Language

Language

Ancient Greek was spoken everywhere in Greece but in different dialects from place to place. A common language was developed later between 300BC and 300AD. Modern Greek came later after the Byzantine era.

Greek language is very old and has a long history. It is also considered to be very difficult to learn. But today all visitors can manage very well in Crete, as nearly everybody speaks English and German.

However the locals will be happy if you approach them with a few Greek expressions:

Good morning / Good day : kalimera Bank : trapeza
Good evening : kalispera Thank you : efcharisto
Good night : kalinichta Please / welcome : parakalo
Hello : yiassas Water : nero
Yes : ne Wine : krasi
No : ochi Where is : pou ine

And this might help you read the signs on the road, as some of them are only written in Greek letters:

A α: alfa  H η: ita  N ν: ni  T τ: taf
B β: vita  Θ θ: thita  Ξ ξ: ksi  Υ υ: ipsilon
Γ γ: ghamma  I ι: yiota O o: omikron   Φ φ: fi
Δ δ: delta  K κ: kappa  Π π: pi  Χ χ: hii
E ε: epsilon  Λ λ: lamda  Ρ ρ: ro  Ψ ψ: psii
Z z: zita  M μ: mi  Σ σ,ς: sigma  Ω ω: omega
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