Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by Teafrog, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    I have been scouring the Net to find a word that I heard constantly when I visited Greece, but cannot find it anywhere! A friend is flying there very soon, and I would like to assist him.

    Is it slang/colloquial? I think it means "hi" and "goodbye" at the same time. It sounds like "yassous" or "yassou".

    Can anyone point me in the direction of a site that would have plenty of everyday Greek words (with English phonetics and translations). So far, I have only located this one, … that doesn't have this "yassou" :(.

    Can anyone enlighten me please. Thanks :)
  2. Tetina

    Tetina Senior Member

    Greece / greek
  3. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    Brilliant, thanks a lot Tetina :thumbsup:, this is just what I required!

    Not only did I have the "English spelling" wrong but it looks, from your answer, that it's a colloquial term; no wonder I couldn't find it in any 'dictionaries'.
  4. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English
    Hi Teafrog,

    It's not formal by any means, but I wouldn't call it "colloquial" to the extent that it wouldn't be found in dictionaries. You do have to realize that it's two words, however.;) Γειά (with or without the pronoun σου/σας*) is a very common (perhaps the most common) greeting in Greek. It literally means "health" (from the word υγειά).

    * σου meaning: "your (singular familiar)", and σας: "your (plural/formal)."
  5. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    Hi Kevman

    Thanks for the clarification; so it means "to your health", then.
    How do you say, as we do in the UK, "to your health" when you toast each other, with drinks, as in "cheers", etc.?
  6. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English
    When toasting with drinks I believe the most common phrase is "to our health" (στην υγειά μας [stin iyá mas]).

    (Evidently the Greeks have a more communal attitude towards getting drunk.:D)

    EDIT- By the way, I think the BBC has a nice little intro to useful tourist phrases in Greek (including yiasou/yiasas:)).
    You might also want to browse the WordReference Greek Resources.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  7. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    It is very handy to have the pronunciation of the expression στην υγειά μας :tick:, but (to understand your quip) what does each of the 3 words mean in English? I've tried to copy each word and pasting it in a few dictionaries of the Greek resources' link, but ended up with an error message: "ERROR: The word you have entered was either too long or contains a bad character"!?! :confused:.

    Thank you very much for the links, Kevman. The BBC one is particularly useful; for a non-Greek speaker, it is quite user-friendly and you can hear the pronunciation :thumbsup:. The cultural notes about the 'Greek day' interesting. What are the official opening times of offices in Greece?
  8. CrepiIlLupo Member

    USA - English
    Hello Teafrog,

    Let's go word by word.

    The first part, στήν, is a conjugation of the word "σε", which in this case acts as a preposition meaning "to" (but in other cases can also mean on, in or at), and the word "τήν", which is the objective form of the definite article for the object (here, "υγειά"). So, put together as "στήν", it means something like "to the" (in Greek, nouns almost always have a definite article in front of them).

    The second part is obviously "υγειά", which as already discussed, means "health" in Greek.

    The third part is "μάς", which is the possessive pronoun of the first person plural in Greek (εμείς). So it would be translated as "our", as the possessive pronoun in Greek comes after the noun unlike English.

    Hope this helps!
  9. Teafrog

    Teafrog Senior Member

    UK English (& rusty French…)
    I (finally :eek:) got it! . Thank you all very much ( Ευχαριστώ πολύ ;)) Tetina, Kevman and CrepiIlLupo :thumbsup:
    Yiassas :)

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