View Full Version : English Phrase Translated to Greek

01-04-2010, 10:28 PM
I hope this is the right subsection for this; I was debating between posting it here or in "Grammar and Syntax," but since I am in need of a Greek speaker's help, I figure it would best belong here.

Anyhow, I would like to translate the phrase "self expression is both a truth and a responsibility" into Greek. I am aware that it could not be translated word for word, and thus an online translator would not be very accurate. I've already tried and gotten this result: "η έκφραση είναι και μια αλήθεια και μια ευθύνη" [Yahoo's Babel Fish]. Is this anywhere close or is there a better way to say it?

Also, my character speaks the phrase so I feel that it would be best written using the Latin alphabet (however the phrase would sound spoken out loud).

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

01-05-2010, 05:52 PM
According to my Greek colleague the translation you have is pretty good.
In Latin characters it would read "I ekfrassi ine ke mia alithia ke mia efthini"

01-06-2010, 12:16 AM
That's good to know. I greatly appreciate you and your colleague's input. Thanks.

03-05-2010, 06:53 AM
I hope this isn't too late for you, but I just saw this.

While that translation is surprisingly good for an internet generated translation it isn't entirely accurate.

The Greek word "Ekfrasi" means "expression" not "self expression." Since there is no completely accurate translation for "self expression" in Greek the best match would be "H Ekfrasi tou eautou" (note that the first "u" in "eautou" reads as an "f" while the second one reads as the "oo" in "Moo" as in what we tell children cows say). So if you wanted a better phonetic match it would be "eaftou."

Now the sentence in its entirety with the phonetic version would be "H ekfrasi tou eaftou einai alithia kai efthini." Note a couple of differences here from what was mentioned above:
1) The word "Mia" is the equivalent of "One" (with a female gender--all words have a gender in Greek). So to include "Mia" before "alithia" and "efthini" would be like saying "one truth" and "one responsibility." However, this wouldn't be entirely inaccurate in Greek, but the preferable version would be to drop the "mia."
2)I removed the first "kai" from the sentence. This depends on how you mean it. By including it you would be showing emphasis in the statement. For example "He crashed my car AND had the nerve to blame me for it." If you want that emphasis keep the first "kai" so it would look like this: "H ekfrasi tou eaftou einai kai alithia kai efthini." (special note: by including that first "kai" the emphasis is on both of them, not just the first one).

I hope this isn't too confusing for you, but you should also know that, as all things in the Greek language, context is very important to how you say something. Things can change based on the person's gender, age, social status, or simply the preceding and following sentences.

Last note: I just noticed I've not been as phonetically accurate as I thought. "Kai" and "Ke" are the same, but "Kai" is the exact same combination of letters we would use in Greek (but the "a" would look a little different as in "και"). Also "Ine" and "Einai" are the same as with "Kai."

By the way, I'm Greek.