Writing In Greeklish Or With Greek Letters?

greeklish or greek

When you learn to write Greek, you can start practicing in different ways. Writing messages, emails, social media, cards, notes… However, when you have no time to think of all the Greek lessons you had before, it is not always easy to come up with all the correct grammar structures and accents. Therefore, people sometimes use ‘Greeklish’ in informal situations. 

What is “Greeklish”?

Greeklish is when you write Greek with Latin characters. It is mainly used in informal Greek texts (email, messages, online comments), in other words, in environments where the use of the Greek alphabet is technically difficult or impossible. Non-Greeks or teenagers sometimes also prefer it, since it is easier to type on some computers or smart phones, and you do not have to bother about spelling mistakes or grammar rules in Greek.

I also use Greeklish…

As you might have noticed in my emails and articles, I many times also use Greeklish. Why?

First of all, I many times use Greeklish for those who are not that familiar with reading Greek but do know to speak it. Many foreigners living in Greece have learned to communicate in Greek, but never properly learned writing or reading Greek. For them, Greeklish is a solution and a way to communicate.

Secondly, I use Greeklish for social media texts, or for subject lines in emails since the Greek characters are many times not recognized by computer systems abroad, and therefore messages with Greek Characters in the subject lines easily end up in spam folders.

And last but not least, typing in Greek is not that easy if you are not used to it. It is easier for me to write Greek on paper than typing on a keyboard. I can type rather quickly when using the Latin characters, but when I need to type a text in Greek, it really goes very slow, and many times, I do not have the patience for that… Sorry!
Also, I named this blog “masaresi”, which is Greeklish for μας αρέσει – mas aresi , which means “we like it”! (Click here for a small Greek lesson)


Important to learn the Greek Alphabet

That being said, I still want to emphasize that it is important to learn the Greek alphabet at some point in your Greek language journey, so you will be able to read menus in taverns, street signs, etc. It is the only way to improve your Greek and get to a more advanced level. 
And there are some advantages of course; If you can read Greek, you will also know exactly how the word is pronounced, since every vowel that you need to “stress”  is written with a “stress – accent”. That way you will be able to pronounce the word correctly. 

Often words look very similar but mean something completely different. Here are some examples: 

ποτέ / πότε           
meaning: “never” / “when”

The only difference in pronunciation is that you “stress” another syllable, where you see an accent over the vowel. 

φιλάκι / φυλακή    
meaning “kiss” / “jail”

The only difference in pronunciation is that you “stress” another syllable, where you see an accent over the vowel.

η / ή   
meaning “the” (the definite article only for female nouns) / “or ”

Here, the pronunciation is exactly the same.

οι φίλοι / η φίλη 
meaning “the friends” (plural)  / “the (female) friend” (singular) 

The pronunciation is exactly the same.

In all the written examples above, you need to see the spelling in order to understand the meaning. 
In Greeklish those words would often be written in the same way, so you would not know where to “stress” or pronounce the word, nor would you know the exact meaning.

Knowing the Greek Alphabet and some grammar rules allows you to pronounce every word correctly and also to understand the different meanings. So… in case you do not know the Alphabet yet, do not wait, start learning it now!

Take a look at the Alphabet eBook, which teaches you everything you need, with video, audio, eBook, exercises…
Not only you will learn to pronounce and write the 24 letters of the Alphabet, but you will also learn the combination of the vowels, as well as the combination of the consonants.
You will get every tool you need to master reading, pronouncing and writing in modern Greek.


Also in some  eBooks and blog articles for Beginner levels in Greek, available on masaresi.com,  the vocabulary is written in Greek as well as in Greeklish:
For example:

Γεια μας  – [yia mas]  – Cheers

Χρόνια πολλά  –  [chronia polla]  – Happy Birthday / Happy Name Day

If you would like to start practicing, then this eBook has very useful and daily vocabulary, all written in Greek, Greeklish and translated into English, including an Audio file for the correct pronunciation.

Enjoy your Greek Language Journey!

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