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Archive for the 'Advanced Greek' Category

Your Guide to the Greek Language Certification Examination

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So, you’ve been learning Greek for a while, and have reached a certain level of fluency. 

Now what?

Learning a new language is mainly a personal journey, but there are certain situations where having a certification could be useful. Through an official Greek test or exam, you can test your knowledge and add a new language to your CV. 

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your Greek language knowledge certified.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Greek Table of Contents
  1. General Information About the Exam
  2. Examination Sections
  3. A1 Level – Beginner
  4. A2 Level – Elementary
  5. B1 Level – Intermediate
  6. B2 Level – Upper-Intermediate
  7. C1 Level – Advanced
  8. C2 Level – Proficiency
  9. Tips on How to Prepare for the Exam
  10. Conclusion

1. General Information About the Exam

The organization responsible for the Official Greek Assessment Test for Foreigners is The Center of Greek Language (Κέντρο Ελληνικής Γλώσσας).

Students Writing an Exam

The available levels, listed below, correspond to the European Standards:

  • A1: Beginner
  • A2: Elementary
  • B1: Intermediate
  • B2: Upper-Intermediate
  • C1: Advanced
  • C2: Mastery or Proficiency

This Greek examination is offered for the following purposes:

  • Business Purposes. For some jobs, it’s a prerequisite to be certified in the Greek language. The required extent of this knowledge is determined by each job position.
  • Studying Purposes. In order to study in a Greek university, the prerequisite is to hold a B2 certificate or higher.
  • Working for the Public Sector. To apply for a job in the Greek public sector, one must have the C1 certificate or higher.
  • Residence Permit (Long-Lasting). In order to acquire a long-lasting residence permit, one of the prerequisites is to hold at least an A2 Greek knowledge certificate.
  • Specified Business Purposes. Some fields of work, such as taxi-driving and nursing, require at least the A2 Greek knowledge certificate. 

However, you can choose to get your knowledge certified for other reasons.

A Woman Preparing for the Greek Exams

There’s a wide variety of topics referenced in the Greek language proficiency exams, which cover many aspects of everyday life, including:

  • Personal life inside and outside the house
    • Recognition of one’s identity
    • Residence
    • Location, Environment, Flora & Fauna, Weather Conditions
    • Free Time & Entertainment
    • Social Relations
    • Health & Body Condition
  • Everyday life
    • Activities inside the house
    • Activities outside the house (Purchasing Products & Services, Nutrition, Education, Worklife, Public Services, Transportation & Traveling)

The exams take place once a year (most commonly in mid-May). There are many examination centers in Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, North and South Africa, Asia, and Australia.

2. Examination Sections

The Greek language exams can be taken at six possible levels, which we outlined earlier. The number of sections a test has depends on what level it is:

  • Levels A1, A2, B1
    • Four sections (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking)
  • Levels B2, C1, C2
    • Five sections (Listening, Reading, Use of Greek, Writing, Speaking)
A Woman Studying Greek
  • Reading 

This part of the Greek proficiency exam aims to check how well a student understands written Greek. Normally, a short passage is given, followed by questions. For the lower levels, these questions may include multiple choices and matching choices, whereas higher levels will have more complicated questions.

  • Listening 

This part of the examination usually includes short dialogues by native speakers. The types and lengths of the dialogues can vary depending on the level of the examination. Normally, there are multiple-choice answers for each question. 

  • Writing 

For beginner levels, students are normally asked to write a letter to a friend or a family member, presenting their opinion about or experience with a specific matter. For more intermediate levels, the writing section might include an essay or a more formal letter. 

  • Speaking 

For the Greek speaking exam, students are assessed in groups of two. Normally, a central question is given, which sets the tone of the discussion. In this section, the students are asked to express their opinion on a variety of everyday matters. 

  • Use of Greek

This is probably the least familiar section to students. It normally includes a two- or three-paragraphs-long passage, where there are gaps. For each gap, the student should choose the most appropriate word from multiple choices. This part is only included in upper-level examinations, mainly because it aims to test a student’s knowledge of special expressions and colloquialisms.

3. A1 Level – Beginner

This is the first examination level, and it includes four sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. 

