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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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Is Greek Hard to Learn?

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Learning a new language can be intimidating. When it comes to a less-popular language like Greek, spoken by only 13.8 million people worldwide, many potential learners wonder “Is it hard to learn Greek?”

The good news is that Greek is a branch of the Indo-European languages. This means that it shares many common characteristics with Spanish, English, and Italian. 

The bad news is… Wait a minute! Is there really any bad news? 

If you’re reading this article, then you should be fluent in English, regardless of your mother tongue. There it is: you’re already familiar with the philosophy of the most popular Indo-European language. This is a huge asset that will play an important role during your Greek-learning journey. 

With GreekPod101.com, you can start learning Greek in a fast and easy way. From our vast experience with students from all over the world, we’ve gathered in this article the most common difficulties that they face while learning Greek, plus solutions and tips on how to overcome them.

After reading this blog post, you’ll be able to say, out loud and with confidence: “Greek is certainly NOT hard to learn!”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Greek Table of Contents
  1. You Already Know Some Greek
  2. The Easiest & Hardest Parts of the Greek Language
  3. I Want to Learn Greek. Where Should I Start?
  4. Useful Advice for Novice Greek-Learners
  5. Why is GreekPod101.com Great for Learning Greek?
  6. Conclusion

1. You Already Know Some Greek

Yes, you do!

Did you know that five percent of the words included in a typical English dictionary have Greek origins? 

Take a look at some examples below.

GreekRomanizationEnglish Equivalent
κόσμοςkósmos“cosmos”
ακροβάτηςakrovátis“acrobat”
ιστορίαistoría“history”
ανώνυμοςanónimos“anonymous”
γαλαξίαςgalaxías“galaxy”
βακτήριοvaktírio“bacterium”
ρινόκεροςrinókeros“rhinoceros”
τεχνολογίαtehnoloyía“technology”
σαρκασμόςsarkazmós“sarcasm”
δημοκρατίαdimokratía“democracy”
ΕυρώπηEvrópi“Europe”
μουσικήmusikí“music”
φοβίαfovía“phobia”
πανικόςpanikós“panic”
πλανήτηςplanítis“planet”

And these are only some of them.

Innovation was prominent in ancient Greek culture. Therefore, many discoveries and terms, especially in the fields of mathematics, science, and medicine, originated from Greek.

This magical aspect of the Greek language was once highlighted by Mr. Zolotas, a Greek politician in the 1950s who created a whole speech in English using only Greek words

2. The Easiest & Hardest Parts of the Greek Language

Why is learning Greek so hard for some students? And what things make it pretty easy? We’ll outline both sides of the Greek language in the following sections! 

2.1 Easiest Parts

We could say that there are more easy parts than there are hard parts, for sure. Greek is, overall, not a hard language to learn, remember?

A Smiling Man Leaning Back in His Chair, Relaxed

Here are the easiest aspects of Greek language learning, so you can see for yourself:

  • Alphabet
    Even the word “alphabet” itself stems from the Greek word αλφάβητο (alphávito). The Greek alphabet consists of twenty-four letters, ordered from Α/α (“alpha”) to Ω/ω (“omega”), and it’s pretty similar to the alphabets of other European languages. 

    Tempted to start learning the Greek alphabet today? Watch  our relevant YouTube video to get a glimpse, or begin learning in depth with our Greek Alphabet Made Easy lesson.
  • Word Order
    The basic sentence structure in Greek follows the SVO pattern (Subject-Verb-Object), like the English language. In addition, adjectives are placed before nouns, and adverbs after verbs. 

    Here are some examples of simple Greek sentences:

Greek: Εγώ παίζω κιθάρα.
Romanization: Egó pézo kithára.
Translation: “I play the guitar.”

SubjectVerbObject
Εγώπαίζωκιθάρα

Greek: Ο μαύρος σκύλος κυνηγάει την άσπρη γάτα.
Romanization: O mávros skílos kinigái tin áspri gáta.
Translation: “The black dog chases the white cat.”

SubjectVerbObject
Ο μαύρος σκύλοςκυνηγάειτην άσπρη γάτα.

If you want to learn all the details about Greek word order, read our relevant blog post.

  • Pronunciation
    Phonetically, Greek is very similar to Spanish, Portuguese, and English. There are five basic vowels—i, u, e, o, a—which are typically included in the syllables. There’s also a stress mark, which can be placed only over vowels, indicating an accented syllable.

