Learn Greek for less – 40 percent permanent savings on Volume I and Volume II

June 27, 2013 –Silver Spring, MD – Greek123 and Papaloizos Publications (www.greek123.com), is making it even easier to learn Greek this summer, with new permanently reduced prices on its My First Greek Book app – Volumes I and II for the iPad. Beginning on June 27th, the apps are $5.99 each – a $4 savings off the original price of $9.99.

“The My First Greek Book iPad application provides an easy way to learn Greek for Apple users on the go, and now at our lowest price ever,” said Dr. Theodore C. Papaloizos, founder of Greek123. “You can choose from Volume I or Volume II. Our apps make it fun to teach kids or people of any age to read and write Greek.”

With My First Greek Book Vol. I , students can continue to build their language skills over the summer by mastering the Greek alphabet at their own pace. The app teaches how to read and write Greek with fun and exciting activities, from the convenience of their iPads. Also written by Papaloizos Publications and developed by educational software company CrystalClearSoft in Athens, Greece, My First Greek Book Vol. II app builds on the teachings in the first volume with writing, audio and interactive elements that take learning to the next level. Visit the App Store for a list of features or to purchase at the new low price of $5.99.

My First Greek Book apps take learners through the first steps in learning Greek, utilizing the Greek123 (www.greek123.com) learning method called “Interactive Progression.” The method was created by Dr. Papaloizos over 50 years ago, as a simple way to learn Modern Greek as a second language.

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Hippocratic Oath

While many of you may have heard of Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, what many of you may not know is that he was also known as “The Father of Medicine” and he played a crucial role in developing medicine as both a profession and a discipline. Prior to Hippocrates, medicine was not separated from other areas of study.

Hippocrates was the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine, which is where he earned his nickname of “The Father of Medicine.” There is a lot of speculation as to what Hippocrates achieved in the field of medicine, and while not all of it is 100% certain, many people believe that Hippocrates was the only who wrote the oath or pledge that was later dubbed “The Hippocratic Oath.” If you go to your doctor’s office, you will notice a framed piece of paper with some text on it. This is the ancient Greek oath written by Hippocrates.

This oath (όρκος) was a promise made by those studying medicine – a vow to care for each and every one of their patients ethically and to the best of their ability. The students who promise to the different Greek gods of healing (including Apollo, who was also a physician) that they would never intentionally harm their patients. They were forced to take this oath before there were able to practice medicine, and this oath is still around today.

Many doctors take this oath today, although it is not mandatory. It is considered to be a rite of passage that many recent graduates of medical school take. This is all thanks to Hippocrates, who was Greek!

Learn Greek by learning about Hippocrates:

Oath – όρκος

Health – υγεία

Medicine – ιατρική

Doctor – γιατρός

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The Komboloi

The komboloi (κομπολόγι) is a string of beads that are also known as worry beads. Almost all Greeks will purchase one at some point in their life – both young and old Greeks alike. They are used to relieve stress, pass the time, as a conversation piece and can help motivate you for different dueling tasks in your life as well. People play with their komboloi all the time – during lunch, conversations and also when they aren’t very busy at work and have some free time.

Komboloi can come in all different colors and sizes. The beads are round. They are sold pretty much everywhere in Greece, including local stores, kiosks, street vendors, and especially at tourist shops. After all, the komboloi is the number one item purchased by tourists!

Learn Greek with the komboli:

Worry Beads – komboloi – κομπολόγι

Stress – στρες

Tourists – τουρίστες

Colors – χρώματα

Beads – χάντρες

Plural komboli – κομπολόγια

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The Olympics

The Olympics are perhaps the most famous games and sporting events known to mankind today. The Olympic Games originated in Greece and the first games were recorded in 776 B.C. Lasting until 393 A.D., when the emperor Theodosius of Byzantium prohibited them, the Olympics were held every four years in honor of the god Zeus. Here are some interesting facts about the Olympic Games:

Fact: The Olympic Games started in 776 B.C. and lasted until 393 A.D.

