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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Greek Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the 23 Greek consonant sounds that are produced by single letters.
β (as in βάση)
γ (as in γάλα)
γ (as in γη)
δ (as in δούλος)
ζ (as in ζημιά)
θ (as in θεός)
κ (as in κακός)
κ (as in κερί)
λ (as in λόγος)
λι (as in πουλιά)
μ (as in μίμος)
ν (as in ναι)
νι (as in νιάτα)
ξ (as in ξένος)
π (as in πέτρα)
ρ (as in τρώω)
ρ (as in ώρα)
σ (as in σωσίας)
τ (as in τέταρτο)
φ (as in φως)
χ (as in χάος)
χ (as in χέρι)
ψ (as in ψάρι)
Most of these consonant sounds are identical to the ones in English. There's only a few trickier ones, but by the end of this lesson they shouldn't be a problem.
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first consonant sound is...
βάση
βεβηλώνω
βουβός
αύρα
ευέξαπτος"
Like the V, in the word 'vanish'.
β, β (slowly)
β, β (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
γάλα
γωνία
γουρούνι"
This sounds like a soft, continuous G sound. The G should be held very loosely, enough so that your tongue and the back part of your mouth are barely separated from each other. Blow a steady stream of air between the small separation. You should feel a slight buzzing sensation. It almost feels like you're gargling a little bit -- but remember about the top 5 mistakes? You don't want it to be *too* throaty. This consonat sound occurs when you try to pronounce a G, followed by an A, O, or U vowel. Listen to Stefania.
γ, γ (slowly)
γ, γ (slowly)
When this letter precedes an I or an E vowel. It sounds like the next consonant sound...
γη
γένος
γηγενής"
It's almost identical to the English Y, like in the word 'Yiddish' or 'yes', however there's a very slight buzzing sensation, similar to the previous sound. Listen to Stefania.
γ, γ (slowly)
γ, γ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
δούλος
δοκάρι
δαιδαλώδης"
Like the TH, in the word 'this'. It's a familiar sound to English speakers but learners would often misread this as a "d" sound. Be sure not to commit this mistake. Listen to Stefania.
δ, δ (slowly)
δ, δ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
ζημιά
ζιζάνιο
ζεματίζω"
Like the Z, in the word 'zebra'.
ζ, ζ (slowly)
ζ, ζ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
θεός
θύμα
θάλασσα"
Like the TH in the word 'thanks' or 'thin'. Learners often mispronounce this, so listen to Stefania.
θ, θ (slowly)
θ, θ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
κακός
κοπέλα
κουκί"
Like the K, in the word 'smoke'. This is the sound that this letter makes in combination with an A, O, or U vowel. The sound should be coming from the back of your mouth while you keep your lips rounded.
κ, κ (slowly)
κ, κ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
κερί
κήπος"
This is the same letter we saw before, but in combination with an I or an E vowel it sounds like the K in the word "key". Here you need to bring your tongue closer to the roof of your mouth. Listen to Stefania.
κ, κ (slowly)
κ, κ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
λαίλαπα
ολόμαλλη
διόλου"
Like the L, in the word 'last'.
λ, λ (slowly)
λ, λ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
λιανός
κοπελιές
ηλιοκαμένος"
This is also known as a Spanish L. It's similiar to the GLI sound in the word 'tagliatelle' or the double L sound in the word 'millionaire'. The key point is to make the tongue is flat, much flatter than the regular L, and instead of using the tip of the tongue as you normally would, try to use the middle part of your tongue to contact the roof of the mouth.
λ, λ (slowly)
λ, λ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
μίμος
μουγγός
τρεμάμενος"
Like the M, in the word 'must'.
μ, μ (slowly)
μ, μ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
ναι
κανόνι
νανουρίζω"
Like the N, in the word 'nice'.
ν, ν (slowly)
ν, ν (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
"νι
αρνιού
ανιαρός
μαλαματένιος"
This is also known as the Spanish N. It sounds like a combination between an N and a Y sound. English speakers can sometimes pronounce this sound when saying the word 'canyon' or 'new'. Instead of using the tip of your tongue as you would with a regular N, try to use the middle part of your tongue to contact the roof of your mouth.
νι, νι (slowly)
νι, νι (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
ξύνω
λοξός
εξέλεξαν"
Like the X, in the word 'fox'.
ξ, ξ (slowly)
ξ, ξ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
πέτρα
παπούτσι
υποπίπτω"
Like the P, in the word 'pain'.
π, π (slowly)
π, π (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
τρώω
άρτιος
προίκα"
(voiced alveolar trill) This is also known as a rolled R, or rolling your R's. Lightly contact the gums directly behind your top teeth with the tip of your tongue and try to direct just enough air through it so that the opening opens and closes rapidly -- as if fluttering or vibrating.
One useful trick, is to think of olden day movies. Do you remember how Dracula first introduced himself? Like DO-RA-CU-LA. Try to say it like this multiple times. You want to focus on the D and R sound in the word "dracula". This *very* quick transitioning from the D to the R can sometimes allow you to prononuce the rolled R sound.
In Greek, the rolling sound can vary in intensity, from heavy to very slight depending on the word and even style and speed of speech.
Okay, let's break it down.
ρ, ρ (slowly)
ρ, ρ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
"
" "ρ
ώρα
μηρός
αρεστός"
This sound occurs when the rolled R is very very slight, usually when the letter is between two vowel sounds. English speakers can sometimes produce this sound when pronuncing the R sound in words like 'better' or 'butter', usually quickly and lazily. The key here is to make sure that the tongue gets really close to the gumridge, and then retracts back very quickly. Listen to how Stefania pronounces this sound.
ρ, ρ (slowly)
ρ, ρ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
σωσίας
ανάσα
σεσουάρ"
Like the S, in the word 'sand'.
σ, σ (slowly)
σ, σ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
τέταρτο
ετούτος
τιτάνιος"
Like the T, in the word 'take'.
τ, τ (slowly)
τ, τ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
φως
φιλία
φαφούτης
αυτός
εύπορος"
Like the F, in the word 'find'.
φ, φ (slowly)
φ, φ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
χάος
χορός
χούφτα"
Like the CH, in the word 'yech', or 'Loch Ness'. This is the sound that this letter makes in combination with an A, O, or U vowel. Here's a tip: blow a steady stream of air between your tongue and the back part of your mouth. You should hear a turbulent sound.
χ, χ (slowly)
χ, χ (slowly)
The next consonant sound is...
χέρι
χήνα"
This is the same letter as before, but in combination with an I or an E vowel it sounds a little bit like the H in the word "hue" but with turbulence. This sound is pronounced in the front part of the mouth. Say a long, drawn-out "eeee" and while holding that mouth position, just exhale strongly. Listen to Stefania again.
χ, χ (slowly)
χ, χ (slowly)
The last consonant sound is...
ψάρι
ψέμα
άψυχος"
This consonant sound is like a combination between a P sound, and an S sound. Here's a great tip. You can produce this sound by saying the word 'upset'.
ψ, ψ (slowly)
ψ, ψ (slowly)
Well done! You just learned 23 Greek consonant sounds.
"β (as in βάση)
γ (as in γάλα)
γ (as in γη)
δ (as in δούλος)
ζ (as in ζημιά)
θ (as in θεός)
κ (as in κακός)
κ (as in κερί)
λ (as in λόγος)
λ (as in πουλιά)
μ (as in μίμος)
ν (as in ναι)
νι (as in νιάτα)
ξ (as in ξένος)
π (as in πέτρα)
ρ (as in τρώω)
ρ (as in ώρα)
σ (as in σωσίας)
τ (as in τέταρτο)
φ (as in φως)
χ (as in χάος)
χ (as in χέρι)
ψ (as in ψάρι)"
In the next lesson, you'll learn 13 more consonant sounds.
Were there more familiar consonants in Greek than you thought? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Greek Pronunciation Guide lesson!

