t h e
G r e e k
A l p h a b e t



The greek alphabet developed during the early times of Ancient Greece, while they were still in contact with the Pheonicians. The Pheonicians were traders from Lebanon, who had colonies all over the Mediterranean, including Cyprus. They were the first people to have a phonetic alphabet, hence the name, PHEONICians.
They came in contact with the old greeks, the Minoans and the Mycenaens, and "cultural diffusion" took place. The greeks saw the easily learned alphabet, took it in for themselves, added the all-important vowels the Pheonicians had not had, and modified it a little. The result was the greek alphabet, the first alphabet to include vowels. Here is a comparison with the Latin alphabet that I am typing in: (this may not be correct if you do not have the "symbol" font on your computer or if you do not have fonts enable on your browser)


letter = pronounced

latin equivalent = greeks call it Pronounciation help
A,a = alfa
B,b = beta
G,g = gamma / gama
D,d = delta
E,e = e yilon
Z,z = zhta
H,h = hta
Q,q = qhta
a = alfa
v = beta or veta
g = gama
d = delta
e = e psilon
z = zeta
e = eta
th = theta


pronounced gutteraly - guu*



short e - or
I,i = iwta
K,k = kappa
L,l = lamda
M,m = mu
N,n = nu
X,x = xi
O,o = o mikron
i = iota
k = kappa
l = lamda
m = mu
n = nu
x = xi / ksi
o = o mikron
P,p = pi
R,r = ro
S,s,V* = sigama / sigma
T,t = tau
p = pi
r = rho
s = sigma / sigama
t = taff / tau

slight roll on r
U,u = u yilon
F,f = fi
C,c = ci
Y,y = yi
W,w = wmega
u = u psilon
ph = phi
ch / kg = chi
ps = psi
o = omega


hard ch - as in ki or kgi


beta - this letter is pronounced as a mixture of "v" and "b", (it is more like a "v" than a "b" though) some, however, pronounce it just as a "v". This is also correct.

delta - this letter is also pronounced as a mixture of the letters "d" and "th". It can be said as the "th" in then, but not as in the "th" in "thin", since this word uses it entirely as a thhh sound.

theta - this letter is pronounced as the "th" in "thin", but not as the "th" in "then" since this word uses the sound in it's "Delta" form.

gamma - this letter is either pronounced "G" as in "guard" or "y" as in "yet". It depends on which word it is in so you will have to learn by hearing.

*sigma / sigama - There are two uncapitalized forms of the letter sigama / sigma. The V is used when the letter is at the end of a word. Otherwise, the s is used.

u psilon - the actual pronounciation is closer to the German "" in "Brcke" or the "u" in the french "tu". I suggest you pronounce it like this or like the "u" in the English word "put". Many modern greeks pronounce it just as a normal "i" sound.

chi - the actual sound of this word is like the ch in Bach. It is not at all like the ch in the word child. In some cases, it can be used as the "h" sound.

eta - this is sometimes pronounced as an "i", again, the only way to know is by hearing.

COMBINATIONS


TZ - pronounce as the "J" in John. For example: TZON TRABOLTA = John Travolta

GK - at beginning of a word, it is pronounced as a hard g, while anywhere else, it is pronounced as "ng". For example: STEFI GKRAF = Stefi Graf.
or KIGKMAN = Kingman

MP - at the beginning of a word, it is pronounce as a "b", while anywhere else it is pronounced "mb". i.e.: MPRITNH = Britney

NT - pronounce as "d" when at beginning of a word, otherwise it is pronounced as "nd". I.E.: NTORWQH = Dorothy



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Andries Smith 2000