Hello, and welcome to this one-week super easy course which will help you understand, speak, and to some extend learn how to read and write basic modern Greek language.
Have you ever wished to travel to the past and talk with ancient gods of Greece? The language of Olympians, for example Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Aris, Medusa, Hercules, and Aphrodite was ancient Greek.
Greek language is it is spoken today is the ancient root in our everyday conversations in different languages, that is why it is known to be the mother language to some of the languages spoken today around the world. A lot of everyday words used today are Greek. Words like technology, physics, therapy, fantasy, etc. are Greek so you sometimes are secretly speaking Greek without even knowing it…how cool is that?
Modern Greek which we will concentrate on learning here is a simpler and easier version of ancient Greek language. The main aim of this course is to get you speaking and understanding basic modern Greek in a week (or seven mini lessons) and my aim is to teach you as much as possible in this short amount of time. This means we might skip a few steps from time to time and you should not expect the traditional way of learning languages here. Once you have completed this course you must quench your thirst for Greek language by filling the steps you skipped…yes there is no way around that!
So let’s begin…
Below are important common phrases used in modern Greek:
How you write it
How you read it
Hi, Hey, Hello – informal
Hello - formal, also used to address plural audience
How are you?
How are you? formal/Plural
A few nice things you have learnt are:
- ‘Γεια [Gia]’ means: greetings
- Γεια σου [Gia sou]’ means greetings to you,
- ‘Γεια σας [Gia sas]’ means: greetings to you - formal or plural audience
- ‘Πως [Pos]’ means: how?
- ‘Γεια σου, πως είσαι [Gia sou, pos eise]?’ means: Hey, how are you?
- ‘Γεια σας, Πως είστε [Gia sas, pos eisate?]’ means: Greetings to you, how are you? (formal or plural audience)
Congratulations! You can now say hello and ask how a Greek speaking person is…or if you speak to the Greek prime minister or your Greek grand dad, you know how to show respect and use the plural form of greeting someone.
A few important points to notice when reading or writing Greek (an instant introduction to the Greek alphabet with skipping a few basic steps…)
- Gamma ‘Γ, γ’ sounds like ‘G, g’ in the word 'Group' and Γεια and γεια are the same word, so Γ is the uppercase letter for Gamma and γ is the lower case equivalant…
- Epsilon ‘Ε, ε’ and Yioda, ‘Ι, ι’: together sound like ‘I, i’ as pronounced in the word 'India'.
A few more useful things in a day to day conversation:
How you write it
How you read it
- α+ι (Α+Ι) sounds like E in the word 'Exit'. So when Alpha and Yiota are joined they sound like Eh.
- Sigma: σ, ς (Σ) are the same letter and sound like S in 'Superman'. The difference is that ‘σ’ is used when a word starts with Sigma and ‘ς’ is used when a word ends with Sigma. This is how you write Sas, which means 'yours' in plural: σας, Σας.
Up to now you must have already released that like in English there are uppercase and lowercase letters in Greek language too. Every sentence or name starts with a uppercase letter. Full Greek alphabet table is attached below in case you want to dig deeper however before going there you might want to learn a few more useful words:
How you write
How you read
You can add σας [sas] to the words above. For example you can say Καλημέρα σας [Kalimera sas] if you are talking to a plural audience or to a person older that you in order to show respect.
Final note: Whenever you see an accent on top of a letter (έ) you give that letter some more emphasis when you pronounce it, so for Καλημέρα you should read: Kalimeeera.
It is exciting to be able to communicate and understand another language, especially one that has a great history and culture behind it. If you see Zeus in your dreams, say Hi from me…now you can.
If you enjoyed this lesson and want to learn more, please read my second post (Learn Basic Greek Language in a week  by Navid Homayoun) here on Tutorfair.