Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by troncomóvil, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. troncomóvil Member

    Catalonia - Spanish & Catalan
    Hello everybody! :)
    I've guessed this word "Σιγά" has an interesting ironic use, out of a little dialogue from a greek podcast.
    Could anyone explain me the use of Σιγά and the equivalent in english if does exist?
    -Τι θa λέγate νa paίζaµe κaνένa epιtρapέζιο paιχνίdι;
    -Σιγά µην paίξουµe κaι κρυftό...
    -Σιγά µην paίξete κaι κυνηγηtό!

    Thanks a lot for your opinions.
  2. Tetina

    Tetina Senior Member

    Greece / greek
    Hello from our frosty Athens!
    I also said "Σιγά μη χιονίσει" αλλά μεγάλη μπουκιά φάε μεγάλο λόγο μη πεις... ;)

    Back to us now.
    You're right Toni, "σιγά" in this use it is ironic and gives a negative meaning to the whole phrase.

    In English-even I'm not an expert in idioms- its equivalent could be something like:
    -You're kidding!
    -As if!
    -You don't say
  3. anthodocheio

    anthodocheio Senior Member

    I'd say for equivalent in English (I'm not an expert either):
    -Yeah right..
    -Yeah sure..
    both ironically of course...
  4. troncomóvil Member

    Catalonia - Spanish & Catalan
    Thanx Anthodocheio and Tetina, nice example that came with the snow in Athens... :)
    Although I don't know a proper word for it in spanish, I got the nuance on these sayings, it makes me sense to use it instead of "you won't say that..."
    But I remember having heard it before a noun, besides before a verb.
    Like "Σιγά την εξυπηρέτηση..."
    So It would sound rather like "watch out with..." ?

    Anyway, I think its a funny style of speaking ;)
  5. anthodocheio

    anthodocheio Senior Member

    A very common expression is "Σιγά το πράγμα", meaning "It's not a big deal"...

    "Σιγά μη χιονίσει" is "I don't believe you. It's not going to snow".

    Probably, two different things...
  6. Tetina

    Tetina Senior Member

    Greece / greek
    Now I think of it, there is no limit in where we use "σιγά", meaning it goes with nouns, verbs, positive or negative phrases...
    -Σιγά το χιόνι = it doesn't have a lot of snow (siga + noun)
    -Σιγά μη χιονίσει = I don't believe it will snow (siga + negative)
    -Σιγά που θα χιονίσει = I don't believe it will snow (siga + positive)

    And the ironic meaning of "σιγά" will be the same as we said before.
    I don't quite get how you mean "watch out with..." but in the particular phrase it's like you say "the service was bad".

    And as Anthod. said there are fixed phrases like:
    -Σιγά το πράγμα
    -Σιγά τα λάχανα = it's not important

    :eek: Cannot think of more...
  7. balgior Senior Member

    Hello Toni! Hello girls! :)

    Maybe it is this use of "σιγά":

    Σιγά (με) την πόρτα! (Don't slam the door!/Be... gentle with the door!)
    Σιγά (με) τα ποτήρια! (Be careful with those glasses!)

    But that's a different use, not an ironic one.
  8. troncomóvil Member

    Catalonia - Spanish & Catalan
    Thanks a lot!!!
    Rather used in spanish, given a context in which as an example, a discount on a price is pretty insignificant, "Σιγἀ τιν ἐκπτωση" could be the equivalent for "Cuidado con el descuento!" in spanish (Watch out with the discount!), using watch out in an ironic way then.

    But it's just one possible interpretation...
  9. Tetina

    Tetina Senior Member

    Greece / greek
    I get it now but I think this translation in english doesn't give the meaning that you want, the ironic one.
    It gives what Balgior said, the meaning of "be careful with..." for which you can also use the "σιγά" form.
  10. epam Member

    Cyprus, Greek
    Τότε τι σημαίνει "Σιγά τα λάχανα";
  11. epam Member

    Cyprus, Greek
    Ok, i've had my little research on the internet tonight about the phrase i mention in my last post. I found the meaning "Who Cares?" in some sites, and it's mentioned that this idiom is also included with the same meaning in Oxford Greek-English Learner's Dictionary. I think i'll disagree with that meaning since "σιγά τα λάχανα" denotes criticism on someone's achievements and not giving no sh*t about something. It's clear that to say "σιγά τα λάχανα", it means you could do something better than that.

