Friday, April 28, 2006

Whisper In Your Ear

Although it's not a saying I can appreciate entirely, the cliche "it's Greek to me" no doubt captures the reality that Greek is a tough language to learn.

That's why I was thrilled to stumble upon a language learning tool that works off of the same notion that keeps me singing old, catchy songs for years - putting the language to music and repeating the phrase frequently (and on beat). Brilliant!

Earworms Musical Brain Trainers work by layering foreign words and phrases over instrumental tracks. Even if you are not paying attention you will find yourself repeating the phrase after listening to "songs" a few times. The program is accompanied by a free booklet to help guide those with a knack for learning visually.

You can download the lesson or order a 75-minute CD in Greek, Italian, Spanish, French and German. Chinese is offered only on CD. Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Russian are coming soon.

Volume 1 (available now) - Survival kit of essential words and phrases to get you by on your trip abroad. For Greek, this of course includes tips on how to order coffee and wine by the kilo.

Volume 2 (due out in July) - Deep dive into using the language to chat in past, present, and future tenses and expressing your opinions, chatting, and flirting (who knows?!)

The company's website is, where you can listen to a demo and order either the CD or the downloadable option. However, if you plan on downloading, I recommend purchasing this directly from

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Welcome and Kalos Orisate

Being Greek and coming from a Greek family is one of the strongest and most distinct experiences for millions of people - some in Greece, but many in some of the furthest corners of the world.

Ask anybody who is or knows somebody Greek, and I am certain that you will hear about many key characteristics - a strong will, a fierce sense of loyalty to country, family and friends, a thirst for knowledge and celebration. It is in honor of these traits that I am excited to bring you this seat under the olive tree.

As you might know, the very capital of Greece got its name thanks in part to the olive tree. In a "grudge match" against Poseidon, it was Athena who won the affection of the Greek people by gifting them the olive tree - a resource that was deemed more versatile and instrumental for the longevity of the Greeks by the wisest of judges. In return for the tree's shade, oil and fruit, the people honored the goddess by naming the city after her.

As you will see in time, my hope is that you will join me in sitting under this very tree when you have the chance - to take in the view and sounds, enjoy some wine and tasty eats, celebrate our rich history and ponder the opportunities of the future.

A celebration of our food, drink, history, philosophy and the arts... in other words, a one-stop-shop for anything GREEK!


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