορές

However, even within the Greek borders, there are a few variations

στην προφορά, στον τονισμό, στο λεξιλόγιο… ακόμα και στη γραμματική.

in the accent, accentuation, vocabulary… even grammar.

Αυτές οι γλωσσικές διαφορές εντός συνόρων, οι τοπικές διάλεκτοι, ονομάζονται και ντοπιολαλιές.

This glossological differences within borders, the regional dialects, are also called “dopiolalies” (patois).

Για παράδειγμα, στην Θεσσαλονίκη και στη βόρεια Ελλάδα γενικότερα

For example, in Thessaloniki and generally in northern Greece

το σύμφωνο λ είναι πιο παχύ. Ορισμένες φορές το ίδιο ισχύει για το μ και το ν.

the consonant l is thicker. Sometimes, the same applies to m and n.

Για παράδειγμα, το λάχανο (x2).

For example, the cabbage (x2).

Επίσης, είναι σύνηθες να χρησιμοποιείται η αιτιατική αντί της γενικής

Also, it is common to use accusative instead of genitive

σε φράσεις όπως: «μου αρέσει», «σου πάει», «μου είπε»…

in phrases such as: “Ι like him/her/it”, “he/she/it suits you”, “he/she/it told me”…

Στην Θεσσαλονίκη θα πουν: «με αρέσει», «σε πάει», «με είπε» κλπ.

In Thessaloniki they will say: (same phrases, different cases)

Ακόμα, ορισμένες λέξεις έχουν άλλη σημασία. Όπως το «κασέρι».

Moreover, some words have a different meaning. Such as “kasseri”.

«Κασέρι» στην Αθήνα και σε άλλες περιοχές είναι ένα είδος κίτρινου τυριού.

“Kaseri” in Athens and other places is a type of yellow cheese.

Ωστόσο, στην Θεσσαλονίκη, “κασέρι” ονομάζεται κάθε κίτρινο τυρί. Και όλα τα άσπρα τυριά ονομάζονται φέτα.

However, in Thessaloniki, “kasseri” is the name of every yellow cheese. And all types of white cheese are called feta.

Ακόμα, υπάρχουν διαφορές στον τονισμό ορισμένων λέξεων. Για παράδειγμα, στη βόρεια Ελλάδα, το επίθετο «στρογγυλός-η-ο» τονίζεται στην πρώτη συλλαβή: «στρόγγυλος-η-ο».

Also, there are differences in the accentuation of certain words. For example, in northern Greece, the adjective “round” takes the accent mark on the first syllable.

Σε άλλα μέρη της Ελλάδας, ορισμένα φωνήεντα ή σύμφωνα δεν προφέρονται. Για παράδειγμα, σε ορεινά χωριά της Θεσσαλίας η φράση «τι κάνεις;» συχνά προφέρεται «τι κάνς;».

In other places in Greece, some vowels or consonants are not spelled out. For example, in villages located on mountains in Thessaly, the phrase “how are you” is spelled out “how’re ya”.

Στην Κρήτη, οι ντόπιοι έχουν επίσης μια ιδιαίτερη και μελωδική προφορά.

In Crete, the locals also have a special and melodic pronunciation.

Πολλές λέξεις διαφέρουν. Για παράδειγμα, το «γατάκι» λέγεται «κατσούλι», το «παιδί» λέγεται «κοπέλι» και ούτω καθεξής.

Some words differ. For example, the “kitty” is called “katsouli”, the “child” is called “kopeli” and so forth.

Σε ορισμένες περιοχές της Πελοποννήσου και αλλού, o συνδυασμός του γράμματος «ν» ή του γράμματος «λ» με το «ι» (η/ει/υ/oι) προφέρεται διαφορετικά.

In some parts of the Peloponnese region and elsewhere, the combination of the consonants “n” and “l” with “e” is pronounced differently.

«Λοιπόν», «Πεπόνι» (x2)

“Well”, “Mellon” (x2)

Εσείς γνωρίζατε ότι υπάρχουν τόσες διάλεκτοι; Αν ναι, ποια είναι η αγαπημένη σας;

Did you know that there are so many dialects? If yes, which one is your favorite?

Μην ξεχάσετε να κάνετε εγγραφή και θα σας δω στο επόμενο βίντεο! Αντίο!

Don’t forget to subscribe and I will see you in the next video! Bye!

