Basic Greek for travelling
...and it won’t be all Greek to you!
So you’ve booked your long-waited trip to Astypalea!
On the to-do list: Dust off your camera to capture the inspiring ancient ruins and dazzling sunrise views, find the perfect island outfits for stylish Instagram snaps – at Kallichoron you will find the best Instagram spot on Astypalea anyway- and prepare yourself to come back a few pounds heavier from all the pougia (local cheese pies), Greek salad with local cheese doused in olive oil, delicious Greek donuts known as “lukumades” , lobster pasta and many more local delicacies that that will surely have at many local taverns.
So, why not take the opportunity to learn some basic phrases while travelling to Greece? The Greek language is believed to be one of the oldest European languages, which has an oral tradition of 4.000 years and a written tradition of approximately 3.000 years. Consisting of 19 consonants and 5 vowels, the Greek alphabet is unique. Greek is an inflected language, which means that the tone and accent of the words changes their meanings, while it has three genders, and all words (nouns, verbs etc.) are conjugated.
Greeks are friendly and social people, and will love it if you give it a try to speak basic Greek — even if they poke fun at you for trying. Smile wider - this will completely compensate for any mistakes you may make. We assure you that attempting the most basic of phrases with locals will make the trip more memorable. Even a few words will warm your welcome and may even inspire a long-lasting friendship.
Learn these basic words and phrases and it won't be all Greek to you!
If addressing a group, say “YAH-sas”.
How are you: Ti kanis?
Fine/ very well. And yourself?: Kala/ poly kala. Esi?
This literally means "To our health!" If addressing a group of people not including yourself, say "YAH-sas," which means "To your health!".
Thank you: Efharistw (eff-kha-ri-stoe) | Υou’re welcome: Parakalo
Good morning: Kalimera | Good evening: Kalispera | Goodnight: Kalinihta (kah-lee-NEEKH-tah)
Break Down: Kali = good, mera=day, nihta=night
Yes: Neh | No: Ohi (OH-hee)
Be careful not to confuse yes and no - it's easy to mistakenly associate "neh" with "no" in English, and "oh-hee" with "okay" when in fact it's just the opposite!
Excuse me/Sorry: Signomi (See-GHNO-mee)
Help!: Voithia! (Voh-EE-thee-yah)
Okay: endaxi | Open: anikto | Closed: kleisto
Wine: krasi | Water: ne-ro
Opa (OH-pa) is a common Greek emotional expression that is frequently used during dancing celebrations. Originally meaning "oops" or "whoops," it's now also used frequently as an exclamation of enthusiasm or joy in celebrations or to show appreciation for music, dancing, food, and drinks.