The Three Friars, in Greek

By: | Post date: 2017-10-06 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

My friend from Quora Vangelis Lolos pointed out to me on Facebook that the Modern Greek version of the Old Irish joke about the three friars doesn’t sound as awesome as the others.

Challenge Accepted.

Τρεις καλόγεροι αναχωρούν από τον κόσμο.
Καταφεύγουν στην ερημιά, για να τους δώσει ο Κύριος άφεση των αμαρτιών τους.
Για ένα χρόνο δε λένε κουβέντα.
Στο τέλος της χρονιάς λέει ο πρώτους τους, «καλά περνάμε.»
Περνάει έτσι κι ο δεύτερος χρόνος.
«Καλά λες,» λέει κι ο δεύτερος.
Περνάει κι ο τρίτος χρόνος.
«Μα το πουκάμισο που φορώ!» λέει ο τρίτος. «Αν δεν πάψετε οι δυο σας, σας παρατώ εδώ στην ερημιά!»


  • That was quick and so much better! I particularly like your approach to the dialogue part, such as “καλά περνάμε”.

    What I would change or at least I’m not particularly fond of:

    I prefer μοναχός to καλόγερος, as the word is more suggestive of someone that lives “alone”. Ασκητής is more accurate but perhaps too specific.
    “αναχωρούν από τον κόσμο” is ΟΚ, but the stereotypical phrase is “εγκαταλείπουν τα εγκόσμια¨.
    “Μα το πουκάμισο που φορώ”: really? Not a ράσο? Plus I’ve never heard a (modern) Greek swear on their shirts, but priests do reference their outfit.

    • A καλόγερος of course is a coenobite, not an anchorite, so you’re right. (In fact the Klingon I used was “monastery guy”, which would mean “coenobite” as well.) You’re right it’s the wrong word to use; it is also the colloquial word though. 🙂

      Of course it’s a ράσο; that’s an embarrassing flub of mine. (For non-Greek speakers: that’s the word for a priest’s cassock, and it would be used exclusively for clergy. I saw “smock” in the English rendering of the Old Irish, and didn’t even think that was what was meant.)

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