Table 1:

The Letters

  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • Β,β – like v in vet (c)
  • Γ,γ – like wh in what (c)
  • Δ,δ – like th in the (c)
  • E,ε – like e in end (v)
  • Ζ,ζ – like z in zero (c)
  • H,η – e in be (v)
  • Θ,θ – th in therapy (c)
  • Ι,ι – i in in (v)
  • Κ,κ – c in cat (c)
  • Λ,λ – l in lemon (c)
  • Μ,μ – m in mum (c)
  • Ν,ν – n in not (c)
  • Ξ,ξ - x (ks) in lexicon (c)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Π,π – p in pot (c)
  • Ρ,ρ – r in robber (c)
  • Σ,σ/ς – s like silk (c)
  • Τ,τ – t in tell (c)
  • Y,υ – i in hit (v)
  • Φ,φ – f (ph) in foot (c)
  • Χ,χ – h in hat (c)
  • Ψ,ψ – ps (c)
  • Ω,ω – o in got (v)

Separating the vowels (v) from the table 1

  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • E,ε – like e in end (v)
  • H,η – e in be (v)
  • Ι,ι – i in in (v)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Y,υ – like i in hit (v)
  • Ω,ω – like o in got (v)

Separating the consonants (c) from the table 1

  • Β,β – like v in vet (c)
  • Γ,γ – like wh in what (c)
  • Δ,δ – like th in the (c)
  • Ζ,ζ – like z in zero (c)
  • Θ,θ – th in therapy (c)
  • Κ,κ – c in cat (c)
  • Λ,λ – l in lemon (c)
  • Μ,μ – m in mum (c)
  • Ν,ν – n in not (c)
  • Ξ,ξ - x (ks) in lexicon (c)
  • Π,π – p in pot (c)
  • Ρ,ρ – r in robber (c)
  • Σ,σ/ς – s like silk (c)
  • Τ,τ – t in tell (c)
  • Φ,φ – f (ph) in foot (c)
  • Χ,χ – h in hat (c)
  • Ψ,ψ – ps (c)

Table 2:

There are double vowels (dv) which mean that two vowels from table 1 sound like one:

  • ει (ei) – like i in hit (dv)
  • οι (oi) – like i in hit (dv)
  • αι (ai) - like e in bet (dv)
  • ου (ou or oy) - like oo in foot (dv)
  • αυ (au or ay) – like af in after or av in avenue (dv)
  • ευ (eu or ey) – like eph in ephetic or ev in ever (dv)

Table 3:

There are double consonants (dc) which mean that two consonants from table 1 sound like one hard consonant:

  • μπ (mp) – like b in bat (dc)
  • ντ (nt) – like d in dog (dc)
  • γκ (gk) – like g in god(dc)
  • τζ (tz) – like j in jacket (dc)
  • τσ (ts) – like ch in chain (dc)

How to use the tables to pronounce a word

1. First of all, you need to be able to recognize the double consonants and double vowels. Be careful because there are cases where you can see two vowels in a row or two consonants in a row but they are not in the categories of the double vowels or double consonants. That is why you have to know which the double letters are.

Example:

  • μπήκα= I entered -> double consonant μπ from table 3
  • πληγή = the wound -> two consonants in a row πλ but not double consonant, they are pronounced separate from table 1
  • φίλοι=friends -> double vowel οι from table 2
  • φιλία=friendship -> two vowels in a row ια but not double vowel, they are pronounced separate from table 1

2. When you see no double vowels or double consonants visit the first table.

Example: Εκάτη=Hekate: go to table 1 and find the letters:

  • E,ε – like e in end (v)
  • Κ,κ – c in cat (c)
  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • Τ,τ – t in tell (c)
  • H,η – e in be (v)

3. Double consonants rule: they always sound like one sound. NEVER separate the sound which means that once you find a double consonant you always go to the table 3 with the double consonants.

Example: Έμπορος = merchant

  • E,ε – like e in end (v)
  • μπ (mp) – like b in bat (dc)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Ρ,ρ – r in robber (c)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Σ,σ/ς – s like silk (c)

4. Double vowels rule: they always sound like one sound. The only way that the double vowels sound separately is when there are two dots between these vowels (αϊ,αϋ,οϋ). In this exception, they sound separate, like they are two letters, not like one which means that we have to go to table 1. However, we will see below how they sound:

  • αϊ – like ye in bye / Α,α – like a in at (v), Ι,ι – i in in (v)
  • αϋ – like ye in bye / Α,α – like a in at (v), Y,υ – like i in hit (v)
  • οϋ – like oi in voice / Ο,ο – o in hot (v), Y,υ – like i in hit (v)

Examples: Ουρανος = sky, heaven

  • ου (ou or oy) - like oo in foot (dv)
  • Ρ,ρ – r in robber (c)
  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • Ν,ν – n in not (c)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Σ,σ/ς – s like silk (c)

Γαϊδαρος=donkey

  • Γ,γ – like wh in what (c)
  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • Ι,ι – i in in (v)
  • Δ,δ – like th in the (c)
  • Α,α – like a in at (v)
  • Ρ,ρ – r in robber (c)
  • Ο,ο – o in hot (v)
  • Σ,σ/ς – s like silk (c)

--There is still something else about the pronunciation; the duration of the vowels. However this would make the article too complicated. Some of the duration details have been covered in some previous articles about language.

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