Personal

How to learn Greek part 2: listening to the radio

06/02/2018
Vintage Radio in a flea market in Athens

When you learn a foreign language and you don’t live in the country where they speak it, what you miss the most, obviously, is its sound.
When I first start learning Greek I just attended my lessons, but when I was back at my everyday life, unfortunately, no one was talking that lovely language I loved so much.
When in London, the easiest place where I could listen my beloved language was in the bus! Or going to any Greek cafe/restaurant and hoping that some of the employees were Greek (I did it many times…).
At some point, in order not to look like a stalker, I thought it might be a good idea to find another solution to satisfy my need of Greek sounds,  that’s how En Lefko enter my life. That was a beautiful day!

I asked my friend Panagiotis if he could suggest any nice on line radio I could listen to, that’s how I came across En Lefko .
At the beginning I did not understand a word, I remember that the first morning, in my London flat, I tuned in and I only caught few words and they were ‘London – Broadway Market’… Not very Greek words though! Then I thought I was starting understanding something of a song, but actually it was a song where there is this man voice speaking a bit of italian. That is what I was getting…
(Very) Slowly slowly, I started understanding ads: I knew that Lidl was present in Greece as well and, above all, I got obsessed by one ad, a jingle: I was quite sure that it was related to children, maybe to toys. And it was! I had the proof the first time I went back to Monastiraki and I found my self in front of Moustaka, and yes, it is actually a toy shop. I was very proud. I confess I started singing the jingle.
When you learn something which is quite difficult, you must celebrate every single improving step!

I started switching on my buddy, En Lefko, every time I could. While doing my freelance job on the laptop, while cleaning the house, before going to bed.
I began being familiar not only with the language, also with its programs. I love its early mornings or late nights, and I have to say that the music that they play is great.
En Lefko is based in Athens and it reflects exactly the soundtrack that this amazing city has, to my hears at least: it has a great personality, it does not follow the flow, it is upbeat  and very eclectic.

There is one thing that happens when you learn a language with the radio (and television I guess): you go from not getting a word to understand quite a lot, and you don’t know why. There is a day in which, oh my god, I know what you are saying! But I don’t know why! And that gives you happiness.

Very often people understand that I am Italian when speaking in Greek. They say it sounds from my accent because apparently I sing when I speak. Could it be because I listened too much to En Lefko, couldn’t it?

Now, I have a big issue, which is the following. I have a car, finally, and I have a radio in it.
One of my main problem in Santorini (not only mine I believe) is the radio signal which is so bad that you can’t listen to the radio while driving. Upsetting. Sorry Santorini’s radios, don’t get it personal but…
Should I start a petition or, you, my lovely friends at En Lefko, could do something for me?
Please, please!

 

©Nicoletta Barbata/One Quarter Greek

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