Source: Image by Mouratidis, M. K. 2016. What time has not erased... Toronto: Greek Community of Toronto, p. 551.
'What on earth are they talking about?' Attitudes to language mixing
The Greek-English mixture among the first-generation immigrants in Canada is
characterized as unfamiliar and hard to understand. A typical hellenicised
English phrase is: "Tonight there are belowzeria" (tonight the temperature is
RES.: Do you ever use English words?
AN.: Very rarely, too rarely. When I came, I remember
my mother-in-law talking helter-skelter, that is, Greek with many English
words. That was something I did not like from the beginning. In other words, I
don’t like the language being mixed up. It is the worst thing: speaking Greek
and throwing around English words. You either speak one language or speak the
other. I never liked these hobbled things. So, I always try not to use English
words. Not only my mother-in-law but all the women of her generation spoke
Greek like that. They spoke Greek or English, I do not know. I ’ll say
something now that the old Greek women used to say: "Let's go [na crossarume]
the street, now that the light is green."
RES.: I understand, yes.
AN.: Or tonight, it has [belowzeria]. The temperature
is going down. We'll have [belowzeria] tonight. I was listening to them and
said: "What on earth are they saying?" That’s the way they had learned to
speak. It's not... it was not bad anyway, but… okay. Luckily things have