Speaking A Little Greek

Greek, having a different alphabet, is not an easy language to read, or even speak, as some letters are pronounced differently. Fortunately English is widely spoken in Cyprus, and road signs are bilingual. Making the effort to try a few Greek words or simple phrases, however, will be appreciated.

Syllables in capitals should be stressed - in written Greek this is denoted with an accent. To listen to beginners' spoken Greek, click the individual pronunciation links or the complete sound file link at the bottom of this page.

English | Pronunciation | Transliteration | Greek

 

GREETINGS

Hello / Goodbye | YIA-soo (informal) / YIA-sas (polite) | Geiá sou / Geiá sas | Γειά σου / Γειά σας

Hi / Goodbye | YIA / An-DEE-o | Geiá / Antío | Γειά / Αντίο

Good morning | Kali-MEH-ra | Kaliméra | Καλημέρα

Good afternoon / evening | Kali-SPEH-ra | Kalispéra | Καλησπέρα

Good night | Kali-NIK-ta | Kalinýchta | Καληνύχτα

 

KEY WORDS

No | Ohi | Óchi | Όχι    Sounds a bit like 'OK', but means the opposite.

Yes | Neh | Naí | Ναί    Confusingly sounds more like an English 'no', rather than 'yes'.

Please / You're welcome / Pardon? | Para-ka-LO | Parakaló | Παρακαλώ

Thank you | Efha-ri-STO | Efcharistó | Ευχαριστώ

Sorry / Excuse me | Sig-NO-mi | Sygnómi | Συγνώμη

OKEn-DA-ksi sometimes shortened to DAX | Entáxei | Εντάξει

Euros | Ev-RO | Evró | Eυρώ

 

PHRASES

My name is ... | May LAY-nay ... | Me léne ... | Mε λένε ...

What is your name? | Pos say LAY-nay? | Pos se léne | Πως σε λένε

How are you? | Ti KAH-nis | Ti káneis | Τι κάνεις

I am well, thank you | I-may ka-LA, efha-ri-STO | Eímai kalá efcharistó | Είμαι καλά ευχαριστώ

Nice to meet you | HAIR-o po-LEE | Chaíro polý | Χαίρω πολύ

I don't understand | Then kata-la-VE-no | Den katalavaíno | Δεν καταλαβαίνω

Do you speak English? | Mi-LAS Angli-KA? | Milás Angliká | Μιλάς Aγγλικά

Sorry, I don't speak Greek | Sig-NO-mi, then mi-LO Elini-KA | Sygnómi, den miloún Elliniká | Συγνώμη, δεν μιλούν Eλληνικά

Where is ... the toilet? | Poo EE-nay ... ee twa-LAY-ta? | Pou eínai ... i toualéta? | Που είναι ... η τουαλέτα?

I would like ... a coffee | Tha EE-thela ... EH-nan ka-FAY | Tha íthela ... énan kafé | Θα ήθελα ...έναν καφέ

How much does it cost? | POS-o kos-TEE-zi? | Póso kostízei? | Πόσο κοστίζει?

 

ORDERING DRINKS

I want a bottle of water | THAY-lo EH-na bou-KA-li nay-RO | Thélo éna boukáli neró | Θέλω ένα μπουκάλι νερό

A beer, please | Mia BEE-ra, para-ka-LO | Mia býra, parakaló | Μια μπύρα, παρακαλώ

A Greek coffee, please | EH-na Elini-KO ka-FAY, para-ka-LO | Éna ellinikó kafé, parakaló | Ένα ελληνικό καφέ, παρακαλώ

A coffee with milk | EH-nas ka-FAYS may GA-la | Énas kafés me gála | Ένας καφές με γάλα

No sugar | SKAY-to | Skéto | Σκέτο || A little sugar | MAY-trio | Métrio | Μέτριο || Sweet | Glee-KO |Glykó | Γλυκό

Here you are | OREE-stay | Oríste | Ορίστε

 

NUMBERS 1-10

Οne | EN-a | Éna | Éνα

Two | THEE-o | Dýo | Δύο

Three | TREE-a | Tría | Τρία

Four | TESS-ai-ruh | Téssera | Τέσσερα

Five | PEN-day | Pénte | Πέντε

Six | EK-si | Éxi | Έξι

Seven | Ep-TA | Eptá | Επτά

Eight | Ok-TO | Októ | Οκτώ

Nine | En-AY-a | Ennéa | Εννέα

Ten | THAY-ka | Déka | Δέκα

 

CLICK AND LISTEN

Spoken Greek from the BBC's Key Phrases web page.

 

 

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