Gary Thirkell
Is there more than one way of writing in the Greek language? I've come across Greek written in two different ways.... 1. Using the Greek alphabet - e.g. Καλημέρα 2. Using the English alphabet - e.g. Kalimera, Yasas, Parakalo Now, obisouly 1. is the 'proper' way to write Greek. But what about 2? If I were to write to a Greek speaking friend this way, would they understand, or is it simply a method used by English people learning Greek to more easily grasp the words? Thanks! :-)
May 23, 2010 11:07 AM
Answers · 2
Hi Gary, I guess 2. is just transliteration, which you must always take with a grain of salt. This goes for any language! The problem is, do you transfer the letters as faithfully as possible, eg. "giassou", which means you have to learn new phonetic rules ("gi"="y", not "j"), or do you write it as you hear it, eg. "yiassou"? I have seen it written both ways. To add to that, there are always letters which have no exact equivalent, eg. the psi, khi, and gamma. Don't trust the books, I needed a Greek friend to show me exactly how to pronounce the letters. My Greek friends do use the latin letters sometimes in chat, but it's more a visual approximation. Eg. they won't use "x" for "ks" sounds, but instead "3": "kali ore3i". And what we hear as "ne viveros" will be written as: "vai BiBepos". Confusing, isn't it? But I guess your Greek friend will show the same patience and understanding as we show English learners. Of course it's best to try using their alphabet, but if you're stuck with ours, try transliterating precisely (eg. "giassou") - that gives them a better chance at guessing I think! :)
May 23, 2010
The greeklish way (2) is used also by native greek speakers as a more convenient way to type using the default latin alphabet of our pcs and phones. It is a digital era phenomen highly criticized. On the other hand, there is a new trend called englisheek, the writing of all english words with greek letters (the exact opposite of the widespread greeklish). The most of us would understand a greeklish written sms or email but as you can imagine would be informal or even unacceptable.
June 18, 2014
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