Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

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!
In our previous lessons we covered 8 letters of the Greek alphabet –do you remember them? They were “Alpha”, “Mee”, “Taf”, “Yota”, “Kappa”, “Omikron”, “Pee” and “Seegma”, right? Some of these letters were very familiar to English speakers and a couple of them were new. I’m sure that you didn’t have any problem remembering and writing them so in this lesson we will learn two more, one very familiar and one rather exotic!
Our first letter is a vowel, which you might have heard called by its English name, Eta. In Greek, though, it is called “Eeta” which makes an “ee” sound. Like I said before, the writing will look familiar, at least in the uppercase form since it’s the same as the English “h”.
The uppercase Eeta is handwritten like this:
H
And this is what the lowercase “Eeta” looks like. It *kinda* looks like a lowercase “h”, but with the vertical line shortened.
It is handwritten like this:
η
Let’s do it again- Here’s the uppercase form:
And here’s the lowercase form:
This character is pretty easy since the similarities to the English “h” are big, aren’t they? So let’s step up the difficulty with our second letter, the strange looking “Psee”! You may have heard it in English called “psi”. There is no corresponding sound in English, it makes a “ps” sound, like “p” and “s” said at the same time.
Here’s the uppercase “Psee”. It looks like the trident, the symbol of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, doesn’t it? If you ever forget how to pronounce this letter, just remember “Psee” is for Poseidon and his trident!
It is handwritten like this:
Ψ
And this is what the lowercase “Psee” looks like. It’s the same as the uppercase “Psee” but written lower on the line with the vertical line going below it.
It is handwritten like this:
ψ
Let’s do it again- Here’s the uppercase form:
And here’s the lowercase form:
Did you get it? It’s not so hard, right? You just write something like a “u” and then add a vertical line!
We now know ten letters. That’s almost half of the Greek alphabet and the possibilities for new words increase exponentially with each new letter! Let’s try our hand in three new words, all using the exotic “Psee”. Let’s have a look at them.
The first is “ψητό” meaning “roast” as in “ψητό κρέας” or “roast meat”. Let’s write this together:
ψητό
Not that hard is it? And speaking of “ψητό” or “roast” what do you need to put it in the oven? A “ταψί”, or pan. Let’s write this one:
ταψί
Do you feel up for something a little more complicated? How about the word “elegant”? In Greek this is “κομψός” and even though writing it isn’t that hard, saying it is a little tricky since you have to combine the “m” and the “ps” sounds! For the moment, though, let’s concentrate on the writing part!
κομψός
One grammatical note: “kompsos” is masculine so you can use it only for masculine nouns. For feminine nouns it would be “kompsee” while for neutral nouns, “kompso”;
Let’s do a brief recap of everything we learned so far: We have “Alpha”, “Mee”, “Taf”, “Yota”, “Kappa”, “Omikron”, “Pee”, “Sigma”, “Eeta” and “Psee”. OK?
Now it's time for Stefania’s insights.
You might have noticed that this lesson’s “Eeta” sounds exactly like the “Yota” we learned in Lesson 2. Why is that? Well, it has to do with the complicated history of “Eeta.” At first, it is generally believed to be pronounced like a long version of “Epseelon” and sounded like “Eh”. After the Classical period, however, its sound started to change and merged with yota, as did another letter. Trust me, you don’t want me to go on! Just learn them as “ee” (like all Greeks) and you’ll be perfectly fine”!
So, do you want to learn how to write the name of our home planet? In this lesson you learned how to write half of it; in our next Alfaveeto made easy lesson you will learn the other half. Don’t miss it!
Ya hara!

16 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:42 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Maral,


Thank you for contacting me. This is one of the most common questions I get, and because of that, we have created a few lessons that will be helpful. Feel free to check them out:


https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-stefania-2-when-do-you-use-%CE%B9-%CE%B7-%CF%85-%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CE%BF%CE%B9-and-%CF%85%CE%B9/?lp=96


https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-stefania-3-when-do-you-use-%CE%BF-and-%CF%89/?lp=96


https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-stefania-20-how-do-you-correctly-pronounce-%CE%B1%CF%85-%CE%B5%CF%85-and-%CE%B7%CF%85/?lp=96


Also, the following lesson might help you distinguish double vowel combinations from diphthongs if those are confusing as well:

https://www.greekpod101.com/lesson/ultimate-greek-pronunciation-guide-7-greek-diphthongs/?lp=47


To answer your question very briefly, when it comes to the spelling of roots of words like ψητ- (not of endings), the reasons are mostly etymological. So basically it has to do with the history of the word and how it's been spelled since its very beginning. When it comes to the etymology, the focus of a student should be mainly to memorize it as it is (as opposed to learning some grammar rule, which is something that is more related to the endings of the word which usually change depending on how the word is used).


So when it comes to the etymology of the word, we should just accept it as it is rather than try to explain why it has been decided to be spelled the way it is spelled (that's what a linguist would do, not the average student of Greek). With the endings of the words, however, there might be some general grammatical guidelines that if we keep in mind could help us, and the first three lessons above focus on that mainly in order to help newbie students 😄.


I hope this helps!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Maral
Wednesday at 02:59 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Yeia sou Stefania;

my question is ; for example : in the word " ψητο " why is it written this way and not as "ψειτω".

Where can I find the lessons teaching the correct writing of words having οι - ω η ο - ει η η - ιε - ευ - κτλ .....

Thanks

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:33 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Kimberly!


Thank you for your kind comment! I'm glad I have the opportunity to teach Greek and I'm even more glad to know that people like you enjoy learning it.


"Eeta" and "Yota" sound exactly the same (like the "ee" in English).


As for Ψ, the name you hear in this series (and that of all other letters) is the Greek name. So when reciting the alphabet, Greeks say psee, not psi (sounds like "sai"). Psi is just the name that English speakers have given to this letter of the Greek alphabet. Bβ for example sounds like Bayta in English, while in Greek it's pronounced as Veeta.


I must say, I don't know why the names of the Greek letters change so much in English, but I recommend you also learn the Greek names the way your hear them in this series. Because whenever a Greek person will ask you to spell your name or some other words, they won't understand you if you start using the English names.


I hope this clears out the confusion!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Kimberly A Fernandez
Wednesday at 03:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Also, another question I would like to ask:


I wanted to ask if the correct letter name of Ψ is "psee" or "psi"? I am kind of confused because a lot of people say and write it as "psi". And would the sound "ps" in "chips" be a good example of the sound of "psee"/"psi"?


By the way, thank you so much for teaching us the beautiful Greek language! I love learning about it. :)

Kimberly A Fernandez
Wednesday at 03:09 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello!


Just to make sure, I should just keep in mind that "Eeta" and "Yota" sounds are excatly the same ("ee")?


GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:50 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Nina,


Thank you for contacting us.


Perhaps you don't have a basic or premium subscription yet. If you do and still have trouble accessing the Lesson Notes, then log out, clean the cache and cookies of the browser, and log back in.


Here is a list of the learning materials that each subscription has access to:

https://www.greekpod101.com/helpcenter/billingsubscription/pricing


Let me know if you still have any questions.


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Nina
Sunday at 06:19 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello! I can't seem to access Lesson Notes... It sends me to the Dashboard...

GreekPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:53 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi rachana,


It's not silent. The ψ is always pronounced like "ps" for example ταψί = tapsee.

If you have any other questions about the letters, let me know!


Regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

rachana
Saturday at 06:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Is the p silent whenever we are pronouncing a word with psee in it.For example in ταψί is it tapsee or tasee

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:10 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Madeline,


That's a lot of smiley faces and a... not so smiley face in the end! Did you enjoy this lesson?

Let us know if you have any questions.


Stefania,

Team GreekPod101.com