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Looking to get more insight behind a greek-related tattoo.

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by viviana26, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Hello there,

    I am a future Sex Therapist/Sexologist. I strongly believe that sex is a big part of someone's life. Regardless whether someone is single, in a relationship or married I believe you should be able to satisfy and be pleasured in order to completely be happy in life. I could go on, but needless to say I'm a big believer of this...which is why my future is based around it. I am getting a tattoo and I am in love with Greek Mythology, which is why I will be getting an Aprhodite related tattoo in the future. For now though, I want to get passion/love/sex in greek on me. I am aware that there are many ways of translating this which is why I need the help before making such a big decision.
    I believe " έρωτας " is used for passionate/romantic love.. Can this word be used for sex and lust as well? Or is there another word for that. Please get back at me. Thank you so much for your time. :)

    XOXO :D
     
  2. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    As far as modern Greek is concerned:

    Love - ΑΓΑΠΗ, αγάπη - this is for any kind of love, i.e. a mother to her child, a man for his work etc
    Love - ΕΡΩΤΑΣ, έρωτας - as you said it is used for passionate love, but is not the only option for romantic love (in the sense of flowers, chocolates, songs and the like, you can also use αγάπη there). It is used only for the love between two lovers, it is a "stronger" word than αγάπη and depending on the context it can also have sexual connotations.

    To make love, to have sex - ΚΑΝΩ ΕΡΩΤΑ, κάνω έρωτα (the milder of all the options, all the others are either vulgar or very colloquial)
    The act of having sex - ΣΥΝΟΥΣΙΑ, συνουσία (this is a very formal sounding word, something like the english intercourse. When we want to say sex in everyday life we use the transliterated version of the english word, i.e. σεξ)

    Pleasure, Lust - ΗΔΟΝΗ, ηδονή - very strong word. Although not vulgar per se, it is used either for the sexual plesure or for a pleasure as great as the sexual one. An indicator of its connotations is that it is heavily featured in the (translated) titles of porn movies.
    Lust - ΛΑΓΝΕΙΑ, λαγνεία - It has almost exclusively negative connotations, implying an inappropriate desire (like that of an old man towards a young or underaged girl). For the greek version of the 7 deadly sins lust corrsponds to λαγνεία.
    Lust - ΠΟΘΟΣ, πόθος - poetic and dramatic word. It could also be translated as "strong desire". Contrary to the previous word it has not such strong negative connotations but most of the times it still implies sexual desire.
    Passion - ΠΑΘΟΣ, πάθος - more or less like its english equivalent

    N.B. 1 - The words are in both upper and lowercase because if you decide to make the tattoo in lowercase you must include the accent marks.
    N.B. 2 - I excluded the vulgar words and the colloquialisms.
     
  3. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Thank you so much. This definitely helped me a lot. I know you excluded the vulgar translations. I actually wanted a vulgar one. I have "to make love,sex" which you showed me and now I need one that means "to fuck".
     
  4. viviana26 New Member

    English
    To make love,sex.... and now I need a vulgar one. " To fuck"
     
  5. greekuser New Member

    Greece
    Greek
    fuck = γαμάω
     
  6. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Continuing in the same vein as greekuser

    to fuck - :warn:ΓΑΜΑΩ, ΓΑΜΩ, γαμάω, γαμώ:warn:
    - :warn:ΓΑΜΑ, γάμα:warn: is the imperative
    - :warn:ΓΑΜΙΕΜΑΙ, γαμιέμαι:warn: is the passive verb (when the action is done to you)
    finally
    fuck (noun) - :warn:ΓΑΜΗΣΙ, γαμήσι:warn:

    And a personal observation: These words sound very strong and vulgar in Greek, I dare say even stronger than in English. I cannot imagine a native doing a tattoo featuring these or similar words.
     
  7. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Thank you both! I appreciate it.
    I will be getting
    κάνω έρωτα and then γαμάω below it.
     
  8. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    Melbourne
    English - Australian
    I'm no afficionado of tatoo texts but when beginning the statement you might want to use a capital 'Κ'. I'm also tempted (did I say tempted? :) to advise a conjunction between the two so that it reads 'I make love and I fuck', that would be καί. And then just to avoid any tautology you might want to add .... and I fuck for the fun of it or, για το έτσι θέλω. Of course the most vulgar choice in Greek would be γαμιέμαι - I'm screwable, I'm up for it. This is not advised on any Greek beach for your personal safety. But viviana please, come on now, we have earned the right to know where is this going to appear on your body?
     
  9. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Thank you! I'm getting this on my back :) I just want it to say, " make love and fuck" how would that be translated?
     
  10. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    After Shawnee's post I realised there is a problem with what you proposed in p#7. Assuming you are a woman (as your nickname suggests) the verb γαμάω doesn't work because in Greek this verb is gender specific. In English it can be used by both sexes (i.e. a woman can say I fucked a guy last night) but in Greek much less so. When the verb is used literally, it is associated with the male activity of making love (everyone can use it in its many metaphorical uses). So having Κάνω έρωτα και γαμάω on your back is most of all ungrammatical. You may still want to cross the gender lines and keep it as it is. But the truth is that if a native speaker reads it, s/he will be baffled and will probably think that you're saying "I make love and I'm great!" or "I make love and I'm kickin' ass!" (i.e. γαμάω in it's metaphorical sense).
    The more grammatically correct message would be Κάνω έρωτα και γαμιέμαι which poses the problems Shawnee pointed out. A solution to all that would be to use the noun and ink something like Μ'αρέσει ο έρωτας και το γαμήσι. The literal meaning of that is I like passionate love and fucking. I know it's different from what you initially intended but the meaning is more clear from a greek perspective.
     
  11. viviana26 New Member

    English
    I want to stay away from having "I like" in front of it. There's no way I could translate "make love and fuck"? If not, could I just use them separately? .. like "make love" and then "to fuck" ? Sorry I'm being complicated guys haha :/
     
  12. BrendaP Senior Member

    Canada
    Canada, English
    Seems to me you need the imperative forms of the two verbs for what you're trying to say.
     
  13. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Brenda this is a very good idea indeed.
    Then the message will read
    Κάνε έρωτα και γάμα!
    which as far as I am concerned covers all the bases.
     
  14. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Thank you both !:) so the best for what I'm trying to get at would be, Κάνε έρωτα και γάμα ? Meaning "to make love and fuck"
     
  15. cougr Senior Member

    English-Australia
    Almost! What about the plural form of the sentence? :)
     
  16. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Oh yes, there's also that! :)
    OK, to summarize your options Viviana:
    Κάνω έρωτα και γαμιέμαι - lit. I make love and I fuck (for a woman), can be easily misinterpreted by a native speaker
    Κάνε έρωτα και γάμα - lit. Make love and fuck (as in Make love not war). It is addressed to one person, but can also be used as a more general "directive"
    Κάντε έρωτα και γαμάτε - lit. Make love and fuck (as in Make love not war). It is addressed to multiple persons, but can again be used in a more general way. Even more "neutral" than the previous, it almost sounds like a 70's motto (in Greek the translation of Make love not war is Κάντε έρωτα, όχι πολεμο)
     
  17. viviana26 New Member

    English
    Thank you guys! (; just to clarify, Κάντε έρωτα και γαμάτε would be the best option for me for "make love and fuck" ?
     
  18. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    Melbourne
    English - Australian
    ^^Just chiming in to sound my approval. And don't forget to send tome pics:)
     
  19. sotos Senior Member

    Greek
    Γαμάω sounds vulgar and rude and you would probably have to hide it when meeting Greek speakers. Consider ancient versions of the verb. Actually in anc. greek the same verb (γαμώ) means "I'm getting married" (for men). I think an ancient for f@ck is βαίνω or επιβαίνω (for men) and βαίνομαι (for women and passive homosexuals). The επιβαίνω is still used in veterinary context for animals, and as the noun επιβήτωρ for men (f@cker).
     
