Love Of Honour - The Greek Word That Can't Be Translated

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 19 June 2017
Love Of Honour - The Greek Word That Can't Be Translated
It’s one of those words that comes with too much emotion and can’t be translated into any other language. It refers to a lifestyle, a person’s values, morals, and so much more. Even Greeks can’t agree on the meaning! Here, BBC travels to Greece and shares what they learned about the Greek word ‘Philotimo.’

‘In his second summer in the lonesome Greek village of Tolo on the east coast of the Peloponnese, German senior civil servant and writer Andreas Deffner committed a cultural blunder that led him to the celebrated concept of Greek philotimo.’

‘The exact meaning of philotimo is hotly debated, given that the word belongs to the pantheon of Greek lexical items that defy easy explanation. ‘Love of honour’, its official translation, is a utilitarian yet insufficient attempt to convey the constellation of virtues squeezed into the word’s four syllables. When I asked various Greeks about their own perception of philotimo, I received very different responses.’

To read this article in full, please visit: BBC Travel