    Greek also features digraphs (two letters combined, making a distinct sound) and diphthongs (two vowels combined into one syllable), which appear to be tricky for young learners. However, once you learn them and familiarize yourself with the language, these will be a piece of cake.

2.2 Hardest Parts

Well, even the moon has a dark side. Just embrace the challenge!

A Desperate Man Looking at His Laptop in Anger

Here are the main reasons people find the Greek language hard to learn:

  • Spelling
    We’re not going to lie: Greek spelling can push you to your limits. But is this a reason to be disappointed?

    Even native Greek-speakers make spelling mistakes all the time. When you get started with Greek, focus on comprehension and practical examples. Will you make spelling mistakes? Sure. Will you get better and better with practice? Absolutely!

    We strongly recommend reading books, articles, and blog posts in Greek. You can even add Greek subtitles to your favorite movies! By doing so, you’ll familiarize yourself with Greek spelling in no time.
  • Verb conjugation
    Verbs in Greek conjugate according to the subject and the number of subjects in a sentence, the tense, the voice (active and passive voice), and the mood. Therefore, Greek verbs can be found in many forms, which indicate the aforementioned properties. And this can be hard. We know.

    However, once you dig into the grammar rules, you’ll be able to categorize verbs according to their ending, and you’ll quickly become a master of Greek verb conjugation!
  • Noun and adjective declension
    Last, but not least, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives get inflected, too. They showcase different forms according to number, gender, and case. They are also often accompanied by articles, which should agree with the noun.

    This is another aspect that many students find challenging. Nevertheless, this is something that you can overcome easily with proper practice.

3. I Want to Learn Greek. Where Should I Start?

A Sketch of a Head with Post-it Papers

At GreekPod101.com, we’ve mastered self-teaching as a lifelong learning method. Here are our pearls of wisdom for getting started with Greek language learning:

  • Step 1: Start with simple everyday life sentences.
  • Step 2: Try to enhance those sentences with a wider range of vocabulary. Keeping a vocabulary notebook will definitely help.
  • Step 3: Continue with grammar. Focus on the basics of verb, noun, and adjective inflection.
  • Step 4: Enhance your listening skills by watching Greek movies and series.
  • Step 5: Start reading children’s books in Greek. They include very simple sentences and they can really help novice learners.
  • Step 6: Now that you have an understanding of the Greek language, familiarize yourself with syntax and word order. Study different cases, such as subordinate sentences, conditionals, and so on.

4. Useful Advice for Novice Greek-Learners

1. Don’t give up: With consistent studying, you can overcome the difficult parts. 

2. Do practice whenever you are given a chance: Visiting Greece? Or even a Greek restaurant abroad? Don’t be shy! Try ordering and chatting in Greek.

3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: It’s a learning experience. Perceive every mistake as an opportunity to learn. 

4. Do try to find Greek communities near you: There’s nothing better than practicing with native speakers. Plus, we bet that you’ll make some new friends!

5. Do plan a trip to Greece: Okay, practicing your Greek might not be your number-one reason to visit Greece, but approach this as a unique opportunity to enjoy crystal-clear beaches, taste delicious food and beverages, and blend in.

5. Why is GreekPod101.com Great for Learning Greek?

GreekPod101 Graphics Demonstrating a Smiling Girl and the Logo

A famous Greek saying goes like this:

Greek: Αν δεν παινέψουμε το σπίτι μας, θα πέσει να μας πλακώσει.
Romanization: An den penépsume to spíti mas, tha pési na mas plakósi.
Translation: “If we don’t praise our home, it will collapse over our heads.”

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

“I bet they’ll promote their website at the end of this article!” you whispered.

However, we assure you: This is not a promotion; it’s encouragement to invest in yourself. 

You can create a free lifetime account on GreekPod101.com and enjoy tons of free video, audio, and PDF lessons, as well as many other benefits.

So, why is GreekPod101.com great for learning Greek?

  • It gets you to speak Greek from day one.
  • It focuses on practical examples, rather than strict grammar rules. 
  • It includes an assessment test to assign you to the most appropriate level and learning path.
  • It allows you to create your own vocabulary lists. 
  • It lets you refresh your knowledge easily and quickly through flashcards.
  • It offers you a wide range of totally free lessons focused on grammar, vocabulary, and listening, categorized by knowledge level.
  • MyTeacher Service: You can create a premium account in order to get access to a personal teacher. This is a unique opportunity to get in touch with an experienced native speaker, who will help you through your learning process.

