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TRANSLITERATION AND PRONUNCIATION*

of Greek letters and words

 

Transliteration of Greek vowels and consonants is rendered in Latin characters (Romanization), while pronunciation in Latin characters and IPA symbols.. The sound of each consonant is inluenced by the sound of vowel, monophthong or diphthong, following (ι, ει, οι, η, υ /i/, ε, αι /e/) or other consonant before or after it (Assimilation). Double consonants are pronounced as one consonant with exceptions as in the table below.

Greek

Transliteration in Latin

Transliteration+

Pronunciation

IPA Modern Greek  in [  ]

Α  α

a

a

a

Β  β, βι, βιε, βια, βιο, βιου

v, b, vi bi, vie bie, via bia, vio bio, viu biu

v, vi, vje, vja, vjo, vju

v, vi, vʝe, vʝa, vʝo, vʝu

 

Γ  γ, γι, γε, γα, για, γο, γιο, γου, γιου

g,  gi ji, ge je, ga, gia ja, go, gio jo, gu, giu ju

Eng.yi, ye, ga, ya, go, yo, gu, yu

gh, ghji ji, ghje je, gha, ghja ja, gho, ghjo jo, ghu, ghju ju

ɣ, ʝ, ʝi, ʝe, ɣa, ʝa, ɣo, ʝo, ɣu, ʝu

 

Δ  δ, δι, διε, δια, διο, διου

d, di, die, dia, dio, diu

dh, dhi, dhje, dhja, dhjo, dhju

ð, ði, ðʝe, ðʝa, ðʝo, ðʝu

 

Ε  ε

e

e

e

Ζ  ζ, ζι, ζιε, ζια, ζιο, ζιου

z, zi, zie, zia, zio, ziu

z, zi, zje, zja, zjo, zju

z, zi, zʝe, zʝa, zʝo, zʝu

Η  η

i, e, ē

i, e

i, iː, ɨ

Θ  θ, θι, θιε, θια, θιο, θιου

t, ti, tie, tio, tia, tiu

Eng. th

th, thi, thje, thja, thjo, thju

θ, θi, θʝe,θʝa, θʝo, θʝu

Ι  ι, ιε, ια, ιο, ιου

i, ie je, ia ja *, io jo, iu ju

Eng. ie ye, ia ya, io yo, iu yu

i, ie je, ia ja*, io jo, iu ju

 

i, ie ʝe, ia ʝa*, io ʝo, iu ʝu

Κ  κ, κι, κε, κια, κιο, κιου

c, k, ci, ki, ce, ke, cia, kia, cio, kio, ciu, kiu*

k, kji, kje, kja, kjo, kju

k, ci, ce, ca, co, cu

Λ  λ, λι, λιε, λια, λιο, λιου

l, li, lie, lia, lio, liu

l, li, lji, lje, lja, ljo, lju

l*, li, ʎi *, ʎe, ʎa, ʎo, ʎu

Μ  μ, μιε, μια, μυα, μιο, μιου

m, mi, mie, mia, mio, miu,

m, mi, mnje, mnja, mnjo, mnju

m, mi, mɲe, mɲa, mɲo, mɲu

Ν  ν, νι, νιε, νια, νιο, νιου

n, ni, nie, nia, nio, niu

n, ni, nji, nje, nja, njo¸ nju

n, ni, ɲi *, ɲe, ɲa, ɲo, ɲu

Ξ  ξ

x

ks

ks, (kʃ)

Ο  ο

O, u*

o

o

Π  π

p

p

p

Ρ  ρ

r

r

ɾ, r

Ρ  ρ

rh, when initial is aspirated (bearing)

r

r

Σ  σ  ς

s, ss*

s, sh locally

s, ʃ locally

Τ  τ

t

t

t

Υ  υ

u,* y

y, i

i

Φ  φ, φι, φιε, φια, φιο, φιου

f, ph, fi, fie, fia, fio, fiu

f, fi, fje, fja fjo fju

f, pʰ, fi, fʝe, fʝa, fʝo, fʝu

 

