In this article we would like to introduce an interesting script: the Greek alphabet.
The Greek alphabet originates from the Phoenician alphabet and today has 24 letters and is written from left to right.
The Greek alphabet has an important difference to the Phoenician alphabet, in that it also has vowels and not just consonants like Phoenician.
This also distinguishes Greek from Hebrew and Arabic.
To this day Hebrew and Arabic are so called consonant languages, by which vowels are not always present in the script.
The Greek alphabet remains to this day almost unchanged.
Modern Greek is written with the same alphabet as Classical Greek of antiquity.
Only a few diacritic signs have changed or disappeared from Modern Greek.
Here is a brief overview of the Greek Alphabet.
|The Greek Alphabet|
|A, α||Alpha (ἄλφα)||álfa (άλφα)||a||a, αι=e|
|B, β||Beta (βῆτα)||víta (βήτα)||b||v|
|Γ, γ||Gamma (γάμμα)||gáma (γάμμα)||g||g, γγ=ng, γκ=ng, γχ=nch, γξ=nx|
|Δ, δ||Delta (δέλτα)||délta (δέλτα)||d||d|
|Ε, ε||Epsilon (ἔψιλον)||épsilon (έψιλον)||e||e, omitted before ι|
|Ζ, ζ||Zeta (ζῆτα)||zíta (ζήτα)||z||z|
|Η, η||Eta (ἦτα)||íta (ήτα)||ē||i|
|Θ, θ||Theta (θῆτα)||thíta (θήτα)||th||th|
|Ι, ι||Iota (ἰῶτα)||ióta (ιώτα)||i||i|
|Κ, κ||Kappa (κάππα)||kápa (κάππα)||k||k|
|Λ, λ||Lambda (λάμβδα)||lámda (λάμδα)||l||l|
|Μ, μ||My (μῦ)||mi (μι)||m||m|
|Ν, ν||Ny (νῦ)||ni (νι)||n||n|
|Ξ, ξ||Xi (ξῖ)||xi (ξι)||x||x|
|Ο, ο||Omikron (ὄμικρον)||ómikron (όμικρον)||o||o, omitted before ι|
|Π, π||Pi (πῖ)||pi (πι)||p||p, μπ=mb|
|Ρ, ρ||Rho (ῥῶ)||ro (ρω)||r(h)||r|
|Σ, σ or ς*||Sigma (σίγμα)||sígma (σίγμα)||s||s|
|Τ, τ||Tau (ταῦ)||taf (ταυ)||t||t, ντ=nd|
|Υ, υ||Ypsilon (ὔψιλον)||ýpsilon (ύψιλον)||y||y, after vowels v or f|
|Φ, φ||Phi (φῖ)||fi (φι)||ph||f|
|Χ, χ||Chi (χῖ)||chi (χι)||ch||ch|
|Ψ, ψ||Psi (ψῖ)||psi (ψι)||ps||ps|
|Ω, ω||Omega (ὠμέγα)||oméga (ωμέγα)||ō||o|
* (at the end of a word)
As mentioned the Greek alphabet has hardly changed.
As a result Modern and Classical Greek are sometimes identically written, but are strongly differentiated by pronunciation.
This is because changes in the pronunciation of Greek from Antiquity to today have not been reflected in the written language.
Would you like to learn the Greek alphabet?
We can help you.
We have prepared a
worksheet for the Greek alphabet
so that you can practice writing.
The classical Greek alphabet was the first alphabet to have vowel letters.
It had relatively clear rules for pronunciation and writing.
The use of diphthongs (two vowels to represent a sound) it was possible in Classical Greek to represent the twelve different vowel sounds despite only seven letters for vowels.
Initially Classical Greek was spread by the power of Athens and throughout the Mediterranean by the Attican League.
Later Alexander the Great and afterwards the Romans spread Classical Greek as the language of science throughout the ancient world.
Modern Greek has only five vowels in contrast to the seven of Classical Greek.
Modern Greek contains many words from other languages, like Turkish, Italian and French.
In contrast to Classical Greek, forming new words from combinations of other words is easy.
Modern Greek has only five vowels as opposed to the seven of Classical Greek.
In Modern Greek the emphasis of syllables is important to the meaning of a word.
The emphasized vowel is denoted by an accent.
By the transcription of Classical Greek into the Roman Alphabet there are well established rules, with only a few exceptions for example the letter "ω" Omega and "ο" Omicron.
For Modern Greek there is no one universally accepted standard for transcription into the Roman alphabet.
We are delighted about your interest in the Greek script.
We have prepared a few weblinks for you: