How many times have you visited an international holiday destination and wished you could speak some basic stuff of the spoken language there? Being able to communicate with the locals in their own language, even if it is just a few words or phrases, gives you a much more authentic and lively experience. With that in mind, we give you a handy list of useful Greek phrases and some common Greek words to help you get a better taste of what Greek hospitality is all about!
Although the overwhelming majority of Greeks in the more touristy areas do speak at least a basic level of English, they just love to socialize and have fun conversations with foreign visitors. So, if you fancy the idea of having a friendly and playful exchange of teasing remarks with some Greeks, trying to use any of the following useful Greek phrases will do the trick just fine! Even if you slaughter these common Greek phrases, you will still make lots of fun attempting to speak Greek.
Basic Greek Phrases to Know (Greek 101)
|English Phrase||Greek pronunciation|
|Nice to meet you||Hero poli|
|How are you?||Ti kanis?|
|You are welcome!||Parakalo!***|
|My name is…||Me lene…|
|What is your name?||Pos se lene?|
|See you later!||Ta leme!|
|How much is it?||Poso kani?|
|Where is…?||Pou ine…?|
|I don’t understand!||Den katalaveno!|
|Do you speak English?||Milate Aglika?|
|Bottoms up!||Aspro pato!|
|I love Greece!||Agapo tin Elada!|
*This is one of the most common Greek phrases used to greet someone in the morning. After noon, you can just say “Gia sou”.
** This is used both before going to bed and when you are leaving a place after dark and want to salute those you have been with at Santorini Greece or elsewhere.
*** The word “parakalo” can be used instead of “please” or “you are welcome”, or to mean “I beg your pardon?” when you, say, have not heard something someone has told you and you want them to tell you again or have misunderstood something and want it repeated. It is one of the most useful Greek phrases, especially when you want to ask something politely.
Apart from the most common Greek phrases, though, we enhance your overall Greek-speaking experience with some easy-to-learn words. Following is a table with the most common Greek words you may want to use! And, if there is something missing from this list, do not hesitate to ask the staff at Strogili Hotel Oia Santorini for their assistance!
|English Phrase||Greek pronunciation|
*Most of the times, we say just “Gia” as it is a less formal way to greet someone. If you want to address a group of people, you say “Gia sas”. Indeed one of the most useful Greek phrases that is used almost all day, when greeting people.
** Take note that the word “ne” which means “yes” in Greek sounds very much like “neh” which, in English, means “no” (so the exact opposite!). The same applies to “oxi” which could be mistakenly associated with the English “okay” (so, again, the opposite meaning!).
*** Signomi is one of the most common Greek words to use to either apologise for something (i.e., you bumped into another person) or when you want to say a Greek equivalent to “Excuse me”.
The Entertainment Key Word
Perhaps one of the most useful Greek phrases/words when out having fun is “Opa”! A quintessential Greek word that is probably the most heard in movies related to Greece. It has a tremendous power to bring people together during festivities and is used to express enthusiasm or even excitement – a celebration exclamation. You may also use it to show your appreciation for dancing or music or you want to offer a round of tsioudia, ouzo or raki shots on the house! In Oia Santorini, you will hear lots of locals repeat that word when someone is dancing, and his fellow mates form a circle around him and clap their hands to the rhythm of the music.
Note: If you wish to spend an evening out dancing, drinking, and singing the traditional Greek way, give the friendly Strogili Oia Santorini hotel receptionist a call and we will help arrange everything for you! And, while out there, feel free to use any of the useful Greek phrases shared here to boost your local adventures.
Where to stay
There are several Santorini accommodation options, including luxury Strogili Traditional Houses which offers exclusive, regal, and utterly authentic experiences. With top of the line facilities and all modern comforts, you will find your dream vacation lodging with the elegance and VIP amenities that fit your particular lifestyle. And, if you are planning to visit the island as a newlywed, rest assured that Strogili Traditional Houses will cater to your needs the most efficient way – we have been, after all, the best of Santorini honeymoon hotels for far too long for our exceptional services and for operating with our guests’ best interest and total satisfaction in mind.