Here’s an overview of the exam:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts442N/A
Duration30 minutes25 minutes40 minutes10-12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

The main goal of this examination is to test the basic skills in understanding and producing written and oral Greek.

Language Skills

4. A2 Level – Elementary

The next level includes the same sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

You can find an overview of the exam below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts442N/A
Duration30 minutes25 minutes45 minutes12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

5. B1 Level – Intermediate

The intermediate level follows the same layout, with the same sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

Here’s an overview of the B1 Level examination: 

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts422N/A
Duration40 minutes25 minutes55 minutes12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

6. B2 Level – Upper-Intermediate

As we’ve already mentioned, a new section is included in this level: Use of Greek, along with Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

An overview of the examination is demonstrated below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts322N/AN/A
Duration45 minutes30 minutes85 minutes15 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates3 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

7. C1 Level – Advanced

This examination is definitely for advanced learners. Although it includes the same sections as the previous level, the students should be comfortable with some native Greek expressions and colloquialisms.

Here’s an overview of the examination:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts422N/AN/A
Duration55 minutes40 minutes100 minutes20 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates4 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

8. C2 Level – Proficiency

This is your chance to shine! 

When you achieve fluency, this is definitely the ultimate examination—and the most difficult. It includes many native expressions and it requires deep knowledge of Greek grammar and its exceptions, as well as fluency in oral speech. 

Find a summary of the complete examination below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts422N/AN/A
Duration55 minutes40 minutes100 minutes20 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates4 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

9. Tips on How to Prepare for the Exam

A Happy Man Who Got a Good Grade

Preparing for any exam requires much effort and discipline. Here are some useful tips you can use to make this process as easy as possible.

  • Start with the Grammar

Create a notebook with grammar tips and revise your notes regularly. Greek grammar is not very easy, and it includes many exceptions to the various rules, so you should be prepared to study a lot of grammar whilst preparing for the exam.

  • Continue with Vocabulary

Another notebook you should create is a vocabulary notebook. Simply write down all of the unknown words you encounter while studying. For adjectives, it’s good to write down their variations in different genders (male, female, neutral), as well.

  • Read Greek Articles Online

Did you know you can have endless reading practice online? You can find a wide variety of articles on various subjects from Greek websites. Select a theme you like and begin reading articles in Greek! Write down any unknown words and enhance your vocabulary notebook.

  • Read Greek Books

Another great way to improve your reading and comprehension skills is reading Greek books. If you’re a novice Greek learner, start with children’s books, which use much simpler language and vocabulary. 

  • Watch Greek TV Shows

Watching Greek movies and TV shows will improve your listening skills for sure! Actually, we’ve prepared a relevant list for you with the most wonderful Greek movies. Check it out! 

  • MyTeacher – Your Teacher

Did you know that you can have a personal tutor to answer all your questions, without ever leaving your home? With our premium MyTeacher feature, you’ll be assigned a personal teacher who will share with you all the important tips, grammar rules, and native expressions you need to reach fluency. 

  • Do as Many Mock Tests as You Can

Okay, this is obvious. You have to get used to the layout of the examination you’re going to take. So, you should spend some time practicing by doing as many mock tests as you can.

10. Conclusion

Taking a Greek language exam can be useful whether you aim to work in Greece or you just want to certify your knowledge. 

If you need more info about the official Greek examinations, you can always visit the Official Website of Greek Learning; you can also find some sample tests there. However, the website is in Greek, so you should have some basic knowledge to ensure a smooth browsing experience.

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. 

How do you feel about taking a Greek exam now? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to help!

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Greek Life Events Phrases: Happy Birthday in Greek & More

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Ever wondered how to say Happy Birthday in Greek?

Well, now you can easily learn all the useful Greek phrases about various life events, brought to you in this article by GreekPod101.com.

Learning—and using—the most popular Greek life event messages, such as Merry Christmas in Greek and Happy New Year in Greek, can be a nice surprise for your Greek friends.

Let’s have a look at the most appropriate ready-to-use Greek congratulations phrases you can use for each of the following occasions.

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Table of Contents

  1. Birthday
  2. Pregnancy and Birth
  3. Graduation
  4. New Job or Promotion
  5. Retirement
  6. Wedding
  7. Death or Funeral
  8. Bad News
  9. Illness or Injury
  10. Holidays
  11. New Beginnings within the Year
  12. Acquiring Something New
  13. Meals
  14. Conclusion

1. Birthday

Happy Birthday

Greeks love birthdays and name-days. They often organize small feasts, during which all of their friends are gathered to celebrate. If you have a Greek friend, feel free to wish them a happy birthday in Greek by choosing one of the following Greek congratulations phrases.

Greek: Χρόνια πολλά!
Romanization: Hrónia polá!
Meaning: “Happy birthday!” / “Happy Name Day!” (Literally: [I wish you] many years [to live]!)

Greek: Και στα εκατό!
Romanization: Ke sta ekató!
Meaning: “(May you live) up to 100 years old!”

Greek: Να χαίρεσαι το όνομά σου!
Romanization: Na hérese to ónomá su!
Meaning: “Be happy for your name!”

Greek: Χρόνια πολλά, έστω και καθυστερημένα!
Romanization: Hrónia polá, ésto ke kathisteriména!
Meaning: “Happy belated birthday!” (Literally: Happy birthday, although belated!)

Greek: Να τα εκατοστήσεις!
Romanization: Na ta ekatostísis!
Meaning: “May you reach 100 years old!”

Greek: Να τα χιλιάσεις!
Romanization: Na ta hiliásis!
Meaning: “May you reach 1000 years old!”

Greek: Πολύχρονος (masculine) / Πολύχρονη (feminine)!
Romanization: Políhronos / Políhroni!
Meaning: “(May you be) long-lived!”

Greek: Ό,τι επιθυμείς!
Romanization: Ó,ti epithimís!
Meaning: “(May you get) everything you desire!”

2. Pregnancy and Birth

Talking about Age

Bringing a new human to life has always been a major event in Greece. Friends and family are really happy and tend to send gifts to the happy couple. However, unlike in other countries, Greeks do not organize baby showers.

Greek: Να σας ζήσει!
Romanization: Na sas zísi!
Meaning: “(May your baby) live long!”

Greek: Γερό και καλότυχο να είναι!
Romanization: Yeró ke kalótiho na íne!
Meaning: “(May the baby) be healthy and fortunate!”

Οther popular wishes usually said to pregnant women are shown below.

Greek: Με έναν πόνο!
Romanization: Me énan póno!
Meaning: “(May the baby come out) with one pain!”

Greek: Με το καλό!
Romanization: Me to kaló!
Meaning: “(God willing) everything will be fine!”
Additional Note: This can be used in many social situations since it’s a very generic way to wish for a positive outcome.

Greek: Καλή λευτεριά!
Romanization: Kalí lefteriá!
Meaning: “(I wish you) good freedom!”
Additional Note: This is a way of wishing a woman relief after her pregnancy.

3. Graduation

Basic Questions

Greece has one of the highest percentages of university graduates in Europe. Therefore, it’s common to celebrate one’s graduation from a university, usually with a big dinner with friends and family.

If you happen to have a friend who’s graduating, feel free to pick and use one of the following congratulations in Greek.

Greek: Συγχαρητήρια!
Romanization: Sinharitíria!
Meaning: “Congratulations!”

Greek: Και εις ανώτερα!
Romanization: Ke is anótera!
Meaning: “May you achieve greater things!”

Greek: Καλή πρόοδο!
Romanization: Kalí próodo!
Meaning: “(I wish you) good progress!”

All of the above phrases can be either formal or informal, and can be said or written in a card. In Greece, when a friend or a family member is graduating, it’s common to offer a present. It would be a nice surprise for your Greek friend to find some Greek wishes in the accompanying card!

4. New Job or Promotion

An Arrogant Businessman with a Crown

Getting a promotion is something that many people pursue, usually for many years. They deserve a happy wish, don’t they? You can choose and use one of the following.

Greek: Συγχαρητήρια για την προαγωγή σου!
Romanization: Sinharitíria ya tin proagoyí su!
Meaning: “Congratulations on your promotion!”

Greek: Σου εύχομαι καλή επιτυχία στη νέα σου θέση!
Romanization: Su éfhome kalí epitihía sti néa su thési!
Meaning: “I wish you good luck (lit. great success) on your new position!”

5. Retirement

An Aged Man Being Happy about Retirement

Retirement for some is the ultimate dream. Getting old isn’t pleasant. You get tired easier, and after so many years of work, retirement seems awesome.

Here’s an appropriate wish you can use when someone you know is retiring.

Greek: Τις καλύτερες ευχές μου για το νέο κεφάλαιο της ζωής σου!
Romanization: Tis kalíteres efhés mu ya to néo kefáleo tis zoís su!
Meaning: “Best wishes on your new chapter in life!”

6. Wedding

Marriage Proposal

Well, marriage is a big party, isn’t it? This is exactly what happens in Greece. The newlyweds normally organize a big feast after their marriage to celebrate their happiness with friends and family.

But what do you say at a Greek wedding? Below, you can find a wide variety of Greek wedding congratulations you can say to the happy couple!

Greek: Να ζήσετε!
Romanization: Na zísete!
Meaning: “(May you) live long!”

Greek: Βίον ανθόσπαρτον!
Romanization: Víon anthósparton!
Meaning: “(May your) life be full of flowers!”

Greek: Καλούς απογόνους!
Romanization: Kalús apogónus!
Meaning: “(May you have) good offspring!”

Greek: Η ώρα η καλή!
Romanization: I óra i kalí!
Meaning: “May the time of your marriage be good!”
Additional Note: This is said to the couple before getting married.

Greek: Και στα δικά σου!
Romanization: Ke sta diká su!
Meaning: “May you get married as well!”
Additional Note: This is said to the single people attending a wedding.

When the wedding party is over (or any other social gathering, really), the following expression is a very common thing for a host to say to his guests when they’re leaving:

Greek: Να πας (informal) / πάτε (formal, plural) στο καλό!
Romanization: Na pas / páte sto kaló!
Meaning: “Farewell!”
Additional Note: This is said to wish someone well when parting.

7. Death or Funeral

A Woman Mourning

A funeral in Greece comes with great grievance and it’s considered to be a major social event. Normally, funerals are organized in churches, since most Greeks are Orthodox Christians. If you need to express your condolences, you can select one of the following Greek funeral condolences.

Greek: Θεός ‘σχωρέστον! (masculine) / Θεός ‘σχωρέστην! (feminine)
Romanization: Theós ‘schoréston! / Theós ‘schoréstin!
Meaning: “May God forgive him / her!”

Greek: Ζωή σε εσάς! / Ζωή σε λόγου σας!
Romanization: Zoí se esás! / Zoí se lógu sas!
Meaning: “(May you) live long!”
Additional Note: This refers to the family of the deceased.

Greek: Να ζήσετε να τον / τη θυμάστε!
Romanization: Na zísete na ton / ti thimáste!
Meaning: “(May you) live long in order to remember him / her!”
Additional Note: This also refers to the family of the deceased.

Greek: (Τα) συλλυπητήριά (μου)!
Romanization: (Ta) silipitíriá (mu)!
Meaning: “(My) condolences!”

8. Bad News

A Woman Being Sad

Show your Greek friends that you care by using the following ready-to-use Greek condolences messages.

Greek: Λυπάμαι πολύ!
Romanization: Lipáme polí!
Meaning: “I am deeply sorry!”

Greek: Λυπάμαι πολύ για αυτό που συνέβη!
Romanization: Lipáme polí ya aftó pu sinévi!
Meaning: “I am deeply sorry for what happened!”

9. Illness or Injury

A Woman at the Hospital Being Visited by Her Children

In the unfortunate event of an injury or an illness, it’s considered kind to express your sympathy. You can easily do so with the following Greek phrases.

Greek: Περαστικά!
Romanization: Perastiká!
Meaning: “Get well soon!”

Greek: Καλή ανάρρωση!
Romanization: Kalí anárosi!
Meaning: “Have a good recovery!”

Greek: Σιδερένιος! (masculine) / Σιδερένια! (feminine)
Romanization: Siderénios! / Siderénia!
Meaning: “(Be) tough as iron (from now on)!”
Additional Note: This is usually said after a surgery or serious injury.

