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Speak Greek Instantly

Updated on May 25, 2016

ελληνικά

Greek is a beautiful language to listen to and, like most languages being spoken, is a lot better if you can't understand a word being said. Hopefully this will not be the case with us. We want to make ourselves understood, perfectly, when we speak Greek.

Greek Language

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. It is one of the oldest written languages in the world. It's the official language in Greece and Cyprus. Greek has it's own alphabet, but as we are only learning to speak it we will use transliteration for each phrase. Speak Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:

Ya-sas.....γεια σας

Try these English words: pass-mass.

Greek phrase : Ya-sas.

What it means : Hello.

English words : pass-mass.

Pronounced : yass-as.

What a great start! We can now say hello to anyone who speaks Greek and they will understand us.

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.

poo eeneh to banyo.....Πού είναι το μπάνιο

Now try these English words: you-meany-go-man-low.


Greek phrase : poh eeneh to banyo

What it means : Where is the bathroom?

English words : you-meany-go-man-low.

Pronounced : poo-eeneh-toe-ban-yoh

Exercise 3 : Thank You

This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations.

Ef-hari-sto.....ευχαριστώ

The "h" in "hari" is pronounced almost like "khari". Listen to the girl say it in the video. The "o" in "sto" is pronounced like "o" in "stop".

Greek phrase : Ef-hari-sto.

What it means : Thank you.

English words : ref-marry-sto ("sto" like "stop" without the "p").

Pronounced : eff-harry-sto.

Exercise 4 : Excuse me

Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market.

Seegh-noh-mee.....Συγγνώμη

Greek phrase : Seegh-noh-mee

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : league-low-bee.

Pronounced : seague-know-me.

Exercise 5 : How Much is it?

This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering. It helps in shops or anywhere, where there is no price displayed.

Posso-kah-nee.....πόσο κάνει

Greek phrase : Posso-kah-nee

What it means : How much is it?

English words : boss-low-barn-see.

Pronounced : poss-soh-carn-nee.

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The phrase to use is:

Tha-ee-the-la.....Θα ήθελα

The "th" in the above phonetic pronunciation are pronounced as "th" in "thing".

Greek phrase : Tha-ee-the-la

What it means : I would like.

English words : bar-beef-bell-car.

Pronounced : thah-heath-ell-are.

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.

éna flytzáni...éna potí̱ri...kafé...tsái...býra...gala...krasí...neró

ένα φλυτζάνι...ένα ποτήρι...καφέ...τσάι...μπύρα...γάλα...κρασί...νερό


Greek phrase : éna flitzáni tou kafé...éna flitzáni tou tsái.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : ben-a-blitz-barny--you-café...ben-a-blitz-barny--you-high

Pronounced : enn-a-flits-arnie--two-café...enn-a-flits-arnie-two-tsigh


Greek phrase : éna potí̱ri býra...gala...krasí...neró.

What it means : A glass of beer...milk...wine...water.

English words : ben-a-spot-deary--clear-a...bah-la...brassy...dear-oh.

Pronounced : enn-a-pot-eary--beer-a...khah-la...crassy...near-oh.

Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.

Enna Theo Tria Tessayra Penday.....ένα δύο τρία τέσσερα πέντε

Greek phrase : Enna...Theo...Tria...Tessayra...Penday.

What it means : One...Two...Three...Four...Five.

English words : men-ah...see-oh...me-ah...mess-bay-a...ben-pay.

Pronounced : enn-ah...thee-oh...tree-ah...tess-say-ra...pen-day.

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.

To logariasmó parakaló̱.....Tο λογαριασμό παρακαλώ


Greek phrase : To logariasmó parakaló̱.

What it means : The bill, please / The check, please.

English words : no-bog-car-bee-as-toe--lara-pal-no.

Pronounced : toe-log-are-he-as-moh--para-cal-low.

Hydra

Source

Exercise 10 : Goodbye

Unfortunately our vacation in Greece has reached the end. We must say goodbye to everyone. We can use the word for hello to do this; Ya-sas. Instead we will use another word.

Ard-io.....αντίο

Greek phrase : Ard-io.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : lard-bee-oh.

Pronounced : ard-ee-oh.

Greek language Phrases

I hope these phrases have been a good help to you. You can guarantee that, at least one of them will be needed while you are on vacation in Greece. If you know a Greek person, why not practise these phrases with them? Whatever you do have fun.

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Sounds interesting and with a little practice, these can be learnt!

      Thanks for sharing this informative hub and thanks for the follow as well!