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Greek Tutors Near Me | Online Greek Tutors

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Are you googling “Greek tutors near me” but get no results? Are you interested in learning modern Greek but there is no language school that offers Greek lessons or any native Greek language instructors in your area? In the digital age, your physical location should not stand between you and your goals. You can teach yourself Greek now from home with Helinika’s video tutorials. The courses include free downloadable materials!

Helinika: Your On-Demand Online Greek Tutor | Greek Tutors Near Me

Helinika is an online platform that offers affordable video courses for learning Greek (hosted on Udemy), along with free resources for practicing what you’ve learned and helpful information about Greece. It also includes an online shop with original designs for unique Greek souvenirs, such as stickers, posters, and postcards. By joining our online Greek courses, you “unlock” the following benefits:

  1. You can watch anytime, anywhere; the videos are available on-demand.
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Top 10 Weirdest Births in Ancient Greek Mythology | #GreekMyths

birth of venus

Ancient Greek myths are full of weird birthing stories. From Aphrodite/ Venus, who was the result of a Titan’s castration, to Zeus finding out he is pregnant to Athena after having a headache (yes, the goddess of Wisdom was conceived in the brain), here are the ten weirdest births in ancient Greek mythology!

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Weird Birthing Stories in Ancient Greek Myths:

  1. The Birth of Venus (Aphrodite)
  2. The Birth of Goddess Athena
  3. The Birth of Dionysus
  4. The Birth of Helen of Troy
  5. The Birth of Hercules and Iphicles
  6. The Birth of Apollo and Artemis
  7. The Birth of Zeus’ Siblings
  8. The Birth of Hephaestus
  9. The Birth of Phanes
  10. The Birth of Perseus

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Number 10: The Curious Birth of Perseus

Perseus is the legendary founder of Mycenae and one of the greatest ancient Greek heroes; he is the one who actually killed the snake-haired Gorgon Medusa. Like with most mythical heroes, he was the son of Zeus and a mortal. The mortal was a princess named Danae. Danae’s father, Akrisios, had heard of a prophecy that his future grandchild would kill him. Akrisios locked Danae into a bronze chamber to make sure that she would never get impregnated. Well, that did not stop Zeus from impregnating Danae in the form of golden rain. Princess Danae ended up giving birth alone in the bronze chamber, surprising everyone when they found her with baby Perseus in her arms.

Number 9: Phanes and the Cosmic Egg

Phanes was an ancient Greek deity of procreation in the Orphic cosmogony. He was the generator of life and he might give the answer to the age-old question “what came first, the chicken or the egg?”. Well, according to Phanes’ myth it was the egg that came first. The ancient Greek deity came out of the cosmic egg along with a serpent and became the first king of the universe, long before Zeus took over.

Number 8: The Parthenogenesis of Hephaestus

Hephaestus is the ancient Greek god of crafts, fire, and volcanoes. He was the only Olympian god who had some physical abnormalities. According to Hesiod, this was a result of parthenogenesis – his mother, Hera, conceived him alone. Hera decided to give birth to a son to take revenge on Zeus for being unfaithful.

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Number 7: The Second “Birth” of Zeus’ Siblings

Zeus was the youngest child of Titan Cronus and Rhea. His eldest brothers and sisters, including Hera, Poseidon, and Hestia, were swallowed whole after their birth from their father. Rhea was able to hide baby Zeus before he was consumed alive and, once he grew up, he was able to free his siblings from Cronus’ belly. Zeus’ siblings were basically born twice and from both parents.

Number 6: The Birth of Artemis and Apollo in Exile

Artemis and Apollo are two twin Olympians who were the result of Zeus’ and Letos’ union. Hera, Zeus’ wife, had banned Leto from giving birth on land – whether that was the mainland or an island. However, Leto managed to find refuge on Delos island, which was surrounded by swans. Artemis was born quite easily, but Apollo’s birth lasted nine days and nights, because Hera has abducted Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. According to some variations of the myth, newborn Artemis assisted with the delivery of her twin brother.

Number 5: The Unwanted Birth of Hercules/Heracles and Iphicles

Heracles (also known as Hercules) is one of the most well-known ancient Greek mythical heroes of all times. Since he was the son of Zeus and a mortal, Hera did everything she could to stop his mother Alcmene from giving birth to him and his twin(?) brother Iphicles. Iphicles was actually a brother from another father and was not related to Zeus. Hera did everything she could to slow down the birth of the two brothers and even tied the legs of Alcmene together. The goddess was finally distracted by a servant and Alcmene delivered the babies successfully.

