Greek (greek ελληνική – elliniki) is an Indo-European language used in Greece and Cyprus. It is a direct successor of Ancient Greek language and does not belong to any other language group.
Modern Greek has its origin in the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece (336 BC - 30 BC) when, based mainly on the Attic dialect, the so-called koiné dialektos ("the common dialect"), today known as dhimotikí ghlósa ("language of the people"), was formed.
In Antiquity, a range of locally varied greek language variations existed. However, later also the unified form, so-called koiné (κοινή) ("common") has spread, of which the helléniké glóssa (ελληνική γλώσσα) has developed, what literally translated means " Greek language" and is the name for Modern Greek.
Compared to Ancient Greek language, changes in pronunciation have occurred: Melodic accent has become more dynamic, the differences between the short and long vowels have disappeared, the gliding vowels (Diphthongs) have changed into simple vowels (Monophthongs). The morphology of words also has changed essentially as analytical tendencies have been promoted during the evolution of the language (Some grammatical meanings have been expressed by special words instead of changing the form of the words. Many tenses of verbs are copied, the grammatical cases of declensions have been reduced, etc.)
Especially after the 6th century, these tendencies have become more intense because in the multinational Byzantine Empire, Greek replaced Latin and became the official language of culture and church. The changes of the language have been influenced also by the local particularities because of different economical and cultural backgrounds in each territory. Despite of the numerous words derived from foreign languages (Turkish, Italian, English, French, etc.), the major part of the greek vocabulary consists of original greek words.
Greek alphabet inclusive transliteration and pronunciation. We recommend to begin with this article, as the transliteration of the letters ("δ", "θ", "φ" etc.) is very useful for further learning the greek words.
A summary of all greek words, which you can subsequently find, divided into single sections.
A summary of all greek phrases, which you can subsequently find, divided into single sections.
The first misunderstanding could be caused by such easy words as "YES" (=ne) and "NO" (=óchi). Same meaning have the gestures - noding the head means "NO", and the one, who is shacking his head, his agreeing "YES"! Just a little practice is required.
Would you like to book a single or a double room or perhaps a room with a nice sea view ? Do you have a problem with air conditioning ? Then following words could help you.
Especially in small shops, you could come across salesmen, who speak just greek. For this case, it is good to know words related to basic foodstuffs or things of daily use.
We realize that the time is passing differently in Greece. Nevertheless, here are at least some basic words...
One, two, three, ... counting in Euro. (bank, ten, currency, fifteen, thirty, cancel, Do you accept cash? Do you accept credit cards? To withdraw money. ..)
We want to help you to orient yourself in the menu and to order the best Greek specialitities such as Greek salad, lamb skewers or maybe prawns and octopuses. Enjoy your meal!
Don´t be afraid of the transport in Greece and have a look how to e.g. ask for direction to the beach or ATM. If you have any troubles, do not hesitate and ask for help "Tourist police" officers, who speak foreign languages.
Hopefully you won´t need a medical care during your vacation, but you never know...
Here you can find uncategorized words and phrases. Learn how to say for example "You have beautiful eyes" or "Would you like to go for a coffee with me?" and go ahead and try it out directly in the streets !