μα ma but
άμα ama if, as soon as, when
μαμά mama mother
μαλακός malakos soft, squishy, gentle (for people)

Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody, I’m Stefania! Welcome to GreekPod101.com’s Alfaveeto made easy. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn the Greek alphabet: the alfaveeto!
Over the next 15 lessons, you'll learn everything there is to know about the reading and writing of Modern Greek. By the end, you’ll be able to read pretty much anything you like from a Greek book, newspaper, magazine or website. Are you ready? Then let's start! Pame!
Modern Greek has only one alphabet of 24 letters, so it’s super easy! Once you know these in their upper and lower case, and a few combinations, you will be ready to read one of the most ancient languages in the world!
As you may know, the Greek writing system is written from left to right, like all Western languages; this means there is one less difficulty in learning how to write Greek. But it gets better! More than half of the Greek uppercase letters are exactly the same as English! Yes, that’s right: you’re already over halfway done with uppercase letters! Only 10 more to learn.
So, let’s start with the first letter: Alfa!
Alfa is a vowel and also the first letter of the Greek alphabet. What sound does it make? In Greek, the name of each letter begins with its own sound! This means, the sound of Alfa is “ah” in “I am”.
In Greek, like English, there are always two ways to write a letter: The uppercase and the lowercase.
This is the uppercase Alfa. Yep! It’s the same as the English “A”.
Let’s handwrite it:
And here’s the lowercase Alfa. This is a little different from English but you can see the similarities, right?
It is handwritten like this: α
Let’s do it again-
and lowercase...
You can now write your first letter in Greek!
Good! Let's move on...
The second letter is a consonant, Mee; you might have heard it called “mu” but it’s not how we say in Greek -it’s “mee”. The sound of Mee is “mm” and it looks like “M” in English -- at least in the uppercase form.
It is handwritten like this:
And this is the lowercase Mee. It’s like an English lowercase “u” but with a longer line attached to its left. Not that hard, is it?
It is handwritten like this:
Let’s do it again. Here’s the uppercase form:
And here’s the lowercase form:
You now know two Greek letters! What can you do with them?
By themselves, they form the word “ma” which is one way to say “but” in Greek. For example, in the sentence “Μα δεν το ήξερα” which means “But, I didn’t know.” So you already have made the first step to making excuses in Greek! Let’s write it!
Another thing we can write with Alpha and Mee is “άμα”  which is one way to say “if” as in the expression “Aμα μπορω.” which means “if I can”. Let’s write this too –it’s just Alpha-Mee-Alpha.
The third thing we can do with “ma” is to double it: “μαμά”. Which as you might have guessed is the first word most children all over the world learn: “mother” –or to be more accurate, “mom”. Mee-alpha-mee-alpha –not that hard, right? Let’s write it!
Now it's time for Stefania’s insights.
Have you been writing as you watch? Hope so! There's no better way to master the Alfaveeto fast, than to write the letters yourself!
Another good idea is to make flash cards for each letter and study them whenever you get a chance!
That’s it for now! Do know what the simplest question in Greek is? After the next lesson you will know both what it is and how to write it!
See you in the next Alfaveeto made easy lesson! Ya hara!