Number 4: The Spectacular Birth of Helen of Troy

Mythical Helen was once considered to be the most beautiful woman on Earth. Her kidnapping sparked the Trojan war, which was the starting point of Homer’s Odyssey. Helen was conceived and delivered under surprising circumstances. Zeus transformed into a swan and mated with a woman named Leda. She then laid eggs that hatched and yielded Helen and her brothers and sisters.

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Number 3: The (Re)Birth of Dionysus

Dionysus is the god of wine and he was later associated with ancient Greek drama. The god was actually born twice. His mother was Semele, a mortal who (unsurprisingly) got impregnated by Zeus, and was targeted by Hera for this exact reason. This time, Hera pretended to be a friend of Semele and asked her about the father of her unborn baby. Semele revealed the true identity of the father but Hera pretended to not believe her. Semele then asked Zeus to tell the world about his son – something that Hera knew would anger him. Zeus sent lightning bolts to Semele, killing her. However, he did not want his unborn child to die as well. He sewed the fetus on his thigh and few months later, Dionysus was born.

Number 2: Athena’s Birth Was a Literal Headache

Goddess Athena was also a result of Zeus’ lust for a mortal woman. This time, the woman was called Metis. Zeus impregnated her but then heard of a prophesy that Metis would give birth to two children; her firstborn would be a girl and she would later give birth to a boy who would overthrow Zeus. The king of the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus decided that the best way to protect himself would be to consume pregnant Metis alive. Some months later, Zeus started feeling unwell. He had a terrible headache that felt like something wanted to tear his head apart. Hephaestus then followed Hermes instructions and split Zeus’ head apart to see what the problem was. And that was when goddess Athena jumped out of his head. She was fully grown and already wearing her armor!

Number 1: The Not So Graceful Birth of Venus (Aphrodite)

Aphrodite (or Venus in Latin) is the goddess of beauty and romance. Her birth has been featured in multiple art pieces since the Renaissance, but the reality is that is was not as graceful as it’s been depicted. Aphrodite was the result of the castration of Cronus from the Olympians. Her brothers and sisters threw the severed parts of Cronus in the ocean and she rose from the sea foam.

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Greek Lessons for Au Pairs | Au Pairs in Greece

Many young women and men choose to travel the world by becoming au pairs (seen also as “aupairs” or “au-pairs”). An au pair is a nanny/babysitter or household helper from a different country, who helps the host family learn his/her native language, while practicing the language of the hosts himself/herself.  This is a great way to travel the world, while saving money, learning new languages, and developing important life skills and relationships.

Note: There are many agencies and applications that match au pairs with families. I can’t stretch enough how important it is to do a thorough research before travelling alone to live with a family you’ve never met in person or before hiring someone to take care of your children and live in your house. At the same time, you should be aware of your rights as an au pair and discuss your responsibilities with your host family in advance. Having experience as a babysitter, camp counselor etc. is a great advantage but not always required.

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Benefits of Being an Au Pair | Becoming an Au Pair

As an au pair you will:

  1. Become more responsible. Being responsible is a prerequisite when it comes to taking care of children. However, you will soon realize how much more responsible you will become in the process of taking care of someone else’s children and household.
  2. Make friendships that last. Most au pairs create life-long bonds with their host family. In many cases, they become part of the family and visit them again in the future. Not only that, but there are tight knit au pair communities in every part of the world. Many au pairs spend valuable time with other au pairs in their days off and build friendships that easy.
  3. Learn a language without studying. As an adult, you can’t learn a new language from scratch without studying. However, if you already have a basic understanding of the local language (A1-A2), you will be able to practice while speaking with your host family and the rest of the locals. You will basically immerse yourself in the language and you wont have to spend hours studying alone in your room.

Reasons to Work as an Au Pair in Greece | Au Pairs in Greece

As an au pair in Greece you will:

  1. Travel to your dream location without spending money; you will earn money.
  2. Start communicating in Greek, one of the oldest languages in the world.
  3. Experience the Greek “philoxenia”, hospitality.

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Greek Lessons for Au Pairs | Learn Greek Online with Helinika

When a Greek family looks for a foreign au pair, they probably want you to speak your local language with their children. In this way, they can learn your language in a natural, immersive way. At the same time, it is important that you know at least the basics of the Greek language. The hosts will probably choose an au pair that speaks Greek over someone who doesn’t, even if the goal of having an au pair is to help the children learn your native language. If you daydream about becoming an au pair in Greece but Greek “is all Greek to you”, don’t be discouraged. Learning the basics of a language doesn’t always require spending a lot of hours/money in private language schools or tutors. You can teach yourself Greek at home with easy-to-follow video tutorials! Helinika has a complete video course series for learning Greek that can help you learn Greek in two months (on average). By registering through the following button, you will be able to receive a significantly lower price (special for au pairs). The course includes:

  • Full lifetime access;
  • 11 downloadable resources;
  • Certificate of completion!
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Homer’s Odyssey Part 4 | Books 13-16 | #GreekMyths

odyssey part 4

Last time we followed Odysseus in the kingdom of the dead and we learned how he was able to save himself from the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis. What will happen next? Today we will cover the fourth part of Homer’s Odyssey. Make sure to stay till the end and comment down below your thoughts after watching this video. And subscribe for more videos on Greek mythology!

