Greek Language Basics

Greek is one of the world’s oldest recorded living languages and holds an important place in the histories and cultures of Europe. It is the language of Aristotle, Homer, Plato, Herodotus and Alexander the Great.

Essential Phrases

Hello Yia su
Goodbye Adio
Please Parakalo
Thank you Efkharisto
Welcome Kopiaste
Cheers! Stin iyia mas!
Here you are Oriste
Yes Ne
No Ohi
What is your name? Pos se lene?
Excuse me Me sinhorite
Sorry Sighnomi
I have a reservation Ekho kani mia kratisi
I would like a taxi Tha ithela ena taksi
I understand Katalaveno
I don’t understand Then katalaveno
One moment please Mia stigmi parakalo
Help! Voithia!

Greetings & Goodbyes

Hello / Hi Yia su
Good Afternoon Herete
Good Morning Kalimera
Good Evening Kalispera
Good Night Kalinikhta
How are you? Ti kaneis? (singular) / Ti kanete? (plural)
Fine and you? Kala esi? (singular) / Kala eseis? (plural)
What’s your name? Pos se lene
My name is… Me lene…
I’m pleased to meet you Hero poli
Goodbye Adio
Bon voyage Kalo taksithi

Question Words

How? Pos?
How many? Posoi (plural masculin) / Poses (plural feminin) / Posa (plural neuter)
How much? Posos (masculin) / Posi (feminin) / Poso (neuter)
What? Ti?
When? Pote?
Where? Pu?
Who? Pios (musculin) / Pia (feminin)/ Pio (neuter)
Why? Yiati?
How much is it? Poso kani?
When’s the first bus? Pote ine to proto leoforio?
What time does it leave? To ora fevgyi?
How far is it? Poso makria ine?
Who is that? Pios ine ekeinos?
What is the address? Pia einai i thiefthinsi?
Can you show me on the map? Boris na mu thiksis sto kharti?
Do you speak English? Milas (Anglika)?
Does anyone speak (English)? Mila kanis Anglika?
I beg your pardon? Oriste / Signomi
Do you understand? Katalavenis?
Pardon? Sighnomi?
What will the weather be like tomorrow? Pos tha ine o keros avrio?
Where’s the toilet? Pu ine I toualeta?

Telling the Time

What time is it? Ti ora ine?
It’s ten o’clock. Ine theka i ora
Five past ten Theka ke pende
Quarter past ten Theka ke tetarto
Half past ten Theka ke misi
Quarter to ten Theka para tetarto
Twenty to ten Theka para ikosi
At what time? Se posi ora?
At ten Stis theka

Sweet Talk

I love you Se aghapo
My baby Moro mu
My soul Psihula mu
My treasure Khriso mu
Sweetheart Karthula mu
I like you very much Mu aresis poli
He’s a babe Ine kuklos
She’s a babe Ine kukla

Local Talk

Don’t stress Min kanis etsi
Enough Arketa
Exactly Akrivos
Great! Apithano!
I don’t care Then me niazi
It’s OK Ine endaksi
Just a minute Miso lepto
Just joking Astievome
Maybe Isos
No problem Den iparhi provlima
No way Apokliete
Rubbish Sakhlamares
Sure Sighura
Well now… Lipon
You’re wrong Kanis lathos

Emergency

Help Voithia
Call the police Kalese tin astinomia
Call a doctor Kalese ena yiatro
Ambulance Asthenoforo
Fire Fotia
I’m sick Ime arostos
I’m lost Ekho khathi
Thief Kleftis
Watch out Prosehe
Stop Stamata
Go away Fiye

Food and Drink

Can you recommend a bar / cafe / restaurant? Boris na sistisis ena bar / kafe / estiatorio?
I would like to reserve a table Tha ithela na kratiso ena trapezi
Enjoy your meal Kali oreksi
I am allergic to Ime aleryikos
Food Fayito
Drink Poto
Breakfast Proyevma
Lunch Yevma
Dinner Thipno
Water Nero
Tea Tsai
Coffee Kafe
Beer Bira
Wine Krasi
Bill Loghariazmos
I’m feeling drunk Methisa

Numbers

1 ena
2 thio
3 tria
4 tesera
5 pende
6 eksi
7 efta
8 okhto
9 enea
10 deka
11 edeka
12 thotheka
13 thekatria
14 thekatesera
15 thekapende
16 thekaeksi
17 thekaefta
18 thekaohto
19 thekaenea
20 ikosi
21 isosiena
22 ikosithio
30 trianda
40 saranda
50 penida
60 exsida
70 evthomida
80 oghthoda
90 enenida
100 ekato
200 thiakosia
1000 hilia
1,000,000 ena ekatomirio

The calender

Days

Monday Theftera
Tuesday Triti
Wednesday Tetarti
Thursday Pempti
Friday Paraskevi
Saturday Savato
Sunday Kiriaki

Months

January Ianuarios
February Fevruarios
March Martios
April Aprilios
May Maios
June Iunios
July Iulios
August Avghustos
September Septemvrios
October Oktovrios
November Noemvrios
December Thekemvrios

Seasons

Spring Aniksi
Summer Kalokeri
Autumn Fthinoporo
Winter Himonas

Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world and beyond during Classical Antiquity, and would eventually become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire. In its modern form, it is the official language of Greece and Cyprus and one of the 23 official languages of the European Union. The language is spoken by approximately 13 million people today. Many modern languages, such as English, have adopted words from Greek. English has over 50,000 words in its lexicon which are derived from the Greek language, especially in the sciences and medicine. As with Latin, Greek is used in the process of new word production in modern languages.

The Modern Greek alphabet consists of 24 letters. Adjective in Greek normally come before the noun, just like in English. They take different endings to agree with the noun they qualify. Greek nouns have gender – masculine, feminine and neuter. Plural nouns take different endings depending on gender.

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