    I think the translators couldn't come up with a better meaning and got stuck with "who cares?"
  12. anthodocheio

    anthodocheio Senior Member

    Epam? You mean you don't use this expression in Cyprus? :confused:
  13. peri+kleos Member

    Cyprus/Greece, Greek
    No, we dont use it because its an idiom and in Cyprus slang language and idioms are usually in Greek Cypriot dialect.
  14. epam Member

    Cyprus, Greek
    If you are talking about "Σιγά τα λάχανα", of course I've heard it and I am sure we have it as well (but its not an idiom we oftenly use), but we do have plenty more of these idioms to use. We like to be ironic.
  15. Tetina

    Tetina Senior Member

    Greece / greek
    Όπως το καταλαβαίνω και από μια μικρή έρευνα ;), η φράση χρησιμοποιείται για να δείξει ότι κάτι δεν είναι σημαντικό καθώς το ¨λάχανο¨ θεωρείται ένα φτηνό προιόν και εύκολο να το βρεθεί. Δηλαδή είναι μια φράση απαξίωσης σε αυτό που λέει ο συνομιλητής.

    Τώρα βέβαια δεν είμαι σίγουρη για την αξία του λάχανου αυτές τις μέρες αλλά μάλλον κάποτε ήταν φτηνό. :p
  16. Vagabond

    Vagabond Senior Member

    That would be like "some service!", sarcastically used. Eg.:
    -"I heard this bar has the greatest service ever!"
    -"Yeah, right. Last time I was here, I had to wait for an hour to get a beer, and it came warm. Some service!"
  17. epam Member

    Cyprus, Greek
    There are more than just plenty of sarcasms with the use of σιγά.

    Σιγά μην της πώ, Σιγά το ταβάνι, σιγά και γελάσαμε are a few examples of these sarcasms.
  18. TheoG Member

    "Like I wouldn't tell her." "Like I won't tell her."

    That phrase comes to mind. The word "like" would take the place of siga.
  19. Il_Trovatore Member

    Thessaloniki, Greece
    Greece, greek
    In that case, the frase means: "Like I would tell her". Not "wouldn't", it means quite the opposite.
  20. TheoG Member

    My mistake. You seem to be right.
  21. anthodocheio

    anthodocheio Senior Member

    In "Σιγά μην της πω" you actually say that your intention is not to tell her.
  22. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Just so we get English and Greek straightened out :) :

    Σιγά μην της (το) πω = Like I would tell her
    Σιγά να μην της (το) πω = Like I would tell her

    Σιγά μην και δεν της το πω = Like I wouldn't tell her
    Σιγά μην της το κρύψω :D = Like I wouldn't tell her

    I think I got all the alternatives (well, I am sure I got the ones I'd use off the top of my head :D )
  23. TheoG Member

    Thanks, my Greek is rusty.
  24. alfie1888

    alfie1888 Senior Member

    Kent, England
    English - England
    Hello, all!

    I just got back from Greece and on my last day "σιγά" slipped out of my mouth and I'm worried I came off rude unintentionally.

    I was at a restaurant and because I don't look like your typical Greek speaker (even though I had been speaking Greek to my friend at the table in front of the waitress) this waitress started speaking to me in English and struggled to do so. I wanted to relax her and say "don't worry; I speak Greek" and it came out σιγά! μιλώ ελληνικά - she smiled at me but I have a horrible feeling what I said was rude. Help? I guess it just came out of me randomly because I had been hearing Greek all week long.
  25. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Proverbial expression: σιγά τ'αβγά! (literally "be careful with those eggs", figuratively on the contrary "you don't need to be that cautious") Also: σιγά τον πολυέλαιο! (=chandelier)
    Silly old joke: Somebody is getting married. "- Ποιαν παίρνει; - Την Τάδε. - Αυτήν;! μα την έχει περάσει (=has slept with) όλη η Σπάρτη! - Σιγά την πόλη!"
  26. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Alfie, no I don't think so. A tad condescending maybe but then she knew you are not a native speaker so, unless she was determined to be insulted, I don't see how she could have taken it the wrong way.
  27. alfie1888

    alfie1888 Senior Member

    Kent, England
    English - England
    Thank God! :p Much appreciated, Ireney! How could we put what slipped out into English so I can understand the tone of it? "Hey, I do speak Greek, you know?" perhaps?
  28. Αγγελος Senior Member

    Or else "Easy, now! I do speak Greek!"
    You used the word Σιγά pretty much in its literal (not ironic) sense of "soft!", "go easy!", "no exertion needed". No one in his right mind would be offended.
  29. alfie1888

    alfie1888 Senior Member

    Kent, England
    English - England
    Phew! Thank you!

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