The Greek Alphabet

The Greek alphabet is, along with Phoenician, one of the world’s oldest.

It consists of twenty-four letters, many of which look and sound the same as English, although there are of course exceptions.

There are also several letter combinations that are pronounced totally differently.

You will quickly learn all of this with me and be mastering the basic language skills before you know it!

As easy as alpha, beta, gamma.

For a beginner, learning Greek can seem a daunting task. The letters look strange, Greek people speak so fast and nouns can be masculine, feminine or neuter.

Although the Greek alphabet only has 24 letters, it is remarkably similar to the English equivalent. Let’s take a look:

Greek Alphabet

As you can see, many letters look and sound the same. Additionally there are combinations of letters that make other letter sounds, for example mπ is pronounced as b and yy is pronounced as g.

Many Greek words are actually commonly used in English and many English words have been adopted into Modern Greek.

For example in Greek xenos means foreigner and phobia means fear and in English xenophobia means fear of foreigners. On the other hand the Greek word for supermarket is soupermarket.There are countless other examples and it will probably not surprise you that many scientific, medical, architectural, musical and mathematical terms have their origins in Greek.

It is true that Greek has three genders to describe all objects. However we will learn vocabulary using the gender as well as the noun, so they are learned together. It is also the case that the vast majority of noun endings follow some common rules, which will make your life much easier.

As with all languages, learning to read and write is the basis by which it is learned. Speaking is always the hardest part and takes lots of practice in listening, absorbing and then speaking.

Greeks do speak fast, but then again so do Spanish, Italians, French, Arabs, Scandinavians, Indians, Chinese and indeed English etc.

The most important thing in learning Greek as with all languages is to work at your own pace and to practice consistently outside of the lesson environment in your own time either at home or on your journey to work.

Lastly, the key is to have fun and to enjoy putting it into practice, perhaps by ordering a meal or checking into your hotel on your next visit to the beautiful country.

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