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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody, this is Stefania! Welcome to GreekPod101.com’s Alfaveeto made easy. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn the Greek alphabet: the alfaveeto!
Here we are again with another exotic side of the Greek writing system, but before we look at what is new for today, let me do a very brief recap of what we have learned so far.
First of all, the Greek alphabet itself: is 24 letters, some familiar from the English alphabet and some unique. Do you remember them? Let’s go through them once more:
“Alpha”, “Veeta”, “Gama”, “Delta”, “Epseelon”, “Zeeta”, “Eeta”, “Theeta”, “Yota”, “Kappa”, “Lamda”, “Mee”, “Nee”, “Ksee”, “Omikron”, “Pee”, “Ro”, “Sigma”, “Taf”, “Ipsilon”, “Fee”, “Hee”, “Psee” and “Omega”.
Besides those, we have also learned some double-vowel combinations –we introduced them in our last lesson. These were:
* αι: “Alpha”-“Yota”: sounds like “eh”
* οι: “Omikron”-“Yota”: sounds like “ee”
* ει: “Epsilon”-“Yota”: sounds like “ee”
* ου: “Omikron”-“Ipsilon”: sounds like “oo
* αυ: “Alpha”-“Ipsilon”: sounds like “av” or “af”
* ευ: “Epsilon”-“Ipsilon”: sounds like “ev” or “ef”
Do you feel confident about all of this information? Good, because today we will take a look into some double consonant combinations to fill in any sounds missing from your collection!
Our first sound, a very common sound in English, is “g” as in “good”. There are two ways to write this using the Greek alphabet, both involving the letter “Gama”. You can either double “Gama” or you can add a “Kappa” next to it –they both make a “g” sound. Two examples, one for each of these combinations are, “άγγελος” meaning “angel,” and “ανάγκη” meaning “need” (the noun, not the verb). Let’s write them together:
Άγγελος
Ανάγκη
You may be wondering when we should write a “g” sound as “Gama”- “Gama” and when as “Gama”-“Kappa”. And the answer would be the dreaded “it depends”. There is no real set rule about that so you just have to learn the spelling of each word as it is. But that’s no different from English, right?
Our second sound, also very common in English and other languages, is the “b” sound. For this one, Greek uses a combination of “Mee” and “Pee”, like in the word “μπουκάλι” meaning “bottle”. Did you notice the “oo” double vowel sound we learned in the last lesson?
μπουκάλι
How about the “d” sound as in “dear”. Is there a way to write this in Greek? Of course there is! In Modern Greek the “d” sound comes from putting together “Nee” and “Taf”. A very common ingredient used in Greek cuisine is “ντομάτα” which as you might have guessed means “tomato” and is written like this:
ντομάτα
Two more and we are through! The next sound is “ts” as in “tsunami” –there are many words using this sound and to form it, we use a combination of “Taf” and “Seegma”. Since we were talking about “ντομάτα” before, a good sample word is “παστίτσιο”, a very tasty Greek pasta dish. How do we write it?
παστίτσιο
There is one more reason I picked “pastitsio”: it is a very good exercise because it also contains the “Taf”-“Seegma” combination in reverse. In this case, “Seegma” and “Taf” are read as they are so you have the chance to notice how they change when you put them in a different order. “Seegma”-“Taf” is “st” as in “standard” but “Taf”-“Seegma” is “ts” as in “tsunami”. Got it?
Last one, and that will be it for this lesson. It is the “t-z” sound. “Tz!” For this we also use “Taf” but this time combined with “Zeeta”. This may be a new sound for English speakers, but you can hear it in the word “τζάκι” meaning fireplace. Let’s write it together, shall we?
τζάκι
That’s it! Too much? If it feels like that, just keep practicing. If you’ve come this far I don’t think you’ll have much trouble with these. But just to be on the safe side let’s repeat them once again. Ready? OK!
“Gama”-“Gama”: γγ: sounds like “g”: Άγγελος
“Gama”-“Kapa”: γκ: sounds like “g”: Ανάγκη
“Mee”-“Pee”: μπ: sounds like “b”: Μπουκάλι
“Nee”-“Taf”: ντ: sounds like “d”: Ντομάτα
“Taf”-“Seegma”: τσ: sounds like “ch”: Παστίτσιο
“Taf”-“Zeeta”: τζ: sounds like “tz”: Τζάκι
Now it's time for Stefania’s insights.
Even though these sounds are an integral part of the modern Greek language, sometimes “Nee-taff” sounds more like “n-d” instead of “d”, “Mee-pee” sounds like “m-b” instead of “b” and “Gama-gama” as well as “Gama-kapa” sound like “n-g” instead of “g”; Keep that in mind while reading and writing, and your Greek will become much more natural!
Tired? Maybe a little I guess, but you can finish this lesson knowing that you’ve gone through all the sounds in the Greek language --and that’s no small feat, so pat yourself on the back!
So what else is there to learn? You’re almost there, but there are just a few more notes on punctuation in Greek. Do you know the weird thing about question marks in Greek? Check the next lesson and find out!
See you in the next Alfaveeto made easy lesson!
Ya hara!

