Athens, the capital of Greece, is home to many fascinating and magnificent attractions. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and thus has one with the longest history. These among other reasons make more people from all over the world want to visit the city – and a reason to want to learn Greek in Athens.
Among all the languages in the world, Greek is one of those that are considered hardest to learn. Below are some basic paragraphs and phrases to help you with your Greek while strolling around Athens. (Note: In Greek, “e” is read as in ‘egg’ and “th” as in ‘this’. The stress falls on the syllable that’s underlined).
- kalimera (καληνύχτα) = good morning. It would always be nice to show some courtesy to the locals and tourists alike in Greek. You can also use kalispera (καλησπέρα) in the afternoon and kalinihta (καληνύχτα) in the evening, for good afternoon and good night, respectively.
- When greeting a person or a friend, say, herete = (χαίρετε); and when saying goodbye, use yassou (γειά σου) or adio (αντίο).
- Always say thank you in Athens; say Efharisto and when someone thanks you, learn to say welcome by saying, Parakalo.
- If you need to ask if the person you are talking to speaks English, say, Mi late Anglika?
- To introduce yourself, start with, Me lene… (example: Me lene John)
- If you are shopping for souvenirs and asking for prices, say, Poso kanei?
- To refer to a Greek man, Ellinas (Ελληνας); the woman is Ellinitha (Ελληνίδα)
For those who will just be in for a weekend in Athens or a long weekend in Athens, learning Greek may not really be a necessity. Of course it would be an advantage to speak a little Greek while you stroll around the city or shop for souvenirs, but as far as necessity is concern, it’s not. However, if you are planning to be an Athens expatriate, learning the city’s language should be one of your major considerations before flying to the city and settle in.
Enjoy your Greek language!