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200 Basic Greek Words for Beginners

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It’s finally here: The ultimate list of basic Greek words for beginners!

Whether you’ve been thinking about learning Greek or you need to freshen up your vocabulary, this list is the perfect guide to the most frequently used Greek words. 

In fact, even if you haven’t studied the language before, you have the opportunity to learn and memorize your first 200 Greek words today!

Pronouns, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and even conjunctions—all the essentials in one place. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Numbers
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

1. Pronouns

The first set of words you should add to your beginner Greek vocabulary base are pronouns. These are the words we use to refer to a person, place, thing, or idea without using its name:

  • The button fell off. = It fell off. 

They help reduce redundancy within a sentence or paragraph, and they allow conversations to flow more smoothly. 

Here, we’ll cover three types of pronouns in Greek: personal, demonstrative, and interrogative. If you’d like to learn about this topic in more detail, make sure to visit our dedicated article on Greek pronouns

Personal Pronouns

One Owl Pointing at Two Other Owls

Personal pronouns are one of the first things you should learn in any language. So, here are the ones you should know as a beginner in Greek: 

1. εγώ (egó) – “I”

2. εσύ (esí) – “you”

3. αυτός (aftós) – “he”

4. αυτή (aftí) – “she”

5. αυτό (aftó) – “it”

6. εμείς (emís) – “we”

7. εσείς (esís) – “you”

8. αυτοί (aftí) – “they” (masculine)

9. αυτές (aftés) – “they” (feminine)

10. αυτά (aftá) – “they” (neuter)

Demonstrative Pronouns

Pointing at something or someone is considered to be a slightly rude gesture in Greek culture. There’s a solution, though: just use a demonstrative pronoun

11. αυτός / αυτή / αυτό (aftós / aftí / aftó) – “this” [masculine / feminine / neuter]

12. αυτοί / αυτές / αυτά (aftí / aftés / aftá) – “these” [masculine / feminine / neuter]

13. εκείνος / εκείνη / εκείνο (ekínos / ekíni / ekíno) – “that” [masculine / feminine / neuter]

14. εκείνοι / εκείνες / εκείνα (ekíni / ekínes / ekína) – “those” [masculine / feminine / neuter]

Interrogative Pronouns

15. Τι; (Ti?) – “What?”

16. Ποιο; (Pio?) – “Which?” [neuter]

17. Ποιος; / Ποια; (Pios? / Pia?) – “Who?” [masculine / feminine]

2. Numbers

A Calculator

18. μηδέν (midén) – “zero”

19. ένα (éna) – “one”

20. δύο (dío) – “two”

21. τρία (tría) – “three”

22. τέσσερα (tésera) – “four”

23. πέντε (pénde) – “five”

24. έξι (éxi) – “six” 

25. επτά (eptá) – “seven”

26. οκτώ (októ) – “eight”

27. εννιά (eniá) – “nine”

28. δέκα (déka) – “ten”

⇾ I know what you’re thinking. Yes, these are just the basics. But you can learn how to count in Greek in more detail on our website! 

3. Nouns

Nouns are one of the most essential parts of speech. When used with verbs, they form a complete sentence—in a pinch, you can even use them by themselves to get an urgent point across! To give you a headstart, here are some Greek beginner words you can use to identify the people, places, and objects around you. 

⇾ Make sure to read our article on the top 100 Greek nouns to pick up even more useful vocabulary. 

Time

A Woman Pointing at a Clock

29. η ημέρα (i iméra) – “day”

30. ο μήνας (o mínas) – “month”

31. το έτος (to étos) – “year” [formal]

32. η χρονιά (i hroniá) – “year” [informal]

33. η ημερομηνία (i imerominía) – “date”

34. η εβδομάδα (i evdomáda) – “week”

35. το σήμερα (to símera) – “today”

36. το αύριο (to ávrio) – “tomorrow”

37. το χθες (to hthes) – “yesterday”

38. η Δευτέρα (i Deftéra) – “Monday”

39. η Τρίτη (i Tríti) – “Tuesday”

40. η Τετάρτη (i Tetárti) – “Wednesday”

41. η Πέμπτη (i Pémpti) – “Thursday”

42. η Παρασκευή (i Paraskeví) – “Friday”

43. το Σάββατο (to Sávato) – “Saturday”

44. η Κυριακή (i Kiriakí) – “Sunday”

45. η ώρα (óra)“hour”

46. το λεπτό / τα λεπτά (to leptó / ta leptá) – “minute” / “minutes”

47. το δευτερόλεπτο / τα δευτερόλεπτα (to defterólepto / ta defterólepta) – “second” / “seconds”

48. το πρωί (to proí) – “morning”

49. το μεσημέρι (to mesiméri) – “afternoon” / “midday”

50. το απόγευμα (to apógevma) – “evening”

51. το βράδυ (to vrádi) – “night”

⇾ Reading and writing dates in Greek is easy. In our article on dates and days of the week, you’ll learn everything you need to know.

People

A Family of Four at the Supermarket

52. η οικογένεια i ikoyénia) – “family”

53. οι γονείς (i gonís) – “parents”

54. η μητέρα / μαμά (i mitéra / mamá) – “mother” / “mom”

55. ο πατέρας / μπαμπάς (o patéras / babás) – “father” / “dad”

56. η αδερφή (i aderfí) – “sister”

57. ο αδερφός (o aderfós) – “brother”

58. η γιαγιά (i yayá) – “grandmother”

59. ο παππούς (o papús) – “grandfather”

60. το παιδί / τα παιδιά (to pedí / ta pediá) – “child” / “children”

61. η κόρη (i kóri) – “daughter”

62. ο γιος (o yos) – “son”

⇾ Do you need a word about family relations that’s not listed above? Well, how about reading our dedicated Greek family terms article?

A Group of Different Professionals

63. ο / η δικηγόρος (o / i dikigóros) – “lawyer”

64. ο / η γιατρός (o / i yatrós) – “doctor”

65. ο νοσοκόμος / η νοσοκόμα (o nosokómos / i nosokóma) – “nurse” [masculine / feminine]

66. ο / η αστυνομικός (o / i astinomikós) – “police officer”

67. ο / η υπάλληλος (o / i ipálilos) – “employee”

68. ο δάσκαλος / η δασκάλα (o dáskalos / i daskála) – “teacher” [masculine / feminine]

69. πωλητής (politís) – “salesperson”

70. φαρμακοποιός (farmakopiós) – “pharmacist”

71. o κύριος (o kírios) – “Mr.”

72. η κυρία (i kiría) – “Ms.”

Around Town

A Woman Searching for Points of Interest on a City Map

73. ο δρόμος (o drómos) – “road”

74. το σπίτι (to spíti) – “house”

75. το αεροδρόμιο (to aerodrómio) – “airport”

76. το κέντρο της πόλης (to kéndro tis pólis) – “the center of the city”

77. το πάρκο (to párko) – “park”

78. το ξενοδοχείο (to xenodohío) – “hotel”

79. το νοσοκομείο (to nosokomío) – “hospital”

80. η τράπεζα (i trápeza) – “bank”

81. το σχολείο (to sholío) – “school”

82. το σούπερ μάρκετ (to súper márket) – “supermarket”

School & Office Essentials

83. το βιβλίο (to vivlío) – “book”

84. το τετράδιο (to tetrádio) – “notebook”

85. το μολύβι (to molívi) – “pencil”

86. το στυλό (to stiló) – “pen”

87. ο ηλεκτρονικός υπολογιστής (o ilektronikós ipoloyistís) – “computer”

88. ο φορητός υπολογιστής (o foritós ipoloyistís) – “laptop”

89. το κινητό τηλέφωνο / το κινητό (to kinitó tiléfono / to kinitó) – “cellphone”

Body Parts

A Man’s and a Woman’s Body

90. το σώμα (to sóma) – “body”

91. το κεφάλι (to kefáli) – “head”

92. ο ώμος / οι ώμοι (o ómos / i ómi) – “shoulder” / “shoulders”

93. το χέρι / τα χέρια (to héri / héria) – “hand” / “hands”

94. το πόδι / τα πόδια (to pódi / ta pódia) – “leg” / “legs”

95. το πρόσωπο (to prósopo) – “face”

96. το στήθος (to stíthos) – “chest”

97. το μάτι / τα μάτια (to máti / ta mátia) – “eye” / “eyes”

98. το αυτί / τα αυτιά (to aftí / ta aftiá) – “ear” / “ears”

99. η μύτη (i míti) – “nose”

100. το στόμα (to stóma) – “mouth”

Food

Greek Souvlaki Plate

101. το πιρούνι (to pirúni) – “fork”

102. το μαχαίρι (to mahéri) – “knife”

103. το κουτάλι (to kutáli) – “spoon”

104. το πιάτο (to piáto) – “plate”

105. το ποτήρι (to potíri) – “glass”

106. το νερό (to neró) – “water”

107. το κρασί (to krasí) – “wine”

108. το τσάι (to tsái) – “tea”

109. η μπύρα (i bíra) – “beer”

110. το λαχανικό / τα λαχανικά (to lahanikó / ta lahaniká) – “vegetable” / “vegetables”

111. η ντομάτα (i domáta) – “tomato”

112. η πατάτα (i patáta) – “potato”

113. το κοτόπουλο (to kotópulo) – “chicken”

114. το χοιρινό (to hirinó) – “pork”

115. το μοσχάρι (to moshári) – “beef”

116. το φρούτο / τα φρούτα (to frúto / ta frúta) – “fruit” [singular / plural]

117. το αυγό (to avgó) – “egg”

118. το γάλα (to gála) – “milk”

⇾ Are you hungry? Then think twice before reading our article on Greek food. Proceed at your own risk, because you’ll certainly start craving some of the dishes!

4. Verbs

Verbs are the words we use to identify an action or state of being. When used with nouns, they form a complete sentence. If you’re ready to start building your own sentences, these essential verbs in Greek for beginners are a great place to start.

A Man Studying at a Library

119. πηγαίνω (piyéno) – “to go”

120. παίρνω (pérno) – “to get” / “to take”

121. δίνω (díno) – “to give”

122. φτιάχνω (ftiáhno) – “to make”

123.κάνω (káno) – “to do”

124. δουλεύω (dulévo) – “to work”

125. βάζω (vázo) – “to put”

126. δοκιμάζω (dokimázo) – “to try”

127. λέω (léo) – “to tell”

128. μιλάω / μιλώ (miláo / miló) – “to talk”

129. ρωτάω / ρωτώ (rotáo / rotó) – “to ask”

130. μετακινώ (metakinó) – “to move (something)”

131. σκέφτομαι (skéftome) “to think”

132. αισθάνομαι (esthánome) – “to feel”

133. ξέρω (xéro) – “to know”

134. θέλω (thélo) – “to want”

135. πιστεύω (pistévo) – “to believe”

136. καταλαβαίνω (katalavéno) – “to understand”

137. αγαπάω / αγαπώ (agapáo / agapó) – “to love”

138. θυμάμαι (thimáme) – “to remember”

139. είμαι (íme) – “to be”

140. έχω (ého) – “to have”

141. παίζω (pézo) – “to play”

142. πεινάω / πεινώ (pináo / pinó) – “to be hungry”

143. βλέπω (vlépo) – “to see”

144. διαβάζω (diavázo) – “to read”

145. μαθαίνω (mathéno) – “to learn”

146. περπατάω / περπατώ (perpatáo / perpató) – “to walk”

147. τρέχω (trého) – “to run”

148. φεύγω (févgo) – “to leave”

149. γράφω (gráfo) – “to write”

150. απαντάω / απαντώ (apandáo / apandó) – “to answer”

151. μετράω / μετρώ (metráo / metró) – “to count”

5. Adjectives

Becoming familiar with basic Greek adjectives will help you add spice to your conversations and flair to your writing. Below, you’ll find the most commonly used adjectives in a variety of categories. 

Describing Objects

152. μεγάλος (megálos) – “big”

153. μικρός (mikrós) – “small”

154. φαρδύς (fardís) – “wide”

155. στενός (stenós) – “narrow”

Describing Colors

Powders of Different Colors

156. κόκκινο (kókino) – “red”

157. μπλε (ble) – “blue”

158. πράσινο (prásino) – “green”

159. κίτρινο (kítrino) – “yellow”

160. καφέ (kafé) – “brown”

161. μαύρο (mávro) – “black”

162. άσπρο (áspro) – “white”

163. πορτοκαλί (portokalí) – “orange”

164. ροζ (roz) – “pink”

165. γκρι (gkri) – “gray”

166. μωβ (mov) – “purple”

167. ασημί (asimí) – “silver”

168. χρυσό (hrisó) – “gold”

Describing People

169. όμορφος (ómorfos) – “handsome”

170. όμορφη (ómorfi) – “beautiful”

171. άσχημος (áshimos) – “ugly”

172. γοητευτικός (goiteftikós) – “charming”

173. χοντρός (hontrós) – “fat”

174. αδύνατος (adínatos) – “slim” / “thin”

175. ψηλός (psilós) – “tall”

176. κοντός (kondós) – “short”

177. δυνατός (dinatós) – “strong”

178. αδύναμος (adínamos) – “weak”

Describing the Weather

A Woman Checking the Weather on a Tablet

179. ηλιόλουστος (iliólustos) – “sunny”

180. βροχερός (vroherós) – “rainy”

181. συννεφιασμένος (sinefiazménos) – “cloudy”

182. ζεστός (zestós) – “warm”

183. κρύος (kríos) – “cold”

⇾ Of course, there are many more words and phrases you can use to describe the weather! Visit our weather article to find out more! 

