Greek Language/Vowels

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Greek vowels have similar pronunciations as those of Spanish. If you know Spanish, then you will have an easy time pronouncing these. Do not automatically apply standard English vowel pronunciations to Greek words! You will probably be pronouncing them wrong. Please refer to the page linked at the end of this article for sound clips of the correct prounciations.


Letter Name Pronunciation Notes
Greek English
Α α
Άλφα
Alpha
[a]
Pronounced somewhere between apple and father. You will do better leaning toward the "apple" pronunciation. About this sound πάλι 
Ε ε
Έψιλον
Epsilon
[e]
Pronounced like elk or tent.
Η η
Ήτα
Eta
[i]
Pronounced like eel or feet.
I ι
Iώτα
Γιώτα
Iota
[i]
Pronounced the same as η. About this sound νύχτα 
Ο ο
Όμικρον
Omicron
[o]
Pronounced between "hope" and "hop." You need to pronounce this without rounding your lips into the "oo" sound that English has at the end of a long o. Listen carefully; many English speakers have trouble noticing they are making that "oo" sound. About this sound μυαλό 
Υ υ
Ύψιλον
Upsilon
[i]
Pronounced the same as η and ι.
Ω ω
Ωμέγα
Omega
[o]
Pronounced the same as ο.


You will probably have noticed that some of the letters are redundant; Greek has three letters representing the sound /i/ ('ee') and two representing the sound /o/ ('oo'). This is because in Classical Greek the different letters did actually have different sounds associated with them. However, over the centuries, the pronunciations shifted to what they are today.

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