6. Conclusion

We’d love to hear from you! 

Feel free to share your experience with the Greek language so far in the comments below.

  • Which aspects do you find intriguing?
  • Which was the easiest part of learning Greek?
  • What aspect troubles you the most?

Let us know in the comments!

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.

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The Most Common Mistakes in Learning Greek

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We all make mistakes. That’s a fact. 

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s almost certain that you’ll make numerous mistakes. And mistakes on top of those mistakes. And a few more.

But you’ll learn. It’s all part of the learning process, right?

In this article, we’ll go over the most common mistakes Greek language-learners make. Learn everything you need to know early on, so that you can avoid these mistakes in Greek and sound more like a native speaker.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. Greek Pronunciation Mistakes
  2. Greek Vocabulary Mistakes
  3. Greek Grammar Mistakes
  4. Other Greek Mistakes
  5. The Biggest Mistake
  6. Conclusion

1. Greek Pronunciation Mistakes

A Woman Shutting Her Mouth with Both Hands

The most common mistake in Greek pronunciation is stressing words incorrectly. As a student, you should pay attention to the accent marks, because they’ll help you pronounce Greek words correctly.

At GreekPod101.com, we pay close attention to pronunciation. It’s the key to speaking and sounding like a Greek, after all. Therefore, alongside each and every Greek word in our learning material, we also offer its romanization, along with accent marks.

Another common pronunciation mistake Greek-learners make involves certain consonants. 

For example, English-speaking learners tend to pronounce the consonants τ and π strangely, whereas French-speaking learners struggle to pronounce the consonant ρ. Since our mother tongue determines our pronunciation capabilities, it makes sense that some difficulties may arise. There’s nothing you can’t overcome with practice, though!

Here’s another typical pronunciation mistake: The problem of digraphs. 

Sounds pretty serious, right? Well, it isn’t, as long as you pay attention to the following guidelines.

First and foremost, you’re most likely wondering: “What are digraphs?”

They’re a pair of vowels that are pronounced as one distinct sound. Here, we’ve gathered some of the most common Greek digraphs for you, including examples:

1.1 “Οι” / “οι”

Sounds like: “i” as in the word “info”
Often mistaken as: “o-i”

Example

Greek: Η οικονομία της Ελλάδας πέρασε κρίση.
Romanization: I ikonomía tis Eládas pérase krísi.
Translation: “The economy of Greece has gone through a crisis.”

1.2 “Ει” / “ει”

Sounds like: “i” as in the word “info”
Often mistaken as: “e-i”

Example

Greek: Η παγκόσμια ειρήνη είναι πολύ σημαντική.
Romanization: I pangózmia iríni íne polí simandikí.
Translation: “Worldwide peace is very important.”

1.3 “Αι” / “αι”

Sounds like: “e” as in the word “error”
Often mistaken as: “a-i”

Example

Greek: Οι άνθρωποι έχουν πέντε αισθήσεις.
Romanization:I ánthropi éhun pénde esthísis.
Translation: “Humans have five senses.”

A Woman Holding Her Head with Her Hand in Despair

1.4 “Ευ” / “ευ”

Sounds like: “ev” as in the word “everything” OR “ef” as in the word “effect”
Often mistaken as: “e-i”

Examples

Greek: Σε ευχαριστώ πολύ!
Romanization: Se efharistó polí.
Translation: “Thank you very much.”

Greek: Ο υπάλληλος ήταν πολύ ευγενικός.
Romanization: O ipálilos ítan polí evyenikós.
Translation: “The (male) employee was very polite.”

So, right now, you must be wondering: “How can I tell when this digraph should sound like ‘ev’ or ‘ef’?”

Luckily, there’s a certain rule: 

  • It’s pronounced as “ev” when the next syllable begins with a vowel sound or a voiced consonant sound: β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, τζ, μπ, ντ, γγ, and γκ.
  • It’s pronounced as “ef” when the next syllable begins with the consonants ξ (x) and ψ (ps), an unvoiced consonant sound (κ, π, τ, χ, φ, θ, σ, and τσ) or when the combination is at the end of a word or by itself (ex. ευ αγωνίζεσθαι (ef agonízesthai), meaning “fair play”).

At first, you should think about this rule every time you encounter this digraph. However, with practice, you’ll be able to recognize how it should sound in each word.

1.5 “Αυ” / “αυ”

Sounds like: “av” as in the word “average” OR “af” as in the word “after”
Often mistaken as “a-i”

Examples

Greek: Αυτός είναι ο δάσκαλός μου.
Romanization: Aftós íne o dáskalós mu.
Translation: “This is my (male) teacher.”

Greek: Θέλεις να πάμε για καφέ αύριο;
Romanization: Thélis na páme ya kafé ávrio?
Translation: “Do you want to go for a coffee tomorrow?”

Similarly to the last digraph, there’s a rule for deciding whether it should sound like “af” or “av.”

  • It’s pronounced as “av” when the next syllable begins with a vowel sound or a voiced consonant sound: β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, τζ, μπ, ντ, γγ, and γκ.
  • It’s pronounced as “af” when the next syllable begins with the consonants ξ (x) and ψ (ps), an unvoiced consonant sound (κ, π, τ, χ, φ, θ, σ, and τσ), or when the combination is at the end of a word (ex. ταυ, which is the letter “t” in Greek).

2. Greek Vocabulary Mistakes

We could say that the most common vocabulary mistake in Greek is the one demonstrated below.

Greek: Αυτός είναι Έλληνας.

Romanization: Aftós íne Élinas.

Translation: “He is Greek.”
Greek: Αυτή είναι Ελληνίδα.

Romanization: Aftí íne Elinída.

Translation: “She is Greek.”
Greek: Μου αρέσει το ελληνικό φαγητό.

Romanization: Mu arési to elinikó fayitó.

Translation: “I like Greek food.”
Greek: Εγώ μαθαίνω ελληνικά.

Romanization: Egó mathéno eliniká.

Translation: “I learn Greek (language).”

In English, there’s one word that describes the Greek nationality, language, and anything related to Greece. But in Greek, there are different words that need to be used depending on what exactly you’re talking about.

3. Greek Grammar Mistakes

Correcting a Text with a Red Pen

3.1 The Most Common Mistakes Concerning Nouns & Adjectives

Mixing up genders

In Greek, each noun has its own gender (male-female-neuter). This affects not only nouns, but also the accompanying articles and adjectives. 

Male NounFemale NounNeutral Noun
Greek: Ο πράσινος κήπος.
Romanization: O prásinos kípos.
Translation: “The green garden.”
Greek: Η πράσινη τσάντα.
Romanization: I prásini tsánda.
Translation: “The green bag.”
Greek: Το πράσινο χορτάρι.
Romanization: To prásino hortári.
Translation: “The green grass.”

Mixing up singular & plural

In Greek, each noun is either in the singular form or in the plural. This also affects the accompanying articles and adjectives. 

SingularPlural
Greek: Το ωραίο νησί.
Romanization: To oréo nisí.
Translation: “The beautiful island.”
Greek: Τα ωραία νησιά.
Romanization: Ta oréa nisiá.
Translation: “The beautiful islands.”

Mixing up cases

Nouns in Greek get declined, so they might appear slightly different in each case. The most common source of confusion is between the nominative and accusative cases. A rule of thumb is that when the noun is the subject of the sentence, it should be in the nominative case; when it’s the object of the sentence, it should usually be in the accusative case.

NominativeAccusative
Greek: Ο τοίχος είναι άσπρος.
Romanization: O tíhos íne áspros.
Translation: “The wall is white.”
Greek: Εγώ έβαψα τον τοίχο.
Romanization: Egó évapsa ton tího.
Translation: “I painted the wall.”

3.2 The Most Common Mistakes Concerning Verbs

A Woman Wondering in Front of a Laptop

Mixing up the tenses

Verbs conjugate according to the tense. There are also some irregular verbs, which you should learn by heart.

Here are some examples of the most common irregular Greek verbs in the present and past tenses.

Simple PresentSimple Past
βλέπω (vlépo) – “I see”είδα (ída) – “I saw” 
πηγαίνω (piyéno) – “I go”πήγα (píga) – “I went”
βρίσκω (vrísko) – “I find”βρήκα (vríka) – “I found”
λέω (léo) – “I tell”είπα (ípa) – “I told”
τρώω (tróo) – “I eat”έφαγα (éfaga) – “I ate”
πίνω (píno) – “I drink”ήπια (ípia) – “I drank”

Luckily, the Greek tenses are quite similar to the English ones. Therefore, English-speakers won’t find it difficult to decide which tense to use in each situation.

