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kalos

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kalos

Postby Emma_85 » Sun Aug 31, 2003 7:46 pm

Is there no better word for handsome in Greek? All I can think of is kalos. It’s like they used kalos for almost everything or am I greatly mistaken? Everything is just good instead of pretty, handsome, nice and so on...<br />Do I just need to learn my vocabulary better or if not, then how did the Greeks express all the meanings of the word? Did it always have a slightly different meaning to them when used in combination with some other words?
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Re:kalos

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:29 pm

Last edited by mingshey on Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:kalos

Postby greagach » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:54 pm

I'm a beginner myself, but so far I've come across several words that could be synonyms of "handsome" or "beautiful", like: <br /><br />[face=SPIonic]eu)/morfoj<br />w(rai=oj<br />perikallh/j<br />komyo/j<br />eu)sxh/mwn<br />kallipro/swpoj<br />kalli/morfoj<br />eu)fuh/j<br />e)pi/xarij [/face] just to describe a person -I know there must be others, but it's already a good deal of words to have for the moment. <br /><br />"[face=SPIonic]kalo/j[/face]" doesn't have only one meaning (cf. its moral colouring, for instance) and is largely used in texts for beginners (a bit like "joli(e)" we used to have so often at school, for French), I agree, but to express "good", the Greeks would use various words depending on the matter: <br /> [face=SPIonic]gennai=oj i(/ppoj[/face], for a beautiful horse (sturdy, of good breed)<br />[face=SPIonic]a)gaqh/ tu/xh[/face], for good luck <br />[face=SPIonic] kairo/j ai)/sioj [/face], for a good moment, and so on and so forth.<br /><br />So, perhaps it would be a good idea to try broadening the variety of your reading texts (read: vocabulary). No doubt, you will then encounter loads of other synonyms for some words, especially common ones. <br /><br />My own impression of Greek so far is that it's sometimes too large to assimilate in terms of vocabulary and synonyms, but certainly not a language lacking of words! And the problem sometimes is, that it's got both tenths of words for one concept, and at the same time, one particular word may have tenths of meanings... A both polysemantic and synonymic language, a big trouble (or reward, may I say) for the learner. <br /><br />I also usually try to stick to the language's world and views, rather than compare it with some other one’s or English’s; or else I would get really frustrated. Greek is a language of another time and place, not mine, and trying to find equalities is a really vain attempt I never dare make (well, the level of ideas excepted!)<br /><br />Besides, English may be richer in synonyms of "handsome" when compared to Greek, BUT couldn’t this be a mere illusion? I mean, "nice", "pretty", "beautiful", "fair" and their synonyms are words that cannot all be used when writing a text, some are formal, some are informal, and also vary from place to place within the English-speaking world; whereas for Greek, we learn out of a fraction of written texts, mostly formal and in Attic dialect.<br /><br />See the difference now?<br /><br /> <br />
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Re:kalos

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 5:46 pm

Yes, thank you! I haven't read a lot of Greek texts so far (only Lysias and Plato), which is why I haven't come across all those words. It seemed strange to me that the only word I could think of at all was kalos, which was why I asked. As you said one word in Greek can have so many different meanings, and I know that kalos has many. I wondered whether that was because they only had the one word. <br />Thank you for replying! :D
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Re:kalos

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:41 pm

I like it that greek has rich stash of vocabulary. Anyway they had rhetoric as a major disciplinary of learning.<br /><br />I see many of the words for 'good looking' are combined words; kalli- and eu- appears often, and -morphos too. I'll have to study harder and learn the composition of words to coin a word for novel conception.<br />
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Re:kalos

Postby greagach » Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:38 pm

mingshey, you also asked about the name [face=SPIonic] Nausika= [/face]. This name is just wonderful, one of my favourite female ones. The origin is rather obscure; it probably comes from [face=SPIonic] nau/j[/face], “ship” (not boat, [face=SPIonic] le/mboj [/face] !) with an ending (perhaps a diminutive one), or from the verb [face=SPIonic] na/w [/face] , “flow”. (any other suggestions?) <br /><br />So, Hayao makes a good point using that name for his air-sailor ([face=SPIonic] a)eronau/thj [/face]! ) <br /><br /> Speaking of vessels and liquids, I really fancy making lists of theme-centred vocabulary for Greek, that I fill by and by, every time I read the language (this really helps me memorize all that amount of nouns and adjectives). Right now I am looking at the headword “sea”, and marvelling at all this wealth of words, most of them whispering their meaning to me each time I ponounce them:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic] qa/lassa [/face] qa/latta , sa/lassa [/face][/size]]<br />[face=SPIonic] po/ntoj [/face]<br />[face=SPIonic] pe/lagoj [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] thqu/j [/face] <br /> [face=SPIonic] w)keano/j [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic]a(/lmh [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] a(/lj [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] mu/ra , a(/lj marmareh/ [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] lai=tma [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] a)/bdhra[/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] kludw/nion[/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] qh/nar [/face] and [face=SPIonic] bru/c [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] da/ca [/face] [Epirus dialect]<br /> [face=SPIonic] bu/nh [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic]u(grh/ [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] li/mnh [/face]<br />[face=SPIonic] ai)gialo/j [/face]<br /> [face=SPIonic] sa/loj [/face]<br />and still counting…<br /><br />To tell you the truth, it seems to me too much for “an Indogermanic people having originated in northern steppes”!!<br /><br />But this is another story, I suppose… <br /><br />
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Re:kalos

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:33 am

Thanks greagach!<br /><br />Nausicaa's the name of choice if I have a daughter. If it sounds too exotic in my land I would at least use it as her nickname.<br /><br />How do you construct your private thesaurus? From books you read, I guess? What do you use for collection and arrangements? (A topic for Open Forum?) I think I should make it a habit. I'm too far short of vocabulary.<br />
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