Fact: The Olympic Games took place every 4 years in the honor of the god Zeus.

Fact: Young men from all over Greece were allowed to participate. Women were prohibited from not only participating, but watching the games as well. Speak Greek: athletes = αθλητές

Fact: Before the games started, heralds went all over Greece to the large cities to stop any wars or fighting that might be going on at the time. They called this a εκεχειρία, or truce.

Fact: The games last a total of 5 days.

Fact: Events included running, the javelin, discus throwing, jumping and a chariot race.

Fact: The trophy was an olive tree branch. The branch was cut down with a golden knife by a young boy.

Fact: Those that won became local heroes in their home towns and many had statues of themselves in the public square. Their names were carved on the walls of the Thesaurus –temples dedicated to the different Greek gods, which was located in Delphi.

Learn Greek by learning about the Olympics:

Athletes = αθλητές

Truce = εκεχειρία

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Start Learning Greek123 this Easter Holiday: top-rated My First Greek Book apps on sale now

Learn Greek for less – purchase March 22 to April 1 for 40 percent savings on Volume I or Volume II

 March 21, 2013 –Silver Spring, MD – Greek123 and Papaloizos Publications (www.greek123.com), is making it even easier to learn Greek, with a special offer on its My First Greek Book app – Volumes I and II for the iPad. Beginning today, the apps are on sale for $5.99 each – a $4 savings off the regular price of $9.99. Included in the offer is the Volume II app.

“The My First Greek Book apps make a great language learning tool at the start of Easter and new Spring season, and at our lowest price ever, now is the time to take advantage of a proven, easy and fun way to learn Modern Greek,” said Dr. Theodore C. Papaloizos, founder of Greek123. “You can choose from Volume I or Volume II. Our apps make it fun to teach kids or people of any age to read and write Greek.”

With My First Greek Book Vol. I, kids get a head start on mastering the Greek alphabet at their own pace. The app teaches how to read and write Greek with fun and exciting activities. Visit the App Store for a list of features or to purchase for the sale price of $5.99, through April 1, 2013.

My First Greek Book Vol. II is also included in the sale. Written by Papaloizos Publications and developed by educational software company CrystalClearSoft in Athens, Greece, the app builds on the teachings in the first volume with writing, audio and interactive elements that take learning to the next level. Visit the App Store for a description of features or to purchase for the sale price of $5.99, through April 1, 2013.

Free iWrite app is now available

iWrite Greek123 HD app is a great complement to My First Greek Book Vol. 1 and Vol.2, it helps children learn how to write and pronounce all 24 Greek letters in the alphabet. Visit the App store for a description of features and download for free.

My First Greek Book apps take learners through the first steps in learning Greek, utilizing the Greek123 (www.greek123.com) learning method called “Interactive Progression.” The method was created by Dr. Papaloizos over 50 years ago, as a simple way to learn Modern Greek as a second language- through English- to -Greek translations.

About Greek123

Greek123 (www.greek123.com) and Papaloizos Publications, located in Silver Spring, MD is the oldest publisher of Greek language lessons in the United States. The company publishes text books, readers, workbooks, audio CDs, and videos for the instruction of Greek. The curriculum is written and designed by Dr. Theodore C. Papaloizos, who has been writing and publishing Greek lessons in America for over 50 years. For more information on the Greek123 product line for people of all ages, visit www.greek123.com or call toll- free 1-855-473-3512.

About CrystalClearSoft

CrystalClearSoft designs and creates cutting-edge interactive learning software for publishers, educators and learners worldwide. Our solutions are built to reap the benefits of the massive appeal of new media, the rapid evolution of mobile devices, and the growing demand for digital information and services. Our customer base consists of multinational publishers and organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Singapore, Cyprus and Greece

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Greek Culture: Siesta Time

While in Greece, you’ll quickly learn and see that the Greeks are all about enjoying life by taking time to relax, be with friends and family, eat, drink, laugh, dance and play. Every weekday, the Greeks do just that, by taking a “siesta.” This is an important part of the culture that you need to know if you ever visit Greece.