Describing Emotions & Behavior

184. καλός (kalós) – “good”

185. ευγενικός (evyenikós) – “kind”

186. φιλικός (filikós) – “friendly”

187. χαρούμενος (harúmenos) – “happy”

188. αστείος (astíos) – “funny”

189. κακός (kakós) – “bad”

190. θυμωμένος (thimoménos) – “angry”

191. αγενής (ayenís) – “rude”

6. Conjunctions

και (ke) – “and”

αν / εάν (an / eán) – “if”

γιατί (yatí) – “because”

αλλά (alá) – “but”

όμως (ómos) – “however” / “nevertheless”

ώστε (óste) – “(so) that”

όταν (ótan) – “when”

πριν (prin) – “before”

ή (í) – “or”

⇾ You’ll better understand conjunctions once you see how they work in complete sentences. Therefore, don’t forget to check out our Greek conjunctions article. 

7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

In this article, we covered some of the most essential Greek words for the beginner level. If you’re a complete novice, this list might feel a bit too much for you, so just take it step by step. If you break it down to the basics, you can really master the Greek language!

All you need to clear things up is a bit of help from a Greek teacher. 

What if you could have access to educational material from real teachers?

GreekPod101.com offers you a free lifetime account granting you access to high-quality, practical knowledge about the Greek language. At GreekPod101.com, we aim to provide you with everything you need to know about Greek in a fun and interesting way. 

And if you need a bit more help, you can also upgrade to Premium PLUS and take advantage of our MyTeacher program. This service allows you to learn Greek with your own personal teacher, who will answer any questions you might have!

Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos, which are waiting for you to discover them!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how many of these words were new to you—were there any you already knew? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek

The Top 10 Greek Filler Words

What to say when you don’t know what to say

In everyday conversations, we often use short (and sometimes meaningless) words or sounds to fill small pauses in our speech. These are called filler words and they’re quite useful as they allow us to take a moment to think about what to say next.

This can be especially helpful in the context of speaking a foreign language, because we’ve all been there: Entering a conversation with a native speaker only to feel overwhelmed midway through. Using the appropriate fillers can buy you time and even help you feel more confident in these situations. 

As a Greek learner, it’s essential that you become familiar with the common Greek filler words so that you can better participate in conversations!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Why do we use filler words?
  2. The Top 10 Greek Filler Words
  3. Pros & Cons of Filler Words
  4. Conclusion

1. Why do we use filler words?

Well, one thing is for sure: Filler words usually don’t add any meaning to the sentence. So, why use them?

Greek filler words can be used to: 

  • Provide a few valuable seconds to think about what you’re going to say next
  • Give you the time to think about how you want to say something, especially when you’re under pressure or talking about sensitive matters
  • Hide your anxiety when speaking in public or when you’re not that comfortable with the language (perfect for beginners)
  • Show hesitation, confusion, confidence, or determination

2. The Top 10 Greek Filler Words

#1 Εεε…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Εεε…Eeeh“Err…”

This is probably the most common Greek filler word. It’s usually placed at the beginning of a sentence, and it’s used to gain a few valuable seconds to think about how to say something or what to decide. However, be careful about using it as it can indicate hesitation, indecision, or even guilt.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Γιατί δεν μου είπες ότι θα πάτε σινεμά;
– Εεε… το ξέχασα!
– Yatí den mu ípes óti tha páte sinemá?
– Eeeh… to xéhasa!
– “Why didn’t you tell me that you (plural) will go to the cinema?”
– “Err… I forgot!”

A Woman Who Seems Indecisive

#2 Λοιπόν

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
λοιπόν…Lipón…“So…” / “Well…”

This filler can be placed either at the beginning of a sentence or at the end. When it appears at the beginning, it aims to give the speaker some time to think. When it appears at the end, it’s used to motivate the other person to respond or to take part in an activity or action. 
Example 1: At the beginning of the sentence
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Λοιπόν… πού θα πάμε τελικά σήμερα;– Lipón… pu tha páme teliká símera?– “So… Where will we go today after all?”
Example 2: At the end of the sentence
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
-Λοιπόν; Τι έχεις να πεις για αυτό;– Lipón? Ti éhis na pis ya aftó?– “Well? What do you have to say about this?”

#3 Εντάξει…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Εντάξει…Endáxi…“Um…”

This Greek filler word is used to express uncertainty or mediocrity, and it’s placed at the beginning of a sentence.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Σου άρεσε αυτό το βιβλίο;- Εντάξει… καλό ήταν.– Su árese aftó to vivlío?– Endáxi… kaló ítan.– “Did you like this book?”- “Um…it was okay.”

#4 Οκ…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Οκ…Ókei…“Um…”

Similarly to “Εντάξει…,” this Greek filler is used to express uncertainty or mediocrity, and it’s placed at the beginning of a sentence.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Σου άρεσε η ταινία που είδαμε χθες;- Oκ… δεν εντυπωσιάστηκα.– Su árese i tenía pu ídame hthes?– Ókei…den endiposiástika.– “Did you like the movie we saw yesterday?”- “Um… I wasn’t impressed.”
A Couple at the Cinema, Feeling Bored

#5 Κοίτα…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Κοίτα…Kíta…“Look…”

This filler word expresses hesitation and it’s often used when the speaker is about to say something that makes them feel uncomfortable, especially when they’re being honest about something that might hurt the other person. It’s also used when one wants to avoid answering a question directly.
Example 1: Expressing hesitation
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Κοίτα… πρέπει να μιλήσουμε για αυτό που έγινε χθες.Κíta… prépi na milísume ya aftó pu éyine hthes.– “Look… We need to talk about what happened last night.”
Example 2: Avoiding a question
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Είσαι ερωτευμένη αυτήν την περίοδο;- Κοίτα… το μόνο που μπορώ να πω είναι ότι είμαι καλά.– Íse erotevméni aftín tin período?– Kíta… to móno pu boró na po íne óti íme kalá.– “Are you in love currently?”- “Look… The only thing I can say is that I am fine.”

#6 ξέρω ‘γω

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
ξέρω ‘γωXéro ‘go“Say”

This is a Greek slang term that literally means “I know,” though it has the opposite meaning and is used to convey uncertainty or indecision. 
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Τι άλλο μας λείπει να κανονίσουμε για το πάρτι;- Να ορίσουμε μια ώρα, στις πέντε ξέρω ‘γω, για να πάμε να πάρουμε την τούρτα.– Ti álo mas lípi na kanonísume ya to párti?– Νa orísume mia óra, stis pénde xéro ‘go, ya na páme na párume tin túrta.– “What else are we missing for the party?”- “Let’s set up a time, say at five, to go pick up the cake.”

#7 Δεν μου λες…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Δεν μου λες…Den mu les…“Hey…”

If you love gossip, then this is the filler word for you! It’s used at the beginning of a question, when the speaker is trying to extract information from someone. 
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Δεν μου λες… τι είπατε με τη Μαρία τελικά;– Den mu les… ti ípate me ti María teliká?– “Hey… What did you discuss with Maria in the end?”
Two Women Chatting and Drinking Coffee

#8 Όπως και να το κάνουμε…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Όπως και να το κάνουμε…Ópos ke na to kánume…N/A

This phrase literally means “However we do this…” though there isn’t an exact English equivalent. It shows certainty about something—a general truth.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Στεναχωρήθηκες που έφυγε ο Γιώργος;- Όπως και να το κάνουμε, ζούσαμε για πολλά χρόνια μαζί.– Stenahoríthikes pu éfiye o Yiórgos?– Ópos ke na to kánume, zúsame yia pollá hrónia mazí.– “Are you sad about George leaving?”- “Well, (however we do this), we were living together for many years.”
A Couple Breaking Up and Feeling Sad

#9 Βασικά…

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
Βασικά…Vasiká…N/A

Although this filler word can be translated as “basically,” its use is not quite the same in Greek. It’s rather meaningless and better resembles the English filler “well…”.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Στεναχωρήθηκες που έφυγε ο Γιώργος;- Βασικά… ποιος είναι ο Γιώργος;– Stenahoríthikes pu éfiye o Yórgos?– Vasiká… pios íne o Yórgos?– “Did you feel sad about George leaving?”- “Well (basically)… Who is George?”

#10 ας πούμε

GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
ας πούμεas púme“let’s say”

This Greek filler word is often used in the middle of sentences in order to demonstrate an example.
Example
GreekRomanizationEnglish equivalent
– Οι υψηλές θερμοκρασίες, ας πούμε, είναι από τα πλεονεκτήματα της Ελλάδας.– Ι ipsilés thermokrasíes, as púme, íne apó ta pleonektímata tis Eládas.– “High temperatures are, let’s say (for example), one of the advantages of Greece.”

3. Pros & Cons of Filler Words

Well, now that you’ve learned the most popular Greek filler words, should you use them regardless of the occasion? What should you be aware of?

Filler words do help, for sure: 

  • Adding filler words to your speech will make you sound more like a native.
  • You gain time to think about what to say next (ideal for beginners).
  • Most of them are simple to use and easy to pronounce.

However, there are two things you should take into account:

  • It’s best to avoid them in business and formal Greek, since some of them might sound inappropriate or even rude.
  • Excess use of filler words should be avoided, mainly because you may sound confused, indecisive, or boring—you might even annoy your listeners.

Looking for more phrases to make your Greek sound more natural? See our vocabulary list of the Essential Idioms That Will Make You Sound Like a Native Speaker!

4. Conclusion

The biggest advantage of using filler words is that they instantly make you sound more natural! What are your favorite fillers in Greek? And what are some common filler words in your native language? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in speaking Greek like a native?

Then check out these articles, as well: 

10 Unique and Untranslatable Greek Words

How to Say Hello in Greek: Do it Like a Local!

Compliments in Greek: The Ultimate Guide to Greek Compliments

Angry Expressions in Greek

At GreekPod101.com, we can help you learn the Greek language beyond the basics in an interesting, motivating, and fun way. Articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos are waiting for you to discover them! 
It’s easy, too! Create your free lifetime account today.

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Express Your Love in Greek: Flirting, Romance, and More

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Love has always been an integral part of Greek culture. As such, the sheer number of Greek words for love and their accompanying romantic phrases should come as no surprise! 

In ancient Greece, people worshipped Aphrodite—the goddess of beauty and love—as well as Eros, the god of love and lust. There were also the Erotes, a small group of winged gods that carried around their bows and shot at people to make them fall in love. 

Many years later, Christianity was spread throughout Greece, leading to a whole new perception of love. The religion taught about having love for each other, not necessarily in a romantic context. 

Nowadays, rumor has it that modern Greeks are among the most loving partners. They are often described as communicative, charming, and caring. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the magic world of love from a Greek point of view.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Words About Love
  2. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines & More
  3. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More
  4. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” & More
  5. Endearment Terms
  6. Must-know Love Quotes
  7. Conclusion

1. Words About Love

A Boy Holding a Heart-shaped Cushion

Let’s begin with the basics!

Here are some useful Greek love words and their meanings in English:

  • Greek: αγάπη (η)
  • Romanization: agápi (i)
  • Translation: “love” (fem. noun)
  • Greek: έρωτας (ο)
  • Romanization: érotas (o)
  • Translation: “eros” (masc. noun)
  • Greek: πάθος (το)
  • Romanization: páthos (to)
  • Translation: “passion” (neuter noun)
  • Greek: συναίσθημα (το)
  • Romanization: sinésthima (to)
  • Translation: “emotion” (neuter noun)
  • Greek: ενθουσιασμός (ο)
  • Romanization: enthusiazmós (o)
  • Translation: “excitement” (masc. noun)

We’re just warming up! Now, let’s take it one step at a time as we work through the following sections. 

2. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines & More

A Man Offering a Flower to a Woman

First things first, you can easily confess your affection in Greek by using one of these ready-to-use phrases:

  • Greek: Μου αρέσεις.
  • Romanization: Mu arésis.
  • Translation: “I like you.”
  • Greek: Θα ήθελα να σε γνωρίσω καλύτερα.
  • Romanization: Tha íthela na se gnoríso kalítera.
  • Translation: “I would like to get to know you better.”
  • Greek: Αισθάνομαι πολύ όμορφα, όταν είμαι μαζί σου.
  • Romanization: Esthánome polí ómorfa, ótan íme mazí su.
  • Translation: “I feel very nice when I am with you.”
  • Greek: Θα ήθελες να πάμε για έναν καφέ;
  • Romanization: Tha ítheles na páme yia énan kafé?
  • Translation: “Would you like to go for a coffee?”

Greeks are often talkative and are not afraid to express their feelings. Both men and women are used to  flirting, so the aforementioned phrases can be used by either a man or a woman. 


3. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More

A Young Couple being Happy and Holding Hands at the Beach

As you find yourself falling deeper and deeper in love, don’t worry—we’ve got your back!

If you’ve ever wondered how to say “I love you,” in Greek, here’s your answer:  

  • Greek: Σ’ αγαπώ.
  • Romanization: S’ agapó.
  • Translation: “I love you.”

Do you want to take it a step further? Then you can say:

  • Greek: Σε λατρεύω.
  • Romanization: Se latrévo.
  • Translation: “I adore you.”
  • Greek: Μου λείπεις.
  • Romanization: Mu lípis.
  • Translation: “I miss you.”
  • Greek: Δεν μπορώ να σταματήσω να σε σκέφτομαι.
  • Romanization: Den boró na stamatíso na se skéftome.
  • Translation: “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

And the ultimate confession: 

If you’re a man…

  • Greek: Είμαι ερωτευμένος μαζί σου!
  • Romanization: Íme erotevménos mazí su!
  • Translation: “I am in love with you!” 

If you’re a woman…

  • Greek: Είμαι ερωτευμένη μαζί σου!
  • Romanization: Íme erotevméni mazí su!.
  • Translation: “I am in love with you!”

As you might have noticed, there are two versions of “I am in love with you,” in Greek. This is due to the inflection of the passive voice participle. These words get declined similarly to adjectives; therefore, they should agree with the gender of the noun they refer to.

Consequently, when a man says it, the participle should be in its masculine form: ερωτευμένος. When a woman says it, the participle should be in its feminine form: ερωτευμένη


4. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” & More

A Man, Down on One Knee, Proposing to a Woman

Time has passed and it’s time to settle down. Well, you’ve reached the right section! Here are some sweet love phrases in Greek you can use to express your feelings, establish your relationship, and finally propose to the love of your life! 

  • Greek: Θέλεις να είμαστε μαζί;
  • Romanization: Thélis na ímaste mazí?
  • Translation: “Do you want us to be together?”
  • Greek: Πού πάει αυτή η σχέση;
  • Romanization: Pú pái aftí i shési?
  • Translation: “Where is this relationship going?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να γνωρίσεις τους γονείς μου;
  • Romanization: Thélis na gnorísis tus gonís mu?
  • Translation: “Do you want to meet my parents?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να συζήσουμε;
  • Romanization: Thélis na sizísume?
  • Translation: “Do you want to live together?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να μείνουμε μαζί;
  • Romanization: Thélis na mínume mazí?
  • Translation: “Do you want to live together?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να αρραβωνιαστούμε;
  • Romanization: Thélis na aravoniastúme?
  • Translation: “Do you want to get engaged?”

When it comes to a marriage proposal, you have plenty of choices:

  • Greek: Θα με παντρευτείς;
  • Romanization: Tha me pandreftís?
  • Translation: “Will you marry me?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να με παντρευτείς;
  • Romanization: Thélis na me padreftís?
  • Translation: “Do you want to marry me?”
  • Greek: Με παντρεύεσαι;
  • Romanization: Me padrévese?
  • Translation: “Will you marry me?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να παντρευτούμε;
  • Romanization: Thélis na padreftúme?
  • Translation: “Do you want to get married?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να γίνεις η γυναίκα μου;
  • Romanization: Thélis na yínis i yinéka mu?
  • Translation: “Do you want to be my wife?”
  • Greek: Θέλεις να γίνεις ο άντρας μου;
  • Romanization: Thélis na yínis o ándras mu?
  • Translation: “Do you want to be my husband?”

How about starting a family? If you’re in that blessed phase of your life, you could simply say: 

  • Greek: Θέλεις να κάνουμε ένα παιδί;
  • Romanization: Thélis na kánume éna pedí?
  • Translation: “Do you want to have (do) a baby?”

5. Endearment Terms

A Loving Couple Hugging in the Countryside

Everybody loves being addressed in a sweet and loving way!

Don’t be shy. Feel free to use the following endearment terms with your partner. 

  • Greek: αγάπη μου
  • Romanization: agápi mu
  • Translation: “my love”
  • Greek: μωρό μου
  • Romanization: moró mu
  • Translation: “my baby”
  • Greek: ματάκια μου
  • Romanization: matákia mu
  • Translation: “my little eyes”
  • Greek: αστεράκι μου
  • Romanization: asteráki mu
  • Translation: “my little star”

Each of these endearments can be used for either a man or a woman, so feel free to use them without hesitation.

6. Must-know Love Quotes

Now that you’re well-equipped with a variety of words and phrases with which to shower your loved one in affection, let’s make one more stop. Below, you’ll find a few Greek love quotes translated in English as well as two popular proverbs on the topic. 

6.1 Ancient Greek Quotes About Love

  • Greek: Η αγάπη αποτελείται από μία ψυχή που κατοικεί σε δύο σώματα.
  • Romanization: I agápi apotelíte apó mia psihí pu katikí se dío sómata.
  • Translation: “Love consists of one soul that is living within two bodies.”

This phrase belongs to Aristotle, one of the most famous ancient Greek philosophers. 

  • Greek: Μία λέξη μας απελευθερώνει από όλο το βάρος και τον πόνο στη ζωή. Και αυτή η λέξη είναι: αγάπη.
  • Romanization: Miα léxi mas apeleftheróni apó ólo to város ke ton póno sti zoí. Ke aftí i léxi íne: agápi.
  • Translation: “One word sets us free from all the weight and the pain in life. And that word is: love.”

This one is attributed to Sophocles, who was definitely another ancient Greek romantic. Sophocles was one of the three tragedians of ancient Greece, and his plays have survived to this day. 

6.2 Greek Proverbs About Love

The concept of love has also influenced modern Greeks, who have shaped Greek folk wisdom. With that in mind, here are two of the most popular Greek proverbs about love:

  • Greek: Αγάπη χωρίς πείσματα δεν έχει νοστιμάδα.
  • Romanization: Agápi horís pízmata den éhi nostimada. 
  • Translation: “Love without a bit of stubborness isn’t tasteful.”
  • Greek: Εμείς μαζί δεν κάνουμε και χώρια δεν μπορούμε.
  • Romanization: Emís mazí den kánume ke hória den borúme.
  • Translation: “We can’t live with each other, neither can we live without one another.”

7. Conclusion

All in all, Greeks are loving and caring people. So, don’t hesitate to express your feelings—especially now that you know how to do so. Just use the most appropriate phrases from this article to take your relationship to the next level.

Do you want to learn more expressions and listen to their pronunciation? Then visit our list of Words and Phrases to Help You Describe Your Feelings

GreekPod101.com is dedicated to offering you a wide range of vocabulary learning resources, focusing on words and expressions used in everyday life. We aim to combine practical knowledge about the language, culture, and local customs in order to create a well-rounded approach to language learning. 

Start learning Greek today in a consistent and organized manner by creating a free lifetime account on GreekPod101.com. Tons of free vocabulary lists, YouTube videos, and grammar tips are waiting for you to discover them! 

Before you go, let us know in the comments about your favorite Greek phrase about love. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Negation in Greek: How to Create Negative Sentences

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Ever wondered how to use negation in Greek to create negative sentences?

Then you’re in the right place!

If you prefer expressing your opposition verbally (instead of nodding, for instance), then continue reading.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on negation in Greek and show you how to turn an affirmative sentence into a negative one. In addition, we’ll present you with the most common negation words and phrases, as well as the most popular ways to give a negative response to a question.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Turning an Affirmative Sentence into a Negative Sentence
  2. Giving a Negative Response to a Question
  3. Negation Words and Phrases
  4. Double Negatives
  5. Conclusion

1. Turning an Affirmative Sentence into a Negative Sentence

A Woman in a Classroom Writing in Her Notebook

Rumor has it that Greek negation is one of the easiest parts of the language to learn. 

Modifying an affirmative sentence to have a negative meaning can be achieved by simply adding the particle δεν (den) – not before the verb in the indicative mood.

Here are some typical examples:

Affirmative SentenceNegative Sentence
  • Greek: Εγώ κάνω γυμναστική.
  • Romanization: Egó káno yimnastikí
  • Translation: “I exercise.”
  • Greek: Εγώ δεν κάνω γυμναστική.
  • Romanization: Egó den káno yimnastikí
  • Translation: “I don’t exercise.”

Affirmative SentenceNegative Sentence
  • Greek: Η Μαρία διαβάζει κάθε μέρα.
  • Romanization: I María diavázi káthe méra.
  • Translation: “Maria studies every day.”
  • Greek: Η Μαρία δεν διαβάζει κάθε μέρα.
  • Romanization: I María den diavázi káthe méra.
  • Translation: “Maria doesn’t study every day.”

Affirmative SentenceNegative Sentence
  • Greek: Θέλω να επισκεφτώ την Ελλάδα.
  • Romanization: Thélo na episkeftó tin Elláda..
  • Translation: “I want to visit Greece.”
  • Greek: Δεν θέλω να επισκεφτώ την Ελλάδα.
  • Romanization: Den thélo na episkeftó tin Eláda.
  • Translation: “I don’t want to visit Greece.”

When it comes to complex sentences, consisting of two or more clauses connected by the conjunction και (ke) – “and,” the particle “δεν” should be placed before each verb. In that way, you can negate the meaning of both sentences.

Affirmative SentenceNegative Sentence
  • Greek: Χθες πήγαμε σινεμά και φάγαμε ποπκόρν.
  • Romanization: Htes pígame sinemá ke fágame popkórn.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, we went to the cinema and we ate popcorn.”
  • Greek: Χθες δεν πήγαμε σινεμά και δεν φάγαμε ποπκόρν.
  • Romanization: Htes den pígame sinemá ke den fágame popkórn.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, we didn’t go to the cinema and we didn’t eat popcorn.”

However, in cases like this, you may want to negate only the first or second statement. The solution is simple: Just place a “δεν” before the verb you want to negate. 

Negating the 1st StatementNegating the 2nd Statement
  • Greek: Χθες δεν πήγαμε σινεμά και φάγαμε ποπ κορν.
  • Romanization: Htes den pígame sinemá ke fágame pop korn.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, we didn’t go to the cinema and we ate popcorn.”
  • Greek: Χθες πήγαμε σινεμά και δεν φάγαμε ποπ κορν.
  • Romanization: Htes den pígame sinemá ke den fágame pop korn.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, we went to the cinema and we didn’t eat popcorn.”

2. Giving a Negative Response to a Question

A Woman Gesturing in a Negative Way

Saying no every once in a while is not a bad thing. Therefore, when you need to answer “no” to a yes-or-no question, you can simply say: 

  • Greek: Όχι.
  • Romanization: Óhi.
  • Translation: “No.”

Here’s an example: 

Greek– Θέλεις να πάμε για καφέ;
– Όχι.
Romanization– Τhélis na páme yia kafé?             
– Óhi.
Translation– “Do you want to go for a coffee?”             
– “No.”

Or if you want to be more polite, you may add the verb ευχαριστώ (efharistó) – “to thank” at the end of your response.

Greek– Θέλεις να σου φτιάξω έναν καφέ;
– Όχι, ευχαριστώ.
Romanization– Τhélis na su ftiáxo énan kafé?             
– Óhi, efharistó.
Translation– “Do you want me to make you some coffee?”             
– “No, thank you.”

Moreover, you can also repeat the verb or the statement of the question using negation instead of a simple “όχι” answer.

Greek– Είναι αυτό δικό σου;
– Όχι, δεν είναι.
Romanization– Íne aftó dikó su?
– Óhi, den íne.
Translation– “Is this yours?”
– “No, it isn’t.”

3. Negation Words and Phrases

You can also make a sentence negative in Greek by using certain words and phrases. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common Greek negation words and phrases, along with examples. These words are normally used in combination with “δεν,” resulting in a sentence with double negatives (which we’ll discuss in the next section of this blog post).

A Girl in Winter Clothes Raising Her Hand to the Camera Indicating She Doesn’t Want to be Photographed
  • Greek: ποτέ
  • Romanization: poté
  • Translation: “never”

Greek              Δεν έχω πάει ποτέ στην Ελλάδα.
Romanization              Den ého pái poté stin Elláda.
Translation              “I have never been to Greece.” 

