Born in Athens, Greece, I presently live in the Netherlands.
My pronunciation is Athenian, with some rather light peculiarities, related to my family background and the varied environment I grew up in. I believe that my main profession (as violinist) has in great degree defined my way of speaking and the way I approach matters of sound.
Except Greek, I also speak Dutch, English, German, a little Italian, French and Spanish and years ago I began with Russian and Arabic. These last two I'll start studying again soon. I've also tried to understand how Japanese and Hebrew work, but alas! with little succes. Maybe I was too young for the feat, as an autodidact...
I'm not a language freak, but consider it a happy coincidence, to be able to understand what's been said around me and from time to time, to be able to add my voice in a foreign environment. My professional surroundings are also very international and they offer a first class ground for linguistic expansion and experimentation with different views of the world (what a language actually incarnates).
What I've mainly learnt from foreign languages is the rich variety of prosodic expression. Also saw my mother language, Greek, in different context and aspects of it, or I should say "heard" it in different ways, than what I've learnt.
By every visit to Greece I realise that the spoken language changes a little. From one side in a positive way, with the incorporation of a more musical intonation, heard e.g. in employing more notes in the octave, from some other side less positive.
What I find as the most annoying, in everyday speach, is the seeming confusion in pronouncing [nt - mp - gg - gk] (in Greek letters...). These letter combinations represent both the relevant Greek sounds ánd the sound of [d - nd - g - ng - b - mb].
Now, in contemporary Greek words, the sounds [b - g - d] don't exist. They appear only in words coming from foreign languages. For example, "businessman" is pronounced as such, but written [mp-i-z-nes-man], the mainstream word for "bottle", is pronounced [bookálli] though written [mpou-ka-li] etc.
The problem is arisen out of using the consonant combinations in modern Greek, for representing two totally different kinds of sound, that is [b,g,d and mb, ng, nd], since the original ancient Greek pronunciations of [b,g,d] where softened to [v, gh, th].
I'm afraid that presently nobody attends the pupils to this difference and as a result I hear some, allow me the expression, monstrocities all too often. The matter is from tragic to ridiculous and ever, if someone said "aghelos" instead of "angelos", "mbusinessman" of "businessman", "ngazozes" of "gazozes" etc the eyebrows were risen or people would laugh. What a pain, to hear "sybósio", "sýban", "egatálipsi", "edolí", which sound something like "mbottles", "ndifferences", "ngeometry"... And all this, when the same people do their best to pronounce e.g. the same word in its English form "angel" correctly!
Maybe you've heard all this... but please,Greek speakers, save our melodic speech, talk as you love to do, but please speak beautifully! Sounds governs our sentiments, as much as words our thoughts and both govern our own worlds. Chose for beauty, I beg you! it's there for you, personally...
your humble editor, "lexo-phorbos" in Forvo.com
PS: for people that wonder why I'm writting Greek in the polytonic system, I propose a simple experiment:
Read a poem aloud; it must be one written in polytonic. Read, sending the voice low with the "bareia", send the voice "up" with the "oxeia" and up-down with the "perispomeni"...
Then read as you did before and ... send me some chocolate.
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