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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 Kalispera (for after the sun has gone down) Good night Kalinichta Hello How are you? Yassou (singular/informal) Yassas (plural/formal) Ti kanis? (singular/informal) Ti kanete? (plural/formal)

Very well thank-you Poli kala, efharisto (singular/informal) Please Parakalo You're welcome Thank-you Efharisto Thank-you very much Efharisto poli Excuse Me Signomi Sorry 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 Then paragila afto (just in case) 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 Pou ine to tourstiko ghrafio? information) 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? Perilamvanete i asfalia? (Be sure to ask!) 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

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 Aplos kitao (playing hard to get?) 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? Boro na pliroso me pistotiki karta? (you may not get the best discount)

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 fevgo avrio (awful words, aren't they?)

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