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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Greek Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the top 5 Greek pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
These are common mistakes that Greek learners make. So pay close attention and make sure that you don't make these same mistakes too.
Are you ready? Then let's get started!
1: MISPRONOUNCING GREEK VOWELS
Unlike English, Greek has only five vowel sounds.
α, ε, ι, o, oυ
The most common vowel sound in the English language is the schwa, which sounds like the A in the word 'about'. This is the most neutral and the easiest vowel sound you can make because it requires the least amount of effort to produce.
In rapid speech, many of the vowel sounds in English are often reduced to this easy-to-pronounce schwa sound.
In Greek however, there is no such schwa sound. All of the five vowel sounds are distinct, so if you don't pronounce them clearly, there's a high chance that you'll end up mispronouncing these vowels altogether.
The only way to correct this problem is to practice pronouncing the five Greek vowel sounds cleanly and limiting yourself to using just these five vowel sounds and nothing in-between.
But don't worry. We'll cover all five Greek vowel sounds in the next lesson.
2: MISPRONOUNCING γ
Learners often mispronounce this letter as a G or a H, and often times making it sound too 'throaty'.
This letter is tricky because the pronunciation changes depending on the surrounding vowels.
When it precedes an I or an E vowel... It's pronounced very much like an English Y sound. For example...
"γη
γένος"
When it precedes an A, O or U however, it's pronounced like a loosely held G sound.
"γάτα
γόβα
γούνα"
Try to listen to as many native pronunciations of this letter as you can, and of course, make sure to practice pronouncing and memorising all of the variations!
We'll take an in-depth look at all of these sounds in lesson 4.
3: CONFUSING θ and δ
θ, δ Although these are familiar sounds to English speakers, the 'th' (thin) and 'th' (they) sounds often get mixed up.
This is mainly a recognition issue, as both of these letters look similar in lowercase form and both are dental consonants.
You need to learn to recognise and pronounce the right consonant at the right time through practice, otherwise, you'll be easily misunderstood.
Greek learners also commonly mispronounce the "th" (they) sound as a D sound. This is likely due to the fact that many loan words in English, have their roots in Greek and were rendered as a D sound instead of a "th" sound.
Just remember that this letter is *never* pronounced as a D in Greek. It's *always* pronounced as a "th" sound.
δ
We'll take an in-depth look at these sounds in lesson 4.
4: PRONOUNCING ρ AS AN ENGLISH P AND χ AS AN ENGLISH X
This mistake is apparent. Both of these Greek letters look very similar to the English letters P and X, however, the way you read them in Greek is totally different. Listen to Stefania pronounce this letter by itself and then in a few words.
άρια
τρίζω
πρόβα"
χαρά
χορός
χούφτα"
Reading Greek texts out loud can help you pick up mistakes and make corrections when you misread these letters.
We'll take an in-depth look at all of these sounds in lesson 4.
5: IGNORING ACCENTUATION
Accents can be daunting for many Greek learners because they seem very foreign. This is especially true if your language doesn't contain any of them. However, they're nothing to be afraid of, as Greek primarily uses just one accent. Furthermore, it's usage is very simple.
This accent just indicates that you need to stress the syllable. That's it!
Compare a few words that *do not* have an accent, with words that *do* have an accent and notice how the pronunciation changes.
κάλος
καλός
νόμος
νομός
θέα
θεά
Notice how the accented syllables are emphasized? It's pronounced a little bit louder and longer than the surrounding syllables. And that's all there is to it! Wasn't that easy?
We'll take an in-depth look at accentuation in Greek in lesson 6.
Now you know the top 5 Greek pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
Try to be careful so that you don't commit these same mistakes. Still feel a bit worried? Over the rest of this series, we'll cover all of these topics in depth.
In the next lesson, we'll start learning vowel sounds in Greek.
Have you been guilty of any of these five mistakes? Have you learned any tricks to deal with them? Let us know in the comments and share them with other students like you!
Stick with us and you'll overcome these quickly!
See you in the next Ultimate Greek Pronunciation Guide lesson!

11 Comments

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GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

GreekPod101.com
Friday at 09:47 PM
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Hi George,


Thank you for the cute emojis!


Let us know if you have any questions.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GreekPod101.com

George Wibbeler
Thursday at 12:36 PM
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😎❤️️

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:34 PM
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Hi Rhiannon,


Thank you for your positive feedback!


We're glad that our Greek Pronunciation Guide is helping you improve your skills!


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GreekPod101.com

Rhiannon Sterling
Wednesday at 03:18 PM
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Thanks a lot for what you guys are doing this lesson helped me a lot because I am trying to learn Greek so that at some point I can visit Greece and I do not know anyone that actually speaks the language so when I tried reading something on how to speak Greek they all said that the δ letter was a d sound so thank you for clarifying that and have a lovely day

GreekPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:19 PM
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Hello Ili,


Thank you for your message.

All the words, you mentioned and as you said, take the accent mark on the last syllable.

I listened to the words, and their accent is as it should be. A Greek could understand the right word.


That's important because for example, if you don't intonate right the word "χορός" [horós] (dance) and you say [hóros], someone will understand "χώρος", which means space. Or if you say [kálos] instead of καλός [kalós] (good), someone maybe understand "κάλλος", which means callus.


There are many examples, as the above, in the greek language. Many similar words with different intonation and meaning.

In any case, please practise as much as you can by listening and repeating. Maybe the intonation of certain words is not so strong, but it exists.


Feel free to contact us, if you have any other question.


All the best,

Nektarios

Team GreekPod101.com

Ili
Tuesday at 07:41 PM
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The accent marker of χαρά, χορός and καλός is on the second syllable but why that syllable doesn't sound accented at all?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 01:11 PM
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Hi Stacie,


Either you are a native English speaker or not, in order to pronounce theta and understand the difference with delta, try to do the following experiment that will produce the theta sound, although a bit more exaggerated:


Stick out your tongue a lot and bite it softly while having a wide smile. Then blow really softly some air through your teeth (without spitting all over the place!) You can also try to say "theta" while doing this. The sound should be similar to the sound that Sylvester the cat makes below while trying to say the letter "s" in "sufferin succotash" but ends up sounding like the "th" of "thunder" (thuferin thuccotash):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkhPuH8G5Hg


In order to pronounce delta, you don't need to stick out your tongue and blow through your teeth. It's like trying to say the "th" in the word "this" or "that". The tip of the tongue touches the back top side of your teeth.


On lesson 4 there's a detailed explanation of both letters to help you distinguish them.


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

stacie
Monday at 04:46 AM
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I still don't hear the difference between delta and theta.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:00 PM
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Hi Kurt!


Welcome to GreekPod101.com!


The following link contains information about how much of the material you can access from a free account.

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


Apart from the free material, our website consists of premium material as well, which is available for our members once they upgrade their account. The following link lists and compares the benefits of every subscription:

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


If you are enjoying our free lessons and want to improve your Greek skills even more, then I recommend you to upgrade your account so you will have access to more lessons and learning tools.


If you have any more questions, please let us know. We will be glad to assist.


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Kurt
Saturday at 01:35 AM
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Thank you guys so much for these lessons!! :smile:

I am attempting to learn Greek because I am planning on joining a Greek Orthodox church in my area and have visited a couple times. I find such a unique beauty in Greek language and culture.

I am on a free account here.So how much content do free users have access to? what I have been using is very helpful and makes my learning of Greek easier. Thanks.


Keep up the good work!:smile:::thumbsup: