Understanding the Greek Alphabet

This is a very basic introduction, with associated links to help introduce you to the Greek language. Three accent marks are used in Greek, the acute (), the grave (`), and the circumflex (^). In Ancient Greek they denoted a pitch accent related to the length of vowels, but in Modern Greek they serve as a stress accent. A symbol known as a rough breathing over an initial vowel represented the h sound in Ancient Greek, while the symbol for a smooth breathing over an initial vowel made clear the absence of aspiration. Though still retained today, the breathing marks no longer indicate pronunciation. In punctuation, the semicolon (;) stands for the question mark, and a raised dot denotes the semicolon and colon.

Latin letter(s) used
Pronounced as the bold letter combination
i

beat

e

bet

a

but

o

bought

ou

boot

b

over

d

father

g

yield

z

lazy

th

author

k

skin

l

life

m

may

n

not

ks

fox

p

spin

s

see

r

tree

f

fat

h

hew

ps

taps

Table 1. Table of Pronunciation (for English speakers)

Figure 1. Letter for Letter Comparison Table

Figures 2 & 3. Proper way to write modern Greek letters, upper [left] and lower [right] case.


Greek Language Resources

Greek Dictionary / Font Resources

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