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“The Odyssey” Book 13: Odysseus Reaches Ithaca

The 13th book of Odysseus’ journey starts in present time, with the Ithacan king finishing narrating his adventures in front of the people of Phaeacia. The hospitable islanders sympathized with Odysseus and they offered him a boat ride home, along with various gifts and resources. Odysseus thanks king Alcinous and the rest of the Phaeacians and gets on board. The boat finally arrives at Ithaca the next day, while Odysseus is asleep. The Phaeacians leave Odysseus on the shore and return to their peaceful island. Soon enough, Poseidon notices that they helped Odysseus reach Ithaca and he gets filled with anger. After asking permission from Zeus, god Poseidon turns the Phaeacian ship into stone few moments before it arrives in the harbor. As a result, the ship sinks and the Phaeacians who helped Odysseus reach Ithaca were never seen again. King Alcinous realized that helping Odysseus enraged the gods and swore to never help strangers ever again.

At the same time, king Odysseus wakes up and finds himself on a land he could not recognize. Goddess Athena appears in front of him as a shepherd and explains to him that he is indeed in Ithaca and that his people need him. Odysseus at first tries to conceal his identity, the goddess reveals her identity and advices him to use his tricks to eradicate the suitors who conspire against him and his son. To protect him, she transforms him into an old man and leaves Ithaca to go find Telemachus in the Peloponnese region.

“The Odyssey” Book 14: Eumaeus, The Loyal Friend

The transformed king of Ithaca follows Athena’s advice and hides into a hut that belongs to Eumaeus, a local farmer and loyal friend of Odysseus. There he meets Eumaeus, who not only feeds the transformed Odysseus but confesses to him how much he misses the king of Ithaca and how much he detests the men who have taken over his palace, trying to convince Penelope to marry one of them. Odysseus promises Eumaeus that his beloved king will return – his own identity is not revealed yet. He narrates a different story regarding his background and finally learns that his son is in danger, since the suitors are conspiring to kill him. Once the night arrives, Odysseus sleeps in the hut and Eumaeus tends to his herd.

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“The Odyssey” Book 15: Telemachus Returns

While Odysseus sleeps, goddess Athena find Telemachus in the Peloponnese region and urges him to travel back to Ithaca to prevent his mother from marrying a suitor. She warns him of the dangers he might face and suggests that he visits Eumaeus first and let him visit Penelope to announce his return. As he leaves, an eagle flies off holding its pray. Is this a sign?

Back in the hut, Odysseus learns about the death of his mother and how lonely his father, Laertis, is. Eumaeus then narrates his own story. He was abducted by pirates when he was a child. King Laertis purchased him to save him and Odysseus’ mother raised him. While the farmer narrates his story to the transformed Odysseus, Telemachus arrives on the island.

“The Odyssey” Book 16: Father and Son Reunite

The young prince of Ithaca reaches Eumaeus’ hut, where he is greeted by the friendly farmer and is introduced to his father who had the appearance of an unrecognizable old man.  Odysseus soon understands that his son does not feel confident enough to stand against the suitors. With Athena’s intervention, Odysseus regains his appearance and reveals his true identity to his son. The men embrace and cry together. United they can eradicate the hundreds of suitors that roam the palace. Father and son spend the whole night talking and coming up with the right plan that can help them regain power over their palace.

Will they succeed? Can father and son win against hundreds of suitors? If you are interested in hearing the rest of the story, don’t forget to subscribe (free). Also, if you enjoyed watching this video, feel free to like, comment and share.

Now, before you go, I need to make an important announcement. In case you don’t know this already, helinika offers a complete video course for learning Greek. Well, if you are a subscriber you can now benefit from a lot; you can watch the course with a discount, just by clicking on the link in the description down below! Last but not least, feel free to check helinika’s shop, where you will find some unique Greek-inspired artwork, tote bags, reusable bottles, and notebooks, all designed by me.  

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