How to Translate from English to Greek

Written by in Comments Off on How to Translate from English to Greek

When it comes to learning Greek, you may find yourself in situations where you will need to translate things out of English and into the Greek language. However, translations can be tricky because not everything can be translated word for word. In fact, this is a separate skill set that needs to be developed on its own. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time on this to get pretty good at it. Here are some tips that will help you considerably:

Use Translation Tools with Caution

There are plenty of language tools out there that promise to make accurate translations. Some are free and some require that you purchase them. These should be looked at as tools and not an authority. The problem is that all of these don’t necessarily make the most accurate translations, especially if the text has a lot of idiomatic expressions in the text that needs to be translated. Idioms are tricky because they don’t always mean what they look like they should mean. For example, in English we often ask, “What’s up?” We don’t want to literally know what is “up” (the sky, the ceiling). We are actually asking “How are you?” This is something a translator may not understand.

Find the Main Idea

Before you get started making a translation, it is helpful to take the time to understand the main idea. This will help you focus your efforts no matter if you are translating something manually or using a translation tool. In fact, finding the main idea before you get started can help you make these translation tools more effective. If the tool converted text from one language to the other in a way that doesn’t actually make sense, you will be able to spot it immediately since you already know the main idea of the piece.

Eliminate the Need for Translations

When people first begin learning a language, they tend to make translations almost constantly. Until you get comfortable in the language, the tendency is to think in your native language and then translate those thoughts into Greek. In order to really make fast strides in the Greek language, extra effort should be taken to eliminate the need for making translations. For example, while ordering in a restaurant, it is much easier to simply order your food in Greek without thinking about it in the English language. In order to do this, it takes practice. However, your efforts will be worth it once you realize you don’t need to translate as often.

Learning a language is about more than just memorizing vocabulary words and getting to know the grammatical concepts. Developing skills, such as translating from one language to another, is part of that. These tips will help make sure your Greek translations are as easy and accurate as possible.


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.

Categorized in:

This post was written by GreekBoston.com

Read Other Articles About How to Learn Basic Greek: