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Greek phrases and words

Greek phrases and words

Are you going to Greece? Then it might be a good idea to learn a few Greek words and phrases. Although most working in the tourism industry speaks fluent or reasonably good English, it is always appreciated to pull out some Greek phrases during the trip.

The Greeks are very friendly and welcoming in general, but it is highly appreciated if one tries to say a few words or phrases in Greek.

I have spent a lot of time in Greece, both working and been on vacation, so of course, I’ve been able to learn some Greek phrases. Below, I’ve made a list of some useful Greek phrases for your trip.

Greek greeting phrases

Although many Greeks understand English, and some other languages too, it may be nice to say hello, good morning and goodbye in Greek. Kalimera is a word that you should learn and remember. It means good morning, and it’s said from early morning to lunch, and it is a nice way to greet people in the morning.

English Greek
Hello Yassou
Good morning Kalimera
Good day/evening Kalispera
Good night Kalinixta (kalinichta)
Goodbye Andio
Welcome Kalos Orisate

Useful Greek Phrases to remember

Below, you can see some daily phrases in Greek that will help you understand and make small talk. Remember these!

English Greek
Yes Ne
No Ochi
How are you? Ti Kanis?
Good Kala
Not so good Ochi kala
Much Poly
More Perissótero
Little Lígo
What’s your name? Pos selene?
Excuse me Signomi
Thank you Efcharisto
Thank you very much Efcharisto poli
Please/you’re welcome Parakaló
I don’t understand Then katalavéno
Do you speak English? Miláte angliká?
Where is the toilet? Pu íne to báño?
Cheers Giámas!
What time is it? Ti wra einai?

Meals

English Greek
Breakfast Proino Gevma
Lunch Mesimerianó
Dinner Vradinó

Greek words for food and beverages

Here are some common food & drink related Greek words.

English Greek
Shrimps Garída
Ham Zampón
Meat Kréas
Chicken Kotópoulo
Fish Psári
Vegetables Lachaniká
Ice Cream Pagotó
Dessert Epidórpio
Salt Alas
Pepper Pipéri
White Wine Lefkó krasí
Red Wine Erythró krasí
Beer Birra
Coffee Kafés
Soft drink Anapsyktikó
Water Neró
Non-sparkling water Neró chorís aério
Sparkling water Neró me aério

Directions

To be able to ask where something is located is always good, and here are some common Greek phrases for directions and how to ask.

English Grekiska
Here Edó
Left Aristera
Right Deksia
Go straight Pígaine eftheía
Before Prin
Close Kontá se
After Metá
Behind Píso
Excuse me, where is…? Signomi, pou eínai…?
Can you show me? Mporeite na moy deiksete?

Greek numbers

To count in Greek language can seem to be hard, but in fact, it’s quite easy when you get the hang of it.

Please note that the spelling might be wrong, as I’ve written the Greek numbers as they are pronounced.

English Greek
One Éna
Two D ýo
Three Tria
Four Téssera
Five Pénte
Six Exi
Seven Eptá
Eight Ochtó
Nine Ennéa
Ten Déka
Eleven Énteka
Twelve Dódeka
Thirteen Dekatria
Fourteen Dekatéssera
Fifteen Dekapénte
Sixteen Dekaéxi
Seventeen Dekaeptá
Eightteen Dekaochtó
Nineteen Dekaenná
Twenty Eikosi
Twentyone Eikosiena
Twenty-two Eikosid yo
Thirty Triánta
Forty Saránta
Fifty Peninta
Sixty Exinta
Seventy Evdominta
Eighty Ogdónta
Ninety Eneninta
One hundred Ekató

How to say thank you in Greek

  • Efcharisto – Ef-ha-ri-sto

How to say I love you in Greek

  • S’agapo – sa-ga-po

How to say you’re welcome in Greek

  • Parakalo – pa-ra-ka-lo

How to say cheers in Greek

  • Giamas – Ya-Mas

Learn Greek

If you want to learn the Greek language, there are apps available to help with pronunciation before traveling. A good and useful app is Duolingo, which is available for download, both on Android and iPhone.

You can probably also learn Greek in your home country in a school if you’re serious about learning. But for most tourists, it’s more than enough to know the Greek words and phrases listed in this article.


Nobody is expecting that you will learn Greek when traveling to Greece. In fact, most don’t even expect a single word in Greek. The Greeks are used to tourism, and they are very friendly and accommodating.

They know how to treat tourists the best way. But with that said, I highly recommend you to pick up some common daily phrases in Greek, to use at restaurants, the hotel or when meeting locals. Don’t be afraid to talk either, the worst thing that could happen is that you pronounce something wrong and give a local a good laugh.

And if there is one country to make an effort speaking the local language, Greece is perfect. Simply because it’s appreciated when tourists make an effort to learn a few Greek words and phrases.

Do you know some more useful Greek phrases or words? Please share in the comment section. The more, the merrier.

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