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What did I say wrongly?

Liverpool, United...
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What did I say wrongly?

Hi, we've just returned from a great fortnight in Kremasti, Rhodes and was just wondering if what I said was wrong! I try to learn a few phrases wherever we go in the world, please, thankyou, hello etc. and I don't profess to be fluent in any foreign language, but on 2 occasions i was corrected rather abruptly. The scenario was the same, I had received a beer from the server, both young girls, one was in a cocktail bar in Kremasti and the other in the airport departures on the way home. I said (phonetically) Efharistow, Yammas, now in my mind I'd said 'Thankyou, Cheers' which in English seems perfectly acceptable. The first lady said 'No, efharistow polli' and the second laughed and told the other servers. After the first occasion I asked the night receptionist at the hotel, local guy, if what I'd said was wrong, he said no! So my question is what have I said? Thanks guys PS I can't recommend Kremasti and in particular 'The Maritime' highly enough, these guys are amazing!

Brighton
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1. Re: What did I say wrongly?

I can only think that although cheers/yammas means the same when having a drink We (at home) say cheers when we don't actually have a drink in our hand. Efahristo Poli (phonetically) means 'thanks a lot'... an emphatic thank-you if you like? So unless you had a can in your hand at the time it wasn't appropriate lol Did you notice when you said efahristo they didn't say it back but said parakalo instead?? Glad you enjoyed your holiday though :D

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: What did I say wrongly?

Yeah thanks for your reply, I understand all that and I got the meaning of the 'polli' bit but both times I had my drink at hand! (as i did for the large portion of the 2 weeks)! With the 'efharisto' parakalo response it's similar to the German 'danke' bitte response. There may be several 'Cheers' phrases then because you can also use (phonetically, again) Stinie yassou (singular) or stinie yassas (multiple people). We can't wait to return, thanks again! x

New York City, New...
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3. Re: What did I say wrongly?

Hey and welcome Barto1971:-) I have to agree with the 'local guy'.. doesn't sound too far off at all;-) Maybe the girls serving you weren't even Greek?! Nonetheless, the word 'yammas' translates to ' to our health' and usually said when there are a bunch of folks.. even 2.. raising glasses as a cheer! Although even here in the States we say 'Cheer's when we raise a glass to drink.. it's never used as a greeting like 'Hi'! Bottom line, with no one sharing the drink with you.. maybe they thought it a bit odd.. but in all reality.. totally agree with the 'local guy'.. nothing out of the ordinary.. am sure you had ordered more than these 2 drinks during your vaca and didn't get same strange response, lol;-) Glad you enjoyed!

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4. Re: What did I say wrongly?

LOL!! Well, if you said stin yassou or yassas.. I can see where it can be a bit comical;-) Yiassas is a greeting.. like your 'cheers' and our 'hi', lol!! Saying 'stin' means 'to'.. followed by 'yassas' makes no sense;-)) Keep enjoyin'!

Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: What did I say wrongly?

And, with beer in hand, YAMMAS! thanks for your reply!

Brighton
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6. Re: What did I say wrongly?

Yes exactly like Danke bitte...or even thanks you're welcome ;) As Litsa says the people who questioned it were more likely to be another nationality. A Greek would probably be used to the mechanics of our language and appreciate the effort anyway x

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7. Re: What did I say wrongly?

LOL:-) Well said everyone.. and with wine glass in hand..Yiammas to us all;-) Enjoyin'!

Bristol, United...
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8. Re: What did I say wrongly?

The Greek phrase "στιν υγειά σας" pronounced "stin eeya sas" means " to your health" and is a toast in the same way as we say "cheers". Not the same as the greeting "γεια σας" (yassas).

When you say "yamas" it is a shortening of "στιν υγειά μας" (stin eeya mas") which means "to our health" so it is normally used when two or more people are having a drink together. Maybe they were correcting you because they were serving you, not drinking with you. Still, that seems a bit mean when you were making the effort! Don't let it put you off !

Derby, UK
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9. Re: What did I say wrongly?

Maybe It's your accent? A friend of mine lived on the island for years and understood Greek very well but would still give people a giggle as she spoke Greek with a strong Yorkshire accent. No offence was meant they'd just never heard words sound quite like that before!

Birmingham, United...
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10. Re: What did I say wrongly?

Barto, Glad you enjoyed Kremasti and the Maritime. It's a pity you left just before the festival got into full swing as the place buzzes in the evening.

Edited: 16 August 2013, 06:16
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