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Alphabet
Learn Chapter Objectives
You will be able to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Say the names for each of the letters of the Greek alphabet.
Know the sound each of the letters makes.
Recognize the special characteristics of some letters.
Identify the vowels and know which ones are short and which ones are long.
Identify and pronounce the diphthongs.
Recognize the capital letters.
Gain an appreciation for the history of the Greek language.
Translate and write 10 vocabulary words in Greek.

Learn Letters
a

Alpha It sounds like a in father. English transliteration: a

Beta It sounds like e in bet English transliteration: b

Gamma It sounds like g in get. English transliteration: g

Delta It sounds like d in dog. English transliteration: d

Epsilon It sounds like e in met. English transliteration: e

Zeta It sounds like z in zebra. English transliteration: z

Eta It sounds like e in obey. English transliteration: E

Theta It sounds like th in think. English transliteration: th

Iota It sounds like i in hit. English transliteration: i

Kappa It sounds like k in keep. English transliteration: k

Lambda It sounds like l in let. English transliteration: l

Mu It sounds like m in met. English transliteration: m

Nu It sounds like n in net. English transliteration: n

Xi It sounds like x in axe. English transliteration: x

Omicron It sounds like o in not. English transliteration: o

Pi It sounds like p in pet. English transliteration: p

Rho It sounds like r in rent. English transliteration: r

Sigma It sounds like s in set. English transliteration: s

Tau It sounds like t in tent. English transliteration: t

Upsilon It sounds like o in hoops. English transliteration: u

Phi It sounds like ph in phone. English transliteration: ph

Chi It sounds like ch in chemical. English transliteration: ch

Psi It sounds like ps in lips. English transliteration: ps

Omega It sounds like o in home. English transliteration: O

Letter Names and Sounds Drill


Pronounce Letters Exercise

Psi, kappa, sigma, delta, iota, un, pi, beta, psilon, eta, upsilon, gamma, lamda, xi, tau, chi, phi,
mu, rho, omicron, alpha, theta, zeta
Letter to Name Exercise

Omega, psi, xi, kappa, iota, theta, lambda, upsilon, zeta, omicron, rho, chi, epsilon, gamma, beta,
nu, sigma, alpha, eta, delta, mu, tau, phi, pi 24 out of 24 100%
Name to Letter Exercise

t,d,u,z,e,a,b,m,p,f,r,q,w,c,y,i,x,s,g,n,l,k,h,o,

(24 out of 24) 100%

Learn Letter Transliterations


a =a, b =b, g =g, d =d, e =e, z =z, h =E, q =th, i =i, k =k, l =l, m =m, n =n, c =x, o =o, p
=p, r =r, s =s, t =t, u =u, f =ph, x =ch, y =ps, w =O
(Mounce, pp. 8f; Wenham, pp. 18f.)
Transliteration Drill

Click on letter to see its English transliteration


(Mounce, pp. 8f; Wenham, pp. 18f.)
Transliterate the Letter

E, n, u, z, x, o, a, th, ps, l, r, e, k, m, t, ch, ph, p, g, i, b, d, O, s, 24 out of 24 100%


Transcribe to Greek Exercise

i =i, n =n, y =ps, h =E, m =m, f =ph, a =a, u =u, g =g, q =th, r =r, o =o, w =O b =b, k =k, t
=t, d =d, z =z, c =x, x =ch, s =s, e =e, p =p, l =l, 24 out of 24 100%
Learn Capital Letters

Alpha It sounds like a in father. English transliteration: a

Beta It sounds like e in bet English transliteration: b

Gamma It sounds like g in get. English transliteration: g

Delta It sounds like d in dog. English transliteration: d

Epsilon It sounds like e in met. English transliteration: e

Zeta It sounds like z in zebra. English transliteration: z

Eta It sounds like e in obey. English transliteration: E

Theta It sounds like th in think. English transliteration: th

Iota It sounds like i in hit. English transliteration: i

Kappa It sounds like k in keep. English transliteration: k

Lambda It sounds like l in let. English transliteration: l

Mu It sounds like m in met. English transliteration: m

Nu It sounds like n in net. English transliteration: n

Xi It sounds like x in axe. English transliteration: x

Omicron It sounds like o in not. English transliteration: o

Pi It sounds like p in pet. English transliteration: p

Rho It sounds like r in rent. English transliteration: r

Sigma It sounds like s in set. English transliteration: s

Tau It sounds like t in tent. English transliteration: t

Upsilon It sounds like o in hoops. English transliteration: u

Phi It sounds like ph in phone. English transliteration: ph

Chi It sounds like ch in chemical. English transliteration: ch

Psi It sounds like ps in lips. English transliteration: ps

Omega It sounds like o in home. English transliteration: O

(Mounce, pp. 8f; Mounce, pp. 18f)