The siesta (ανάπαυση) is a time that the Greeks shut down during the work day to rest, relax, eat and be with friends and family. Shops typically close between 2:30-3 p.m. and don’t open again until 6 p.m. and typically remain open until 9 p.m. During this time, families get together to have lunch (μεσημεριανό), which is the biggest meal of the day in Greece.

After lunch, many Greeks, especially those who are older, take a nap. Others may relax by spending time with friends, playing cards, going to the beach, swimming or taking a walk. Unfortunately, not all Greeks can enjoy the siesta. Government workers and bankers work straight through the day.

Speak Greek:

Siesta – ανάπαυση

Lunch – μεσημεριανό

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The Greek Alphabet

Understanding the fundamentals are key when it comes to learning and fluently speaking a foreign language. Greek is a very interesting language because it has so much history, which makes learning the basics fun and exciting. Take the Greek alphabet (αλφάβητο), for example. The alphabet itself has so much history behind it, that not only are you learning the Greek sounds and pronunciations, but you’re really getting a mini history lesson as well. Here are some interesting facts about the Greek alphabet and language:

Fact: Around 9th Century B.C., the Greeks acquired the skill of writing from the Phoenicians.

Fact: Adding to the Semitic alphabet, which at the time consisted of 22 letters, the Ancient Greeks created new letters to represent vowels. They added the letters X & Y and replaced 4 consonant sounds with the vowel sounds A, E I & O. This means that they were the first people to have vowels in their alphabet.

Fact: The Greek alphabet was the first to use a different symbol to represent each consonant & vowel.

Fact: The Ancient Greeks used only capital letters, no spaces or accent marks when writing.

Fact: Using a hammer, Greeks would inscribe letters and words onto marble. They also would use a pen to write on papyrus.

Fact: Ancient Greek was written right to left.

Fact: Greek letters were also used to represent numbers.

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Valentine’s Day in Greece

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Speak Greek: Eftychisméne Iméra tou Agíou Valentínou (Ευτυχισμένη Ημέρα του Αγίου Βαλεντίνου)

Greece, by nature, is a very romantic place. After all, Greece is home to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite and Ares had a son, more commonly known by the Roman name as Cupid, but to the Greeks his name was Eros, which is the Greek word for love.  Story has it that Eros had the power to make two people fall in love with the prick of his arrow.

Eros was very close to his mother, who was jealous of a young beauty named Psyche (the Greek word for soul). Psyche was the youngest of the king’s three daughters and was so beautiful that she seemed to be a goddess among mortals. Many men traveled from afar to admire and worship her. More and more people wanted to see Psyche, leaving the altar of Aphrodite abandoned and forgotten. This made Aphrodite very angry and jealous.  Aphrodite sent Eros to prick Psyche with his love arrow with the intent of her falling in love with an ugly man, but when Eros first saw her, he himself was pricked with his own love arrow, and fell madly in love with the maiden. Eros decided not to tell his mother what had happened.

However, Psyche could never fall in love herself. Many men came to admire her, but no one wanted to marry her. Worried and anxious, her parents sought advice from Apollo. Apollo had decided that Psyche was to go to the summit of the mountain, dress in all black, and wait for her husband. A winged serpent would take her as his wife. So Psyche had no choice but to go to the mountain and wait.

