Basic Words and Phrases to Learn for Your First Trip to Greece

December 10, 2020 , In: Drift , With: No Comments

You’re preparing for your first trip to Greece? Congratulations! You made one of the best travel picks you could possibly make. Greece is an ancient gem of spectacular sights and history intertwined with modern life and bubbling cities.


Angela Baker, a travel writer at TopEssayWriting, says “Greece is a must-visit destination for any citizen on Earth. From unforgettable Athens to romantic Thessaloniki and islands surrounded by pure sea, Greece will impress anyone”.


Your trip will be even more enjoyable if you arm yourself with phrases that will help you get through everyday life. Here are some of the most important ones:


  1. General Greek words and phrases


Some of the first words to start a conversation are greetings. In turn, other phrases of cordiality and gratification are undoubtedly an excellent way to establish a pleasant conversation.


  • Hello: When you are talking to a group of people, you should say YAH-sas. If you only need to talk to one person, you can say Hi or Γεια, Yah, as informal.


  • Nice to meet you: Χάρηκαπολύ, HA-ree-ka po-LEE


  • Good morning: Καλημέρα, kah-lee-MER-ah


In particular, this greeting can be used in a standard sense. About the time of day, this greeting is only used until noon. After this time it is one of the most normal greetings.


  • Good evening – night: Καλησπέραkah-lee-SPER-ah


In this case, you can use this type of greeting when you are ending the afternoon and when you are starting the evening. Once the night has arrived, it is necessary to use another type of greeting.


  • Good night: Καληνύχταkah-lee-NEEKH-tah


When a person goes to sleep, then this greeting is the most appropriate. It is even a very specific greeting that is not usually used in other situations.


  • Thank you: Ευχαριστώ eff-kha-ri-STOE


To start friendly and cordial conversations, it is necessary to learn to say thank you in Greek. In this way, you will be able to create much more friendly relationships with all the people you know, or at least most of them.


  • How are you: Tικανείς, tee-KAH-nis?


One of the essential questions to be able to start a conversation is this one in particular. While you may not be able to understand the Greeks’ answer, it is certainly a friendly question. Also, this question is often used as part of a greeting.


  • You are welcome – please: Παρακαλώ, para-kah-LOE


Here it is necessary to consider that the same word is used to say please or you’re welcome. Thus, the Greeks use this same word in different situations to mark a certain meaning. The context of the use of this word is what determines the exact meaning of the moment.


  1. Learn from experts


One of the best ways to learn a lot of Greek words and phrases is to choose experts. This allows you to gain a superior understanding of the use of these phrases.


This way, on the one hand, you can learn the different meanings of the words. On the other hand, experts can teach you exactly when and where to use certain words. Here are some services you can use:



Even choosing an expert to learn allows people to hear the true tone of the Greeks. This is one of the best ways to adapt to the way people live in Greece. So, once you are there, it will not be so rare to talk to people from Greece.


  1. Basic complimentary words and phrases


  • My name is…: Μελένε, may LEH-neh
  • What is your name: πωςσελένε, pos-oh LEH-neh
  • Goodbye: Γειά σου, YAH-soo


As with the initial greeting here, you can also use this greeting in different ways. When you are greeting and saying goodbye, several people can use YAH-sas.


In turn, the YAH-soo greeting is usually used in a somewhat formal manner. So, if you wanted to greet someone informally, you can use YAH. If you have noticed, then this informal greeting is used both for goodbye and to say hello. So this is a point that needs to be taken into account.


  • Talk to you later – see you: Ταλέμε, tah-LEH-meh


Another way to end a conversation is to use this phrase. Both we see each other, and we talk later, have the same meaning with this single sentence. Therefore, it is quite common for people to use this variant in their daily lives.


  • Yes – No: Ναί, neh – όχι, OH-hee


At this point, it is necessary to consider that the yes in Greek could be very quickly confused with a no in English. In turn, the okay in English could be confused with the no in Greek.


By taking these aspects into account, you will avoid misunderstandings with the people you are talking to. To remember this simple, keep in mind that the sense is the opposite of the no’s in English.


  • Sorry – excuse me: Συγνώμη See-GHNO-mee


Finally, it is one of the most basic and cordial words you should use in your daily life.


  1. Other useful phrases


  • Where is the bathroom: Πούείναιητουαλέτα, Poh-EE-nay eetua-LEH-tah?


  • Do you speak English: Μιλάτεαγγλικά, Mee-LAH-teh ag-li-KAH?


  • How much is it: Πόσοκάνειαυτό, POH-soh KAH-nee af-TOH?


  • I don’t understand: Δενκαταλαβαίνω, Then Kah-tah-lah-VEH-noh


  • Help: Βοήθειαvoh-EE-thee-yah


  • I love Greece: ΑγαπώτηνΕλλάδα, Ah-gah-POH teen Eh-LAH-tha


  • Oops!: Ωπα, OH-pa


Without a doubt, each of these options will be very useful for you to obtain a much more pleasant experience in Greece.




There is no doubt that your stay in Greece will be wonderful. But, try to immerse yourself in the experience even more by learning some of these basic phrases. You will be able to interact with locals, shopkeepers, guides and waiters… Allow yourself a little pretend-fairytale of living in Greece, at least for a while!

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Kacey Bradley

Lifestyle - Wedding - Travel

Welcome to The Drifter Collective - a lifestyle blog sharing my love for travel, style, wedding inspiration, homemaking and so much more! Some people call me a traveler, while others refer to me as 'the well cultured friend" who drifts into everything. Pun intended. :)

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