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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 38

Tales from Crete | 38

It is healthy for the brain to go for a short evening walk with the dog, and well, then it also gets the opportunity to do what it needs to do before nightfall. This evening I suddenly remembered that we Danes are very fond of the word "maybe". It's a word many of us use interchangeably and in every imaginable context. It is also a convenient derivational word, because by saying "perhaps" we have not promised anything and you then feel in your right to change your decision at any time and in any direction, because you have not made any decisions at all. any decision. In Danish, we also have the option of inflecting the word by combining it with "ja" so that it becomes "ja, maybe". Then you have both answered yes, but at the same time pulled a little ashore with a "maybe", which can then easily be turned into a no. A more elusive declension is "Well, maybe" and by that it is probably meant that you yourself are a little unsure whether you should just say "maybe" or "Yes, maybe" because "Well, maybe" is somewhere in between and then you can don't even bother to pull a "No" out of your sleeve at a later stage, it's a bit whimsical. On the other hand, you never hear someone say "No, maybe" because the word "No" penetrates much more, and it is difficult to change it to a "Yes" later.

When I walked there with the dog, my thoughts fell on what actually makes us Danes express ourselves so vaguely. Wouldn't it be easier to just say yes or no? - But no, no, it can be dangerous, because then you are bound by your answer, unless of course you are a politician. For politicians, completely different rules apply. They can easily use the word "Yes" without maybe afterwards, and then turn it into a "No" or vice versa, but that is a completely different matter.

In Greek, there is a word for the Danish "maybe" - it is called: "ísos", but it is rarely linked with "Nai" (yes) or "Óchi" (no) and there is a very clear reason for that to. The Greeks are of the opinion that if you are asked about something that must be answered affirmatively or negatively, invited to something or a decision made, there are only two words "Nai" (yes) or "Óchi" (no). . They can of course be combined with "Efcharistó" (thank you) to make the answer more polite.

But personally, I think it is very nice that Greeks either answer Yes or No if they are asked a question that needs to be decided here and now. They may never answer, so they prefer not to answer. In contrast to our Danish use of the word perhaps, where you don't really get an answer anyway, you can pretty much always count on a Yes (Nai) or No (Óchi) from a Greek, unless it's from a politician, because they typically works according to a completely different set of rules, which are confusingly similar to the Danish one.

Well, but now I want to go on a weekend right away, and if my wife asks me if I shouldn't do something in the garden, paint the house or the railings, I think I'll use the Danish "Yes, maybe" for the sake of domestic peace. I can always turn that into anything, and besides, it's also uncertain whether the weather will turn into gardening because maybe it will be good and maybe it won't. It was probably the best placed maybes that entered here.

Great weekend.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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Pia Langsted - August 8, 2019

Gadesælgeren på billedet kender jeg. Ham mødes vi med hvert år i Chania, han taler dansk og er mega hyggelig.

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