Greek Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, B b, Ch ch, D d, E e, F f, G g,
I i, K k, Ks ks, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p, Ps ps,
R r, S s, T t, Th th, Tz tz, U u,
Z z


The Greek alphabet has 24 characters. Two of the letters, Γ γ (gamma) and Χ χ (chi), have no clear English equivalent, the sounds of which should be heard from a Greek-speaking person to be mastered. For our purposes, we transliterate into Latin phonetics.

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, Western Asia Minor, and the Aegean, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records.

Letters not listed are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a   - a as in father
E, e   - e as in get
I, i   - i as in machine
O, o   - o as in note (omega); o as in gone (omicron)
 
Ch, ch   - ch (gutteral kh) as in loch (sometimes shown as h or h)
G, g   - g as in go, although sometimes slightly softer
Ps, ps   - ps as in lips
Th, th   - th as in think
Tz, tz   - th as in think
 
DIPTHONGS:
 
Ai, ai   - ai as in aisle
Aw, aw   - ow as in cow
Ei, ei   - ei as in freight
Ew, ew   - ew as in beware
Oi, oi   - oi as in oil
Ou, ou   - ou as in bouquet (sometimes shown as oo)
Ui, ui   - uee as in queen
 
OTHER SOUNDS:
 
Dh, dh   - th as in that (sometimes shown as th or d)
Dz, dz   - dg as in edge (sometimes shown as tz)


Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes