Greek Alphabet: Lesson 2

Remember that μπ being pronounced as the English b instead of mp in the beginning of the word? Well, here’s the Greek word for bar which is, of course, the same - bar:

μπαρ

You will notice it has no accent marked because it’s too short for an accent to be needed: you know where the accent goes anyway. The important thing about this word is that it uses the letter r which is Ρ ρ in Greek (in Russian too).

Here’s the word Rap with capital R in Greek:

ΡΑΠ

Try out this letter yourself by writing the Greek word for Torah which is Torá:

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Good. Now, this μπ was b in μπαρ because mp is always b in the beginning of the word. Right... What if it’s not the beginning of the word? Well, it’s mb then.

The character μπ combination is pronounced b in the beginning of the word and mb everywhere else!

Why is that? I guess it has to do with pronunciation: it would probably always be mb but mb is kind of hard to pronounce when you are starting out (mbar... what?) while it is a lot easier if you can split it into two syllables...

You might also easily spot the Greek letter for k which is pretty much just like the capital K even if it’s not: Κ κ.

You could now write the Greek word for cart which is káro:

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Now take a look kalá - the Greek word for good:

καλά

You must have noticed the letter Λ λ. Well, it is called lambda in Greek and in Mathematics. It’s a well-known letter which denotes wavelength in Physics. So, if you understand what that is, it means that’s we’re on the same λ...

There is a Greek city called Lamía. Write its name:

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Nice. We’re getting back to the letter τ for the end of the lesson. Look at another word with this letter:

ταξί

Could you guess this letter ξ? Well, it is the letter x in fox and it was the word taxi. Alternatively, it could be transcribed as ks. When this letter is uppercase, it looses the connecting strokes between its three vertical lines. Here’s how the word TAXI would look uppercase:

ΤΑΞΙ

Use this letter by writing the word max which is máxi in Greek:

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Right. Ταξί, μαξί... that’s some interesting stuff. There is another thing. You remember how the letter combination μπ is pronounced b in the beginning of the word and mb anywhere else? Well, there’s another combination like that:

The Greek letter combination ντ is pronouncing d if it is in the beginning of the word and nd anywhere else.

You could think of it as simply τ changing to d since these letters are close in pronunciation. If it is the beginning of the word, it is hard to pronounce two letters so it’s only one.

Try writing the word for drill which is dríli:

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Write the Greek word for babysitter which is dandá:

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For a dessert, let us end with the word for five which is pénde:

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Very good. We have now learned the letters κ, λ, ξ, ρ which means that we now know the letters α, ε, ι, κ, λ, μ, ν, ξ, ο, π, ρ, τ which amounts to exactly one half of the Greek alphabet! We also know to change μπ to (m)d and ντ to (n)d which makes it even more awesome.

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