Greek is an Indo-European language. This theoretically makes it related to just about every other language in Europe, but it hides it well.  Modern Greek is a direct descendant of Ancient Greek, the language spoken throughout the eastern Mediterranean 1,500 years ago, but that language has no other descendants, so Modern Greek is a bit of an outcast.

The most important features of the language:

  • It is a very difficult language to learn, due to its highly complex grammar.

  • It uses an alphabet which is different from everybody else's, the Greek alphabet. This was the original alphabet from which both our own (Roman) alphabet and the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet evolved.

  • Greek is heavy on endings - the endings of words change depending on what you are using the word for. You'll notice this in Greek place names, where they can never decide whether a given town's name ends in -o, -os or -on, and in people's names where a man may be called Spiros, but you address him as Spiro.

 Most of the Greeks in resorts can speak English - well in some form at least!
 .....Sorry guys!

Good morning  kalimera Hello -  Goodbye  yasas (familiar yasou)
Good evening    kalispera Pleased to meet you hairo polee

Good night   

kalinikta How are you? Tee kanete
(familiar tee kanis)
Yes ne Fine, thanks. 
And you? 
kala, esees
(familiar esee)
No  ohi Do you like?  sas aresee
Thank you  efharisto Very much  para polee
Please  parakalo It's lovely eene pole oreya
Okay - All right  endaxi Could you help me? boreete na me voithisete
Cheers - Your health!  yamas Can I help you? boro na sas voithiso?
Can you show me boreete na mou thíksete Certainly veveos 
I want thelo Never mind -
It doesn't matter 
then biraze
I need kriazome Wait a minute perimenete
I don't know  then ksero I'm lost ekhasa to thromo
Now tora I don't understand then katalava
Early  norees Do you speak kserete
Late  arga English - Greek? anglika- elinika?
What? tee Can you please speak more slowly? parakalo milate siga-siga
When? póte Could you say that again, please? parakalo ksanapeste to
Why? yatee

Where is the toilet?

Pu eene ee twaleta?

Where? poo Opposite apenande
Big megalos Table trapezi
Small mikros Water nero
Car aftokinito Ice pagos
Broken spasmenos ice-cream pagoto
Boy agori Wine krasi
Child pethee Butter voutiro
Girl koritsi Bread psomi
Cat gata Chop brizola
Dog skeelos Cold krio
Tomorrow avrio Hot zesti
Day - off repo Help voithia
Easter  paska Here etho
Christmas Kristooyenna Horse alogo
Clothes roukha How pos
Family ikoyeneia How much? poso
Father patera Name onoma
Mother mitera Only mono
Mr kirios Post office tahithromeio
Mrs kiria Quickly grigora
End telos Boat varka




 More Crete pages
: Intro to Crete : About Hania & West Crete : Cretan People : When to Come : Getting Here
: Greeks on Holiday : Its All Greek To Me : Weather :



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