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Lesson Transcript

Iro: Γεια σας! Hello, everyone! Είμαι η Ηρώ.
Maria: Maria here! Pronunciation Series Lesson 1, on Greek vowels.
Maria: Hello, and welcome to the first Pronunciation lesson at GreekPod101.com, where we study modern Greek in a fun, educational format!
Iro: So brush up on the Greek that you started learning long ago, or start learning today.
Maria: Thanks for being here with us. In this lesson, our focus will be the pronunciation of Greek vowels.
Iro: ..."-α," "-ε," "-η," "-ι," etc.
Maria: Sounds very Greek.
Iro: It's the sound of history.
Maria: Absolutely.
Iro: Now, some vowels are quite difficult to pronounce.
Maria: Okay, let's have all of you guys out there master your Greek vowels.
Iro: We will help you pronounce sounds properly in Greek.
Maria: Now today, we will not work on ALL the sounds in Greek. Only vowels.
Iro: Oh, by the way! In this lesson, we are going to refer to sounds as vowels. So whenever we say "vowel," think "sound"; don't think "letter."
Maria: Now let's go.
Iro: First of all, pronouncing Greek is only hard if you refuse to open your mouth.
Maria: Yes, this is something you might want to keep in mind.
Iro: It really makes it easier for you if you make your mouth work.
Maria: Don't hesitate to exaggerate the width of your mouth.
Iro: Like this…"AAAAAAAAAAAAAA." Wide open!
Maria: You might be in the line at the bakery or driving your convertible right now. But we don't care. Repeat after Iro…
Iro: "AAAAAAA" – "EEEEEEE"- "IIIIIII" - "OOOOOOO." These should be easy to pronounce. And now that your mouth is stretched...
Maria: By the way, how many vowels are there in Greek?
Iro: Seven. Most of them are easily accessible to pretty much everyone.
Maria: Today, we will only work on those that are difficult.
Iro: Yeap.
Maria: Are there a lot of similarities between English and Greek vowels?
Iro: Well, as English is a partial descendant from Greek, many words and sounds are the same.
Maria: Okay, that can be helpful. Now let's start!
Iro: Ok!
"A (άλφα)," which is as a sound pronounced [A]
"E (έψιλον)," [E]
"H (ήτα)," [H]
"I (γιώτα)," [I]
"O (όμικρον)," [O]
"Y (psilonύψιλον)," [Y]
"Ω (ωμέγα)," [O]
Maria: As you may have noticed, there are three "-ι" and two "-o."
Iro: Greek has three vowels representing the sound [ee] and two representing the sound [o]. This is because in classical Greek, the different vowels did actually have different sounds, which we will talk about in other lessons.
Maria: It's difficult to know the difference at first when you are not familiar with the language yet, but it will be easier and easier as you learn more.
The good thing is these vowels are all very similar to the English pronunciation, so they shouldn't be too difficult to get the hang of!
Iro: Okay, get ready to pronounce!
Maria: First, open your mouth and imagine you're at the dentist. Say "AAAAAA."
Iro: Remember to relax your mouth.
Maria: Oh, and of course you don't have to open it as much as at the dentist's.
Iro: "AAAA." Excellent! Isn't that fun?
Maria: Okay, now the last step is to put it in a word.
Iro: Okay, everyone, I'm going to say a series of words and I will leave a silence between each word.
Maria: Now, your job is to repeat each word after Iro.
Iro: Ready? Go! Αριθμός" .
Maria: Which is "number".
Iro: Άνθρωπος.
Maria: ...which is "human." Okay, now for the sound [An], which will pretty much be the same process, except that your mouth will be wide open.
Iro: Okay, now for the sound [e]. Mouth open everyone. And, with me, "EEEEEEEE."
Maria: It's basically the same here…opened, relaxed mouth, and pronounce "-e" as you would pronounce "elephant." "EEEEEEE."
Iro: "EEEEE."
Maria: What words do we have that start with "-e?"
Iro: How about "elephant!" Ελέφαντας.
Maria: Wow, that's easy! Ελέφαντας.
Iro: Next up, we have the sounds for "-ι."
Maria: The Greek alphabet has three ways of writing "-ι," but they are all pronounced the same in a word, right?
Iro: That's right. The names of the vowels are different–"H(ήτα)," "I(γιώτα)," and "Y(ύψιλον)," but when put in a word, they all make the sound [ι].
Maria: So, what are some words with "-H," "-I," and "-Y?"
Iro: Okay again, you all, repeat after me, and I'll leave a silence after each word. Let's go… Ήλιος.
Maria: Which is "sun."
Iro: Ημερολόγιο.
Maria: Which is "calendar." Next up is "-o."
Iro: Form your mouth like you're making an "-o" sound, but unlike English, don't narrow your mouth at the end of the sound.
Maria: Yes, relax and let out the "-o" sound.
Iro: I hope you guys are following. It's quite a gymnastic exercise!
Maria: And "OOOOOOOOOO."
Iro: "OOOOOOO." Here are some words to repeat after me again…Όνομα…
Maria: Which is "name."
Iro: Όμορφο…
Maria: Which is "beautiful."
Iro: These are the basic sounds of the vowels in Greek.
Maria: Yes, as we mentioned earlier, there is more than one way of writing these sounds.
Iro: This is because in classical Greek, the different vowels did actually have different sounds. However, over the centuries, the pronunciations shifted to what they are today.
Maria: That just about does it for this lesson. But, before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Iro: The voice-recording tool...
Maria: Yes, the voice-recording tool in the Premium Learning Center...
Iro: Record your voice with a click of a button,
Maria: …and then play it back just as easily.
Iro: So you record your voice and then listen to it.
Maria: Compare it to the native speakers...
Iro: And adjust your pronunciation!
Maria: This will help you improve your pronunciation quickly!
Maria: Thank you for listening!
Iro: Ευχαριστώ! Γειά σας!
Maria: Bye!