Greek: Να προσέχεις!
Romanization: Na proséhis!
Meaning: “Take care!”

10. Holidays

A Christmas Tree Next to a Fireplace

Holidays are all about kindness and gratitude. What do you write in a Greek Christmas card? How do you express good wishes for the holidays?

Here you can find the most popular holiday wishes, such as Merry Christmas in Greek or Happy New Year in Greek.

Greek: Καλά Χριστούγεννα!
Romanization: Kalá Hristúyena!
Meaning: “Merry Christmas!”

Greek: Καλή χρονιά!
Romanization: Kalí hroniá!
Meaning: “Happy New Year!”

Greek: Ευτυχισμένο το 2020!
Romanization: Eftihizméno to dío hiliádes íkosi!
Meaning: “Happy 2020!”

Greek: Καλή Πρωταπριλιά!
Romanization: Kalí Protapriliá!
Meaning: “Happy April Fool’s Day!”

Greek: Καλό Πάσχα!
Romanization: Kaló Páscha!
Meaning: “Happy Easter!”

11. New Beginnings within the Year

A Shuffling Calendar

Interestingly, Greeks tend to exchange wishes, even for minor events, like the beginning of a new month, or even the beginning of a new week. Have a look at the relevant phrases below.

Greek: Καλό μήνα!
Romanization: Kaló mína!
Meaning: “Have a good month!”

Greek: Καλή εβδομάδα!
Romanization: Kalí evdomáda!
Meaning: “Have a good week!”

Greek: Καλό Σαββατοκύριακο!
Romanization: Kaló Savatokíriako!
Meaning: “Have a good weekend!”

12. Acquiring Something New

A Woman Holding a Present

When a friend opens a new shop, or when they acquire something new, such as clothes, shoes, or even when they get a haircut, you might want to wish them the best. Here are some useful phrases for these situations.

Greek: Καλές δουλειές!
Romanization: Kalés duliés!
Meaning: “(May you have) good business!”
Additional Note: This can be said when attending the opening of a shop.

Greek: Με γεια!
Romanization: Me ya!
Meaning: “With health!”
Additional Note: This refers to a new acquisition, and is a wish for it to last. It’s a common expression for a new haircut or object.

Greek: Καλορίζικο!
Romanization: Kaloríziko!
Meaning: “I wish you to enjoy your new acquisition with good luck!”
Additional Note: This is often said when buying a house or opening up a store.

Greek: Καλοτάξιδο!
Romanization: Kalotáxido!
Meaning: “May it travel well!”
Additional Note: This is often said when getting a new car, boat, motorcycle, etc.).

13. Meals

A Group of Friends Eating Lunch

One of the most common occasions is having dinner with some friends. Ever wondered how to say “cheers” in Greek? Read below to find out.

Greek: Γεια μας!
Romanization: Ya mas!
Meaning: “Cheers!”

Greek: Άσπρο πάτο!
Romanization: Áspro páto!
Meaning: “Bottoms up!”

Greek: Γούρι!
Romanization: Gúri!
Meaning: “(That’s) good luck!”
Additional Note: This is usually said when someone spills some of their drink.

Greek: Θα καλοπαντρευτείς!
Romanization: Tha kalopandreftís!
Meaning: “You will have a fortunate marriage!”
Additional Note: This is usually said to someone when pouring the last drops of wine from a bottle or carafe into his or her glass.

Greek: Καλή όρεξη!
Romanization: Kalí óreksi!
Meaning: “Enjoy your meal!” (Literally: Bon appétit!)

14. Conclusion

Interested in getting to know more useful Greek phrases? Join us at GreekPod101.com!

It’s important to know most wishes in Greek language learning, as they’re an integral part of the Greek language. Many people use them when both speaking and writing.

As demonstrated in this article, most of these phrases are closely related to various historical or cultural aspects of the Greek lifestyle. By learning them, you’re more likely to avoid any potential misunderstandings, and you’ll sound like a native Greek speaker.

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! Start your free lifetime account today.

In the meantime, reader, let us know which of these life event messages you plan on trying out first! Good wishes for a relative’s wedding? Telling your Greek friend happy birthday in Greek? Let us know in the comments!

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