  • Greek: πουθενά
  • Romanization: pouthená
  • Translation: “nowhere”

Greek              Χθες έβρεχε και δεν πήγαμε πουθενά.
Romanization              Hthes évrehe ke den pígame puthená.
Translation              “Yesterday, it was raining and we didn’t go anywhere.” 

  • Greek: κανείς
  • Romanization: kanís
  • Translation: “nobody”

Greek              Κανείς δεν ήρθε στα γενέθλιά μου.
Romanization              Kanís den írthe sta yenéthliá mu.
Translation              “Nobody came on my birthday.” 

  • Greek: τίποτα
  • Romanization: típota
  • Translation: “nothing”

Greek              Τίποτα δεν θα μας χωρίσει.
Romanization              Típota den tha mas horísi.
Translation              “Nothing will tear us apart.” 

  • Greek: ούτε…ούτε
  • Romanization: úte…úte
  • Translation: “neither…nor”

Greek              Δεν μου αρέσει ούτε το κρασί, ούτε η μπύρα.
Romanization              Den mu arési úte to krasí, úte i bíra. 
Translation              “I like neither wine, nor beer.” 

Last, but not least, we couldn’t omit negative commands. Since the imperative mood in Greek (which is the mood that expresses commands) doesn’t have its own negation form, it uses the negation form of the subjunctive mood: the following particle + the verb in the subjunctive mood.

  • Greek: μη(ν)
  • Romanization: mi(n)
  • Translation: “don’t”

Greek              Η μαμά κοιμάται. Μη φωνάζεις!
Romanization              I mamá kimáte. Mi fonázis!.
Translation              “Mommy is sleeping. Don’t yell.” 

If you want to sound more polite, then simply add the verb παρακαλώ (parakaló) – “please” at the end of the negative command. 

Greek              Έχω πονοκέφαλο. Μη μιλάς δυνατά, παρακαλώ.
Romanization              Ého ponokéfalo. Mi milás dinatá, parakaló.
Translation              “I’ve got a headache. Please, don’t speak loudly.” 

“Μην” can be combined with verbs (as we saw) as well as with active voice participles, which are formed by adding an -οντας or a -ώντας suffix to a verb.

Greek              Ο ήρωας έπεσε κάτω, μην έχοντας τη δύναμη να συνεχίσει.
Romanization              O íroas épese káto, min éhondas ti dínami na sinehísi.
Translation              “The hero fell down, not having the strength to continue.” 

4. Double Negatives

A Hand Ticking the Choice No on a Questionnaire

In Greek, double negatives only create a positive statement some of the time. It really depends on the choice of words.

Here’s an example of two negations making a positive statement:

Greek              Δεν θέλω να μην κοιμάσαι.
Romanization              Den thélo na min kimáse.
Translation              “I don’t want (you) not to sleep.”
Meaning              I want you to sleep.

Nevertheless, sometimes two negations make an even more negative statement. This usually happens with negative Greek words and phrases, like the ones we presented in the previous section of this blog post.

Greek              Το βιβλίο δεν είναι πουθενά.
Romanization              To vivlío den íne puthená.
Translation              “The book is nowhere.”
Meaning              The book is (very) difficult to find.

Interestingly, in Greek there are also triple negatives formed by repeating a negation word and including the pledge particle μα (ma) – “ma,” which expresses opposition. In that way, the negation is highlighted even more. 

Greek              Κανείς, μα κανείς δεν θα το μάθει.
Romanization              Kanís, ma kanís den tha to máthi.
Translation              “Νobody, but nobody won’t learn this.”
Meaning              Nobody will find out about this.

5. Conclusion

Is there a sentence or a phrase that you find difficult to negate? Let us know in the comments below!

As you should have noticed by now, Greek negation is pretty easy to learn and use. In other languages, there are many different ways to form a negation, which often include an auxiliary verb, such as “do” or “don’t” in English. 

This is definitely a cornerstone chapter of learning Greek, as negations can be used widely in our everyday lives. With enough studying and practice, you’ll be on your way to mastering Greek negation in no time, and we’ll be here for you every step of the way.

At GreekPod101.com, we aim to provide you with everything you need to know about the Greek language in a fun and engaging way. Blog posts like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos, are waiting for you to discover them! And if you’d prefer a more customizable learning experience, you can upgrade your account to use our MyTeacher service, which will allow you to ask all your questions to your own personal native Greek teacher. Don’t forget to join our online community and discuss the lessons with other students!

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Why is it Important to Learn Greek?

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“Why should I learn Greek?” 

If you’re asking this question to yourself right now, let me make this easier for you.

Why shouldn’t you learn Greek? I mean, you’ve got nothing to lose, right?

In this blog post, we’ll demonstrate all the important reasons why you should start learning Greek today.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. The Benefits of Learning a New Language
  2. Greece, Greeks & Greek
  3. Reasons for Learning Greek
  4. Is Greek Easy to Learn?
  5. How to Learn Greek
  6. Conclusion

1. The Benefits of Learning a New Language

A Happy Woman Holding Books

There are many reasons to learn a new language, but one of the most important reasons is that this process changes your way of thinking. In addition, learning a new language and getting in touch with different cultures can reveal new pathways to you that are out of reach right now. 

Indeed, there are many things that you cannot achieve unless you speak the local language. For example, good luck working, doing business, or even living in Greece without at least a rudimentary knowledge of Greek! 

Here are some of the most important benefits you can expect from learning a new language: 

  • Connecting with people from different cultural backgrounds
    Language is the core of effective communication, and learning a new language can get you in touch with new people and ideas. This exchange of opinions can only be viewed as beneficial, as it enhances your way of thinking and even contributes to the creation of a better version of yourself.
  • Advancing your career
    Globalization has brought all of us a little closer, especially in the business world. What if your next big step in your career lies in a foreign country? Would you miss the opportunity? Working in a foreign country is a unique and life-changing experience, which may lead to a better work-life balance and even more success.
  • Improving your memory
    Some people play bingo. Others solve riddles, crosswords, or Sudoku puzzles. And others decide to start learning a new language. Keeping our memory sharp should be one of our top priorities throughout our lives. Regardless of your age or academic background, you should consider learning a new language to tease your brain.

2. Greece, Greeks & Greek

The Acropolis of Athens

Oh, sunny Greece…

What can I say?

We could really talk for hours about Greece’s beauty. 

If you’re still not sure why you should learn Greek of all languages, consider this: 

If you’re looking for impressive history, rich culture, and some of the most picturesque islands of the Mediterranean, then this is the place to be. Not to mention the stunning sandy beaches and the iconic minimal architecture…

Greece has it all and much more. Visit Athens for a unique journey through ancient Greek culture, dive deep into the crystal-clear, blue waters of the Aegean Sea, and then enjoy a cocktail on a nearby island. 

However, it’s not all about sightseeing. It’s also about the people. And Greeks will not let you down!

They can literally become your new best friends in the blink of an eye, seeing as they’re very hospitable and highly communicative. And who knows? Maybe you’ll feel the urge to visit your new friends again…and again. 

Greek is the official language of Greece, and learning Greek will certainly get you a bit closer to the country’s culture.  

The Greek language is now mainly spoken in Greece as well as in Cyprus. The ancient Greeks settled on Cyprus around 1600 B.C., and that’s why they speak Greek. However, Cypriot Greek is slightly different from the Greek spoken in Greece; this is because Cypriot Greek is a dialect with a distinct pronunciation.

There are around 20 million speakers of Greek in the world, of which 14 million are native

3. Reasons for Learning Greek

Let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of learning Greek: 

  1. To know Greek is to know one of the oldest and most useful languages in the world.
  2. By learning Greek, one can get a deeper understanding of European history and culture.
  3. The Greek alphabet is the base of the Roman alphabet.
  4. Knowing Greek will help one learn other European languages, such as French or English, more easily. An estimated twelve percent of the English vocabulary has Greek origins.
  5. One will gain an understanding of and an appreciation for Greece’s myths, history, and culture—the culture and traditions of Greece have been part of the Western Civilization for over 2500 years. Learning the language will allow one to explore (and someday pass down) this knowledge to the next generation.
  6. To do business or find a job in Greece, at least some understanding of the language is required.
  7. Knowing Greek will make traveling and getting around easier, and it will help you get the most out of your vacation in Greece.
  8. Learning Greek will help you get in touch with ancient Greek philosophy and theatre as well as modern Greek cinematography and literature.
  9. Greek cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, making Greece a worldwide foodies’ paradise. After learning Greek, you’ll be able to recognize and order exactly what you prefer in a local Greek taverna
  10.  Last but not least, the knowledge of Greek will help you connect and create meaningful relationships with your Greek friends and family.

4. Is Greek Easy to Learn?

A Very Happy Woman Holding a Book Above Her Head

Still wondering why to learn Greek? 

Believe it or not, Greek is relatively easy to learn. Although it’s not a Romance language, it showcases phonological features similar to those of English and many other European languages. Therefore, if you listen to someone speaking Greek, you’ll probably recognize many familiar syllables—and even entire words. 

This is mainly due to two major reasons: 

  • Many English words have been integrated into the Greek language. These words often include technology-related terminology, such as: λάπτοπ (láptop) – “laptop” / ίντερνετ (ínternet) – “internet.” 
  • The reverse is also true: Many Greek words have been integrated into the English language. These words are usually related to medical, political, and scientific terminology, such as: αστρονομία (astronomía) – “astronomy” / δημοκρατία (dimokratía) – “democracy” / μαθηματικά (mathimatiká) – “mathematics.”

Another thing that makes Greek easy to learn is its simple word order, which follows the SVO (Subject – Verb – Object) pattern. As a result, even a total beginner can create complete sentences in Greek from day one. 

On the other hand, Greek grammar is notoriously difficult, especially when it comes to the inflection of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, and some participles. Nevertheless, there’s nothing you can’t overcome with study and practice.   

⇾ If you’re wondering how long it takes to learn Greek, check out our relevant blog post.

5. How to Learn Greek

A Woman Studying from Her Notebook

As if you needed another reason to learn Greek, did you know that getting started is easier than you think? Here are some of the most popular ways to start this language learning journey today: 

  • Traditional Teaching & Language Learning Centers
    This is one of the most common ways to learn a new language. Big language learning centers usually offer a plethora of different language lessons. However—since Greek is not one of the most popular languages—you may find it difficult to find a language learning center offering Greek lessons nearby. Freelance teachers are always another option. Nevertheless, finding an experienced Greek teacher might be a challenge, depending on the country in which you’re residing.
  • Non-formal Learning
    From joining a local Greek community to watching Greek movies or even Greek-language YouTube videos, there are endless options for non-formal learning. However, in order to benefit from all of these options, a minimum beginner level is required. Therefore, you should probably consider combining them with a language learning program, either offline or online.
  • Greek Learning Platforms & Apps
    Learning a new language has never been easier. Nowadays, you can start learning a new language right now and master it at your own pace. You can even talk with native Greek teachers, who will answer all your questions and offer valuable feedback. The GreekPod101 app is one of the most popular Greek learning apps worldwide and is here to help you make your language learning dream come true in no time.

6. Conclusion

Learning Greek is not as hard as you might have thought after all, right? 

As long as you find ways to incorporate Greek language learning into your everyday routine, you’ll be able to understand Greek in no time. 

What’s your favorite way to learn a new language?

Let us know in the comments below!

GreekPod101.com offers you high-quality, practical knowledge about the Greek language and culture. We aim to provide you with everything you need to learn about the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos

Happy learning!

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Learn All About Greek Tenses

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Greek tenses are a cornerstone chapter for every student of the language. They allow you to refer with ease to actions of the present, past, and future—a basic skill required for everyday discussions. 

The good news is that the Greek tenses are very similar to those in English, making it easier to adapt. On the other hand, the bad news is that the Greek language features many different verb groups, as well as many exceptions. 

In this blog post, we’ll demonstrate the use of Greek tenses and provide you with useful examples throughout.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Present
  2. Past
  3. Future
  4. The Auxiliary Verb “έχω”
  5. Verb Conjugations
  6. Conclusion

1. Present

A Man Pointing at His Wristwatch

Talking about the present is one of the most common ways to describe your current actions, your hobbies, and your habits. There are two Greek present tenses: Ενεστώτας and παρακείμενος.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them below. 

A- Ενεστώτας (Enestótas) – “Present” 

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek present tense indicates a continuing action, something that happens continuously or repeatedly, or something that is in the process of happening. Present simple and present continuous.
  • τώρα (tóra) – “now”
  • κάθε μέρα (káthe méra) – “every day”
  • κάθε μήνα (káthe mína) – “every month”

Examples:

  • Greek: Εγώ τώρα διαβάζω.
  • Romanization: Egó tóra diavázo.
  • Translation: “I’m reading now.”
  • Greek: Εγώ κάνω γυμναστική κάθε μέρα.
  • Romanization: Egó káno yimnastikí káthe méra.
  • Translation: “I exercise every day.”
  • Greek: Η Μαρία κάθε χρόνο πηγαίνει διακοπές.
  • Romanization: I María káthe hróno piyéni diakopés.
  • Translation: “Maria goes on vacation every year.”