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

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:56 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi An,

Thanks for letting me know! I'm glad he helped you out :)

If there's anything else I can do for you, let me know!

All the best,


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 03:59 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Stephania,

The link-problem is solved ! (by my boyfriend) - Lucky me ;)


Tuesday at 12:37 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Stefanie,

Recently I asked something about the links in another lesson, but I still experience some troubles.

As I want to open the link of your reply to John >https://www.greekpod101.com/index.php?cat=33

I can only find this first

Greek Key Phrase List | GreekPod101


https://www.greekpod101.com/index.php?cat=33. I hope this helps. Good luck with your Greek learning! Let us know if you have any more questions. Stefania. Team ...

And secondly this (nothing about the alphabet) :(

Greek Key Phrase List

24 Words • 18 Comments

View Slideshow


Συγγνώμη. Signómi.

I'm sorry.

Mε συγχωρείτε. Me sinhoríte.

Excuse me.

Παρακαλώ. Parakaló.



What am I doing wrong ?

By the way : your comment on the question of John with the whole list helps a lot - thanks !

Greetings from Belgium :)

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:30 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Philip,

Thank you for contacting us.

To watch any of the video lessons, you have to go to the menu Lessons > Video Lessons Library.

The pronunciation series is all available here:


I hope you will enjoy watching this series!

Let me know if you ever have any questions.

Kind regards,


Team GreekPod101.com

Friday at 05:12 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello. Is it possible to have the video of all the lessons, not just the audio? I've seen this lesson as a video on YouTube for free, now I'm paying I seem only able to get audio. Seeing the letters being pronounced helps to learn them and there's a bit of a plus in the human interaction of seeing the teacher.

It might be that I haven't worked out how to use GreekPod101 properly yet.


GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:58 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello John,

On behalf of GreekPod101.com I'd like to wish you a very happy new year.

Thank you for contacting us and for providing us some valuable feedback. We are constantly working hard to improve our services, so listening to what our users have to say is important to us.

We have an entire video series dedicated to the Greek alphabet, which you can check out here:


Rest assured that I will forward your feedback to the rest of the GreekPod101.com team for review. For the moment if it helps, here is the entire alphabet for you with the sound each letter makes, plus some of the letter combinations:

Α, α = ah (as in "mama")

Β, β = v

Γ, γ = gh (before A, O and U sounding vowels), y (before E and I sounding vowels)

Δ, δ = th (as is "this")

Ε, ε = eh (as in "bed")

Ζ, ζ = z

Η, η = ee (as in "see")

Θ, θ = th (as in "thin")

Ι, ι = ee (as in "see")

Κ, κ = k

Λ, λ = l

Μ, μ = m

Ν, ν = n

Ξ, ξ = x

Ο, ο = oh (as in "pot" with a British accent)

Π, π = p

Ρ, ρ = r

Σ, σ (ς when at the end of a word) = s

Τ, τ = t

Υ, υ = ee (as in "see")

Φ, φ = f

Χ, χ = h

Ψ, ψ = ps (similar to the "ps" in "snaps")

Ω, ω = oh (as in "pot" with a British accent)

Letter combinations:

αι = eh (as in "bed")

ει = ee (as in "see")

οι = ee (as in "see")

ου = u (as in "boot")

αυ = av/af

ευ = ev/ef

μπ = b

ντ = d

γκ = g (or sometimes "ng")

γγ = g (or sometimes "ng")

τσ/τς = ts (as in tsunami)

τζ = j

Please use these notes in combination with the audio heard on each video of the series I suggested above (when a new letter or words is introduced) to learn the sounds as accurately as possible.

I hope this is helpful. Don't hesitate to contact us again, if you have any questions.

Kind regards,


Team GreekPod101.com

John Thompson
Friday at 03:08 AM
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I find it odd that there seems to be no vocabulary list of the alphabet such that I can study it in the flash cards. Likewise, the "Greek Alphabet" page under "Greek Resources" doesn't even list the alphabet. Luckily it is listed in the .pdf's and spoken in the .mp3's, but it would be a lot more useful to me if these lessons followed your standard format with the vocabulary lists with associated audio. Or is it somewhere else I haven't found yet? If so, please point me to it.