Knowing the meaning of a few key words can help you decide really quickly if a song is worth translating, or even dancing to, to begin with. It helps to be able to recognize a few key words. It also doesn’t hurt to be able to throw them into a conversation! To that end, I have compiled a list of 10 Greek words that every Belly dancer should know (with the Greek, phonetics and meaning)
- Oπα-Oh-Pah- an exclamation of joy, usually used when watching a dancer
- Αγάπη- ah-ga-pee- love. This can also be followed by μου- mou, which turns it into my love.
- Καρδιά- car-diAH- heart. This can also be followed by μου- mou, which turns it into my heart.
- Κούκλα- kOO-klah- doll, girl doll specifically, the word has a masculine form.
- ΩΡΑΙΑ- o-rAYia- nice, pretty
- Ευχαριστώ- ef-ha-ri-stO- thank you, always a good one to know!
- Κέφι- Kefi- heart of a dancer, usually used when a dancer is really feeling the music
- Μουσική- moo-si-KI- music
- Χορός- Horos- dance as a noun, as in the dance.
- Τσιφτετέλι- TSIFTETELI- the Greek word for bellydance, not to be confused with Chifteteli. Chifteteli and Tsifteteli are used interchangeably, but typically when you say Tsifteteli to a Greek person, they will think you are talking about bellydance style music.
- Μπουζούκι-BOUZOUKI- The Greek mandolin/lute- like stringed instrument used in most tsifteteli songs. They are also usually played super-fast so watch out if you see one of these in the band!
Ok, so maybe it’s more than ten but they are all important to know! Are there any more that you think should be added to the list? Feel free to comment and Amartia can let you know what it means! Is there a Greek song that you have fallen in love with and want to dance to? Use Bellydance by Amartia’s comprehensive list of Greek words every belly dancer should know and then decide if you want to go further and use her Greek to English translation services.