18 November 2007

The fleece in Greece grows mainly on your niece

Yonks back I bought myself one of those keyring recording gizmos.

You know the kind, that record a useless 20 seconds of shopping list that you can never hear in Safeway over the tannoy urgings to head on over to aisle 5.

Well, I've found a use at last: as I tootle around simpering to the locals, i try to add to my garbled grecque vocab.

Trouble was, I could never remember what they said the word was or how to pronounce it.

So I started to shove the mini mic in their gob and ask them to speaka into da machine.

Then I'd play it back and they'd nod and I'd whizz off and next time I was in the shop would show off my perfect accent.

So I'm in the lottery shop and Pericles uses a cool phrase that I need. He grunts it into the mic and I nod my thanks when Phaedra (pronounced 'Fethdra') comes over and listens and solemnly tells me that I do NOT want to go round sounding like a sap from Sidari.

OK, I say, "Say it" and press 'record'.

She enunciates it beautifully. I repeat it and she beams and hugs me.

"Now you go anywhere in Greece and they understand you with perfection."

"Say it again," growls Pericles which I do and he calls the boys over. Say it again, which I do in my perfect accent which will take me anywhere in Greece.

The boys nod solemnly. Very good, they agree. I grin delightedly and make to leave.

As I reach the door the old boy with the walrus tache says something, that I sound like a ... musta been slang, didn't catch it.

"Hey mister" He wiggles his hips and gives a moue, "just dont go near any sailor bars, endaxi?"

I find later that there is a huge difference between how women pronounce and even their vocab. Most of the comedy on TV that gets the biggest laffs is mincing blokettes speaking perfectly good Greek but a la femme.

No comments :