B- Παρακείμενος (Parakímenos) – “Present Perfect” 

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek present perfect tense indicates an action that has already taken place. Present perfect
  • ήδη (ídi) – “already”

Examples:

  • Greek: Σήμερα έχω ήδη μαγειρέψει.
  • Romanization: Símera ého ídi mayirépsi.
  • Translation: “Today, I have already cooked.”
  • Greek: Ο Γιάννης έχει διαβάσει αυτό το βιβλίο.
  • Romanization: O Yánis éhi diavási aftó to vivlío.
  • Translation: “John has read this book.”

2. Past

A Calendar Indicating Yesterday

You know what they say: What’s in the past, stays in the past. However, talking about your past experiences can be a very good conversation starter.

Are you ready to tell your Greek friends all about your adventures?

Here are the three possible Greek past tenses for verbs: Αόριστος, παρατατικός, and υπερσυντέλικος.

A- Αόριστος (Aóristos) – “Aorist”

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek aorist tense indicates an action that took place some time in the past. It doesn’t provide any information about how long it took or whether the results of this action are still in effect. Past simple
  • χθες (hthes) – “yesterday”
  • πέρσι (pérsi) – “last year”
  • την περασμένη εβδομάδα (tin perazméni evdomáda) – “last week”

Examples:

  • Greek: Χθες πήγαμε στο Μουσείο της Ακρόπολης.
  • Romanization: Hthes pígame sto Musío tis Akrópolis.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, we went to the Acropolis Museum.”
  • Greek: Πέρσι επισκεφτήκαμε για πρώτη φορά την Ελλάδα.
  • Romanization: Pérsi episkeftíkame ya próti forá tin Elláda.
  • Translation: “Last year, we visited Greece for the first time.”
  • Greek: Πριν μια εβδομάδα ξεκίνησα να μαθαίνω Ελληνικά.
  • Romanization: Prin mia evdomáda xekínisa na mathéno Eliniká.
  • Translation: “One week ago, I started learning Greek.”

➤ If you feel like digging into the aorist tense a bit more, check out our lesson Talking About the Past.

B- Παρατατικός (Paratatikós) – “Imperfect”

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek imperfect tense indicates an action that took place in the past either repeatedly or continuously over a long time period.Past continuous
  • χθες (hthes) – “yesterday”
  • πέρσι (pérsi) – “last year”
  • πριν μία εβδομάδα (prin mía evdomáda) – “last week”

Examples:

  • Greek: Χθες έτρεχα για μία ώρα.
  • Romanization: Hthes étreha ya mía óra.
  • Translation: “Yesterday, I was running for one hour.”
  • Greek: Εμείς περπατούσαμε για δύο ώρες, μέχρι να βρούμε το ξενοδοχείο.
  • Romanization: Emís perpatúsame ya dío óres, méhri na vrúme to xenodohío.
  • Translation: “We were walking for two hours, until we found the hotel.”

➤ Learn more about the imperfect tense by studying our lesson Reminiscing in Greek.

C- Υπερσυντέλικος (Ipersindélikos) – “Pluperfect”

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek pluperfect indicates an action that took place before a certain moment in the past.Past perfect
  • μέχρι χθες (méhri hthes) – “until yesterday”
  • μέχρι πέρσι (méhri pérsi) – “until last year”
  • μέχρι πριν μία εβδομάδα (méhri prin mía evdomáda) – “until last week”

Examples:

  • Greek: Μέχρι χθες δεν είχα φάει ελληνικό φαγητό.
  • Romanization: Méhri hthes den íha fái elinikó fayitó.
  • Translation: “Until yesterday, I hadn’t eaten Greek food.”
  • Greek: Μέχρι πέρσι δεν είχα επισκεφτεί τη Σαντορίνη.
  • Romanization: Méhri pérsi den íha episkeftí ti Sandoríni.
  • Translation: “Until last year, I hadn’t visited Santorini.”

3. Future

A Calendar Indicating Tomorrow

Making plans about the future is what keeps us going. In order to describe your future plans, you’ll definitely need the future tenses in Greek, including συνοπτικός μέλλοντας, εξακολουθητικός μέλλοντας, and συντελεσμένος μέλλοντας

A- Συνοπτικός μέλλοντας (Sinoptikós mélondas) – “Simple Future”

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek simple future tense indicates an action that will take place once in the future.Simple future
  • αύριο (ávrio) – “tomorrow”
  • του χρόνου (tu hrónu) – “next year”
  • την επόμενη εβδομάδα (tin epómeni evdomáda) – “next week”

Examples:

  • Greek: Αύριο θα πάμε στη συναυλία.
  • Romanization: Ávrio tha páme sti sinavlía.
  • Translation: “Tomorrow, we will go to the concert.”
  • Greek: Η Ελένη θα γίνει 28 χρονών του χρόνου.
  • Romanization: I Eléni tha yíni íkosi októ hronón tu hrónu.
  • Translation: “Eleni will become 28 years old next year.”

B- Εξακολουθητικός μέλλοντας (Exakoluthitikós mélondas) – “Future Continuous” 

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek future continuous tense indicates an action that will take place in the future repeatedly or continuously over a long time period.Future continuous
  • από εδώ και πέρα  (apó edó ke péra) – “from now on”
  • από αύριο (apó ávrio) – “from tomorrow on”

Examples:

  • Greek: Από εδώ και πέρα θα διαβάζω περισσότερο.
  • Romanization: Apó edó ke péra tha diavázo perisótero.
  • Translation: “From now on, I will study more.”
  • Greek: Από αύριο θα τρώω πιο υγιεινά.
  • Romanization: Apó ávrio tha tróo pio iyiiná.
  • Translation: “Beginning tomorrow, I will eat more healthy.”

C- Συντελεσμένος μέλλοντας (Sindelezménos mélondas) – “Future Perfect”

DescriptionEquivalent English TenseUsual Time Phrases
The Greek future perfect tense indicates an action that will have taken place in the future by a certain point in time.Future perfect
  • μέχρι αύριο (méhri ávrio) – “by tomorrow”
  • μέχρι τον επόμενο μήνα (méhri ton epómeno mína) – “by next month”

Examples:

  • Greek: Μέχρι αύριο θα έχω μελετήσει τρία μαθήματα.
  • Romanization: Méhri ávrio tha ého meletísi tría mathímata.
  • Translation: “By tomorrow, I will have studied three lessons.”
  • Greek: Μέχρι τον επόμενο μήνα θα έχω χάσει 5 κιλά.
  • Romanization: Méhri ton epómeno mína tha ého hási pénde kilá.
  • Translation: “By next month, I will have lost 5 kilos.”

4. The Auxiliary Verb “έχω”

As you might have already noticed in the examples, some tenses make use of the auxiliary verb “έχω” in their structure. 

More specifically, the present perfect and future perfect utilize the present tense of the verb έχω (ého) – “have,” whereas pluperfect utilizes the past tense of the same verb: είχα (íha) – “had.”

For your convenience, in the table below you’ll find all the forms of this verb.

Παρακείμενος (Parakímenos) – Present Perfect
εγώ (egó) – “I” έχω διαβάσει (ého diavási) – “have read”
εσύ (esí) – “you”έχεις διαβάσει (éhis diavási) – “have read”
αυτός / αυτή / αυτό (aftós / aftí / aftó) – “he / she / it”έχει διαβάσει (éhi diavási) – “has read”
εμείς (emís) – “we”έχουμε διαβάσει (éhume diavási) – “have read”
εσείς (esís) – “you”έχετε διαβάσει (éhete diavási) – “have read”
αυτοί / αυτές / αυτά (aftí / aftés / aftá) – “they”έχουν διαβάσει (éhun diavási) – “have read”

As for the future perfect, the only thing that needs to be added is the preposition θα (tha) – “will.”

Συντελεσμένος Μέλλοντας (Sindelezménos Mélondas) – “Future Perfect”
εγώ (egó) – “I” θα έχω διαβάσει (ého diavási) – “will have read”
εσύ (esí) – “you”θα έχεις διαβάσει (éhis diavási) – “will have read”
αυτός / αυτή / αυτό (aftós / aftí / aftó) – “he / she / it”θα έχει διαβάσει (éhi diavási) – “will have read”
εμείς (emís) – “we”θα έχουμε διαβάσει (éhume diavási) – “will have read”
εσείς (esís) – “you”θα έχετε διαβάσει (éhete diavási) – “will have read”
αυτοί / αυτές / αυτά (aftí / aftés / aftá) – “they”θα έχουν διαβάσει (éhun diavási) – “will have read”

Now, for the past perfect, we’ll need the aorist form of this verb, which is demonstrated below.

Υπερσυντέλικος (Ipersindélikos) – Pluperfect/Past Perfect
εγώ (egó) – “I” είχα διαβάσει (íha diavási) – “had read”
εσύ (esí) – “you”είχες διαβάσει (íhes diavási) – “had read”
αυτός / αυτή / αυτό (aftós / aftí / aftó) – “he / she / it”είχε διαβάσει (íhe diavási) – “had read”
εμείς (emís) – “we”είχαμε διαβάσει (íhame diavási) – “had read”
εσείς (esís) – “you”είχατε διαβάσει (íhate diavási) – “had read”
αυτοί / αυτές / αυτά (aftí / aftés / aftá) – “they”είχαν διαβάσει (íhan diavási) – “had read”

5. Verb Conjugations

A Teacher in Front of a Blackboard, Holding Some Books

In order to complete your knowledge of Greek verbs, you certainly need to study other conjugation factors, as well. More specifically, you should remember that Greek verbs conjugate according to person, number, mood, and voice.

This definitely perplexes things, but you don’t need to worry. Take a look at our Greek Verb Conjugations article in order to familiarize yourself with all the different conjugation factors.  

6. Conclusion

Verb conjugation and tenses are the core of Greek grammar. For more information, check out the Intermediate and Upper Intermediate series on GreekPod101.com.

Greek grammar is vast, and it’s totally okay for you to feel a bit confused, especially if you’re a beginner. So, how would you feel if you had a personal teacher to guide you all the way through this grammar labyrinth? In addition to our great selection of free learning resources, we also offer a personalized service for our Premium PLUS members called MyTeacher, which allows you to enjoy a unique one-on-one learning experience!

Before you go, feel free to let us know in the comments if you still have any questions about Greek tenses. We’d be glad to help!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Greek?

A Useful Guide for Beginners

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How long does it take to learn Greek? Is Greek a difficult language to master? How can I learn Greek fast?

These questions (and many more) might pass through your mind as you set out to start learning Greek. Is there a definite answer to all of them? Well, actually no. 

However, by the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what it takes to achieve the different levels of Greek fluency. You’ll also walk away with useful tips on how to learn the Greek language more effectively and speed up your progress.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Is Greek a Difficult Language?
  2. How Long Does it Take to Achieve a Beginner Level?
  3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?
  5. How Can I Learn Greek Faster?
  6. Conclusion

1. Is Greek a Difficult Language?

Rumor has it that Greek is difficult to learn. But does this statement correspond to reality?

A Woman Laughing and Holding a Book Over Her Head

Well, it’s not super-easy. That’s for sure.

Greek is not a Romance language, meaning it does not make use of Latin characters. Although that fact alone might intimidate new learners, the reality is more encouraging. Greek is considered a stand-alone branch of the Indo-European language family, and it has heavily influenced almost every major European language. This is mainly because modern European civilization stems from Ancient Greek civilization.  

As a result, there are many words in English (and in European Romance languages) that were originally Greek. In addition, Greece has always been in touch with other European countries, creating cultural and commercial bonds. Therefore, the Greek language also contains many originally foreign words (from French, Italian, English, etc.).

The Greek alphabet shares many common characteristics with the English alphabet, though it also includes some unique features. The similarities, however, make learning Greek even easier.

Even from a phonetic perspective, many people state that Greek sounds a bit like Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese. Therefore, it doesn’t sound that extraordinary to American and European ears. 

At this point, we should note that the difficulty you’ll have learning Greek highly depends on your mother tongue, as well. For example, some people from Asian, Arab, or African countries find it harder to adjust because their mother tongue is far more different from Greek than European languages are. 

All in all, if you’re still looking for an accurate answer here, it is: No, Greek is not that hard to learn!

Below, we’ll take a look at how long it takes to learn Greek based on the level of knowledge you’re aiming for.

