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Learn to Speak Greek

Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the Greek language. Knowing just a few key words and phrases when you arrive will really enhance your vacaction. Although English is widely spoken, and many signs are tourist-friendly, you may find that you have an even warmer reception if you attempt a few words in the language of the people.

Browse through our sections and learn key phrases to cover the basics, dining out, getting around, shopping, hotels, and time and numbers.

If you're looking for Greece Language tapes, books and phrasebooks, click here to see our selection of Greece Language Guides and Phrase Books.

The Basics
These few key words will get you a surprisingly long way! Try them out, it's fun! I think the hardest thing you'll have to remember is Ne means Yes (just seems backwards somehow, doesn't it?). The rest is pretty easy.

Good morning Kalimera
Good evening
(for after the sun has gone down)
Kalispera
Good night Kalinichta
Hello Yassou (singular/informal)
Yassas (plural/formal)
How are you? Ti kanis? (singular/informal)
Ti kanete? (plural/formal)
Very well thank-you Poli kala, efharisto (singular/informal)
Please
You're welcome
Parakalo
Thank-you Efharisto
Thank-you very much Efharisto poli
Excuse Me
Sorry
Signomi
Yes ne
No ohi
Okay endaxi

Dining Out
Think about how much more you'll enjoy the experience of your fabulous Greek meal if you can order it all in Greek - or at least thank the waiter. Who knows, perhaps they'll be so impressed they'll treat you to an ouzo! Either way, kali orexi (bon apetit)!

A table for two, please Ena trapezi ya thio atoma, parakalo
We have a reservation for... Ehoume klisa ya...
Can we see the menu, please Ton katalogho, parakalo
What do you recommend? Ti sistinete?
I'm vegetarian Ime hortofaghos
I would like.. Tha ithela...
I didn't order this
(just in case)
Then paragila afto
Where are the washrooms? Pou ine i toualetes?
The meal was very good, thank you To fayito, itan poli kalo, efharisto
Can we have the bill, please? Mas fernete ton logariasmo, parakalo?
Do you take credit cards? Pernete pistotikes kartes?

Getting Around
Whether you're travelling on foot or renting a vehicle, taking a taxi, bus, boat, train or plane, there are many options for getting around in Greece. These handy phrases may be useful.

Which way is the tourist office?
(where you can get lots of information)
Pou ine to tourstiko ghrafio?
Is this the right way to....? Pame kala ya....?
It's on the right Ine dhexia
It's on the left Ine aristera
I'd like to rent a car Thelo na nikiaso ena aftokinito
Is insurance included?
(Be sure to ask!)
Perilamvanete i asfalia?
Fill it up Yemiste to
Where is...? Pou ine...?
How far is it to...? Poso apehi...?
Does this bus (train/boat) go to...? Afto to leoforio (treno, karavi) paei sto?
How much is a ticket to...? Poso kani to isitirio ya...?
A one-way ticket to..., please Ena aplo isitirio ya...parakalo
Can you get me a taxi, please? Moo kalite ena taxi, parakalo?
To the airport, please Sto aerodhromio, parakalo

Shopping
If you find yourself off the beaten path, you can find some great bargains on hand-made goods. This may help you get a better deal!

I would like... Tha ithela...
Do you have Ehete
How much is this? Poso kani afto?
I'm just looking
(playing hard to get?)
Aplos kitao
That's all, thanks Afta, efharisto
I'll think about it Tha to skefto
I'll take it Tha to paro
Can I pay by credit card?
(you may not get the best discount)
Boro na pliroso me pistotiki karta?

Accommodation
Unless you're in a very remote area, chances are good that your hotel proprietors will speak English. But hey, you're into it now right?

Do you have a vacancy? Ehete kena thomatia?
I have a reservation Eho klisi thomatio
I'd like a room with a bathroom Tha ithela ena thomatio me banio
I'd like a room for (one) night Tha ithela ena thomatio ya (mia) nihta
What is the rate per night? Poso stihizi i thianikterefsi?
My room number is... O arithmos too thomatioo moo ine...
I'm leaving tomorrow
(awful words, aren't they?)
fevgo avrio

Time and Numbers
Add these to the phrases you've learned for ordering dinner, getting around, shopping and accommodation and the sky's the limit! Remember, just relax and give it a try, the Greeks will be happy to help you. And if nothing else, remember Kalimera (good morning), Parakalo (please), and Efharisto (thank-you)!

Today simera
Tomorrow avrio
Tonight apopse
Soon sidoma
One ena
Two thio
Three tria
Four tesera
Five pede
Six exi
Seven epta
Eight ohto
Nine enia
Ten theka
GREEK CULTURE Archaeology History Museums Mythology Language
Travel to Greece and the Greek Islands for a Magical Journey Travel Planning for Greece and the Greek Islands Discover the magic of Greece and the Greek Islands Travel to Athens, Greece Travel to the Greek Islands Travel to Mainland Greece Take a Virtual Tour of Greece and the Greek Islands Need some help? please send us an e:mail