confusion reigns

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George
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Scotland

confusion reigns

Postby George » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:58 am

In a book I am reading at present ( Colloquial Greek ) it gives a common Greek saying/phrase as θα περνούμε ζωή και κότα, which in google translate comes up as "will be spending life and hen". The book says it roughly translates as "the life of Riley". I am fully aware that google translate can get some things wrong but this seems a little bit off.
Has anyone heard this expression in real life, or is this a mistake on the authors part?
I have also found that spend on it's own translates as δαπανούν, which just confuses me further.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:42 am

The Greek verb περνώ means to spend in the sense of time elapsed or time passing by. While "και κότα" literally means "and hen" I think you can translate it as "like a hen" in this context. So "We will spend life like a chicken". What do chickens do? Eat and sleep. Pretty much the life of Riley in my book.

Δαπανώ means to spend in the sense of spending money. It is pretty normal when English uses the same word with different meanings depending on the context Greek will have different words for each meaning and vice-versa. Magenta Greek - English dictionary program for English speakers explains the context for each word and gives example usage.

Warwick

Jeffstclair
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:38 pm

Yes people in my village use that phrase to mean that you are doing ok, living a simple and contented life..... translated to me by Cretan friends to "Life with the chickens " ... and I think there is a cafe/small fast food place in Sitia that sells cooked chicken called "Life with the chickens"...jeff...

George
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Scotland

Postby George » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:02 pm

Once again, many thanks for your help.


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