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It’s not all Greek to you

It’s not all Greek to you

Greek words you need to know

Before travelling to Greece, you could learn few basic Greek words like good morning, good night, thank you and hello. I guarantee to you that it will not be all Greek to you. Hahaaa! And even if you will butcher our language because it is unreadable for you, do not be afraid. Since it is just an honor for us to hear you saying ‘thank you’ in Greek, we do not care about your pronunciation. It shows that you care enough for us and our civilization, to learn few of our basic words and customs.

Below you can read few Greek words phonetically. I hope I will help you in that way to communicate and get the information required to find your way to Acropolis etc (if you do not have a functional gps on your mobile phone) or just to mingle with the locals. Do not be afraid from this extended table, just choose some of the basics from the first section or some of the funniest for you.

English Greek Phonetically Greek Explanation

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 —  —  —
Yes Ναι Nai  
Νο Όχι Óchi  
Hello or Goodbye Γειά σου Geia sou Addressing to 1person
Hello or Goodbye Γεια σας Geia sas Addressing to a group
Hi Γεια Geia  
Hey Έλα = come one Éla Address when start talking on the phone
Okay or All right Εντάξει Entáxei  
How are you? Tί κανείς; Ti kaneís? Addressing to 1person
How are you? Τί κάνετε; Tí kánete? Addressing to a group
Cheers Γεια μας = To our health Ya mas = stin ygeía mas When we toast by clinking the glasses
Cheers Γεια σας = To your health Geia sas = stin ygeía sou You exclude yourself from the wish
Good morning Καλημέρα Kaliméra Until 12:00
Good afternoon Καλό μεσημέρι Kaló mesiméri After 12:00 until ~15:00
Good evening Καλησπέρα Kalispéra After 15:00-17:00 until ~ late afternoon
Goodnight Καληνύχτα Kalinýchta On the way to bed
Kisses Φιλιά Filia  
Nice to meet you Χάρηκα Chárika  
See/Talk to you later Τα λέμε Ta léme  
Thank you Ευχαριστώ Efcharistó  
You’re welcome or please Παρακαλώ Parakaló  
Excuse me or Sorry Συγνώμη Sygnómi Το get attention or to get pass
My name is Maria. Με λένε Μαρία Me léne Μaría  
What is your name? Πώς σε λένε; Pós se léne?  
Do you speak English? Μιλάτε αγγλικά; Miláte angliká?  
Can you help me? Μπορείς να με βοηθήσεις? Boreís na me voithíseis?  
Where is the bathroom / museum / church / George’s tavern? Πού είναι η τουαλέτα / μουσείο / εκκλησία / η ταβέρνα του Γιώργου; Poú eínai i toualéta / mouseío / ekklisía / tavérna tou Giórgou?  
How can I get to…? Πως μπορώ να πάω στο…? Pos boró na páo sto…?  
Where can I find the…? Πού μπορώ να βρω το…; Poú boró na vro to…?  
I would like to go to… Θα ήθελα να πάω σε… Tha íthela na páo se…  
Where is the nearest ATM to withdraw money? Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο ATM για ανάληψη χρημάτων; Poú eínai to plisiéstero ATM gia análipsi chrimáton?  
How much is it? Πόσο κάνει αυτό; Póso kánei aftó? How much does it cost?
Help Βοήθεια Voítheia  
I love Greece Αγαπώ την Ελλάδα Agapó tin Elláda  
I don’t understand Δεν καταλαβαίνω Den katalavaíno  
I have an allergy to cheese / fish / lemon Έχω αλλεργία στο τυρί / ψάρι / λεμόνι Écho allergía sto tyrí / psári / lemóni  
I would like to have… Θα ήθελα να έχω… Tha íthela na écho…  
Could I have some water? Θα μπορούσα να έχω λίγο νερό; Tha boroúsa na écho lígo neró?  
I would like to order please Θα ήθελα να παραγγείλω παρακαλώ Tha íthela na parangeílo parakaló  
Can I have the check please? Μπορώ να έχω το λογαριασμό παρακαλώ? Boró na écho to logariasmó parakaló? Or you can pretend to write something in the air while you are keeping eye contact with your waiter, like a genuine Greek.
What’s up? Τί λέει; Tí léei? Slang for: How’s it going?
Merry Christmas Kαλά Χριστούγεννα Kalá Christoúgenna  
Happy Easter Καλό Πάσχα Kaló Páscha On Easter during the 40days of fasting before the Holy Week
Good Resurrection Καλή Ανάσταση Kalí Anástasi On Easter during the Holy Week and the Holy Saturday
Christ has risen Χριστός Ανέστει Christos anestei On Easter during Holy Sunday and instead of Hello for the next 40days
Indeed He has risen Αληθώς Ανέστει Alithos anestei This phrase is the answer to anyone that says to you the above phrase: Christ has risen
Bottoms up! ‘Ασπρο πάτο = white bottom Aspro páto  
Passion Μεράκι Meráki Love of what you do by putting a part of your soul in it
Fun/Mirth Κέφι Kéfi fun
Oops Ώπα Opa Overemphasize enthusiasm or joy while you are dancing or to show appreciation for music & dancing
Greek words
Entrance

Finally, I believe that these are few of the most common Greek words and phrases that you as travelers should know before heading to Greece. Additionaly, I hope that the above it will be a useful. But also, a pleasant easy-going aid to help you stay in Greece. In that way, I invite you to immers yourself in our local culture. Please, … enjoy!

And if you liked this one, then you will be content with that: The basics do’s and don’ts

50 thoughts on “It’s not all Greek to you

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