Jump to content

It's all Greek to me... No, it isn't. Learn how to pronounce words!


Recommended Posts

A really popular phrase which summarizes the difficulty of Greek language...

But is Greek language that difficult indeed?

Let's have a look at the pronunciation of vowels, consonants and diphthongs which tend to be somehow tricky for the learner:

The accent, if written, is placed on the single vowel or the second vowel of the diphthong. If the diaeresis (two dots on top ΪΫϊϋ) is placed on the second, or the accent is on the first, it is not a diphthong. For example, ρολοϊ (clock, from ωρολογιον, whence French horloge) is pronounced roh-LOH-ee.


Α αλφα

as in father πατηρ

Ε εψιλον

as in hecto- εκατον

Η ητα

as in spleen σπλην

Ι ιωτα

same as η, sometimes shorter

Ο ομικρον

as in Portuguese dose δοσις

Υ υψιλον

same as ι

Ω ωμεγα

as in somatic σωματικος


Β βητα

as in very

Γ γαμμα

voiced version of χ. Before ε or ι, as in yet. Before γ, κ, or χ, as in sink

Δ δελτα

as in those

Ζ ζητα

as in zone ζωνη

Θ θητα

as in thesis θεσις

Κ καππα

as in kinetic κινητικος

Λ λαμβδα

as in linen λινον

Μ μυ

as in mixture μιγμα

Ν νυ

as in new νεος

Ξ ξι

as in ax αξινη

Π πι

as in plasma πλασμα

Ρ ρω

as in Spanish reloj ρολοϊ

Σ σιγμα ς

as in sack σακκος

Τ ταυ

as in type τυπος

Φ φι

as in phone φωνη

Χ χι

halfway between keel and heel

Ψ ψι

as in sepsis σηψις



like ε, but longer


ahv, as in sovereign, except before a voiceless consonant, in which case ahf


as in Keith, same as η


as in several, left


same as η


as in food


same as η


as in anger


as in anger, sink, or go


as in ankh


as in bumble


as in dander

Hope all these help you out. Enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...
  • 10 months later...

You seem to be a good teacher. I loved the way you explained it all. I have studied Greek for 2 years at the university and it is a pity I have not used it since 2008, so I forgot almost all of it. What is left is my ability to read, and ask a few questions. Even writing is something I have not stuck to so far. I would love to brush up on my Greek.

Pose lene? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...