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22 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

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

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:14 PM
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Γεια σου Jacob,


Thank you so much for your kind message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Γεια χαρά,

Λέβεντε (Levente)

Team GreekPod101.com

Jacob
Sunday at 05:45 AM
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These pronunciation videos are fantastic, they are really helping me to improve even after listening to the regular podcasts. Thanks!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 05:24 AM
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Hi Theresa,


Greeks do roll the ρ in cases like the word τρώω, but if you can't, it's no problem! People will still understand you. Learning to roll the ρ though will make your pronunciation sound more like a native. As with all languages, perfect pronunciation is a matter of a lot of practice and time.


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Theresa
Thursday at 12:31 AM
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Is it absolutely necessary to roll your r's when pronouncing "p"? I cannot seem to get it.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:43 AM
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Hi Wim,


Thank you for your great feedback!


I must say that adding markers in videos that take users to different sections of the video is already under discussion 😉. I'm not sure when such a feature would be implemented but it's an idea our team has been discussing recently.


Stay tuned!


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Wim
Tuesday at 08:07 PM
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Hi,


A very useful lesson, which I think it will be revisited by many of your students who are in doubt how to pronounce a consonant. It will therefor be helpful if you can add markers in the timeline below the video, so that students can jump directly to the consonant they are looking for.


Regards, Wim

GreekPod101.com
Friday at 09:46 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi George,


Thank you for commenting! We are glad that you enjoyed the lesson!


If you ever have any questions, please let us know!


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GreekPod101.com

George Wibbeler
Thursday at 01:51 PM
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😳Most helpful! One of my favorite lessons..

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:33 PM
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Hi Marhiya!


Thank you for contacting us.


If you pronounce your name "Mariah" as in "Mariah Carey", then it's Μαράια.

Good that you clarified that, otherwise I would have thought your name is pronounced Μαρίγια (ma-rEE-ya)?!


I'm glad you are enjoying this site! If you ever have any questions, just leave us a comment!


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Marhiya
Tuesday at 06:20 AM
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Hi,

I am learning a lot on here. I just am having trouble with how to spell my name in the Greek alphabet. My name is Marhiya, and it is pronounced like Mariah.

I really am enjoying this site, and hope to learn more. ?