It’s all Greek to me

középfok

Jöjjön ismét egy érdekes videós lecke a "GREEK" szóval! 

Shakespeare’s daughter is confused. Learn a great English idiom to use when you don’t understand something.

Narrator

It’s October 1599. Shakespeare has finished writing his history play Julius Caesar and is visiting a fair in his home town of Stratford, with his daughter. She has just had her fortune told

Will

Now, dear daughter, what did Old Mother Howard say? What does the future hold for us, I wonder?

Daughter

Oh father, Mother Howard talked a lot, but she had such a strange accent – I couldn’t understand a word she said!

Will

You’re just like Casca in my play Julius Caesar.

Daughter

Casca? He’s one of the men that kills Caesar, the Roman general! How can you say that, father – I’m not a murderer!!!

Will

Dear daughter, Casca was in a group of people who were listening to the great Roman speaker Cicero. But Cicero was speaking Greek, so Casca couldn’t understand him.

Daughter

Oh… why was Cicero speaking Greek?

Will

That’s what educated people spoke in Roman times. Casca says that some of the people listening to Cicero could actually understand him. Here are the lines: …those that understood him smiled at one another…

Thomas Swann as Casca

… those that understood him smiled at

one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own

part, it was Greek to me.

Daughter

So Casca had no idea what Cicero was talking about. Just like me and Mother Howard!

Narrator

We’ll leave them there for now. Fortune tellers were common in Shakespeare’s day, and they appear in many of his plays including Macbeth, the Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar, in which the fortune teller warns Caesar to “beware the Ides of March” – the day on which Caesar was eventually assassinated by his closest friends. The phrase It was Greek to me has become It’s all Greek to me in modern English, and it’s used when something – not just a foreign language – is difficult to understand. For example, in a report about the 2015 Greek debt crisis, UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph carried the headline:

Clip 1

It’s all Greek to me: a glossary of Eurozone crisis jargon

Clip 2

I’ll never understand the rules of cricket: out for a duck, silly mid-off, googlies… It’s all Greek to me!

Will

Now tell me, daughter, did you understand anything Old Mother Howard said?

Daughter

Yes! She talked about you, father. She said that you’re going to be the most famous Englishman of all time! …but I think she was making it up.

Will

Oh no, no, no… I’m sure she’s absolutely right about that … She’s obviously a very gifted woman. What shall we look at now, daughter?

Daughter

Can we go to the gold stall father? Pleeeeeease???

Will

I didn’t need a fortune teller to predict that! To gold, or not to gold: that is the question.

source: bbclearningenglish

Trying to understand a language you know next to nothing about is tough. Imagine someone trying to explain something to you in an unfamiliar language; you’re not going to grasp much of anything that’s being said, it’d be unintelligible. The idea for this phrase is that, basically, the extreme difficulty involved with comprehending another language is being applied to anything that’s considered challenging to grasp. For instance, upon seeing a complex algebra equation, someone lacking in experience with such math problems might describe the equation as being “Greek” to them. In other words, they don’t understand it; it’s like another language to them.

The phrase goes back to at least the early 17th century, as it’s used by two different playwrights from this time period; their names being Thomas Dekkar and William Shakespeare.

Megpróbálni megérteni egy nyelvet, ami szinte teljesen ismeretlen a számunkra, nehéz ügy. Képzeld el, hogy valaki megpróbál elmagyarázni valamit neked egy számodra idegen nyelven. Nem fogsz szinte semmit érteni abból, amit mond, érthetetlen lesz a mondandója. Ebben az idiómában az ismeretlen nyelvek megértésének nehézségét más kihívással teli helyzetre is alkalmazzák, valamire, amit nehezünkre esik felfogni. Például egy összetett matematikai egyenletre is mondhatjuk, ha nem vagyunk otthon a matematika nyelvében, és nem tudjuk megoldani. „Ez nekem kínai” – vagyis nem értem, olyan, mintha egy általam nem beszélt idegen nyelven szólnának hozzám.

Az idióma eredete a 17. század körülre nyúlik vissza, Thomas Dekkar és Shakespeare is használta drámáiban.

Vocabulary

It’s all Greek to me.

nem értem, ez nekem kínai

confused

össze van zavarodva

play

színdarab

fair

vásár

She has just had her fortune told.

Pont most jósoltak neki.

general

tábornok, hadvezér

murderer

gyilkos

educated people

művelt emberek

fortune teller

jövendőmondó, jós

Comedy of Errors

Tévedések vígjátéka

to beware (of) sg

óvakodni valamitől

the Ides of March

március idusa, március 15.

eventually

végül

to assassinate

orvul meggyilkolni

debt crisis

adósságválság

headline

újság főcím

glossary

szójegyzék

to make sg up

kitalálni valamit

obviously

nyilvánvalóan

gifted

tehetséges

gold stall

aranyárus

to predict

megjósolni

tough

nehéz

to grasp

felfogni, megérteni

unintelligible

érthetetlen

to comprehend

megérteni

equation

egyenlet

playwright

drámaíró

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