While she was waiting, she felt a wind start to carry her far, far away. It dropped her in front of a beautiful castle. While she saw no one, she heard the words “This is your house now.” She entered and had a wonderful bath and meal. Psyche was alone, but heard voices. She knew it was her husband, but was not afraid. She soon began to grow lonely, so she asked her husband if her sisters could come to visit her. He granted her this wish, but only on the condition that she would not allow her sisters to influence her. When her sisters arrived and saw Psyche’s wealth and riches, they became very jealous. They wanted to hurt Psyche so they asked her why her husband never wanted to see her, and told her that he was probably an ugly serpent. Psyche began to worry, so during the nighttime she crept to her husband’s bed and lit a candle to see his face. She was relieved to see he was a beautiful man, but he immediately awoke and became angry with Psyche. He flew away saying “Love cannot live without trust.”

Psyche wanted to prove her love to her husband, the god of love, so she went to Aphrodite to beg for her help. Aphrodite, however, was still jealous of Psyche, so she agreed to let Psyche see Eros only after completing three dangerous tasks. Psyche was able to complete the tasks, with the help of others, which only angered Aphrodite. The whole time that Aphrodite was putting Psyche through these difficult challenges, the Gods had been watching and decided to put an end to it. They sent Hermes, a messenger, to Eros to let him know what Aphrodite was making Psyche do. Eros immediately left his mother’s house to find Psyche, asleep in the garden. He was so touched by her determination and efforts to prove her love that he forgave her. Zeus made Psyche a Goddess, making Aphrodite very pleased because the men on earth had forgotten all about her and the attention was back on Aphrodite herself. Eros and Psyche lived happily ever after.

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Greeks Love Music & Dance: Kefi

From weddings to name day feasts, from Christmas to New Year’s, any chance that the Greeks get to sing, play music and dance, they take it. Oh how the Greeks love their music! The Greeks even have a word for their love of music and dance: “kefi.” While there is no exact English translation, kefi refers to their love of music and dance, loving it so much that they could break out in song or dance at any given moment.

One of the most common and traditional instruments in Greece is the bouzouki. Loved by children and old people alike, the bouzouki is similar to the mandolin. It is a stringed instrument with a long neck and a wide body, shaped like a pear. While each geographical region, town and village have their own musical traditions, customs, songs and dances, all Greeks love the bouzouki.

A famous dance in Greece is called the Sirtaki. Dating back to 1964, this dance was created for the movie “Zorba the Greek.” There is also a song that goes with this particular dance. It is danced in either a circle or a line, with people clapping their hands along to the combination of fast and slow beats.

Practice the Greek language by song and dance next time you visit Greece. Chances are, after dancing and singing with locals, you’ll start to feel the kefi too!

Speak Greek:

Love for Music/Dance: Kefi/ Κέφι

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Greek Tradition: The Changing of the Guards

One of Athens’s most popular tourist attractions is scheduled to take place every hour, on the hour, 24 hours a day, every day. Do you know what it could be? It’s the changing of the guards in Athens’s Syntagma Square.

This popular tourist attraction and Greek custom dates back to 1868. The Greek presidential guard, or evzones  (έυζωνες), is guarding the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every hour, on the hour, the guards change or rotate shifts, and it has become a ceremony that tourists and locals alike love to watch.

There are 120 evzones, each having a partner, making 60 partners. Each evzone works three shifts in a 48 hour period. The tricky part of the evzone’s job is not making any movements – the evzones must appear like statues and musn’t move during their hour shifts. They are unable to talk to or interact with anyone passing by.

While the uniforms of the evzones may seem funny or peculiar to tourists, they are packed with historical significance. The uniforms date back to The War of Independence against the Turks. The skirts, for example, have 400 pleats, representing each year that they were occupied by the Turks. The uniform of the evzone is a skirt, red hat (fessi) complete with a long black tassle, a white shirt, belt, waistcoat, a garter, stockings and clogs for shoes. The clogs even have black pompoms and are called tsarouchi shoes.

It is such a great honor to be an evzone. Next time you’re in Athens, make sure you pass by and visit the evzones. And remember, no matter how much you talk to the guards, they won’t answer you!

Speak the Greek Language:

Presidential Guard: evzones/έυζωνες

Tradition: parádosi/παραδόσεις

Custom: éthimo/ έθιμο

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