The Most Useful Greek Phrases You Need To Know Before Visiting Greece
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE GREEK LANGUAGE
At the top of the priority list are all the essential things we need to organize as travellers. Secure accommodation, research areas and attractions, decide on what the itinerary will look like and of course one of the most dreaded but fun parts, pack the clothes.
Related: Why We Don’t Post Our Itineraries
While 99% of all travellers will need to go through the steps above, only a few will add this extra level of preparation to their list:
Every year, record numbers of tourists travel from all around the world to witness the beauty of Greece. You may be one of them!
Now, nobody will be surprised by the fact that most of the interactions between visitors and locals are done in English. But wouldn’t it be great if, even though most Greeks have a basic understanding of the English language, you were able to exchange some messages in the local language?
FIRST THE BASICS
Before we begin with the Greek phrases that are most useful when visiting Greece, we need to get the basics out the way so you are able to pronounce them.
Since the Greek language uses the Greek alphabet (duh!), a lot of the words will look quite strange.
There are a few basic rules to remember in order to be able to pronounce things easier in the tables below.
Γ – G – Gamma
– the third letter of the alphabet can be a tricky one. Do not be tempted to pronounce it like the harsh “g” sound unless:
– Γ + Κ = G
– Γ + Γ = G
– Γ in most other instances is pronounced like the first sound in why!
I – H – Y
– Here we have iota, eta and epsilon
– They are mostly all pronounced as the EE sound in machine.
E – Epsilon
– This is NOT an EE sound, unless it is followed by an “i”, but lets not go there.
– When you see EPSILON – assume it is pronounced like the “e” in PET.
The Greek language uses accent symbols. If we were to go back to Ancient Greece we would see a polytonic system with multiple symbols. Thankfully, nowadays, there tends to be only one accent symbol per word.
*In the table below accent is shown by capitalization.
THE BASIC GREEK PHRASES YOU WILL USE EVERYDAY
This is a list of English/Greek translations that will become useful during everyday interactions. From walking the street, to showing good manners, you can’t get wrong with please and thank you and every single person will appreciate it.
Hi, there! I am Rania and I am primarily responsible for the keystrokes behind the articles and blogposts on here. Everything you wanted to know about Greece and all the tools to help you plan your holiday! I am a daughter, a student, a lover of stories and a traveller. More of my writings can be found at Bachelor of Travel.