A couple of years ago I wrote a piece lamenting my inability to pick up the Greek language, you can read it here. I’ve lived in Greek speaking Cyprus eleven years now and it’s still all Greek to me. I cannot fathom the spoken language, but I’m not too bad at written Greek… well, at least I can read the road signs.
But then when you do read some of the written words in Greek, you realise that sometimes they have double meanings, a bit like English really. Take the English word petrified as an example. It has two meanings:-
so frightened that one is unable to move.
“the petrified man clung to the rock face”
changed into a stony substance.
Now, the clever readers among you will have noticed the similarity of Petra to the Petri part of petrified. That’s correct, pétra is Greek for stone. However, Petra tou Romiou doesn’t mean stone in this case it means rock, or to be even more imprecise it means Rock of the Romans… to some, and Rock of the Greeks to others. The confusion comes about because the Byzantines (Eastern Roman Empire) referred to themselves as either Greeks or Romans until the early 1800s.
Now if you really want to get confused, the rock is more widely known as Aphrodite’s Rock, because this is where the Greek Goddess of love (hold onto that phrase) was said to have been born out of the foaming sea.
And finally, let’s just remember that phrase, Greek Goddess of Love… or in some cases Greek Goddess of War. I know, confusing isn’t it?
And you wonder why I never mastered the language in eleven years.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2019
When I moved from England to Cyprus 11 years ago, I was set for a lazy time in the sun. To relax and chill for the rest of my life… it took 30 minutes for the airport to lose my two dogs. It took me hours to find them and at the same time cost a small fortune and a ton of paperwork into the late night to get my dogs out of doggie jail. “Welcome to Cyprus, please ensure your wallet and passport are open.”
Living in Cyprus has some great advantages and you can even try it for yourself at our holiday apartment, Kouklia Coastal Retreat. Close to Petra tou Romiou, the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Paphos, the Waterpark and much more besides. A bargain self-catering cosy apartment for two at only €45 per night.
You can check availability below.
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