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GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:21 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi ali,


Thank you for your kind comment! I'm glad you enjoyed these videos!


As for the sounds you describe me, we don't have those in Greek. Our series cover only the sounds that exist in Greek.

In such cases, Greeks use the closest sound possible, so for example "h" of "hello" would be χ, sh would be σ, and q of Qatar would be κ.


I hope this helps!


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

ali
Tuesday at 06:37 PM
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hello stefania

i have watched all the videos and learn all the alphabets and combinations :)

thank you and all the greekpod101 team for these great videos 👍


but i think there are some sounds which is not covered yet. for example the sound "sh" in english. like in the word "shell" or "show". is there any combinations for this sound ?

or the sound "h" in "hello" or "abhor".

also there's a sound in my native language (persian) which is not even in english :)

to show an example, the /q/ sound in the word "Qatar".


i just wanted to know is there any equivalent for any of these sounds in greek or no ?

thank you so much

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:21 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi An,


Good question.


The following video will help I think:

https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/ultimate-greek-pronunciation-guide-5-consonants-part-2/?lp=47


Specifically for κοντός, the proper pronunciation should be kondós with a "d" and not a "t". This is probably because that entry is old, from a time where GreekPod didn't have a standard romanization and each author would romanize words as per their own judgment. With that said, some Greeks pronounce this as kodós, without the nasalization of the ντ. But I think you should watch the video first to understand what nasalization is.


Let me know if you have any more questions.


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

An De clercq
Saturday at 11:47 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Stefania


A question about the "ντ" sound :) >>> When to use -nt and when -nd as pronunciation?

Why is there a difference here ?


I found this in the dictionnary...


κοντό

kontó

short

κοντός

kondós

short

κοντόςmasculine

kondós

short


Thanks , An

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:07 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Kartik,


Thank you for contacting us and welcome to GreekPod101.com!


Many users ask us the same questions as you did so we have created some video lessons to help out a bit. Please check out the following links:


https://bit.ly/37giZyg

https://bit.ly/2NVEywj


I hope these lessons will help. Let us know if you have any more questions!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Kartik
Sunday at 11:37 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi there, I would just like to pose a question since I'm new here, I wanted to understand two things.


1. When to use the three I's, Ie. what is the context, how am I supposed to know when to use the Eeta, Iota or Ipsilon according to what nouns/verbs etc. Is there any rule to follow? Is there a lesson on this?


2. When to use Omicron and Omega. Is there a lesson on this?


Thank you!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:05 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi An,


Glad to have you back :)


Yes, sometimes you might hear an "n" sound in front of the γγ/γκ. I think I might have mentioned this before but this is due to the nasalization phenomenon. You can learn more about it here:

https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/ultimate-greek-pronunciation-guide-5-consonants-part-2/?lp=47


As for Bβ, the sound is pretty straight forward. It sounds like an *English* V. Since you mention about the Dutch paper then the confusion might be perhaps due to the fact that in Dutch the letter W is pronounced like an English V. This is the case with the German W as well and I guess the same happens with most Germanic languages. For example:


Βιέννη = Vienna (in English) = Wien (in German, pronounced as if I were saying "veen" in English)


So when you read resources about Greek that are not created by GreekPoo101.com or by Greeks in general, you always have to take into account the native language of the writer. In this case, it seems the writer was Dutch, not an English speaker and the audience the paper was targeted to were Dutch people, not English speakers. At least that's what I understand from what you mentioned.


I hope I have solved the mystery!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

An
Tuesday at 09:01 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Stefania


I'm back and I have some new questions.


Double consonants 'gama-gama' : you tell us that it sounds like gh in good, but I also hear an 'n'. Am I correct ?


I also have a Dutch paper now to study Greek (and a little book) but something confuses me immediately about the second letter of the alfhabet.


You write it as a 'V' = vita, they say you have to pronounce it as a 'W' = wita . I asked the writer of the paper - who is married to a Greek - and she tells me you have to pronounce it as a 'W'... When I listen to their video I hear more like a 'V' ;)


Can you give me some advice, is there a reason why there are different meanings in this matter ?


Greetings from Belgium , An

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 01:57 PM
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Hi Yaroslava!


That is a great observation!


There's a lesson in our pronunciation series that talks in details about this nasalization (that "n" sound you hear before letter combinations such as γγ or γκ):

https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/ultimate-greek-pronunciation-guide-5-consonants-part-2/?lp=47


That nasalization is actually optional, but I recommend you use it on words of Greek origin, as it makes you sound more sophisticated. Usually, words of foreign origin don't need nazalization. If you are not sure, it's okay to NOT add that little "n" sound.


I think that video lesson will answer all your questions about this topic, however, if you are still unsure about something, let me know!


All the best,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Yaroslava
Friday at 09:16 PM
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Hi, Stefania!


I'm a little bit confused by the sound of the word "angel" in Greek. I hear the "gama" sound perfectly, but it seems that there's also an "n" sound in pronunciation - even though on writing there isn't. How should it sound - with "n" sound or no "n" sound?


Thank you in advance!