  20. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Greek
    There is a (vulgar) saying "γαμάτε γιατί χανόμαστε" (literally "fuck for we perish", more intelligibly "start/keep fucking, for we are going under"). I don't know its origin, but it sounds like a three-word summary of a campaign for having more children. Maybe that's what you want. Though outrageous, it's something one could​ conceivably display on a T-shirt or a tattoo, unlike most of the earlier suggestions.
     
  21. BrendaP Senior Member

    Canada
    Canada, English
    Have to agree with sotos...for your sake, viviana, I hope this tattoo will be where no one can see it.
     
  22. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Of course I agree with the three previous posts. I believe that even γαμάτε γιατί χανόμαστε is too much for a tattoo.
    The thing is that although fuck and its derivatives are translated by γαμάω and its derivatives, they are NOT used in the same way by (American) English and Greek speakers respectively. Fuck has more or less entered the vernacular and it's heavily featured in songs and movies, something that has somewhat "softened" the vulgarity of its meaning. But γαμάω is different. We use it very much in private, colloquial conversations with close friends but a lot less in public (and when we do it is perceived as rude and highly offensive) and is virtually absent from mainstream songs and movies.
    Still, it's not our decision to make but Viviana's.
    Viviana, if you want to pursue your initial thought in p#16 you have all the alternatives. We can't tell you what to write on your body (especially since none of us will ever write something like it). If you want to go for something different, we will be glad to help you.
     
  23. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    Melbourne
    English - Australian
    As the church has come out to do their handwashing, I have been left to carry the sin. When I 'approved', I was simply pointing out that viviana's understanding, given what had been discuussed up til then, was correct. I would not in any way advise viviana to attach those sentiments permanently on her skin. But she did not ask my opinion ..................:eek:
     
  24. sotos Senior Member

    Greek
    Yes, it can. The Gr. "Κάνε έρωτα" (make love) is understood mostly as "make sex" and is acceptable as a message, usually with something like "... όχι πόλεμο" (not war) etc. As a tatoo it would be OK.
     
  25. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Hi everybody,

    great lesson througout this post!!! Thanks for that.

    I'm in the way of a ἡδονή word tattoo concerning Epicuro's philisophical way. But some time ago I read about greek people's writing being only in capitals. They didn't use to write in lower case letters. What do you know about it?

    Thanks again.

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  26. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Because we have quite a few writings from the period and they do not include lower case. We also now with reasonable accuracy when the lower case was invented. Wikipedia has a rather good article about it (start by looking at the article for "letter case"). :D

    By the way, welcome to the forums!
     
  27. sotos Senior Member

    Greek
    Upper or lower case should not be a concern. Most ancient scriptures survived in lower case script, as byzantine era copies. If someone has an idea of byzantine calligraphy, lower case offers more opportunities.
     
  28. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you for your answers, and thank you for the recommendation of the article in Wikipedia. I have always prefered lower case (they are prettier letter drawing... ;-). And if I eventually get the tattoo, it will be in lower case.

    Thanks again ireney for your welcome.

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  29. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    By the way, what is the best option to write ἡδονή ? I'd like to know about diacritical marks in first and last letter of the word, are both the same mark?

    Thanks a lot.

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  30. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Greek
    No. The mark over the initial η is a rough breathing (δασεία), which represents the sound h in ancient Greek (cf. the word 'hedonistic' in English) and is no longer written in modern Greek.
    The mark over the final η is simply an acute accent (οξεία), indicating the place where stress falls.
    If you write in ALL CAPITALS, those marks are usually omitted.
     
  31. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much. So clear now. I've learned about names for these marks. So the last one in ἡδονή should be forward leaning (´), it's not straight as I wrote it (').

    By the way, when could it be considered modern Greek begins?

    Regards.
     
