How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases

Υα! Hi

Φίλε μου male friend

Φίλοι μου friends mixed

Φίλη female friend

Τι κανείς? How are you? literally what are you doing?

Τι κανείς μωρε? What are you doing mate?(jokily)

Εισας καλά? Are you alright?(jokily)

Που πάμε? Where have you been/what have you been doing? (Depends on context)

Πάμε! Let’s go!

Τι νέο? What’s new?

Έλα ρε! Come on now mate!

Έλα τωρα! Come on now!

Τι κριμα! What a pity!

Να ´στε καλά Be well!

Υιασυς Bye

Shop talk

Μπορεί να βοηθεια σας? Can I help you?

Ορίσετε Welcome (to our shop etc), here you are (give money for item etc)

Τι θελις? What do you want?(an alternative to how can I help you or in addition)

Ποσό κάνει How much?

Έχετε …. Do you have ….

Δεν έχει We don’t have (whatever you asked for)

Θέλω ένα …. I want ….

Ναι yes (can be polite in acknowledging you said something but still carry on with job and otherwise ignore you)

Ναι, ναι, ναι, Yes, Yes, Yes (Much more likely for them to do whatever you just asked)

Μάλιστα formal yes like employee to boss or meaning indeed

Restaurant talk

Έτοιμες Ready? (Asking If you have decided on what you want to drink/eat)

Πολύ νόστιμο Very tasty!

Κάλι ορίζει! Good appetite!

Άμεσος! Immediately (never happens and is more of a joke with English people)

Γριγορο Quickly (another joke)

Βειβαιους! of course (can be a joke)

Σίγουρα. Sure (not a certainty again)

Ακριβώς! exactly!

Κάτσε κάτω sit down

Φεύγω! Leave! (What you say when your bothered by animals, sellers slightly rude)

Being direct is not rude in Greece like it is in the UK. Hence you wouldn’t normally say I would like in Greece. They don’t stand on ceremony as the saying goes meaning they are quite informal when shopping. They do however like to chat which is why the tasks are completed with as few words as possible leaving space, time and energy for conversation in order to revitalise them throughout the working day. It’s very hot right now so conservation is key.

These posts are very useful to remind me how much I have learnt, improve my confidence and spelling. It’s also to try to anchor this into my brain so I use it in conversation in daily life. Also it’s because I can’t sleep and prep work for my next conversation which failed last time.

  • My books to help you speak Greek
  • My posts to assist you in speaking Greek

    Best wishes



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    Athena Minerva

    A place for me to write about things that concern myself and the world around me. Please check out my page on Amazon after you have finished my blog or drop me a line at

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