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For those of you who enjoy trying out some words of the country you are visiting, here are a few simple phrases to help you in the hotel and also out and about.

As most of you will not have Greek fonts on your computer, there is no point in putting proper greek words here and so I have used a simplified version of phonetics.

The pronunciation of some Greek letters do not quite correspond to common English sounds but for the purposes of this web page we use the nearest sound. ( I hope Greek speakers will forgive me.)

As in English it is important to try to get the correct emphasis and I have stressed this by underlining the syllable to be emphasised.

For example in English, "football" would be written "f u t t b o r l" using my phonetics.
(Try saying "f u t t b a l l" to see the difference, or "English rather than "English"


So let's have a go with the words many visitors to Greece already know:

Good morning! kallee maira  Said as one word making sure you emphasise the ai as in english "air".
Good evening! kallee spaira  Remember the emphasis !
Good night ! kallee nikta  
Hello ! yassass  You will often hear a variation "yassoo", used by close friends
Goodbye ! an-deeo  Also "yassass" is often used for "goodbye"
Please parra kallo  The "o" is always as in "pot" not as in "hope"
Thank you ef-harris-to  Dont' forget the emphasis is on the final "o" syllable ( as in "pot")
How are you? Tee kann-ette  If you know the person well use, Tee kann-eess
How are you? poss ees-tai  
Very well!
(thank you)
pollee kall-a

Slightly confusing to English speakers are the Greek "Yes" and "No" which are opposite to what many would expect.
Yes Ne As in "egg"
No Okhee The kh is pronounced similar to the Scottish ch in "Loch", deep in the throat.

For those wishing to enlarge their knowledge there are some useful cassette tapes available in UK bookshops, usually together with a Phrase Book. Just play them regularly at home or in the car to quickly pick up the correct pronunciation.

For further study there are also at least 2 web sites offering Greek Lessons with audio.  This web page gives useful information on setting up your computer Windows software to read (and write) Greek. There are also 10 quite lengthy lessons with audio and plenty of Grammar notes and exercises. Personally I found the Greek audio rather poorly presented compared with the next web site.  offers about 100 lessons of 15 mins duration plus vocabulary notes etc. ( you will need to have your computer set up as mentioned above to read the notes etc). These lessons are very easy to listen to and quite repetitive to ensure the student has every opportunity to master the particular topic. You have to register (free) with a user name and password. This site includes a message board where students can discuss the course and problems.
If the internet is busy the download of the audio can sometimes get broken up with pauses.

TIP: If your computer sound card can record such Internet audio then do it. Alternatively try connecting a cassette recorder to your Sound Card and recording the lessons onto cassettes.


Agios Georgios



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