Get to Know the Greek Alphabet

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No matter what your intentions are for learning Greek, such as learning some basics as you travel to Greece or honing your = language skills as a Greek American, you will need to start by getting acquainted with the alphabet. This is the backbone of learning the language because without at least a general understanding of the unique alphabet, you’ll have trouble not only navigating through the language itself, but you might also have trouble in Greece when you do visit.

For example, many of the street signs in Greece are translated into English. However, many aren’t. If you can’t actually read the signs, you may not realize if you’re missing a vital sign that will help you get to your destination. Basically, you need to be able to read the language on a basic level while you’re in the county so that you don’t miss anything.

Tips for Memorizing the Greek Alphabet

While in the beginning stages of learning, it is enough to have a basic understanding of the alphabet. While you learn more and more of the language, it will get much easier. Here are a few tips that will help you get the hang of the Greek alphabet:

  • Flashcards. Write the Greek letters on flashcards. One side will be the upper case and lower cases letter and the other will be the sound the letter makes, as well as an example or two of the letter being used in a word. When you draw a card, recite out loud the name of the letter and the sound it makes.
  • Write out the letters. Another great idea is to write both the upper and lower cases of each letter by hand about five times. This will help you memorize the letters and what they do.

Learn the Greek Alphabet

Here’s a look at the alphabet. In this list, the letters go in order. If you are using flashcards to help you memorize, you still shouldn’t lose touch with the order that the letters appear. The letters are in Greek, the name of the letter is in Greek and also written in English.

  • Α α, άλφα, alpha
  • Β β, βήτα, veta
  • Γ γ, γάμα, gamma
  • Δ δ, δέλτα, delta
  • Ε ε, έψιλον, epselon
  • Ζ ζ, ζήτα, zeta
  • Η η, ήτα, eeta
  • Θ θ, θήτα, theta
  • Ι ι, γιώτα, yota
  • Κ κ, κάπα, kappa
  • Λ λ, λάμδα, lamtha
  • Μ μ, μι, mee
  • Ν ν, νι, nee
  • Ξ ξ,, ξι, xee
  • Ο ο, όμικρον, omekron
  • Π π, πι, pe
  • Ρ ρ, ρο, ro
  • Σ σ/ς, σίγμα, segma
  • Τ τ, ταυ, taf or tau
  • Υ υ, ύψιλον, eepsilon
  • Φ φ, φι, fee
  • Χ χ, χι, hee
  • Ψ ψ, ψι, psee
  • Ω ω, ωμέγα, omega

The more familiar you are with the alphabet, the easier it will be to learn Greek or get yourself proficient enough to navigate the language during your stay. Remember that you may need to set aside a lot of time to achieve fluency but you can easily get your Greek up to speed just by conversing for a certain time each day.


The Learn Greek section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand the conversational basics of the Greek language. This article is not a substitute for a professional Greek learning program, but a helpful resource for people wanting to learn simple communication in Greek.

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