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"Language Matters" - The Translexis Blog

Welcome to “Language Matters” the Translexis Blog. Here you will find occasional articles on a wide range of subjects related to Greek language, culture and society.

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In Greek folklore, these are demonic creatures, dark in colour, with long tails and ears, sharp pointed teeth and red eyes. They usually live beneath the earth where they spend their time trying to saw through the trunk of the tree holding up the earth. At Christmas,... read more

Christmas carols

The equivalent of Christmas carols in Greece are known as ta kalanda. These are Christmas songs traditionally sung by groups of children throughout the period of Christmas and the New Year, while going round houses collecting money. Their name is derived from the... read more

Hellenic Republic

The word Greece comes from the Greek word Γραικοί (Graekoi) by which the inhabitants of a region in the North West of Greece were known to their neighbours. By the 4th century BC there is evidence from inscriptions that this was superseded by the term Έλληνες... read more

St Basil, The Greek Father Christmas

In Greek Father Christmas is known as St Basil. Traditionally he used to bring presents on the 1st of January which is St Basil’s day. However, in recent years he has fallen victim to Western influences and now arrives 7 days earlier on Christmas... read more

When is a prescription not a recipe?

If you are English, you receive one from the doctor and the other from a cook – or these days you are more likely to find the latter in a magazine, newspaper or by searching the internet! If you are Greek, the difference lies in the taste – the name is the... read more

What is in a Name?

New name, new identity? As far as I am concerned, for many years now, my name has been Niki WATTS but during our recent visit to Cyprus I found myself acquiring a new name. I have not changed religion, citizenship nor, as someone trying hard to pretend that I am still... read more

What is in a Name?

Greek wedding certificates routinely include a short statement as to the surname of children born of the marriage – a rather unusual inclusion but not without good reason! Increasingly, Greek women opt to retain their maiden name after marriage, so an early,... read more

Animals Speak Languages Too!

In an early attempt to learn Greek, shortly after we first met, Quentin started to read Aristophanes’ The Frogs in the original Classical Greek! After many fruitless hours spent trying to find the meaning of the frequently recurring words ‘βρεκεκέξ’ and ‘κουάξ κουάξ’... read more

Equality In A Title?

Mr for men but Mrs, Ms or Miss for women Many women in the UK complain of having to choose between, what are effectively, 3 titles while only one is in existence for men. In other words, why should only a woman’s title reveal her marital status? In Greece and Cyprus,... read more