Language

A Few Useful Tips on Pronunciation

The much quoted phrase "It's All Greek to Me" is certainly accurate. However, having an appreciation of a few basics does help, so I hope you enjoy having fun with these small pointers before you come to Spetses.

 

There are a few vowels and characters in the Greek alphabet that conspire to make pronunciation quite difficult.

Below is a table of some basics to get you started.

Greek

English

Meaning

Pronunciation

α Α a A   somewhere between the southern English a in mast and u in cup or ah.
Άγιος / Άγια Ayios / Ayia Saint (male & female) because the γ (gamma) is followed byι,the γ sounds soft like a cross between yet and heal
Αυγό Avgho Egg αυ or ευfollowed by β, γ, δ, ζ, λ μ, ρ, τor any other vowel is pronounced as in average or every. Before any other letter it is pronounced as f.

because the γ (gamma) is followed byο,the γ sounds hard as in grab and is translated as gh.

ευχαριστώ efcharisto thank you because ευis not followed by β, γ, δ, ζ, λ μ, ρ, τor any other vowel, it is pronounced as in effort.

because the χ is not followed by ι or ε it is translated and pronounced  as ch as in the Scots loch.

Όχι Ohi No when χ is followed by ι or ε pronounce as hat.
Ναι Ne Yes αι together sounds like e in met.
παρακαλώ parakalo please  

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