Χ   χ,  χι, χε, χα, χια, χο, χιο, χου, χιου

h, ch, kh, hi, chi hji, he, che hje, ha, cha hja, ho, cho hjo, hu, chu hju

Kh, (k)hji, (k)hje, kha (k)hja, kho (k)hjo, khu (k)hju

çi, çe, xa ça, xo ço, xu çu

Ψ  ψ

ps

ps

ps

Ω  ω

o, ō

o

o

ΟΥ  ου

u, ou, Eng. oo

u

u

ΑΙ  αι

ae, æ, ai, US e

e

e

ΕΙ ει

ei, e, i

i  

i

ΟΙ οι

oe, œ, oi, 'US e

i  

i

ΑΥ  αυ

au, af, av

af, av

af, av

ΕΥ  ευ

eu, ef, ev

ef, ev

ef, ev

ΗΥ  ηυ

eu, ēu, if, iv

if, iv

if, iv

ΥΙ, υι

ui, yi

i, ji

 

ΓΓ, γγ, γγι, γγε, γγα, γγια, γγο, γγιο, γγου, γγιου

ng, ngi, nge, nga, ngia, ngo, ngio, ngu, ngiu

(n)g, (n)gji, (n)gje, (n)ga, (n)gja, (n)go, (n)gjo, (n)gu, (n)gju

ŋ͡ɡ, ŋɡ, (ŋ)g, (ɲ)ɟ, (ɲ)ɟi, (ɲ)ɟe, (ŋ)ga, (ɲ)ɟa (ŋ)go, (ɲ)ɟo (ŋ)gu, (ɲ)ɟu

ΓΚ, γκ, γκι, γκε, γκα, γκια, γκο, γκιο, γκου, γκιου

g, gi, ge, ga, gia, go, gio, gu, giu

g, (n)gji, (n)gje, (n)ga, (n)gja, (n)go, (n)gjo, (n)gu, (n)gju

ŋ͡ɡ, ŋɡ , (ŋ)g, (ɲ)ɟ, (ɲ)ɟi, (ɲ)ɟe, (ŋ)ga, (ɲ)ɟa (ŋ)go, (ɲ)ɟo (ŋ)gu, (ɲ)ɟu

ΓΞ, γξ

nx

gz, ngz

ŋgz

ΓΧ, γχ, γχι, γχε, γχα, γχια, γχο, γχιο, γχου, γχιου 

nk, nch, nchi, ncha, nchia, ncho, nchio, nchu, nchiu

nkh, n(k)hji, n(k)hje, nkha n(k)hja, nkho n(k)hjo, nkhu n(k)hju

ŋx, ɲç, ɲçi, ɲçe, ŋxa ɲça, ŋxo ɲço, ŋxu ɲçu

ΜΒ

mb, mv

mv

ɱv

ΜΠ, μπ

mp, b*

b, mb

b, m͡b, mb

  •  

ΜΦ, μφ

mf

mf

ɱf

Ν Β, ν β

n v, n b

mv

ɱv, ɱb

Ν Κ, ν κ, ν κι, ν κε, ν κα, ν κια, ν κο, ν κιο,

ν κου, ν κιου

n k, n ki, n ke, n ka,      n kia, n ko, nkio,

n ku,  n kiu

ng, ngi, nge, nga, ngja,  ngo, ngjo, ngu, ngju

ɲɟi, ɲɟe, ŋga, ɲɟa, ŋgo, ɲɟo, ŋgu, ɲɟu

 

Ν ξ, ν ξ

n x

nks, ngz, gz

ŋgz, gz

Ν π, ν π

n p

n p, b, mb

b, mb

ΝΤ, ντ, ν τ

nt, n t, d*

nt, d, nd

d, n͡d, nd

  •  

Ν ψ, ν ψ

n ps

n ps, nbz, bz

bz,  mbz

Ν χ, ν χ, ν χι, ν χε, ν χα, ν χια, ν χο, ν χιο, ν χου, ν χιου 

n h, n ch

nkh, n(k)hj, n(k)hji, n(k)hje, nkha n(k)hja, nkho n(k)hjo, nkhu n(k)hju

ŋx, ɲç, ɲçi, ɲçe, ŋxa ɲça, ŋxo ɲço, ŋxu ɲçu

ΣΒ, σβ

sv

zv

zv

ΣΓ, σγ, σγι, σγε, σγα, σγια, σγο, σγιο, σγου, σγιου

sg, sgi, sge, sga, sgia, sgo, sgio, sgu, sgiu

zgh, zghji, zghje, zgha, zghjia, zgho, zghjio, zghu, zghju

zɣ, zʝi, zʝe, zɣa, zʝa, zɣo zʝo, zɣu, zʝu

ΣΔ, σδ

sd

zdh

ΣΜ, σμ

sm

zm

zm

ΣΡ, σρ

sr

sr, zr  (rarely)

sr, zr  (rarely)