Mixing up the grammatical mood

Greek verbs also conjugate according to the grammatical mood. Here’s a useful guide on how to select the proper mood for each verb:

Indicative mood: This mood indicates that the action or event is true or really happened (i.e. an objective fact).

Greek: Ο μαθητής πηγαίνει στο σχολείο.
Romanization: O mathitís piyéni sto sholío.
Translation: “The student goes to school.”

Subjunctive mood: This mood presents the action or event as something wanted or expected (but isn’t actually happening / didn’t happen). 

Greek: Ο μαθητής πρέπει να πηγαίνει στο σχολείο.
Romanization: O mathitís prépi na piyéni sto sholío.
Translation: “The student should go to school.”

Imperative mood: This mood may express a command (order), request, or desire.

Greek: Πήγαινε στο σχολείο!
Romanization: Píyene sto sholío!
Translation: “Go to school!”

The participle: This is the uninflected form that has an adverbial function, and it may indicate time, manner, cause, condition, etc.

Greek: Πηγαίνοντας στο σχολείο βρήκα ένα στιλό στον δρόμο.
Romanization: Piyénondas sto sholío vríka éna stiló ston drómo.
Translation: “While going to school, I found a pen on the street.”

The infinitive: This is an uninflected form. It’s used for the formation of the perfective tenses: present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect.

Greek: Αύριο ο μαθητής θα πάει στο σχολείο.
Romanization: Ávrio o mathitís tha pái sto scholío.
Translation: “Tomorrow, the student will go to school.”

Mixing up the voice

In Greek, there are two major voices: the active voice and the passive voice. A rule of thumb for determining whether a verb is in the active or passive voice is demonstrated below.

Verbs in the active voice typically end in . Verbs in the passive voice most commonly end in -μαι in the first person. 

Active VoicePassive Voice
Greek: Ο φούρνος ψήνει το παστίτσιο.
Romanization: O fúrnos psíni to pastítsio.
Translation: “The oven bakes the pastitsio.”
Greek: To παστίτσιο ψήνεται από τον φούρνο.
Romanization: Τo pastítsio psínete apó ton fúrno.
Translation: “The pastitsio is baked by the oven.”

Mixing up the persons

Verbs in Greek also conjugate according to the person they refer to, that is, the person(s) who performs the action. 

4. Other Greek Mistakes

In Greek, you use the second person plural—εσείς (esís), meaning “you”—to speak politely and formally with someone. This is usually a person who is superior to you or who you don’t know well. All components of the sentence should agree with the pronoun you use.

A Man Greeting a Woman in a Business Environment
Informal QuestionFormal Question
Greek: Τι κάνεις; Είσαι καλά;
Romanization: Ti kánis? Íse kalá?
Translation: “How are you? Are you well?”
Greek: Τι κάνετε; Είστε καλά;
Romanization: Ti kánete? Íste kalá?
Translation: “How are you? Are you well?”

5. The Biggest Mistake

Sit back and prepare yourself, because we’re about to reveal the biggest mistake a Greek-learner can make: 

Giving Up

Yes, there it is. 

The biggest mistake is simply giving up. 

Greek, especially its grammar, might seem pretty complicated through the eyes of a novice learner. Take a deep breath and just keep practicing!

Here are some tips to help you study Greek in a fun way:


6. Conclusion

Now that you’ve browsed through the most common Greek language mistakes, what mistakes do you usually make when studying Greek?

Let us know in the comments!

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 await you.

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Greek Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Greek

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Greek! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Greek keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Greek Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Greek
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Greek
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Greek on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Greek Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Greek Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Greek

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Greek

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Greek language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Greek websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Greek teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Greek

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Greek. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Greek, so all text will appear in Greek. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Greek on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Greek language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Greek.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Ελληνικά with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Ελληνικά” > “Options” > “Download.” It will take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Greek – Ελληνικά.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Greek.”

4. Expand the option of “Greek” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Greek.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Greek,” and add the “Greek” keyboard (not the “Greek Polytonic.”)