Note
Capital letters are used:
for proper names (e.g. Peter);
for the first word in a quotation (there are no quotation marks in Greek); and
for the first word in a paragraph.
Early Greek manuscripts, called Uncial, were written totally in capital letters with no spaces
between the words. Later Greek manuscripts were written in minuscules (lower case letters) with
breaks between the words. Modern texts are written in minuscules. (Mounce, p. 7)
Eight tough ones:

is a gamma (g)
D is a delta (d)
H is an eta (h)
L is a lambda (l)
is a xi (c)
S is a sigma (s)
U is an upsilon (u)
W is an omega (w)
Beware confusing the following capital letters:
H is eta (not English H)
R is rho (not English P)
U is upsilon (not English Y)

Capital Letters Drill

Click on letter to hear its name & sound


Learn Vowels

Short
Long or Short
Long
Note
Iota is the most versatile letter. There are three types of iota:
1. It may be short sounding like the i in hit.
2. It may be long sounding like the i in machine.
3. It may be a consonant when found in initial positions of proper names where it sounds
like a y in yes. E.g. Jesus
Alpha sounds the same whether long or short.
Upsilon sometimes becomes a y when brought over into English words. E.g. upokrithj
hypocrite
Machen, p. 10; Mounce, pp. 9f; Wenham, p. 19
Learn Diphtongs

as ai in aisle

aima

(blood)

i as ei in eight

eimi

(I am)

as oi in oil

oikoj

(house)

as au in sauerkraut

autoj

(he, she, it, self, same)

as ou in boutique

Ihsouj

(Jesus)

i as ui in suite

uioj

(son)

, as eu in feud

pisteuw

(I believe)

Machen, p. 11; Wenham, p. 20; Mounce, p. 10


Note
Diphthongs are generally treated as long vowels. However, when either or occur at the end
of the word, though they are pronounced the same, they are treated as short vowels for accent
purposes.
( is final, therefore short)
( is not final, therefore long)
(Summers/Sawyer, p. 4)

Learn Iota Subscripts


Definition: An Iota Subscript is a diphthong which is formed when an iota follows a long vowel.
The iota is written under the vowel (subscript).
The pronunciation is the same as the normal vowel. The transliteration is what you would expect
from a normal diphthong (ai, ei, and oi).
%

a as in father skoti%

e as in obey

&

o as in home aut&

arx^

(darknes; Jn 1:5)
(beginning; Jn 1:1)
(him; Jn 1:4)

(Machen, p. 11; Wenham, p. 22; Mounce, p.11; Summers/Sawyer, p. 4)


Diphthong Drill

(Mounce, pp. 10f; Wenham, pp. 18f)


Phonetic Reading Drill

Honesty is the best policy.


Familiarity breeds contempt.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Misfortune makes foes of friends.

Better be alone than in bad company.


A good beginning makes a good ending.
Anger is brief madness.
Great griefs are mute.
Keep the faith.
Look before you leap.
Pennies make dollars.
(R. Fergusson, The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs)
Reading People, Places and Letter Exercise

Abraam Agrippaj Ananiaj Apollwj Barnabaj Dauid Zaxariaj qwmaj Iakwb Ihsouj
Ioudaj Iwshf Lazaroj Marqa Maria Pauloj Pilatoj Petroj Sauloj Silaj Simwn
Timoqeoj Titoj Filippoj Asia Babulwn Galilaia Damaskoj Efesoj Ierousalhm
Iordanhj Israhl Makedonia Nazareq Samareia alfa bhta gamma delta eyilon
zhta hta qhta iwta kappa lambda mu nu ci omikron pi rw sigma tau uyilon fi
xi yi wmega

