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Alphabet and Pronunciation

The Greek alphabet is comprised of 24 letters: Α α, Β β, Γ γ, Δ δ, Ε ε, Ζ ζ, Η η, Θ θ, Ι ι, Κ κ, Λ λ, Μ μ, Ν ν, Ξ ξ, Ο ο, Π π, Ρ ρ, Σ σ/ς, Τ τ, Υ υ, Φ φ, Χ χ, Ψ ψ, Ω ω.

Let’s look at how each letter is pronounced.

Letter (Uppercase/Lowercase) Name Sound
Α α alpha [a]
Β β beta [v]
Γ γ gamma [gh/y]
Δ δ delta [dh] as in this
Ε ε epsilon [e]
Ζ ζ zeta [z]
Η η eta [i]
Θ θ theta [th] as in thing
Ι ι iota [i]
Κ κ kappa [k]
[g]
at the beginning of a word or before ν
Λ λ lambda [l]
Μ μ mi [m]
Ν ν ni [n]
Ξ ξ xi [ks]
Ο ο omicron [o]
Π π pi [p]
[b] at the beginning of a word or before ν
Ρ ρ rho [r]
Σ σ, ς* sigma [s]
Τ τ tau [t]
[d]
at the beginning of a word or before ν
Υ υ upsilon [i]
Φ φ phi [f]
Χ χ chi [kh]
Ψ ψ psi [ps]
Ω ω omega [o]
*ς is only used at the end of Greek words.

In addition, certain letter combinations create special sounds that you should memorize.

Vowel Combination Sound
αι [e] as in let
ει [i] as in green
οι [i] as in green
υι [i] as in green
ου [u] as in boot
αυ [af] before δ, θ, κ, ξ, π, σ/ς, τ, φ, χ, ψ
[av] everywhere else
ευ [ef] before δ, θ, κ, ξ, π, σ/ς, τ, φ, χ, ψ
[ev] everywhere else
Consonant Combination Sound
μπ [b] or [mb]
ντ [d] or [nd]
γκ [g] or [gk]
γγ [ng]
τς [ts]
τζ [dz]

Notice that while periods and exclamation points are written the same in Greek and English, question marks are written like semicolons (;) in Greek.