2. How Long Does it Take to Achieve a Beginner Level?

Time to achieveTaking as a reference the requirements of the A1 level on the CEFR scale, you will need approximately 100-120 hours of study.
What you will learn at this levelThe learner will have the ability to communicate with native speakers at a basic level. He or she will be able to…
  • …introduce himself/herself
  • ….describe the place of his/her residence
  • ….talk about the weather….discuss hobbies and activities
  • ….describe his/her family
  • ….give and receive directions and basic phrases on how to get around the city
  • ….talk about foods and drinks.
Example lessonSpeaking Perfect Greek at a Restaurant

3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?

Time to achieveTaking as a reference the requirements of the B1 level, you will need approximately 180-250 hours of study.
What you will learn at this levelThe learner will be able to communicate at an intermediate level, on the following subjects:

Daily transactions
  • Business
  • Travels
  • The characteristics of products
  • Methods of payment
  • Services and activities
Example lessonMaking an Appointment in Greek

4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?

Time to achieveTaking as a reference the requirements of the C1 level, you will need approximately 400-520 hours of study.
What you will learn at this levelThe learner will be able to communicate at an advanced level. This simply means that the student should be able to express his/her views on a wide variety of subjects, speaking without long disruptions and communicating effectively with public and private services for a wide variety of transactions.

In addition, at this level, the learner has gained some knowledge of the Greek culture.
Example lessonTop 10 Greek Holidays and Festivals

5. How Can I Learn Greek Faster?

A Smiling Woman Reading a Book

In the modern world, our daily routines are getting faster and faster as we try to serve many different roles throughout the day. That being said, our daily tasks often leave limited time (if any) for our hobbies, let alone learning a new language. 

Learning a new language, however, doesn’t have to take up much time within your daily schedule. The key is to find smart ways to practice—and why not even entertain yourself at the same time?

Here are a few ways to learn Greek fast: 

  • Watch Greek-Related Netflix Shows

    Although Netflix does not include much Greek-language content, there are many series and movies that are related to Greek history, mythology, or general lifestyle. These shows provide the perfect opportunity to take a step closer to the Greek culture, even if you don’t know a single word of Greek.

A Couple Watching a Movie at the Cinema
  • Watch Greek Movies

    Even if you’re not sure whether you want to pick up a new language, watching some Greek movies is the perfect way to test the waters. Greek cinematography includes movies of many genres and themes, so you’re sure to find a Greek movie that interests you.

    Tip: If you’re a complete beginner, watch the movie with English subtitles. This will familiarize you with how Greek sounds and may help you pick up some phrases. Later on, as you start learning Greek and making progress, you may switch to Greek subtitles (or no subtitles at all!).

A Happy Child Looking at a Laptop’s Screen
  • Watch Greek YouTube Channels

    Another great way to speed up your Greek learning is to watch Greek YouTube videos. These videos don’t have to be exclusively educational. There are many Greek channels covering a range of topics, from infotainment to travel and from Greek songs to famous Greek YouTubers commenting on a wide variety of subjects. One thing is for sure: You’ll be able to get yourself involved in the Greek language and culture much easier this way!

  • Read Greek Books
  • If you’re a bookworm and an intermediate Greek learner, it might be a good idea to start reading Greek books. Your options are literally endless, and you’ll be able to enhance your vocabulary quickly and easily.

    Tip: If you’re a beginner, then children’s books might be just perfect, since they use basic vocabulary and simple sentences.


A Man and a Woman Learning a New Language with Post-it Notes
  • Place Post-It Notes Around the House

    Wondering how to learn Greek vocabulary when you’re short on time? Write some Greek words and phrases on Post-It notes and place them strategically around the house—you’ll be surprised how much faster you can learn Greek this way. We tend to learn faster when we’re actively involved with the language, so what could be better than reviewing the Greek names of basic objects again and again without even noticing?

    Tip: Change the Post-It notes regularly in order to learn even more words and phrases.

  • Switch Your Smartphone’s Menu to Greek

    If you have an understanding of the basics of the Greek language, then the key to speeding up your learning progress might be as simple as switching your smartphone’s menu to Greek. This might seem annoying at first, but you’ll soon realize the benefits of reading Greek on a daily basis.

  • Invest in a Greek Language Learning App

    One of the best ways to learn a new language on the go is to utilize a language learning app like the one offered by GreekPod101.com. 


Conclusion

Learning Greek is not as hard as you might have thought after all, right?

As long as you find ways to incorporate Greek language learning into your everyday routine, you’ll be able to understand Greek in no time. 


What’s your favorite way to learn a new language? Let us know in the comments below!

Did you know you could begin learning Greek right now in an easy and fun way? Well, now you do! Create your free lifetime account on GreekPod101.com today!

GreekPod101 offers you high-quality, practical materials and lessons covering everything about the Greek language and culture. We aim to provide you with valuable lessons that will keep you interested and engaged from day one. Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos—all this and more are waiting for you to discover them!

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Greek Proverbs: Little Pearls of Wisdom

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Some people say that proverbs are the accumulated wisdom of a culture. Indeed, most Greek proverbs can be used in a wide variety of situations and can really make a difference when used at the right moment. Greek proverbs also incorporate many cultural elements, so studying them is a great way to dive deeper into the Greek culture and expand your vocabulary.

In this blog post, we’ll present you with the most popular Greek proverbs, along with their translations and meanings. Feel free to use them while chatting with your Greek friends—it’s sure to impress them!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Animal-Related Greek Proverbs
  2. Greek Proverbs About Time
  3. Greek Proverbs About Education & Language
  4. Greek Proverbs About Caution
  5. Miscellaneous Greek Proverbs
  6. Conclusion

1. Animal-Related Greek Proverbs

Various Animals

Sometimes, we can see aspects of our own lives reflected in the animal world. Here are a few popular Greek proverbs featuring animals—can you relate to any of these? 

Greek ProverbΕίπε ο γάιδαρος τον πετεινό κεφάλα.
RomanizationÍpe o gáidaros ton petíno kefála.
Translation“The donkey called the rooster big-headed.”
NotesThe word πετεινός (petinós) is a synonym of κόκορας (kókoras), both meaning “rooster.” Nowadays, it’s more common to use the latter.
Context of UsageThis proverb is often said between friends in a humorous context, when the one is mocking the other about a characteristic that the two share.

Greek ProverbΌταν λείπει η γάτα, χορεύουν τα ποντίκια.
RomanizationÓtan lípi i gáta, horévun ta podíkia.
Translation“When the cat’s away, the mice dance.”
NotesIn Greek, it’s common to use the word λείπω (lípo) as an equivalent of “to be away.” Literally, in other cases, it may also be translated as “to miss” or “to be missed.”
Context of UsageImagine taking care of a younger sibling for a while when your parents are away. When the child realizes that the parents are gone, (s)he starts to do all the “forbidden” things, such as eating a lot of chocolate or being extremely loud. In cases like this, you could use the proverb.

Greek ProverbΗ καμήλα δεν βλέπει την καμπούρα της.
RomanizationI kamíla den vlépi tin kabúra tis.
Translation“The camel can’t see its own hump.”
Context of UsageYou might use this saying when someone is harshly criticizing someone else, without thinking of their own disadvantages or faults.

Greek ProverbΕγώ το είπα στον σκύλο μου και ο σκύλος στην ουρά του.
RomanizationEgó to ípa ston skílo mu ke o skílos stin urá tu.
Translation“I said this to my dog and my dog said it to its tail.”
Context of UsageSomeone could say this when your mother asks you to do something, and you then make someone else do it instead.

Greek ProverbΌσα δεν φτάνει η αλεπού, τα κάνει κρεμαστάρια.
RomanizationÓsa den ftáni i alepú, ta káni kremastária.
Translation“What the fox cannot reach, it turns them into hangers.”
Context of UsageThis proverb refers to a situation where someone tends to derogate someone else’s achievements because, deep down inside, they know they can’t achieve the same things. This phrase is most commonly used in an ironic tone.

Greek ProverbΈνας κούκος δεν φέρνει την άνοιξη.
RomanizationÉnas kúkos den férni tin ánixi.
Translation“A cuckoo bird does not bring the spring.”
Context of UsageThis proverb might be used when someone sees a positive indication of something and quickly believes that the end result will also be positive.

➤ Learn more about animals’ names in Greek by studying our relevant vocabulary list or our video on Common Animals in the Park

2. Greek Proverbs About Time

A Woman Holding and Pointing to a Clock

Our lives are encompassed by time, and this fact has drawn much speculation from great thinkers and entire societies the world over. Below are some common Greek-language proverbs on the topic of time. 

Greek ProverbΟ χρόνος είναι ο καλύτερος γιατρός.
RomanizationO hrónos íne o kalíteros yatrós.
Translation“Time is the best doctor.”
Context of UsageWhen a friend of yours gets hurt or breaks up with their partner, you could say this phrase to make him or her feel better.

Greek ProverbΤο καλό πράγμα αργεί να γίνει.
RomanizationTo kaló prágma aryí na gíni.
Translation“The good thing takes time to happen.”
Context of UsageYou might use this proverb when a friend of yours grows disappointed about the progress of his plans. It would be an encouraging way to say that everything will be great in the long run. 

Greek ProverbΚάλλιο αργά παρά ποτέ.
RomanizationKálio argá pará poté.
Translation“Better late than never.”
NotesThe word κάλλιο (kálio) is a rarely used informal version of the adverb καλύτερα (kalítera), both meaning “better.”
Context of UsageLet’s say your mother decides to go back to school in order to follow her dreams. It’s obviously better to do something later in life than to not do anything at all. 

Greek ProverbΌποιος δεν θέλει να ζυμώσει, δέκα μέρες κοσκινίζει.
RomanizationÓpios den théli na zimósi, déka méres koskinízi.
Translation“Whoever does not want to knead, sifts for ten days.”
Context of UsageYou might say this to motivate a friend of yours who’s procrastinating to take action.

Greek ProverbΑγάλι-αγάλι γίνεται η αγουρίδα μέλι.
RomanizationAgáli-agáli yínete i agourída méli.
Translation“The unripe grape becomes sweet like honey slowly-slowly.”
NotesThe phrase αγάλι-αγάλι (agáli-agáli) means “slowly-slowly.”
Context of UsageThis proverb would be encouraging to say to a friend who’s disappointed with the progress of their plans. It would reassure them that they will achieve their goals.

Greek ProverbΜάτια που δεν βλέπονται γρήγορα λησμονιούνται.
RomanizationMátia pu den vlépode grígora lismoniúde.
Translation“Eyes that don’t see each other frequently are soon forgotten.”
NotesThe verb λησμονώ (lizmonó) is not that common and we could say that it hasn’t got an exact equivalent in English. It’s something between “to forget (someone or something)” and “to fade into oblivion.”
Context of UsageImagine if you used to hang out with a friend every day, but as soon as one of you goes abroad for a long period, you don’t even text or think of each other much.

➤ Memorizing these time-related proverbs will be an impressive feat, but don’t stop there. Learn how to tell the time in Greek today!

3. Greek Proverbs About Education & Language

Some Books and a Graduation Hat on Top of Them

Education and learning have long been an integral part of Greek life, with formal schooling dating back to Ancient Greece. Here are just a few Greek proverbs and sayings on the topic! 

Greek ProverbΗ γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει και κόκαλα τσακίζει.
RomanizationI glósa kókala den éhi ke kókala tsakízi.
Translation“The tongue has no bones but it crushes bones.”
NotesIn Greek, we usually say σπάω κόκαλα (spáo kókala), meaning “to break bones.” This is a special occasion where the verb τσακίζω (tsakízo) is used instead.
Context of UsageThis is often said when someone says really hurtful words to another person.

Greek ProverbΤα πολλά λόγια είναι φτώχεια.
RomanizationTa polá lógia íne ftóhia.
Translation“Many words are poverty.” (“Silence is golden.”)
NotesLiterally, the word φτώχεια (ftóhia) means “poverty.” Greeks appreciate getting the message across with as few words as possible.
Context of UsageYou might say this when someone keeps babbling without getting to the point.

Greek ProverbΆνθρωπος αγράμματος, ξύλο απελέκητο.
RomanizationÁnthropos agrámatos, xílo apelékito.
Translation“Illiterate man, row wood.”
Context of UsageThis saying is used to describe someone who is ignorant due to lack of education. It’s considered an insult, so use it carefully.

Greek ProverbΔάσκαλε που δίδασκες και νόμο δεν εκράττεις.
RomanizationDáskale pu dídaskes ke nómo den ekrátis.
Translation“Oh, teacher that you taught but you don’t implement your teachings.”
NotesThe verb εκράττεις (ekrátis) is an older form of the verb κρατώ (krató), meaning “to hold” or “to keep.”
Context of UsageYou could use this saying when a friend of yours does not implement his own advice. 

4. Greek Proverbs About Caution

A Man Who Has Slipped on a Wet Floor

While it’s good to look for the best in people and to make the most of every situation, it’s also crucial to practice caution and common sense. Below are a few common Greek proverbs used to advise caution. 

