greek phrases

Once known as a powerful country, Greece is a massive contributor to the world with its amazing and fantasy-like history. It is home to a lot of fables, and it still has remnants and proof of being such a powerful country till this day.

So, here you are, getting ready to travel into a place that you have never been to before. Greece might be a shadow of what it once was, but do not let that fool you. Its history is one of the best so far.

When travelling to Greece, one of the most important thing that you should consider is communication, because, without it, you might find yourself lost and unable to go to places you want to visit.

Aside from that, you might have a little bit of a problem with your time and effort. You wouldn’t want to go to this sacred place only to hide in your hotel just because you have problems interacting.

Greek Phrases

With that in mind, we have compiled a list of Greek phrases that you should know and hopefully should use as well. Know that we are going to try and write them in their native characters as well to bring you as much information as you need.

  • Δεν καταλαβαίνω (Den katalavéno): I don’t understand
  • Συγνώμη (syngnómi): Excuse me/ Sorry
  • Παρακαλώ, μιλάτε αγγλικά? (Parakaló, miláte aggliká?): ‘Please, do you speak English?’
  • Είμαι χορτοφάγος (Ime hortofágos): I am a vegetarian
  • Το λογαριασμό παρακαλώ (To logariasmó parakaló!): The bill, please!
  • Ναι/οχι (Ne/óhi): Yes/No
  • Ευχαριστώ/Παρακαλώ (efharistó/parakaló): Thank you/Welcome
  • Μπορειτε να με βοηθησετε (Boríte na me voithísete?): Can you help me?

Δεν καταλαβαίνω (Den katalavéno): I don’t understand

Ok, Let’s start the list with the most common yet very important for non-Greek speakers like you and me. Translated to ‘I don’t understand’, it is without a doubt that you might use this Greek phrase in your trip more often then you thought.

When you are asking for directions, when you are inquiring about a souvenir and pretty much everytime you communicate to a native speaker, it is best to have this in your back pocket just in case they mistake you for a native and speak words you haven’t heard before.

Συγνώμη (syngnómi): Excuse me/ Sorry

Another Greek phrase that you should also keep in your vocabulary is the term for ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry’. This phrase is often spouted when you step on a person’s shoe unintentionally, but as a cautious tourist, you should always be humble. Nobody wants to brawl or fight with a Greek individual, not when you are the one that is visiting their country. At best, you should always have this ready in cases where you offended a person without reason.

Παρακαλώ, μιλάτε αγγλικά? (Parakaló, miláte aggliká?): ‘Please, do you speak English?’

This is probably one of the Greek phrases that you should already know when you are still packing up for the trip. This is important because not only does it give you a better chance of communication, but it also lets the other speaker know that you need assistance. Probably one of the most important things to establish when you are travelling is a rapport with the people you are travelling with and the people you find along the way. This is the best phrase to use so that you can gather more information and not waste the time of other people who can’t help you.

Είμαι χορτοφάγος (Ime hortofágos): I am a vegetarian

This is another important word if you are a person who eats only vegetables. This is another one of the Greek phrases that can give you less hassle and stress. Being that Greek food is lovely and amazing to the taste, the locals would understand your case when you say the phrase. Get your vegetables and turn down the meat. In any kind of travel, encountering something you do not want would really ruin the whole experience so if you do not want any kind of livestock in your food or if you are a vegetarian, feel free to learn the Greek phrase.

Το λογαριασμό παρακαλώ (To logariasmó parakaló!): The bill, please!

While we are talking about food, we should talk about the Greek phrases that make the transaction better for you and the cashier or even waiter for that matter. Imagine this, you started to order, notified the waiter that you cannot speak the proper Greek language, let them know that you are a vegetarian and wish that your orders have no such livestock product, enjoyed your meal, and wish to leave. Before you can, you have to do one more thing, and that is asking for the bill.

This Greek phrase is used to notify the waiter that you wish to pay for your meal. This might come in handy since you are not sure if the waiter understands your language or not. They might understand the English language, but you are in Greece. You are there to try out new things. So why not learn their language?

Ναι/οχι (Ne/óhi): Yes/No

Listen closely. These secret terms can save you a lot of miscommunication and discomfort along your journey. The language is simple to learn, but you should also be knowledgeable enough to use it. Take the yes and no phrases for that matter. It is a great way to start learning a few things about Greece’s native language.

Ευχαριστώ/Παρακαλώ (efharistó/parakaló): Thank you/Welcome

Gratitude is something that every tourist shows gleefully around the people of Greece. Here, the population is always willing to help. Whether they struggle to speak the English language or not, any Greek would go out of their way to help you enjoy their country, too. Remember this phrase, because you are going to use it a lot with the amount of love the Greek population will give you. It might not be much. But a ’thank you’ in their native language will mean a lot.

Μπορειτε να με βοηθησετε (Boríte na me voithísete?): Can you help me?

As a solo traveller in a place that you are not familiar with, one of the bad things that you should have already shed should be pride. Pride prevents you from asking other people directions and thinking that you do not have to because you already read books and maps along the way. In cases where you find that you are lost and out of corners to turn, please, use this Greek phrase to employ the help of people who know the place more than you do.