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Greek Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Greek will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Greek keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Greek” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Ελληνικά” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, this is a good app to consider:

6. Greek Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Greek can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Greek keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  • To add an accent mark over a vowel (ά, έ, ί, ή, ύ, ό, ώ) press the accentuation button (next to the letter L) once and then the vowel.
  • To add diaeresis over a vowel (αϊ, εϊ, οϋ) you need to press Right Shift + the accentuation button at the same time, and then the vowel ι or υ (these are the only ones that can get a diaeresis).
  • To add an accent mark and a diaeresis over a vowel (αΐ, εΐ) you need to press Right Alt + the accentuation button at the same time, and then ι or υ.
  • The Greek question mark looks like the English semicolon (;) and is found on the letter Q when your keyboard is set to Greek.
  • The Greek quotation marks are angled («»). You get them by pressing Right Alt + the [ key or Right Alt + the ] key.

2- Mobile Phones

  • On mobile devices, hold the vowel key and select the type of accentuation from the menu that pops up in order to add the accent mark.

7. How to Practice Typing Greek

As you probably know by now, learning Greek is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Greek typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a GreekPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Greek keyboard to do this!

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Introducing Family in Greek

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Our family has always been the core of our lives, and family in Greek culture means a lot. In addition, this is a pretty popular topic of discussion when meeting new people. Family bonds in Greece are very important, as most people are close to their family members, and families in Greek life play a huge part in society in general. So, how do you say “family” in Greek, or other essential words?

So, before we begin, are you interested in a quick warm-up? Check out our Family Members Word List, where you can find the most important words and get ready for the in-depth approach that follows.

Table of Contents

  1. Core Family Members in Greek
  2. Other Relatives in Greek
  3. Family Members as a Married Person in Greek
  4. Unique Family Greek Names for Relationships
  5. Endearment Family Terms in Greek
  6. Proverbs and Quotes about Family in Greek
  7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

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1. Core Family Members in Greek

Family Words

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Here’s how to say “family” in Greek:

  • Greek: η οικογένεια
  • Romanization: i ikoyénia
  • Meaning: “family”

The term οικογένεια is a compound feminine noun that comes from the word οικογενής, which consists of the ancient Greek words [οίκος (íkos) meaning “home”] + [γίγνομαι (yígnome) meaning “to be born”]. So οικογένεια is used to describe the people who have been born and raised in the same home. See how much sense it makes?

Other ways to refer to the Greek family are the colloquial σόι (sói) and φαμίλια (família), which mean exactly the same thing. However, the term οικογένεια remains the most popular in everyday dialogue.

Here’s an example of how to introduce your family as a whole:

  • Greek: Αυτή είναι η οικογένεια μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i ikoyénia mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my family.”

Another important part of the Greek family is, of course, the parents and grandparents.

  • Greek: οι γονείς
  • Romanization: i gonís
  • Meaning: “parents”
  • Greek: οι παππούδες
  • Romanization: i papúdes
  • Meaning: “grandparents”
  • Greek: οι προπαππούδες
  • Romanization: i propapúdes
  • Meaning: “great-grandparents”

Grandfather Holding a Baby Grandson

At this point, it should be noted that the words παππούδες (papúdes) meaning “grandparents,” and προπαππούδες (propapúdes) meaning “great-grandparents,” literally mean “grandfathers” and “great grandfathers,” respectively. However, these terms are used to indicate both the grandfather and the grandmother, as well as both the great-grandfather and great-grandmother, as a couple. This is residual of the former Greek patriarchal family model, where the male members of the family served as the family head, in comparison to female family members.

So, when introducing your parents or grandparents, you could say:

  • Greek: Αυτοί είναι οι γονείς / παππούδες / προπαππούδες μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i gonís / papúdes / propapúdes mu.
  • Meaning: “These are my parents / grandparents / great-grandparents.”

Now, let’s have a look at the core family members.

  • Greek: η μητέρα, μάνα / μαμά
  • Romanization: i mitéra, mána / mamá
  • Meaning: “mother” / “mom”
  • Greek: ο πατέρας / μπαμπάς
  • Romanization: o patéras / babás
  • Meaning: “father” / “dad”
  • Greek: η αδερφή / αδελφή
  • Romanization: i aderfí / adelfí
  • Meaning: “sister”
  • Greek: ο αδερφός / αδελφός
  • Romanization: o aderfós / adelfós
  • Meaning: “brother”
  • Greek: η γιαγιά
  • Romanization: i yayá
  • Meaning: “grandmother”
  • Greek: ο παππούς
  • Romanization: o papús
  • Meaning: “grandfather”
  • Greek: η προγιαγιά
  • Romanization: i proyayá
  • Meaning: “great-grandmother”
  • Greek: ο προπάππους / προπαππούς
  • Romanization: o propápus / propapús
  • Meaning: “great-grandfather”

Generally, when you need to introduce a male family member, you say:

  • Greek: Αυτός είναι ο …………… μου.
  • Romanization: Aftós íne o …………….. mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my ………………….. .”

