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I gathered all the resources BBC Language has to offer on the Greek Language in this single post.
Use at your own pace or just ignore it if you're more advanced :-)
Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have on this material.
I hope there are no typing mistakes (or any other kind of mistake for that matter) in this course; I haven't checked it all throughout, but I trust BBC is a reliable source.

A gentle introduction to basic Greek in 10 short parts. Click on the topics in order: you'll see a slideshow and hear the language.

Then, look up the useful phrases with tips on pronunciation and grammar, and cultural notes. Then you'll be able to check what you've learnt with a series of short challenges.

You can also watch the video clips of all the teaching scenes from the TV series with their transcripts.

A TV series in six 20-minute parts, set in Athens, the Peloponnese, northern Greece, Santorini and Crete, with insights into Greek language, life and culture.

Note: The video clips open in RealPlayer.


Talk Greek - Olympics

Did you know that the English word gymnasium comes from the classical Greek γυμνός, gymnos, meaning naked? By the late 8th century BC, nudity was the dress code for most of the contestants in the ancient Olympic Games.

Try your hand at this quiz and find out more about the classic games. Use the clues to decode the Greek letters and reveal some surprising English connections.


Language Notes

This is another all-purpose greeting the same as Γεια σας (yiassas) and Γεια σου (yiassoo). It literally means ‘Be happy’.

Χαίρω πολύ
her-o polee
Literally χαίρω means I’m glad or happy and χαίρετε, you’re happy or be happy. They’re both forms of the same verb, and you’ll notice this change in the ending in many other verbs.

This greeting literally means ‘good day’, but is only used in the morning. If in doubt you can always use one of the all-purpose greetings.

This greeting is used from late afternoon (after the end of the siesta period) and throughout the evening. If in doubt you can always use one of the all-purpose greetings.

You can use this word to ask something politely, interrupt someone or as a reply to ευχαριστώ

Ευχαριστώ (πολύ)
ef-ha-ree-sto polee
Literally, ευχαριστώ means ‘I thank you’ and ευχαριστούμε, we thank you. Many other verbs change their meaning in the same way with these endings.

You can use this word to attract someone’s attention or to ask them to repeat what they’ve just told you.

Ορίστε / Ορίστε;
You can use this word when offering something to someone, meaning ‘Here you are’. Add a questioning intonation and you can use it to ask for clarification when you haven’t heard or understood something, ‘Pardon?’.
Note how in written Greek the question mark looks like a semi-colon.

Τι κάνετε;
tee ka-neh-teh
This can be used when greeting a group of people or one person. For someone you are on first-name terms with, you say Τι κάνεις; (tee ka-nees) Both literally mean ‘What are you doing?’

(Και) εσύ;
(keh) essee
Εσύ is the word for ‘you’ when you’re on first-name terms with the other person.

Πώς σε λένε;
poss seh lenneh
This question literally means ‘How/What do they call you?’ You use it with someone you can be on first-name terms with. Otherwise, you use Πώς σας λένε; (poss sass lenneh).

ο φίλος, η φίλη
oh feeloss, ee feelee
Some words can change their ending to refer to a man, such as ο φίλος (oh feeloss) ‘the’ male friend, or a woman, like η φίλη (ee fee-lee), ‘the’ female friend.

Είμαι means ‘I am’. Change the μ to a ν and it becomes είναι, which may mean ‘it is’ as well as ‘he is’ and ‘she is’, or just ‘is’, depending on the context: είναι Άγγλος (ee-neh ang-loss) he’s English, είναι Αγγλίδα (ee-neh ang-lidha) she’s English.

Αυτός είναι ο ...
af-toss eeneh oh
Αυτή είναι η ...
af-tee eeneh ee
To say ‘this is’, you use Αυτός είναι ο to introduce men or Αυτή είναι η (af-tee eeneh ee) to introduce women. Unlike English, names are also preceded by the word for 'the': ο (oh) for a man's name and η (ee) for a woman's. This change also applies when referring to things.

Unlike English, the word for ‘my’, μου, always comes after the noun. They’re both preceded by the word for ‘the’: ο γιος μου (o yoss moo), ‘my son’, literally ‘the son (of) mine’.

το ξενοδοχείο
toh kseno-dho-heeo
το is the word for ‘the’ with neuter words like ξενοδοχείο (kseno-dho-heeo) hotel. The best way to remember which one to use - ο, η, το - is to learn it together with the word.

Μία μπύρα
mee-a beera
Ένα μπουκάλι νερό
enna boo-kahlee nero
The same as for ‘the’, there’s more than one word for ‘a (one)’.
You use μία (mee-a) with feminine words, which often end in -α. For words which are not feminine, you use ένα (enna).

ένα κιλό άσπρο κρασί
enna kee-lo aspro krassee
House wine or wine from the barrel is ordered by the kilo, which is equivalent to a litre. To order half a kilo you say μισό κιλό (mee-so kee-lo), and a quarter kilo is ένα τέταρτο (enna teh-tar-to).

ντομάτα, ντομάτες
doma-tah, doma-tez
To make a word plural, you often change its ending. Usually:
-ος changes to -οι (-ee)
-α -η change to -ες (-ez)
-ο -ι change to -α (-ah) -ια (-ee-ah)
Words borrowed from other languages and some new words don’t change, like ευρώ

η μελιντζάνα, οι μελιτζάνες
ee melit-za-nah, ee melit-za-nez
οι (ee) is the plural word for ‘the’, when the singular is either ο or η
τα (tah) is the plural for το

This word means ‘I want’. Change the ending from -ω to -ετε and you get ‘you want’: Θέλετε. If you use that word in a question, it means ‘do you want?’. For people you’re on first-name terms with, the ending is -εις, as in Θέλεις. You can apply the same change to many other verbs.

Μιλάς Ελληνικά (mee-lass eh-lee-nee-ka) means ‘You speak Greek’. Raise the intonation to make it into a question - that’s the only change you need to make: Μιλάς Ελληνικά;

Έχουμε χοιρινό σήμερα
ehoomeh hee-ree-no see-mera
Έχουμε (ehoomeh) means ‘we have’, έχω (eho) means ‘I have’.
Έχετε (eheteh) means ‘you have’ or, in a question, ‘do you have?’
Έχεις (ehees) means ‘you have’ when you’re on first-name terms.
These endings can be used with many other verbs to change their meaning in the same way.

Έχετε κατάλογο;
eheteh kata-lo-gho
The word for ‘menu’ is ο κατάλογος (oh kata-lo-ghos). When masculine words like this come after a verb like ‘to have’ they lose their final -ς.

Μήπως έχετε ...;
Mee-poss eheteh
Έχετε means ‘you have’ or, in a question, ‘do you have?’. Change the ending, έχω, and it becomes ‘I have’. The word Μήπως makes the question more tentative and polite - Μήπως έχετε ντομάτες; ‘Would you have any tomatoes?’

Τι θα πάρετε;
tee tha pa-reh-teh
This literally means ‘What will you take?’ For people you’re on first-name terms with, you say Τι θα πάρεις; (tee tha pa-reh-ees). To reply you say Θα πάρω ... (tha pa-roh), ‘I’ll have ...’.

Θα πάτε
tha pa-teh
Πάτε on its own means ‘you go’. Add Θα in front and it becomes ‘you will go’. Apart from expressing something you will do, this is also a common way of giving directions or instructions.

Θέλω να κλείσω ...
thello na kleeso
Θέλω (thello) means ‘I want’, κλείσω means ‘I book’ (it also means 'I close'). Add να (na) in between to say ‘I want to book’, literally ‘I want that I book’.

Μπορώ να έχω ...;
borro na eho ...
μπορώ (borro) means ‘Can I...?’. You can use it to make a request or ask for permission. έχω means ‘I have’. Add να (na) in between to say ‘Can I have...?’, literally ‘Can I that I have ...?’

Μ’αρέσει (maressee) is short for μου αρέσει (moo aressee), ‘I like (it)’, σας αρέσει; (sass aressee) is ‘do you like (it)?’ or σ’αρέσει; (saressee) short for σου αρέσει (soo aressee) if you’re on first-name terms.
To say what you like, you use the word for ‘the’: μ’αρέσει το χοιρινό (maressee toh hee-ree-no), literally ‘I like the pork’.

δεν μ’αρέσει
dhen maressee
The word δεν (dhen) before any verb makes it negative: δεν μ’αρέσει... (dhen maressee), ‘I don’t like...’, or δεν έχουμε... (dhen ehoomeh) ‘We don’t have...’.

Φεύγω means ‘I leave’. Change the ending to -ει and it means ‘it leaves’: φεύγει (fev-yee) or, in a question, ‘does it leave?. Depending on the context, that ending can also mean 'he' or 'she'.

για τη Μύκονο
ya tee meekono
You’ll notice that some words can lose or get a final -ς depending on where they appear in the sentence and without changing their meaning. For example, after the word για, to.

από την Παρασκευή
apoh teen para-skevee
You’ll also notice that after prepositions (like για, to/for, από, from) the word for ‘the’ changes: η becomes τη and ο becomes το. You’ll also notice that if the following word starts with a π, τ or κ there’s an extra ν at the end.

Τι ώρα...;
tee ora
Ώρα (οra) means both ‘time’ and ‘hour’. To say ‘o’clock’, you use the number, such as οχτώ (ohto), eight, followed by η ώρα (ee ora), literally ‘the hour’.

στις οχτώ και σαράντα
stees ohto keh saranda
When telling the time, you say και (keh), ‘and’, for minutes past the hour: οχτώ και είκοσι (ohto keh eekossee) is literally ‘eight and twenty’, or twenty past eight and οχτώ και μισή (ohto keh mee-see) is ‘eight and a half’, or half past eight. For minutes to the hour, you say παρά (parra), ‘less’:. εννιά παρά είκοσι (en-ya parra eekossee) is literally ‘nine less twenty’, or twenty to nine.

δεκαέξι, δεκαεφτά, δεκαοχτώ, δεκαεννιά
dhekaeksi, dhekaefta, dhekaohto, dhekaennia
To say the numbers 13 to 19 you just say δέκα (dheka), ten, followed by the numbers 3 to 9.

εξήντα, εβδομήντα, ογδόντα, ενενήντα
eksinda, efdhominda, ohdhonda, eneninda
To add units to the tens you simply say the word followed by the numbers 1 to 9: τριάντα τέσσερα (trianda tessera), 34, εξήντα οχτώ (eksinda ohto), 68.



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