Greek Language

Learning to Speak Greek

Adult Greek Americans love to tell stories about their childhood Greek school experiences. It was like piano lessons – no one wanted to go after school but our parents insisted. Those who went long enough to learn are very grateful to be fluent in such a beautiful language. And those who didn’toften regret their lack of knowledge.

Most Greek Orthodox churches offer Greek Language classes in the evenings or on the weekends – for children and some for adults. These classes often encompass language, culture and faith. You can definitely travel in Greece without knowing the language as many people there are fluent in English. But if you learn a few important phrases, your trip will be even more memorable.

Common Greek Phrases

English Phonetic Greek Comments
Yes Ne Ναι
No ohi Όχι
Please and you’re welcome Parakaló Παρακαλώ
Thank You Efharistó Ευχαριστώ
Welcome Kalós orísate Καλώς Ορίσατε
I don’t understand Then katalavéno Δεν καταλαβαίνω
Excuse me or Sorry sygnómi Συγνώμη!
Good morning Kaliméra καλημέρα
Good evening Kalispéra καλησπέρα A greeting used in evening or night.
Good night Kaliníhta καληνύχτα A goodbye greeting at night
Hello (Hi)

Yiá sou

Yiá sas

γειά σου

γειά σας

Singular, informal

Plural, or formal

How are you?

ti kánete?

pos íste?

Τι κάνετε;

Πώς είστε;

Can also mean “what are you doing”
I’m fine kalá [íme] Καλά (είμαι)
Pleased to meet you Hárika Χάρηκα
Cheers/Good Health stin iyiá mas! Στην υγειά μας! To our health – when toasting drinks
I don’t know then kse-ro Δεν ξέρω
Greek elinika Ελληνικά
What time is it? ti ora ine Τι ώρα είναι;
I love you S’agapó Σ΄αγαπώ Singular informal
What’s your name? pós se léne? Πώς σε λένε; Singular, informal
My name is me léne … Με λένε …

Andio or

Yiá sou


Γειά σου

All right or OK endaxi εντάξει
I don’t speak Greek Den milao elinika Δεν μιλώ Ελληνικά

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