On the other hand, when you need to introduce a female family member, you say:

  • Greek: Αυτή είναι η …………… μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i …………….. mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my ………………….. .”

2. Other Relatives in Greek

A Big Family Sitting Around a Table and Having Breakfast

Generally, a relative can be expressed as follows:

  • Greek: ο συγγενής (singular) / οι συγγενείς (plural)
  • Romanization: o singenís / i singenís
  • Meaning: “relative(s)”

Let’s have a look at an example dialogue.

  • Greek: — Από που γνωρίζεστε;
    — Είμαστε συγγενείς.
  • Romanization:Apó pu gnorízeste?
    — Ímaste singenís.
  • Meaning: — “How do you know each other?”
    — “We are relatives.”

In Greek, θείος could be the brother or the cousin of one of your parents, or the brother of one of your grandparents.

  • Greek: ο θείος
  • Romanization: o thíos
  • Meaning: “uncle”

Similarly, θεία could be the sister or the cousin of one of your parents, or the sister of one of your grandparents.

  • Greek: η θεία
  • Romanization: i thía
  • Meaning: “aunt”

The nephew and niece concept is similar to the rules mentioned above.

  • Greek: ο ανιψιός
  • Romanization: o anipsiós
  • Meaning: “nephew”
  • Greek: η ανιψιά
  • Romanization: i anipsiá
  • Meaning: “niece”

The concept of cousins is pretty much the same as in English.

  • Greek: τα ξαδέρφια / ξαδέλφια
  • Romanization: ta xadérfia / xadélfia
  • Meaning: “cousins”
  • Greek: ο ξάδερφος / ξάδελφος
  • Romanization: o xáderfos / xádelfos
  • Meaning: “cousin” (male)
  • Greek: η ξαδέρφη / ξαδέλφη
  • Romanization: i xadérfi / xadélfi
  • Meaning: “cousin” (female)

3. Family Members as a Married Person in Greek

A Just-Married, Happy Couple, Along with Their Family

Are you married? Then, congratulations! There’s a whole new chapter of relatives in Greek to discover!

So, when it comes to your other half, either male or female, you could generally refer to him/her as:

  • Greek: ο σύζυγος / η σύζυγος
  • Romanization: o sízigos / i sízigos
  • Meaning: “husband” / “wife”

This reference is for formal encounters. In everyday life, you can refer to your wife or your husband as demonstrated below:

  • Greek: η γυναίκα μου
  • Romanization: i yinéka mu
  • Meaning: “my wife” (literally: my woman)
  • Greek: ο άνδρας μου / ο άντρας μου
  • Romanization: o ándras mu
  • Meaning: “my husband” (literally: my man)

Formally, the descendants of the couple, regardless of their gender, are called απόγονοι. However, this word is rarely used.

  • Greek: οι απόγονοι
  • Romanization: i apógoni
  • Meaning: “descendants”

In this context, a common Greek wish for a newly married couple is:

  • Greek: Καλούς απογόνους!
  • Romanization: Kalús apogónus!
  • Meaning: “(May you have) Good descendants!”

However, when it comes to informal situations, as in English, the terms παιδί / παιδιά are preferred.

  • Greek: το παιδί / τα παιδιά
  • Romanization: to pedí / ta pediá
  • Meaning: “child” / “children”

Or, when you need to be gender-specific, you can use the following:

  • Greek: η κόρη
  • Romanization: i kóri
  • Meaning: “daughter”
  • Greek: ο γιος
  • Romanization: o yos
  • Meaning: “son”
  • Greek: ο εγγονός
  • Romanization: o engonós
  • Meaning: “grandson” (male)
  • Greek: η εγγονή
  • Romanization: i engoní
  • Meaning: “granddaughter” (female)
  • Greek: το εγγόνι
  • Romanization: to engóni
  • Meaning: “grandchild”

In Greece, your wife’s or husband’s family is also considered your family. Therefore, most married couples tend to call their “mother-in-law” μαμά (mamá) and their “father-in-law” μπαμπά (babá). Nevertheless, below you can find the original names for your new family in Greek culture:

