When visiting any country it pays to try and learn a few local words and in Greece the people appreciate your attempts at common Greek phrases even if they are wrong.

Whilst it may seem like a difficult language at first you will be surprised how quickly you pick things up. As one of the oldest languages in the world and over 5000 words used or adapted in English you probably already know more than you think.

I am in no way fluent in Greek but usually remember enough each visit to get by, and most people speak English anyway. I’ve listed a few tips that I use below in red which might help you as well.  

Greetings

kalimera = good morning – καλημέρα. M for Morning!

kalispera = good afternoon – καλησπέρα. Used only when coming to a place or meeting someone in the evening or at night. P for PM!

kalinihta = good night – καληνύχτα. Used only as a goodbye greeting in the evening or at night.

yassou = hello or goodbye – γειά σου. A greeting to one person or a friend. Ou for just one of YOU!

yassas = hello or goodbye – γειά σας. A greeting to more people or a more formal and polite way to greet an unknown person

Yassou file mou Yanni = Hello my friend Yanni 

Other useful phrases

Efharisto = Thank you 

Parakalo = You’re Welcome 

Parakalo = Please ( yes, the same as above – its a handy word)

yes = Nai ( the opposite of what feels natural right!)

No = oxi 

Sorry/excuse me – Sigonmi ( sick on me

Milate Anglika? = Do you speak English?

Logariasmo parakalo = The bill, please.

Mporo na bgalo mia fotografia? = May I take a photo?

Then katalaveno = I don’t understand

Ela = Come

Pos se lene? = What is your name?

Fiye = Go away! 

Me lene … = My name is …

Ise omorfi = you are beautiful

Apo pou eisai? = Where are you from?

Eimai apo Anglia = I am from England

Thelo ena kafe = I want a coffee

Ehete thomatio? = Do you have a room?

Thelo ena tsai = I want a tea

Thelo mia mpira = I want a beer 

Cheers/Salute – Stiniyahmas ( skinny arses)

Wine = krasi

Menu = menou

Taxi = taxi

Church = Ekklisia

Airport = Aerodromia

Ferry = Porthmeio

Love = agapi

Doll = koukla ( often used for small children/babies)

Oops/Yay – Opa! 

 

 

If you’d like to learn more common Greek phrases try a free online course or check with the local Greek Orthodox Church in your area. Like any language practice makes perfect and the more you try and use your knowledge the more likely you will retain it.

The Greek alphabet with english equivelant

common greek phrases

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