If you are visiting Greece for the first time and you are experiencing a culture shock, perhaps due to the language barrier, do not fret. These are a few phrases that you can use to communicate during your stay in this country of immense beauty and islands.
Hello in Greek is fairly easy to say. Greeks are warm and friendly. Their greetings can either be formal or informal. Shaking of hands in Greece is not acceptable so if you are seeing maybe your tour guide, you might either want to say a “hello.” Hello in Greece is spelled ‘ya su or giasou’ pronounced “Yah-soo”. If you are greeting more than one person you should go ‘yassas’.
Good Morning is a common greeting in English. However, if you are in Greece you would have to go Greek. Good morning is translated as ‘Kalimera’ in Greek. ‘Kali’ means ‘Good’ while ‘Mera’ means ‘morning’. More often than not, you will hear Kalimera a lot. Sometimes, you will hear Kalimera used alongside Ya su.
When its approaching dusk and you want to greet or reply to greetings. In Greek, Good Evening is ‘Kalispera’. It is translated to mean ‘Kali’ which stands for ‘good’ and ‘spera’ which means ‘hope’, but the translation doesn’t give the direct meaning. Kalispera sas is a more polite way of greeting the elderly.
It is important to know what time of the day before you greet in Greek. The prefix ‘kali’ like you know by now means ‘good’, so if you are turning in for the day and want to bid your acquaintances good night, it is fairly easy. Goodnight in Greek is ‘kalinita’ and it is pronounced as ‘ka-lee nee-hta’. You can also say ‘kali oneiros’ as a form of goodnight. It means ‘sweet dreams’.
If you are saying farewell to the place of your visit and the friends you made while in Greece. You should say “antio’ which is usually pronounced as ‘a-nee-to’.
If you want to apologize by saying ‘I’m sorry’ in Greek, you should say ‘signomii’ which is usually pronounced as ‘signomee’. You can also use this phrase when you want to say ‘Excuse me’.
Rumors have it that Greeks find saying ‘thank you’ too often very irritating. This is not always true. You should always learn to show appreciation for every kind gesture, no matter how small. If you want to say ‘thank you’ in Greek, you should say ‘Efharisto’ which is pronounced as ‘e-fha-ree-sto’.
If you want to use the polite phrase ‘please’ when you are in Greece, you should say ‘paracalo’ pronounced as ’pa-ra-ka-lo’. Paracalo is also used to say ‘you are welcome’.
If you are asked a question in Greek and you want to answer in the affirmative without nodding your head you should say ‘Nai’ which is pronounced as ‘neh’. ‘Yes’ in Greek sounds like ‘No’ in English.
No in Greek is pronounced as ‘ohi’.