The official language is Greek, but many people, particularly younger folk, speak English. Probably the oldest European language, Greek has an oral tradition dating back some 4000 years and a written tradition of about 3000 years. Modern Greek developed from a number of regional dialects, mainly from the south.

Greek has its own distinctive 24-letter alphabet, from which the Cyrillic alphabet was derived. Transliterations into the Roman alphabet are used here; note that the letter combination ‘dh’ is pronounced as the ‘th’ in ‘them’.


Useful Phrases



Hello yasas / yasu (informal)
Goodbye andio
Good morning kalimera
Good afternoon kalispera
Good evening herete
Please parakalo
Thank you efharisto
O.K endaxi
Yes ne
No ohi
Sorry signomi
How are you? ti kanete / ti kaneis? (informal)
I'm well, thanks kala, efharisto
Do you speak english? milate anglika?
I understand katalaveno
I don't understand den katalaveno
Where is...? pou ine...?
I would like... tha ithela
How much? poso kanei?
When? pote?




What time does the boat/ train leave/arrive? ti ora fevyi/ftani to karavi/ treno?
I’d like a return ticket tha ithela isitirio me epistrofi
Metro station Metro stathmos
Where is…? pou ine…?
Is it far? ine makria?
How do I get to…? pos tha pao sto/sti...?




I’d like a single/double room thelo ena mono/dhiplo dhomatio
with bathroom me banio




I’m looking for (the) … psahno ya…
bank tin trapeza
beach tin paralia
kiosk to periptero
market tin aghora
museum to musio
ruins ta arhea




What time is it? ti ora ine?
It’s… ine…
today simera
tonight apopse
now tora
yesterday hthes
tomorrow avrio


Sunday kyriaki
Monday deftera
Tuesday triti
Wednesday tetarti
Thursday pempti
Friday paraskevi
Saturday savato


0 midhen
1 ena
2 dhio
3 tria
4 tesera
5 pende
6 exi
7 epta
8 okto
9 ennea
10 deka
100 ekato
1000 hilia


©2006 Info Editions