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The charts below show how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents the Ancient Greek (AG) and Modern Greek (MG) pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. The Ancient Greek pronunciation shown here is a reconstruction of the Attic dialect in the 5th century BC. For other Ancient Greek dialects, such as Doric, Aeolic, or Koine Greek, please use |generic=yes. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Ancient Greek phonology and Modern Greek phonology for a more thorough look at their sounds.

IPA AG MG Example English approximation
c κ κιόλας[2] skew
k κ κατά[3][2] scar
χ χάρτης[2] car
x χ Scottish English loch, German Bach
ç χέρι[2] hue
j ι εη[4] toy yacht
ʝ γ γη[2] similar to yes
ɣ γάλα[2] Spanish amigo
ɡ γ again
ɟ άγγελος[2][5] argue
p π πέτρα[3] spy
φ φως paint
f φ four
v β, υ[6] βέλος vet
b β about
μπ μπαμπάς[5]
w υ παύω[4] well
t τ τάφος stay
θ θεός take
θ θ thought
ð δ δούλη the
d δ today
ντ εντάξει[5]
h ῾◌ ρως[7] hat
l λ λόγος look
ʎ λ ελιά million
m μ μοίρα mole
n ν ναι no
ɲ ν νιότη onion
ŋ γ άγχος sing
r ρ ώρα similar to American English autumn or Scottish rule[8]
ίζα similar to train
s σ, ς
ξ, ψ
σοφός, ψυχή, ξένος[3] between sip and ship (retracted)
z ζ, σ κόσμος, ζωή[3] between zone and genre (retracted)
Consonant clusters
ks ξ ξένος tax
ps ψ ψυχή lapse
t͡s τσ τσάι between cats and catch (retracted)
d͡z ζ τζ τζάκι between buds and budge (retracted)
Dialectal segments
IPA English approximation
ʃ ship
ʒ genre
t͡ʃ catch
d͡ʒ budge
æ cat
IPA Explanation
◌ː marks a consonant produced twice as long[1]
IPA AG MG Example English approximation
a α άρτος Australian English father
χώρ father
ɛː η ψυχή[9] bed
e ε[10] θεός bet
ει εἰμί[9][11] similar to bay but without the glide
i ι[9] ίδιος like neat
πίνω[9] like need
ɔː ω ἐγώ[10] talk (Irish or South African English)
o ω similar to chore (American English)
ο[10] οδός
ου μου similar to mood
u ου pool
y φύσις[9] similar to few, French tu
ψυχή[9] similar to fume, French juge
IPA AG MG Example English approximation
ai̯ αι αἴτιος, πάλαι, ψῡχαί[10] tie
αϊ[12] γαϊδούρι
au̯ αυ αὐτός[6] how
αου Νικολάου
ei̯ ει εἴη[9] hey
eu̯ ευ εὖ[6] Italian and Spanish neutro
εου Θέουτα
oi̯ οι οἶδα, λόγοι[9] toy
όι[14] κορόιδο
yi̯ υι υἱός[9] Yeast
aːi̯ δω, χώρ[15] No English equivalent
ɛːi̯ ς, ψυχ[9][15] No English equivalent
ɔːi̯ δή, λόγ[15] No English equivalent
IPA[16] AG MG Example Explanation
◌́ ´ γάλα ála] high tone
◌̌ ´ ἐγώ [eɡɔ̌ː] rising tone
` μν [men] mid tone
◌̂ γ ɛ̂ː] falling tone
ˈ ΄ άλλος [ˈa.los] stress
. syllable break


  1. ^ a b Ancient Greek had geminate consonants, pronounced longer than single ones, which may be transcribed by a double consonant letter ⟨ss⟩ or the length symbol ⟨⟩. Modern Standard Greek does not have geminate consonants, but some nonstandard dialects do.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h In Modern Greek, κ; γκ, γγ; γ; χ are pronounced as palatal [c, ɟ, ʝ, ç] before the front vowels [e i], and velar [k, ɡ, ɣ, x] in other cases.
  3. ^ a b c d ζ represented the cluster [zd] in Classical Attic, but it represents [z] in Modern Greek. In both Ancient and Modern Greek, σ is pronounced as voiced [z] before a voiced consonant.
  4. ^ a b c In Ancient Greek, a diphthong before a vowel was realised as a vowel and a double semivowel sequence: [jj, ww].
  5. ^ a b c d In Modern Greek, μπ, ντ, γκ, γγ are pronounced as prenasalised voiced stops [mb, nd, ɲɟ, ŋɡ] or voiced stops without nasalisation [b, d, ɟ, ɡ].
  6. ^ a b c In Modern Greek, υ, in αυ ευ ηυ, is pronounced as [f] before a voiceless consonant or at the end of the word and [v] otherwise. In Ancient Greek, αυ ευ ηυ were diphthongs [au̯ eu̯ ɛːu̯].
  7. ^ The rough breathing represented [h] before a vowel, and the smooth breathing ᾿ represented the absence of [h].
  8. ^ It may be an alveolar approximant [ɹ] between vowels, like English r, and is usually a trill [r] in clusters, trilled r like in Spanish, with two or three short cycles (Arvaniti 2007:15).
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j In Modern Greek, η, ῃ, ει, ι, οι, υ, υι all represent [i], but they were pronounced [ɛː, ɛːi̯, eː, ei̯, i(ː) oi̯, y(ː), yi̯] in Ancient Greek. The large number of vowel mergers into [i] is called iotacism.
  10. ^ a b c d In Modern Greek, ε, αι represent [e], and ο, ω represent [o]. In Ancient Greek, ε, ο represented [e, o], ω represented [ɔː] and αι represented the diphthong [ai̯].
  11. ^ In archaic and some dialectal Greek ⟨ει⟩ represented the true diphthong [ei̯] but in inter alia Attic Greek, [ei̯] and [eː] later merged into the latter hence ⟨ει⟩ is a spurious diphthong, i.e. it actually represents the monophthong [eː].
  12. ^ Also ⟨άι⟩ and sometimes ⟨άϊ⟩.
  13. ^ Also ⟨εϊ⟩ and sometimes ⟨έϊ⟩.
  14. ^ Also ⟨οϊ⟩ and sometimes ⟨όϊ⟩.
  15. ^ a b c In early Ancient Greek, ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ were diphthongs, but the second element [i̯] was lost soon after the Classical period, and they merged with ᾱ, η, ω.
  16. ^ The symbols used here for Ancient Greek pitch accent must be added as combining characters in some cases. Place the numeric character reference after the letter that on which the accent is to be put, press "Show preview" and copy the resulting accented character. ́ is the numeric character reference for combining acute tone mark (high tone), ̌ for combining caron (rising tone), ̂ for combining circumflex (falling tone).


  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007). "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art". Journal of Greek Linguistics. 8 (1): 97–208. doi:10.1075/jgl.8.08arv.

See also

External links