  32. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Greek
    Strictly speaking, yes. There are three accent marks in the traditional spelling of ancient Greek: acute (οξεῖα, ´), grave (βαρεῖα, `) and circumflex (περισπωμένη, ~). There are also two breathings or spirits, the smooth one (ψιλή, ᾿) and the rough one (δασεῖα, ῾), and they can be combined with the accent marks, yielding such combinations as ὦ. All those were used in modern Greek as well until 1982, even though the spirits were no longer pronounced and all three accent marks simply indicated stress. Luckily, in 1982 they were abolished. As stress is very important in Greek, we still use a single mark to indicate it. That mark is normally called οξεία, but in certain fonts it is printed as a vertical stroke ('). Unicode specifications refer to that unique mark as tonos, which is simply the Greek word for 'stress' or 'accent'.

    How many stones make up a heap? There is a clear change in the language around the beginning of our era: New Testament Greek is much more intelligible to us moderns than classical Greek, but it still is ancient Greek (technically termed hellenistic Greek or koine). We can't really follow the evolution of the language in the early Middle Ages, because learned writers (Church fathers, e.g.) strove to write in classical Greek as far as possible. The language of Ptochoprodromos, a Byzantine poet of the 12th century A.D., is definitely to be classified as modern Greek, but I can't be much more precise than to say that that modern Greek begins some time in the second half of the first millennium A.D.
     
  33. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thanks again for the lesson.

    Going back to my first question, I eventually understand that my word could be written for a tattoo both ηδονή or with ´ instead of ' in last letter, is that right?

    I began with Epicuro and I'm learning about ancient Greek... this is amazing!!!

    Thanks and regards.
     
  34. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Greek
    To make things absolutely clear I shall use bigger fonts:
    ἡδονή is the traditional ancient Greek spelling; ηδονή or ηδονή is the usual modern spelling.
    Only a professional typographer will bother with (or even notice) the difference between vertical tonos and slanted acute accent.

     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  35. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much.

    Regards.
     
  36. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Hi again,

    I've eventually made up my mind about the three words coming from Greek language to be drawn in my tattoo. Please tell me about spelling and accents:

    - Metaphor: μεταφορά (only acute accent in last letter?)
    - Harmony: ἁρμονία (both accents or just last acute one acording to modern spelling?)
    - ηδονή (this is clear from last post)

    Thanks for all as always.

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  37. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Greek
    1. Yes, μεταφορά only has an acute accent on the last letter (and no other diacritic mark)
    2. Whether you choose to put a rough breathing on the first letter of ἁρμονία and ἡδονή is up to you, but for the sake of consistency you must either include or omit it in BOTH words. In any case, the acute accent on ί and ή is obligatory.
     
  38. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thanks a lot.

    Regards.
     
  39. Ntwson

    Ntwson Junior Member

    WOW, nice post, Αγγελος! Thank you so much!
     
  40. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Hi again,

    I'd like to know about some differences I've found in Gnothi Seauton term ("Know thyself"). As I can see here I found second word different from here. As first word is composed of gamma, nu, omega, theta and iota, second word with sigma, alpha, upsilon, tau, omicron and nu but sometimes I find it written with epsilon after first sigma (well, in first image I don't know if first letter in second word is sigma or epsilon).

    Could you tell me about the reason of that difference?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  41. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
  42. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much Acestor. And how could it be written in modern Greek? Would there be any change? Is one of the two options prefered?

    Regards.

    Angel.
     
  43. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
    In modern Greek we prefer the Wiktionary version and write it in the way it's written there, with acute accents: Γνώθι σαυτόν. It's still the ancient Greek words, of course. In modern Greek we'd say: Γνώρισε τον εαυτό σου.
     
  44. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thanks again. One more question... were there no accents in capital letters (as it was very common till a few years ago with Spanish language for example...)? And nowadays?

    Regards.
     
  45. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
  46. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Thanks, and in this image here first letter of second word is a sigma? It does not seem like that...

    Regards.
     
  47. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
  48. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    By the way, do you know where that image belongs to? Regards.
     
  49. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
    It comes from a Roman floor mosaic.
     
  50. agemaia New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    But there is a mix of capital and small letters, isn't there? Was that common in some periods? Thanks again. Regards.
     

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