Greek ProverbΟ διάβολος έχει πολλά ποδάρια.
RomanizationO diávolos éhi polá podária.
Translation“The devil has many legs.”
NotesThis phrase aims to highlight that evil can take many forms.
Context of UsageWhen a friend of yours has just faced a difficult situation and thinks that it’s totally over, you could advise him to keep alert by using this phrase.

Greek ProverbΌπου ακούς πολλά κεράσια, κράτα μικρό καλάθι.
RomanizationÓpu akús polá kerásia, kráta mikró kaláthi.
Translation“When you hear about many cherries, hold a small basket.”
Context of UsageWhen a friend of yours gets overly excited about an event or an opportunity, you might want to tell him to be more cautious and not to expect too much. 

Greek ProverbΌποιος βιάζεται σκοντάφτει.
RomanizationÓpios viázete skondáfti.
Translation“Whoever is in a hurry stumbles.”
Context of UsageWhen a friend of yours is doing something in a hurry that requires concentration and attention to detail, you might use this proverb to warn them that the end result will not be good.

Greek ProverbΌταν καείς από τον χυλό, φυσάς και το γιαούρτι.
RomanizationÓtan kaís apó ton hiló, fysás ke to yaúrti.
Translation“When you get burned by porridge, you also blow the yogurt.”
Context of UsageThis proverb is used to describe someone who has already faced some difficult situations and gotten hurt. Now, when a seemingly good situation arises, that person will continue to act cautious to avoid being hurt again. 

5. Miscellaneous Greek Proverbs

A Traditional Greek Dance
Greek ProverbΈξω από τον χορό πολλά τραγούδια λέγονται.
RomanizationÉxo apó ton horó polá tragúdia légode.
Translation“Outside the dance-circle many songs are sung.”
NotesThis phrase is inspired by Greek celebrations, which often include group dancing in a circle.
Context of UsageYou might say this phrase after someone gives advice on a difficult situation they’ve never experienced.

➤ Interested in Greek music? Take a look at the Top 10 Greek Songs

Greek ProverbΟι πολλές γνώμες βουλιάζουν το καράβι.
RomanizationI polés gnómes vuliázun to karávi.
Translation“Too many opinions sink the boat.”
Context of UsageThis saying refers to a group of people who are trying to make a decision, but each person has a different opinion. It’s usually said by someone who undertakes to find the option that’s best for everyone.

Greek ProverbΣπίτι μου, σπιτάκι μου και σπιτοκαλυβάκι μου.
RomanizationSpíti mu, spitáki mu ke spitokaliváki mu.
Translation“My home, my sweet home, my sweet hut.”
NotesThis phrase is equivalent to the English phrase, “Home, sweet home.”
Context of UsageComing home after a long time away will definitely make you want to say this phrase. 

➤ Wondering how to describe your home’s interior in Greek? Take a look at our relevant vocabulary list for some useful words! 

Greek ProverbΑγαπά ο Θεός τον κλέφτη, αγαπά και τον νοικοκύρη.
RomanizationAgapá o Theós ton kléfti, agapá ke ton nikokíri.
Translation“God loves the thief, but He also loves the homeowner.”
NotesThis proverb aims to highlight that evil might take over temporarily, but good reigns in the end. 
Context of UsageNext time you’re referring to someone who does not act appropriately, you could use this phrase to express that he’ll get discovered or punished eventually. 

Greek ProverbΑπό αγκάθι βγαίνει ρόδο και από ρόδο αγκάθι.
RomanizationApó angáthi vyéni ródo ke apó ródo angáthi.
Translation“A rose comes out of a thorn and a thorn comes out of a rose.”
NotesThis phrase presents the general truth that a person should not be characterized as good or bad based on their parents’ character.
Context of UsageThis would be an apt phrase to use when a very talented child is born to not-so-talented parents, or vice-versa.

Greek ProverbΚράτα με να σε κρατώ να ανεβούμε το βουνό.
RomanizationKráta me na se krató na anevúme to vunó.
Translation“Hold my hand and I’ll hold yours so we can climb the mountain.”
NotesThis proverb is here to remind us that cooperation results in greater achievements.
Context of UsageYou could say this when you have a very difficult group assignment, but you want to encourage your partners.

Greek ProverbΜπρος γκρεμός και πίσω ρέμα.
RomanizationBros gremós ke píso réma.
Translation“Cliff in front and stream behind.”
NotesThe word μπρος (bros) is an informal, shortened version of the word εμπρός (embrós), meaning “in the front.”
Context of UsageYou could say this when you feel trapped in a dilemma and the choices you have available seem to be equally bad.

Greek ProverbΤο μήλο κάτω από τη μηλιά θα πέσει.
RomanizationTo mílo káto apó ti miliá tha pési.
Translation“The apple will fall right below the apple tree.”
Context of UsageWhen a child has inherited a skill or a bad habit from their parents, you could use this phrase in order to state that it was to be expected.

➤ Speaking of apples, here are the names of more Fruits and Vegetables in Greek! 

Greek ProverbΗ καλή μέρα από το πρωί φαίνεται.
RomanizationI kalí méra apó to proí fénete.
Translation“You can tell a good day from the morning.”
Context of UsagePessimists often say this phrase when something bad happens early in the morning, believing that more bad things will come later in the day. This use denotes sarcasm, but it could also be used in a non-sarcastic way when something good happens.

Greek ProverbΈγιναν από δυο χωριά χωριάτες.
RomanizationÉyinan apó dio horiá horiátes.
Translation“They became villagers from two different villages.”
Context of UsageThis saying refers to two people who have quarrelled so much that they don’t talk to each other anymore. It’s also used simply to underline the intensity of an argument.

6. Conclusion

Now you have at your fingertips some of the most popular Greek proverbs to memorize. By studying them, you’ll gain more fluency as well as a better understanding of Greek culture as a whole.

Do you know any other Greek proverbs? Which one is your favorite? 

GreekPod101.com offers you high-quality, practical knowledge about the Greek language and culture. We aim to provide you with everything you need to know about the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos.

Until next time, happy learning! 

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Visit Athens, the Cradle of Western Civilization

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Locals often refer to Athens as the “cradle of Western civilization.” And who could blame us? With a vast and rich history of more than 5,000 years, this is the place where democracy was born—an invaluable gift to modern society. 

Whether or not you’re planning to visit Athens soon, this city definitely deserves a place on your bucket list.

In this brief Athens travel guide, we’ll share with you valuable travel tips, a range of incredible places you must visit here, and the ten most useful survival phrases in Greek.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Travel Tips
  2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Greek Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. Conclusion

1. Travel Tips

Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, the Greek capital, and—with more than three million inhabitants—certainly the biggest city in Greece. It lies almost in the center of the country and it connects with almost all the major cities, either by land or by various means of transportation.

Language

Although the official language is obviously Greek, the majority of people here speak fluent English. Even if you don’t know any Greek, you’ll be able to communicate, ask for information or directions, read labels and signs, and even choose your favorite dish at a local restaurant. 

However, locals highly appreciate tourists who know even a little bit of Greek; nothing will put a smile on their faces faster than hearing you try out some basic phrases. Even if you’re just starting to experiment with Greek, feel free to practice. This will take you a step closer to the culture and help you dive into the rich history held in almost every corner of the city. 

Getting Around

Athens, like any other modern European capital, offers a complex network of transportation. You can get around via the metro, trains, trolleys, buses, and even trams. 

Nevertheless, the best way to get around is definitely by metro, which is one of the newest installations in Europe. You can travel fast and easily to all of the major sights in the historical center, while at the same time  admiring some ancient ruins which were brought to light by archaeological excavations. Monastiraki Station, in particular, is a true gem; here, you can see whole sections of the old city of Athens in specially designed showcases.

When it comes to the other means of transportation, please keep in mind that small delays are almost guaranteed.  

Accomodation 

If you’re visiting for a short period of time, the best place to stay is within the borders of the historical center of the city. This includes areas such as Plaka, Thiseio, Omonia, Akadimias, Akropolis, Panepistimiou, and Monastiraki. Staying in these areas will allow you to access all the major sights by foot, thus maximizing your time! Other popular neighborhoods beyond the historical center are Gazi, Koukaki, Kifisia, Glyfada, and Kypseli. 

The average cost of a standard double room within the city center is around 60€. But if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find plenty of private Airbnb apartments for the same price. 

Food

Oh, the food! Athens is a foodie’s paradise! At almost every corner, you may find something delicious to eat. The options are endless: traditional bakeries; restaurants; tavernas; American-style fast food restaurants; pizza places; souvlaki places; ethnic restaurants offering Chinese, Indian, and Libanese specialties; and more. 

The average cost of a meal at a restaurant is 13€/person, often served with a refreshment or a glass of wine. However, there are many cheaper options, with a traditional pita with gyros costing around 3,00€. In other words, regardless of your budget, you won’t go hungry in Athens.   

Packing Reminders

The climate in Athens is temperate and typical of a Mediterranean city. Summers are hot and winters are pretty mild. That being said, we recommend that you pack the following must-have items for your visit to Athens: 

  • A hat & sunglasses
  • Comfy shoes
  • Comfy clothes
  • A light jacket (depending on the season)
  • Mosquito spray

2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip

Here are some incredible attractions in Athens you shouldn’t miss if you only have a few days to visit. 

Ακρόπολη (Akrópoli) – “Acropolis”

The Parthenon, Part of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

The sites on the Acropolis include the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon, and the Erechtheion. On the slopes located on the south side of the Acropolis, you’ll find the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Theater of Dionysus.

Now you might be wondering which of these places are worth a visit. The answer is simple: All of them!

Make sure you have enough time to stare at every little detail of these architectural masterpieces. Climb the hill to visit the Parthenon and then take a stroll around the other sites. Don’t forget to also pay a visit to the nearby Museum of Acropolis, as well as the National Archaeological Museum where unique specimens from all over this area are kept. 

All public areas of the National Archaeological Museum are accessible by wheelchair and all of the Museum’s levels have elevator access and toilets for individuals with mobility disabilities. The Acropolis also provides wheelchair-friendly access. However, it’s probably a good idea to take a taxi to the entrance, in order to avoid the hill.

Πλάκα (Pláka) – “Plaka”

The Narrow Alleys of Plaka in Athens, Greece

Right below the Acropolis and its impressive ancient masterpieces lies hillside Plaka—an old but well-kept neighborhood of Athens. Its picturesque streets are full of tiny shops selling jewelry, clothes, and local ceramics. 

Sidewalk cafés and family-run tavernas stay open until late. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a couple of beers and taste some authentic Greek cuisine. In addition, the whitewashed homes of the Anafiotika neighborhood give an island-feel to this area.

If you have some time to spare, you might want to consider visiting the following locations: 


Σύνταγμα (Síndagma) – “Syntagma Square”

Evzones in Syntagma Square During the Changing of the Guard

The Greek Parliament is located in the center-most square of this modern Athens city. The national guard is called “Evzones,” and they stand in front of the Parliament and the iconic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It’s definitely worth waiting around for the changing of the guards, which happens every hour of every day. There is an official ceremony each Sunday morning at 11:00 which shows the full grandiosity of the event. 

Another interesting activity is taking a free tour of the Parliament house, where you’ll be able to get in touch with modern Greek history and politics.

The Syntagma Square is also where the busiest shopping street (Ermou Street) begins, which leads us to our next sight: Monastiraki.

Μοναστηράκι (Monastiráki) – “Monastiraki”

Aerial View of the Monastiraki Area in Athens, Greece

Lively Monastiraki is home to many landmarks, including Ancient Agora and the ruins of Hadrian’s Library. The Monastiraki flea market is a jumble of shops selling artisanal soaps, handmade sandals, souvenir T-shirts, and hundreds of other things. All around, you’ll find an array of tavernas and restaurants where you can take a seat and enjoy a taste of Athens whilst taking in some spectacular views of the Acropolis. 

3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

If you’re staying in Athens for more than a couple of days, then you may enjoy some of the following popular sights.

The Planetarium at the Eugenides Foundation

Get lost in a modern educational place, where you can take a deep dive into space and time. A visit to the Planetarium almost guarantees a day well spent for the entire family.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

A true gem in the area of Kallithea, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is a great place for an evening stroll in the surrounding olive tree park. Take a look at their website and look for any painting exhibitions, music nights, or other activities taking place during your stay.

The Goulandris Natural History Museum

If you want to learn a bit more about Greece’s zoological, botanical, marine, rock, mineral, and fossil specimens, then this is the place to be. It’s a child-friendly environment, where you’ll learn a lot of interesting information about the natural history of Greece. 

The Museum of Cycladic Art

Have you ever wondered where Ancient Greeks stored their wheat during the Bronze Age? In the Museum of Cycladic Art, you’ll have the unique opportunity to lay your eyes on everyday objects dating back to 3200 BCE. From statues to Ancient Greek jewelry, you’ll find many fascinating items in this collection.  

