Useful Greek Phrases

When a traveler makes an effort to learn the local language, it is certainly appreciated!

Greek is a difficult language to master, but with these simple Greek phrases, you’ll be having conversations like a local in no time!

We gathered the most useful phrases for you, learn them, and it won’t be all Greek to you!

Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

tip: the less formal way to say “hi” would just be “Γεια” (Yah). if addressing a group, say “YAH-sas”.

Nice to meet you: Χάρηκα (HA-ree-ka)

How are you?: Tι κανείς (tee-KAH-nis)?

Good morning: Καλημέρα (kah-lee-MER-ah)

tip: you would say this greeting up until noon, and then for the rest of the day you can use “Γεια” (yah) as the standard greeting.

Good afternoon/evening: Καλησπέρα (kah-lee-SPER-ah)

tip: beginning around late afternoon/dusk and into the evening, you can use this greeting

Goodnight: Καληνύχτα (kah-lee-NEEKH-tah)

tip: say this when going to bed.

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ri-STOE)

tip: remember that a good traveler is a polite traveler.

Please / You’re welcome: Παρακαλώ (para-kah-LOE)

tip: in greek, the word for “please” and “you’re welcome” is the same, making it all the more easy to learn. It’s polite to say “para-kah-LOE” after asking for directions or the price of something. It can even be used to mean “I beg your pardon?” or “huh?” when you’ve misunderstood or want someone to repeat something.

My name is…: Με λένε (may LEH-neh)…

What is your name?: πως σε λένε? (pos-eh LEH-neh)

Goodbye: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

tip: the more informal way of saying bye would just be “Yah.” recall that this is the same as saying hello (similar to “ciao” in italian or “aloha” in hawaiian). if addressing a group, say “YAH-sas.”

See/talk to you later: Τα λέμε (tah-LEH-meh)

tip: you may hear people ending their conversations with this phrase as well.

Yes: Ναί (neh) ; No: όχι (OH-hee)

tip: be careful not to confuse yes and no — it’s easy to mistakenly associate “neh” with “no” in english, and “oh-hee” with “okay” when in fact it’s just the opposite! an easy mnemonic is to remember that they’re actually the inverse of what you would initially think.

Excuse me / sorry: Συγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee)

tip: say this to get someone’s attention, ask to pass by someone, or apologize if you’ve bumped into someone.

Where is the bathroom?: Πού είναι η τουαλέτα (Poh-EE-nay ee tua-LEH-tah)?

tip: “Poh-EE-nay” means “where is?” so you can ask for help with locating something by saying this while pointing to a specific location in your guidebook or on a map.

Do you speak english? Μιλάτε αγγλικά (Mee-LAH-teh ag-li-KAH)?

Cheers!: Εβίβα! (eh-Vi-va)

Bottoms up!: Κούπα (KOOH-pa)

How much is it?: Πόσο κάνει (POH-soh KAH-nee)?

I don’t understand: Δεν καταλαβαίνω (Then Kah-tah-lah-VEH-noh)

Help!: Βοήθεια (voh-EE-thee-yah)

I love Greece!: Αγαπώ την Ελλάδα! (Ah-gah-POH teen Eh-LAH-tha)

Oops!: Ωπα (OH-pa)

tip: if there’s one greek word you may have heard before, it’s likely opa. Originally meaning “oops” or “whoops,” it’s now also used frequently as an exclamation of enthusiasm or joy in celebrations or to show appreciation for music, dancing, food, and drinks. For example, when you’ve thoroughly impressed your waiter with your new greek skills, and he offers you a round of ouzo shots on the house, you can say, “opa!” in appreciation.