  • Greek: τα πεθερικά
  • Romanization: ta petheriká
  • Meaning: “parents-in-law”
  • Greek: η πεθερά
  • Romanization: i petherá
  • Meaning: “mother-in-law”
  • Greek: ο πεθερός
  • Romanization: o petherós
  • Meaning: “father-in-law”
  • Greek: ο γαμπρός
  • Romanization: o gambrós
  • Meaning: “son-in-law” (literally: groom)
  • Greek: η νύφη
  • Romanization: i nífi
  • Meaning: “daughter-in-law” (literally: bride)
  • Greek: ο κουνιάδος
  • Romanization: o kuniádos
  • Meaning: “brother-in-law”
  • Greek: η κουνιάδα
  • Romanization: i kuniáda
  • Meaning: “sister-in-law”

4. Unique Family Greek Names for Relationships

For the more experienced Greek learners, we’ve gathered some terms about relatives which seem to be unique in Greece, and therefore more tricky to understand. So, don’t get disappointed! You can always reach out to us for a one-on-one interaction with one of our Greek teachers through MyTeacher, and we’re happy to answer any questions.

A Hand Holding a Small Greek Flag

  • Greek: οι συμπέθεροι / τα συμπεθέρια
  • Romanization: i simbétheri / ta simbethéria
  • Meaning: the relationship between the parents of the groom and the parents of the bride
  • Greek: ο μπατζανάκης / ο σύγαμπρος
  • Romanization: o bajanákis / o sígambros
  • Meaning: the relationship between the husbands of two sisters
  • Greek: η συνυφάδα
  • Romanization: i sinifáda
  • Meaning: the relationship between the wives of two brothers

5. Endearment Family Terms in Greek

Parent Phrases

Do you feel the urge to show your love to your family? Try these Greek endearment terms for guaranteed results!

  • Greek: η μανούλα
  • Romanization: i manúla
  • Meaning: “mommy”
  • Greek: ο μπαμπάκας
  • Romanization: o babákas
  • Meaning: “daddy”
  • Greek: η γιαγιάκα
  • Romanization: i yayáka
  • Meaning: “grandmommy”
  • Greek: ο παππούλης
  • Romanization: o papúlis
  • Meaning: “granddaddy”

Bonus tip: Add a μου (mu) meaning “my” after each of the phrases above. For example, it’s best to say: γιαγιάκα μου (yayáka mu) which means “my grandmommy.”

6. Proverbs and Quotes about Family in Greek

Family Quotes

Family is the core of Greek culture. It’s the glue that keeps us together. So, it’s not surprising that there are many family Greek quotes and proverbs. Below, you can find some of the most popular ones, along with their meanings.

  • Greek: Το μήλο κάτω από τη μηλιά θα πέσει.
  • Romanization: To mílo káto apó ti miliá tha pési.
  • Literal Translation: “The apple will fall right below the apple tree.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight the resemblance of behavior or actions between a
    child (apple) and his or her parents (apple tree). It often has a negative connotation.
  • Greek: Έλα παππού να σου δείξω τα αμπελοχώραφά σου.
  • Romanization: Éla papú na su díxo ta ambelohórafá su.
  • Literal Translation: “Come on grandpa, let me show you your wineyard fields.”
  • Meaning: This proverb is used as an irony. It aims to highlight the expertise of the person saying
    this in a specific sector. It’s like wanting to show your grandpa where his own fields are.
  • Greek: Μάνα είναι μόνο μία.
  • Romanization: Mána íne móno mía.
  • Literal Translation: “There is only one mother.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight the unconditional love and importance of a mother.
  • Greek: Να τρώει η μάνα και του παιδιού να μη δίνει.
  • Romanization: Na trói i mána ke tu pediú na mi díni.
  • Literal Translation: “(This is so delicious that… ) the mother eats and doesn’t give (anything) to her child.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight that something is so delicious, that even a mother, who traditionally shares everything with her child out of love, doesn’t want to share it.

7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

Greek family relationships may be a lot to take in. However, once you learn them, they’re easy to remember. By the end of this article, you should be able to introduce your family in Greek, and we’re just as excited as you are!

If you ever find yourself in need of a quick revision, we’ve got your back! Just take a look at our Family & Relatives Conversation Cheat Sheet—or better yet, you can even print it out, in order to be ready at all times for unexpected Greek chit-chatting.

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, which are waiting for you to discover them!

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