Thiseio Area

If you want to visit Athens by night, head over to Thiseio Area which lies just under the lights of the Acropolis. Here you can indulge in an aperitivo, a cocktail, or a glass of wine while taking in its incomparable views. In this scenic pedestrian site, you can find famous rooftop bars and traditional wine & meze corners. It’s easily accessible through the metro network (stations Acropolis or Thiseio), making it possible to enjoy this spot wherever you decide to stay. 

Gazi Neighborhood

If you’re up to some Greek clubbing, Gazi is the place to be. It’s a former industrial area that has been transformed into a meeting point for locals who enjoy a late-night drink. The neighborhood offers a wide variety of cafeterias, bars, and late-night clubs for you to choose from. It’s easily accessible through the metro network (Gazi Station), but be aware that the metro is available until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; it starts operating again at around 5 a.m. 

In this area, you may also enjoy Technopolis, an industrial museum of modern architecture. Today, it functions as a multipurpose cultural center, and it features a variety of seasonal exhibits.

4. Greek Survival Phrases for Travelers

A Little Female Traveler Holding a Camera

If you plan on visiting Athens, you should first learn the very basics of Greek.

And that’s what we’re here for!

Below, you’ll find the top ten Greek survival phrases for travelers. 

  • Greek: Γεια.
  • Romanization: Υá.
  • Translation: “Hello.”
  • Greek: Ευχαριστώ.
  • Romanization: Efharistó.
  • Translation: “Thank you.”
  • Greek: Γεια. / Αντίο.
  • Romanization: Υá. / Adío.
  • Translation: “Goodbye.”
  • Greek: Συγγνώμη.
  • Romanization: Signómi.
  • Translation: “Sorry.” / “Excuse me.”
  • Greek: Πολύ ωραία.
  • Romanization: Polí oréa.
  • Translation: “Very good.”
  • Greek: Δεν καταλαβαίνω ελληνικά.
  • Romanization: Den katalavéno eliniká.
  • Translation: “I don’t understand Greek.”
  • Greek: Πού είναι η τουαλέτα;
  • Romanization: Pu íne i tualéta?
  • Translation: “Where is the restroom?”
  • Greek: Πόσο κοστίζει;
  • Romanization: Póso kostízi?
  • Translation: “How much does it cost?”
  • Greek: Θέλω αυτό.
  • Romanization: Thélo aftó.
  • Translation: “I want this.”
  • Greek: Βοήθεια!
  • Romanization: Voíthia!
  • Translation: “Help!”

To learn more useful travel phrases or to practice your pronunciation, please take a look at the following resources on GreekPod101.com:


Conclusion

Anything we could say about Athens is probably not enough. It might be a big city, but it’s full of magic at every corner. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food-lover, or a nightlife seeker, Athens will definitely fascinate you. 

Did you know that you can take another step closer to the Greek culture by learning Greek online, easily and effectively from your home?

That’s exactly what we’re here for!

Join GreekPod101.com for a free lifetime account and start learning Greek today.

Before you go, let us know in the comments which of these locations you want to visit most and why! We look forward to hearing from you.

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English Words in Greek You Should Know

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Happy Students Holding Their Notebooks

Did you know that learning Greek will involve coming across many familiar English words?

Well, since Greece is a member of the European Union and one of the top tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, it’s not surprising that the majority of Greeks speak fluent English. In addition, English lessons are integrated into the educational curriculum, so Greek children familiarize themselves with the language from a very young age. 

Within this context, there are many English words in Greek that are used in everyday communication. In some cases (such as when technology-related terminology is used), these borrowed English words are even preferred over their Greek equivalents. 

As technology has continued to thrive over the past few decades, a new, informal version of written—or better said, typed—Greek has emerged, widely known as Greeklish. As you might already know, Greek is not a Romance language, so being able to type in Greek using an English keyboard facilitated digital communication.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the different versions of Greeklish as well as some common English words used in the Greek language. In addition, we’ll introduce you to plenty of English words which are derived from Greek.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Greeklish
  2. Greeklish Examples
  3. Loanwords vs. Greeklish
  4. English Words Derived From Greek
  5. Conclusion

1. Introduction to Greeklish

‘Greeklish’ is a portmanteau word that combines the words Greek and English. This term refers to the tendency of native speakers to type Greek with Latin characters. 

The first use of Greeklish is believed to have been by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (Ε.Μ.Υ.), during times when Greek characters were not fully supported in systems or in the digital world. However, there is no official record as to when exactly Greeklish made its first appearance. 

One thing is sure, though: Greeklish has flourished among youngsters, along with the development of technology. For example, one of the first uses of Greeklish was in SMS messages, mainly due to the character restrictions. Typing in Greek would require more characters for certain vowel and consonant sounds, such as: αι > e and ντ > d. Later, the use of Greeklish expanded to all digital communications, where passing on a message quickly was more important than spelling and taking the time to accentuate words.

A Laptop, a Tablet, and Two Smartphones

We could say that there are two distinctive styles of Greeklish: 

  • Phonetic: Writing the words with Latin characters, according to the way they sound. For example, μπαμπάς > babas.
  • Spelling-based: Writing the words with Latin characters, taking into account the Greek spelling and transliterating them on a letter-by-letter basis. For example, μπαμπάς > mpampas.

However, most people who use Greeklish have a mixed style, with some words being typed according to their spelling and other words being typed according to their sound. Sometimes, even numbers are used. For example, θάλασσα > 8alassa. It’s a matter of personal preference, really.

Despite these redeeming features of Greeklish, it is perceived as a very informal method of communication and has already started to fade out significantly. This decline in popularity is largely due to various Greek forums that prohibited typing in Greeklish in an attempt to preserve the Greek language and provide quality content for their viewers. Many people supported this idea in their personal lives and raised awareness of how detrimental Greeklish could be concerning the spelling skills of young students and people in general. 

With the fading of SMS messages and the evolution of technology and communication methods, there is no longer the need to type fewer characters. And with the wide support of Greek characters across systems, there is no real excuse for choosing Latin characters over Greek ones.


2. Greeklish Examples

A Sketch of Two Hands Combining Two Puzzle Pieces

Here are a few examples of Greeklish to show you the different styles of using this informal communication method. 

  • Greek: Γεια σου, τι κάνεις;
  • Phonetic Greeklish: Ya su, ti kanis?
  • Spelling-based Greeklish: Geia sou, ti kaneis?
  • Mixed version: Gia su, t knc? 
  • Translation in English: Hello, how are you doing?
  • Greek: Είμαι καλά, εσύ;
  • Phonetic Greeklish: Ime kala, esi?
  • Spelling-based Greeklish: Eimai kala, esy?
  • Mixed version: Ime kl, esi? 
  • Translation in English: I am well, you?
  • Greek: Καλά είμαι κι εγώ. Θέλεις να πάμε αύριο για έναν καφέ?
  • Phonetic Greeklish: Kala ime ki ego. Thelis na pame avrio ya enan kafe?
  • Spelling-based Greeklish: Kala eimai ki egw. Theleis na pame aurio gia enan kafe?
  • Mixed version: Kl ime ki ego. Thelis n pame avrio gia kafe? 
  • Translation in English: I am fine, as well. Would you like to go for a coffee tomorrow?
  • Greek: Γιατί όχι. Στις επτά είναι καλά;
  • Phonetic Greeklish: Yati ohi. Stis epta ine kala?
  • Spelling-based Greeklish: Giati oxi. Stis epta einai kala?
  • Mixed version: Gt ohi. Stis epta ine kl? 
  • Translation in English: Why not. Does seven o’clock work for you?
  • Greek: Μια χαρά! Τα λέμε αύριο.
  • Phonetic Greeklish: Mia hara! Ta leme avrio.
  • Spelling-based Greeklish: Mia xara! Ta leme aurio.
  • Mixed version: Mia hara. Tlm avrio. 
  • Translation in English: Excellent! See you tomorrow.

Learn how to offer an invitation in Greek, and how to reject one politely!

3. Loanwords vs. Greeklish

A Woman within a Frame Holding a Magnifying Lens

As we said earlier, Greeklish refers to typing Greek using Latin characters. Loanwords, on the other hand, are foreign words which have been integrated into the Greek language to such an extent that they’re written with Greek letters according to how they sound.

Here is a quick list of common English words used in Greek:

LoanwordEnglish Equivalent
κέικcake
κέτσαπketchup
μπάρμπεκιουbarbeque
μπέικονbacon
σάντουιτςsandwich
τοστtoast
μπλέντερblender
πόστερposter
σέικερshaker
μπικίνιbikini
πουλόβερpullover
σορτςshorts
ινστιτούτοinstitute
μέικαπmakeup 
σουπερμάρκετsupermarket
τεστtest
καγκουρόkangaroo
γκολgoal
άουτout
οφσάιντoffside
ματςmatch
μάρκετινγκmarketing
εξπρέςexpress
λάπτοπlaptop
κομπιούτερcomputer
ίντερνετinternet
σάιτ(web)site
τάμπλετtablet
λάιτlight (low on calories)
μπάσκετbasket
βόλεϊvolley
τζιπjeep
μιούζικαλmusical
χιούμορhumor

At this point, we should note that unlike native Greek nouns, almost all of the ones above do not get inflected. They remain the same in speech regardless of whether they are singular or plural, for example.

Therefore:

Singular: το κέικPlural:  τα κέικ

Singular: το λάπτοπPlural: τα λάπτοπ

Singular: το μπλέντερPlural: τα μπλέντερ

Of course, there are hundreds of loanwords. But referencing all of them would go well beyond the scope of this article. 

Most Greek learners love these words, because they’re easy to remember and are not affected very much by Greek grammar.

4. English Words Derived From Greek

A Woman Reading a Book

There is another category of words that combine English with Greek: English words derived from the Greek language. As strange as it might seem, this category is vast and includes a wide variety of Greek words and terminologies which have been integrated into the English language. 

Here is a list of some of the most popular English words with Greek roots:

English WordOriginal Greek Word
democracyδημοκρατία (dimokratía)
EuropeΕυρώπη (Evrópi)
dinosaurδεινόσαυρος (dinósavros)
anonymousανώνυμος (anónimos)
marathonμαραθώνιος (marathónios)
melancholyμελαγχολία (melanholía)
phobiaφοβία (fovía)
psychologyψυχολογία (psiholoyía)
panicπανικός (panikós)
planetπλανήτης (planítis)
acrobatακροβάτης (akrovátis)
apologyαπολογία (apoloyía)
comedyκωμωδία (komodía)
dramaδράμα (dráma)
emphasisέμφαση (émfasi)
harmonyαρμονία (armonía)
economyοικονομία (ikonomía)
sarcasmσαρκασμός (sarkasmós)
hierarchyιεραρχία (ierarhía)
characterχαρακτήρας (haraktíras)
telephoneτηλέφωνο (tiléfono)
programπρόγραμμα (prógrama)
gastronomyγαστρονομία (gastronomía)
dialogueδιάλογος (diálogos)
epilogueεπίλογος (epílogos)
oenologyοινολογία (inoloyía)
homophobiaομοφοβία (omofovía)
etymologyετυμολογία (etimoloyía)
asteroidαστεροειδής (asteroidís)
planetariumπλανητάριο (planitário)
utopiaουτοπία (utopía)
photographyφωτογραφία (fotografía)
zoologyζωολογία (zooloyía)
biologyβιολογία (violoyía)
astronomyαστρονομία (astronomía)
telescopeτηλεσκόπιο (tileskópio)
anarchyαναρχία (anarhía)
architectureαρχιτεκτονική (arhitektonikí)
technologyτεχνολογία (tehnoloyía)

In fact, there are so many words of Greek origin in the English language that it’s possible to write large texts—or even entire speeches—in English using almost entirely words of Greek origin. A good example of this is the speech of Mr. Xenophon Zolotas in 1957, who was then the director of the Bank of Greece.

Curious to learn more? You can read an article about this historical speech online.

Conclusion

If you’ve reached this point, we’re sure that you’re already amazed by the influence these two languages have had on each other. The most surprising fact is that there are so many Greek words in the English language that, as you can see now, they could be used to create an entire speech!

Many learners of Greek are pleased to know that there are so many familiar words in the Greek language. This definitely makes things easier for novice learners, who tend to get disappointed by the complexity of Greek grammar and spelling. 

On the other hand, Greeklish might seem a viable solution for those who just want to chat casually in Greek. But remember that this peculiar tendency is clearly fading out as the years pass by. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend using Greeklish (except with really close friends), as it might give a bad impression and, in some cases, even be considered disrespectful. 

At GreekPod101.com, we aim to provide you with everything you need to learn the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos, which are waiting for you to discover them!

You can also upgrade to Premium PLUS and take advantage of our MyTeacher program to learn Greek with your own personal teacher, who will answer any questions you might have!

In the meantime, can you think of any other English words that derive from Greek? Let us know in the comments section!

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