Learn Greek Language History


Greek Language History
Greek is one of the oldest members of the Indo-European family of languages. Other
members of this family are Sanskrit, which is older, and Latin and its descendants (the
Romance languages: French, Spanish, etc.), which are younger. English is derived from the
Teutonic branch and Russian from the Slavic branch of the Indo-European family. Hebrew is
found in a totally different familySemitic languages (Aramaic, Akkadian, Ugaritic etc.).
The Greek language has developed through five stages:
Formative Period: This period extended from Linear B (ca 1200 BC) down through the
time of Homer (ca 900 BC).
Classical Period: The Classical Period was from the time of Homer down to Alexander the
Great (330 BC). There were three dialects during this period (Doric, Aeolic, and Ionic). Attic,
a branch of Ionic, became the predominant form in which most of the famous classical Greek
authors wrote, such as Plato and Aristotle.
The Koine Period: As Alexander spread the Greek language and culture through the ancient
world many of the subtleties of classical Greek were lost. Greek was simplified and changed

as it interfaced with other cultures. This common language Greek came to be known as
Koine (common) Greek. It was the language used from 300 BC to 300 AD. It was in this
language that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of Old Testament), the New Testament
and the writings of the early Church fathers were written. The nature of Koine eluded
scholars because of its simplicity when compared to Classical Greek, which led some
scholars to explain it as a Holy Ghost language created just for the Bible. After the
Egyptian papyri, inscriptions, and ostraca were found, scholars realized that the New
Testament was written in the common everyday language of the people of those times. At
points the New Testament will manifest Hebraisms where the influence of Hebrew and/or
Aramaic may be seen.
The Byzantine Period: During the Byzantine Period (A.D. 330-1453), Greek was spoken in
the eastern half of the Roman empire which was centered in Constantinople.
The Modern Period: The Modern Period dates from 1453 to the present. Modern Greek is
closer to Koine than it is to Classical Greek.
(Dana & Mantey, pp. 1ff.; Mounce, pp. 1f.)

Learn Vocabulary
a@ggeo

angel

]mh<n

truly, verily, amen

a@nqrwpoj

man, human being

e]g<
qe
ai<<
ardi<a
lgw
profh<th
Xristo<

I
God
and, even, also
heart
I say, I speak
prophet
Christ, Messiah

Vocabulary: Greek to English Drill


Qe a@nqrwpoj ardi<a profh<th e]g ]mh<n a@ggeo ai< Xristo< lgw
10 out 10 100%

Vocabulary: English to Greek Drill


ardi<a lgw Xristo< profh<th ]mh<n ai< Qe a@nqrwpoj e]g a@ggeo
10 out 10 100%

Vocabulary: Spelling Exercise


a@ggeo, ]mh<n, a@nqrwpoj, e]g, Qe, ai<, ardi<a, lgw, profh<th,
Xristo<
10 out 10 100%

Review: Vocabulary Chart


a@ggeo (175)
]mh<n (129)
a@nqrwpoj (550)
e]g (1175)
Qe (1317)

angel
truly, verily
man, human being
I
God

ai< (9153)
ardi<a (156)
lgw (156)
profh<th (144)
Xristo< (529)

and, even, also


heart
I say
prophet
Christ, Messiah

Review Letters Quick Chart


Letter Name
Alpha
Beta
Gamma
Delta
Epsilon
Zeta
Eta
Theta
Iota
Kappa
Lambda
Mu
Nu
Xi
Omicron
Pi
Rho
Sigma
Tau
Upsilon
Phi
Chi
Psi
Omega

Letter
a
b
g
d
e
z
h
q
i
k
l
m
n
c
o
p
r
s
t
u
f
x
y
w

Capital
A
B
G
D
E
Z
H
Q
I
K
L
M
N
C
O
P
R
S
T
U
F
X
Y
W

Transliteration
a
b
g
d
e
z
E
th
i
k
l
m
n
x
o
p
r
s
t
u
ph
ch
ps
O

Pronounce
a in father
b in bet
g in get
d in dog
e in met
z in zebra
e in obey
th in think
i in hit
k
l in let
m in met
n in net
x in axe
o in not
p in pet
r in rent
s in set
t in tent
oo in hoops
ph in phone
ch in chemical
ps in lips
o in home