Spelling and Pronunciation in Milos: A Survival Guide - Part I
It is neither uncommon, nor incorrect to spell the name of the island as Melos, especially when referring to the island in the ancient times. In antiquity, the spelling was once Malos. However, in modern web usage, the most appropriate spelling form in latin characters is Milos. The inhabitants are called Milians or Melians. In any case, the names are always pronounced as MEE-los and MEE-lians respectively.
BTW, VT inexplicably maintains two listings for Milos, one as Milos island and another one as Milos, and thus far has ignored my request to consolidate the two.
UPDATE: VT emailed me that duplicate destinations will be consolidated in the future, but no timeframe was specified.
Truncation: When is it legitimate and when is it not?
Some locales feature alternative spellings. A prime example is Achivadolimni (= Mussel lake) which is also commonly referred to by the locals as Hivadolimni (the leading A is truncated). The big exception to this is the common blunder of Apollonia which is always the wrong way to spell Pollonia! The only definitively correct way to spell the fishing village on the NE tip of Milos is Pollonia.
(Continued on Part II)
We went to eat on Paliochori beach in the "Sirocco taverna" which shows a proud sign where there's written: "Volcano cooked meals". It is not true!!! And the food is not good. We took an appetizer that should have been (as written on the list) pyta bread with seafruits and... it was bread with frozen seafruits, lettuce and cocktail sauce!!! Typical greek!! Then we ordered two dishes that should have been cooked in the hole under the sand and they gave us some unrecognizable vegetables (which seemed to me some plants taken in the country and boiled... they were so bitter and I have never seen or tasted anything like that!!!) and a swordfish so dry, but so dry, that more than with volcano heat it seemed to me just re-heated in a.... microwave!! What about the bill?? Prices higher of course because the food was.. volcano-cooked!! I say that using natural energy as volcanic heat you should pay less (logical, isn't it?) but maybe I'm wrong....
Unique Suggestions: If you go to Paleochori.... just don't eat there! Take your car, go back to Adamas and buy a pyttagiro there!!!!!!!!!
Fun Alternatives: Eat somewhere else in Adamas or Pollonas there are very good tavernas!! And they are not s far!
Spelling & Pronunciation in Milos: A Survival Guide - Part III
d vs. th
Once you arrive in Milos, you'll find that the d in the largest village and main port of the island, Adamas, is not pronounced by the locals as the d in Adams, but more like a th in then/there/therefore. They tried spelling it Athamas once, but realized the foreigners would pronounce it as the th in Athens, so they scratched that idea and went back to Adamas. Actually, lots of Ds in Greek names are supposed to be pronounced as Ths. :)
Incidentally, Adamas is also correctly called/spelled Adamantas or Adamandas. There are no more alternative spellings for my native village of Adamas, however. My birthplace is NOT Addamas, Adhamas, Amadas, Amadeus, or anything remotely similar to the aforementioned arbitrary misspellings.
Non-silent p in ps
It may sound funny to anglophones, but both letters of the combination ps contained in Greek words are pronounced, unlike in English, where the leading P is silent, as in Psychology. Therefore, you are supposed to pronounce both the P and the s in Psathadika and Psaravolada, even though people won't get offended if you fail to do so. They may simply laugh sympathetically at you. :)
b vs. mb
There is no b character in Greek, (it is rendered as mp, mb or b) and therefore Embourios, Empourios or Ebourios all sound the same to the Greeks.
d vs. nd
There is no d character in Greek, (it is rendered as nt, nd or d) and therefore Mandrakia, Mantrakia or Madrakia all sound the same to the Greeks.
ou vs. u
Likewise, there is literally no distinction in pronunciation between ou and u. They both sound as the double oo in Google. Therefore, Embourios is the same as Emburios.
Milos and Milos island
Do not be confused by the fact there seem to be two different destinations, Milos and Milos island. The funny thing is, there seems to be a 7.56 km / 4.70 miles distance between the two, as depicted in the screen shot to the right.
Rest assured Milos and Milos island is one and the same, in spite of being represented on VT in two separate Travel pages.
Unique Suggestions: You may visit either one of my travel pages, Milos and Milos island. Even though the introductory page is largely the same, the tips, travelogues and photos are different.
Spelling & Pronunciation in Milos: A Survival Guide - Part II
Sometimes there is no real alternative spelling, but a different way for Greeks and non-Greeks alike to pronounce a given destination. Usually, the pairs of letters below are pronounced the same.
y vs. i
Fyropotamos, Zefyria and Mytakas are the same (and pronounced the same) as Firopotamos, Zefiria and Mitakas, respectively.
ph vs. f
Phylakopi and Phyriplaka are the same as Fylakopi and Fyriplaka, respectively, much like Sophia and Sofia.
c vs. k
Also, Papafrancas, Papafrankas, Papafrangas and Papafragas all sound the same (to the Greeks, at least) and all refer to the same location on the north coast of Milos. Likewise, the hill adjacent to Plaka with the spectacular view can be seen as both Castro and Kastro, much like Cyclades is often spelled as Kiklades.
ch vs. h
This is one of the most difficult sounds for non-native speakers of Greek to pronounce. Likewise, it is very hard for Greeks to decide how to render it in latin characters, so they take turns in spelling it with a ch or an h, as in Chora/Hora, Paliochori/Paliohori, Chalakas/Halakas or Chamos/Hamos. It sounds like a "heavy" h, much like the j in the Spanish La Jolla. It is not as lame as the h in hair, but definitely not as harsh as a k. However, in Achivadolimni/Hivadolimni, this ch or h sounds more like the ji in fajitas.
g vs. gh
Another verbal challenge to our foreign visitors. A common name in Greek that contains it is Agios or Agia (= Saint, Santa) also found spelled as Aghios or Aghia, or abbreviated as Ag. (= St. ) It has nothing to do with the g in most English words. Forget Gerald or Gregory. This sound is very similar to the double ll in La Jolla.
(Continued on Part III)