Greek Phrase Guide

Thankfully, most Greeks speak at least some French, Italian and German among other languages, and are most often fluent in English. Nevertheless, sometimes it just feels nice to connect with the locals and learning a few words can make your vacation much more memorable! This respect for culture is the first step in immersing yourself fully in Greek life on your vacation.

Below, find words and phrases written first in English, then in Greek and the phonetic pronunciation following in parentheses, with emphasis placed on the syllables in capital letters. You can always use Google Translate to play an audio of how these words and phrases are pronounced.

Our advice? Keep this app handy throughout your vacation and it won’t be all Greek to you.

 

GREETINGS

Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-sue)

Good morning: Καλημέρα (kah-lee-MER-ah)

Good afternoon/evening: Καλησπέρα (kah-lee-SPER-ah)

Good evening (when leaving): Καλό βράδυ (ka-LO vra-thee)

Goodnight: Καληνύχτα (kah-lee-NEEKH-tah)

See/Talk to you later: Τα λέμε (tah-LEH-meh)

Goodbye: Αντίο (un-DEE-o)

How are you?: Tι κανείς (tee-KAH-nis)?

I’m fine, and you? Είμαι καλά, εσύ? (ee-me ka-LA, ee-SOU?)

OR

Good, thanks: Καλά, ευχαριστώ (ka-LA, ef-hah-ree-STO)

What is your name?: Πως σε λένε? (po-se-LEH-neh)

My name is… : Με λένε (me-LEH-neh)…

Nice to meet you: Χάρηκα πολύ (HA-ree-ka poh-LEE)

 

ESSENTIALS

Please/You’re welcome: Παρακαλώ (pa-ra-kah-LO)

In Greek, the word for “please” and “you’re welcome” is the same, making it all the more easy to learn. It’s polite to say “para-kah-LO” after asking for directions or the price of something. It can even be used to mean “I beg your pardon?” or “Huh?” when you’ve misunderstood or want someone to repeat something.

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ree-STO)

Yes: Ναί (neh)

No: Όχι (o-HEE)

Excuse me/Sorry: Συγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee)

I don’t understand: Δεν καταλαβαίνω (Then kah-tah-lah-VEH-noh)

Do you speak English?: Μιλάτε αγγλικά (Mee-LAH-teh ag-li-KAH)?

 

QUESTIONS

How much is it?: Πόσο κάνει αυτό (POH-soh KAH-nee af-TOH)?

[You can get by with asking “POH-soh KAH-nee” (How much?). Adding the “af-TOH” just means “How much is it?”]

Where is…?: Που είναι… (Poh-EE-neh)

Hint: you can ask for help with locating something by saying ‘Poh-EE-neh’ while pointing at something specific, like a map.

When?: Πότε (PO-teh)
May I please have…?: Θα μπορούσα να έχω… (tha mpo-RU-sa na EH-gho)

Where is the bathroom?: Που είναι το μπάνιο; (pu EE-ne to BA-nio?)

 

FOOD & DRINK

Beer: Μπύρα (BEE-ra)

Wine: Κρασί (kra-SEE)

Water: Νερό (ne-RO)

Cheers!: Στην υγειά μας! (STIN-eh YAH-mas) shortened to – > (Ya mas)

Bottoms up!: Ασπρο πάτο (AHS-pro PAH-toh)

Meaning literally “white bottom,” if you use this with a new Greek acquaintance, you’ll be sure to impress.

OPA!: Ωπα (OH-pa).

OPA is one Greek word you have probably heard before. It is used frequently as an exclamation of enthusiasm or joy in celebrations or to show appreciation for music, dancing, food, and drinks. For example, when you’ve thoroughly impressed your waiter with your new Greek skills, and he offers you a round of ouzo shots on the house, you can say, “Opa!” in appreciation.

I don’t eat…: Δεν τρώω (then tro-o)

I’m a vegetarian: Είμαι χορτογάφος (ee-me hor-to-FA-gos)

The bill, please: Τον λογαριασμό παρακαλώ (ton lo-ga-ri-as-MO pa-ra-ka-LO)

 

For local cuisine and to assist you in ordering your favourites, our FOOD & WINE section lists many traditional island dishes and local wines that you really must try. Island tastes are varied and quite delightful!

 

GETTING AROUND

Left: Αριστερά (a-ri-ster-AH)

Right: Δεξιά (the-xee-A)

Straight ahead: Όλο ευθεία (o-lo ef-THEE-a)

Turn left: Στρίψτε αριστερά (stree-pste a-ree-ster-AH)

Turn right: Στρίψτε δεξιά (stree-pste the-xee-AH)

Bus stop: Στάση λεωφορείου (sta-see le-o-fo-REE-uh)

Train station: Στάση τραίνου (sta-see trein-u)

Airport: Αεροδρόμιο (aero-dro-mee-o)

Entrance: Είσοδος (ee-so-dos)

Exit: Έξοδος (exo-dos)

 

NUMBERS

ONE: ένα (E-na)

TWO: δύο (th-EE-o)

THREE: τρία (tr-EE-ah)

FOUR: τέσσερα (TE-se-rah)

FIVE: πέντε (PEN-deh)

SIX: έξι (EX-ee)

SEVEN: εφτά (ef-TA)

EIGHT: οχτώ (ogh-TO)

NINE: εννέα (eh-NAY-ah)

TEN: δέκα (DEH-kah)

TWENTY: είκοσι (EE-ko-see)

THIRTY: τριάντα (tree-UN-duh)

FORTY: σαράντα (sa-RUN-duh)

FIFTY: πενήντα (pe-NIN-dah)

SIXTY: εξήντα (ex-SIN- dah)

SEVENTY: εβδομήντα (ev-tho-MIN-dah)

EIGHTY: ογδόντα (ogh-THON-duh)

NINETY: εννενήντα (e-ne-NIN-dah)

HUNDRED: εκατό (e-ka-TO)

 

DAYS

Monday: Δευτέρα (Def-TE-ra)

Tuesday: Τρίτη (TrEE-tee)

Wednesday: Τετάρτη (Ter-TAR-tee)

Thursday: Πέμπτη (PEmp-tee)

Friday: Παρασκευή (par-ah-skev-EE)

Saturday: Σαββάτο (sa-VA-to)

Sunday: Κυριακή (Ki-ree-a-kEE)

 

EMERGENCIES:

Help!: Βοήθεια (vo-EE-thee-a)

I need a doctor: Χρειάζομαι ένα γιατρό (hree-AH-zo-me E-na yi-a-TRO)

I don’t feel well: Δεν αισθάνομαι καλά (then e-STATH-no-me ka-la)

Call the police!: Καλέστε την αστυνομία (ka-LE-ste tin a-sti-no-MIA)

Fire! Φωτιά (fo-ti-YA)

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