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Basic Greek Words and Phrases

How to speak Greek language on your holiday? Below, you’ll find phrases written first in Greek and the phonetic pronunciation following in parentheses, with emphasis placed on the syllables in capital letters. Use Google Translate to play an audio of how these phrases are pronounced.

Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

The less formal way to say “Hi” would just be “Γεια” (Yah). If addressing a group, say “YAH-sas”. Generally use “YAHSAS or YAhSU“.

Nice to meet you: Χάρηκα πολύ (HA-ree-ka po-LEE)

How are you?: Tι κανείς (tee-KAH-nis)?

Good morning: Καλημέρα (kah-lee-MER-ah)

Good afternoon/evening: Καλησπέρα (kah-lee-SPER-ah)

Goodnight: Καληνύχτα (kah-lee-NEEKH-tah)

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-ha-ris-TO)

Please / You’re welcome: Παρακαλώ (para-ka-LO)

In Greek, the word for “please” and “you’re welcome” is the same, making it all the more easy to learn. It’s polite to say “para-kah-LOE” after asking for directions or the price of something. It can even be used to mean “I beg your pardon?” or “Huh?” when you’ve misunderstood or want someone to repeat something.

My name is… : Με λένε (may LEH-neh)…

What is your name? πως σε λένε? (pos-oh LEH-neh)

Goodbye: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

The more informal way of saying bye would just be “Yah.” Recall that this is the same as saying hello (similar to “ciao” in Italian or “aloha” in Hawaiian). If addressing a group, say “YAH-sas.”

See/Talk to you later: Τα λέμε (tah-LEH-meh)

Yes: Ναί (neh) ; No: όχι (OH-hee)

Be careful not to confuse yes and no — it’s easy to mistakenly associate “neh” with “no” in English, and “oh-hee” with “okay” when in fact it’s just the opposite! An easy neumonic is to remember that they’re actually the inverse of what you would initially think.

Excuse me / Sorry: Συγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee)

Say this to get someone’s attention, ask to pass by someone, or apologize if you’ve bumped into someone.

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