It’s Greek to Me: 9 ways to say what you mean in Greek

The great thing about speaking English is that most non-English countries make it a point to learn English. So you never feel like you need to learn a different language when you travel. We’re rather spoiled that way. But I try to learn some important vocabulary when I go to a country that has its own language. I’m pretty nerdy in that I made my own little booklet of Greek words. The people of Greece are very friendly and proud of their history and culture (and a long and complex history it is!). Most of the people I met thought it was great that I gave their language a shot. My tries usually got a big smile in response (this could be because I was pronouncing things totally wrong and they thought it was funny — but if so, at least they waited till I was gone before making fun of me!).

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Here are some handy words to learn if you ever make it to Greece:

yesnéh (pronounced: neh) [A bit confusing because it sounds a lot like “no” in English, but it really means “yes”] noóxi (pronounced: oh-hee) [Sounds kinda like “okay” in English, but it actually means “no”] Good morning.Kali mera (pronounced: KAH-lee MEH-rah)
Hello Yia sas (pronounced: YAH-sahs)
How are you? Ti káneis? (pronounced: tee KAH-nees)
I’m fine. And you? Poli kalá. Esi? (pronounced: po-LEE kah-LAH. eh-SEE?)
Thank you. Parakaló (pronounced: pah-rah-kah-LOH)
You’re welcome. Parakaló (pronounced: pah-rah-kah-LOH) [yes, it’s the same word they use for “thank you”] Sorry/pardon me.Sygnómi. (pronounced: seeg-NOH-mee)

Just a note, the Greek language has its own alphabet. It doesn’t use the Latin alphabet like we do in English. The above Greek words are written using English Latin letters, so sometimes the spelling will be different.
 

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