Τ Β, τ β

t v

dv

dv

Τ Γ, τ γ

t g

dgh

dɣ, dʝ

Τ Δ, τ δ

t d

ddh

ΤΖ, τζ

tz

dz

d͡z

ΤΣ, τσ, τς  

ts

ts

t͡s

Φ Γ, φ γ

f g

vgh

vɣ, vʝ

Φ Δ, φ δ

f d

vdh

Φ Ζ, φ ζ

f z

vz

vz

Χ Δ, χ δ

h d, ch d

ghdh

ɣð

Χ Ζ, χ ζ

h z, ch z

ghz

ɣz

h

-

-

 

  • Ι, ι, and diphthongs having same sound (in Modern Greek) when they are not stressed, are pronounced:

1. [j][ʝ] before another sound of vowel after the voiced consonants β, δ, ζ, ρ (e.g. καρδία (heart) [kaɾˈðia], καρδιά (heart) [kaɾðˈʝa,], βιoλί (violin) [vʝoˈli], μολύβια (pencils) [moˈlivʝa].

2. [hʝ, ç] after the unvoiced consonants θ, κ, π, σ, τ, φ, ψ (e.g, σπαθιά (swords) [spaθˈhja], κακιά (bad fem.) [kakˈhja], ποιος (who) [pˈhjos], σιωπή (silence) [shjoˈpi], κουτιά (boxes) [kutˈhja], σπίτια (houses) [ˈsˈpitça], ταψιά (cooking pans) [tapsˈça]), μοναξιά (lonelyness) [monaksˈça].

Excepted are Proper Names and words of Ancient (Literary) Greek. (e.g. Μάριος (Mario) [ˈmarios], νότιος (southern) [ˈnotios]), ποιότης (quality) [piˈotis].

  • Κ, κ, transliterated in c in Latin in terms of Grammar, while in k in terms of Pronunciation

  • Λ, λ, pronounced as dark l [ɫ] in north Greece, e.g. καλός (good) [kaˈɫos], αλλά (but) [aˈɫa]

  • ΛΙ, λι, pronounced [li] mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki whereas [ʎi] in the rest of Greece.

  • ΝΙ, νι, pronounced [ni] mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki and [ɲi] in the rest of Greece.

  • Ο, ο, is transliterated in u (in Latin), when at the ending of word (mostly proper name) (e.g.  Φώτιος, Photius, θρόμβος thrombus).

  • Σ, σ, sometimes is rendered in Latin as ss between vowels, e.g. Λάρισα, Larissa

  • Υ, υ, of Ancient Greek words (especially of the conjunction συν) is transliterated in Latin in  u, e.g.  συμβεβηκός sumbebekos

  • Υ, υ of ΕΥ, ΑΥ, ΗΥ, ευ, αυ, ηυ, is pronounced [v] when followed by sound of a vowel or voiced consonant  (α, β, γ (γγ, γκ), δ, ε (αι), ζ, η, ι, (οι, ει), λ, μ (μπ), ν, ντ, ο, ου, ρ, (τζ), υ, ω), and [f] when followed by unvoiced consonants (plosives or fricatives) (θ, κ, ξ, π, σ, τ (τσ, τς), φ, χ, ψ), or when at the end of a word.

  • In consonant clusters, the first consonant is influenced by the sound of the following consonant(s) and the second consonant is affected by the sound of the following vowel (e.g. Ισμηνη (Ismene) [izˈmini]) (see Assimilation)

  • ΓΚ, γκ, of Ancient Greek or of Scientific words is rendered in Latin as nc, or nk e.g. Αγκών Ancona, συγκοπή syncope

  • ΓΚ, γκ, is transliterated and pronounced [g] when a word starts with it.

  • ΜΠ, μπ, is transliterated and pronounced [b] when a word starts with it.

  • ΝΤ, ντ, is transliterated and pronounced [d] when a word starts with it.

  • Pronunciation: Foreign words including the sounds [g, ng, nk], [b, mb, mp] [d, nd, nt], which are used in Greek, are mostly pronounced as above by Greek native speakers (.e.g. Internet, Ιντερνετ [ˈi(n)dernet], Antony [ˈa(n)doni], Enter [ˈender]. Also Addio, Αντίο [a(n)ˈdio].

 

See also:

Greek Alphabet

Modern Greek grammar

Greek Phonology

Dialect of Chalkidiki

Broad and narrow transcription

 

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