Pronouncing Ancient Greek

Baby beginning to speak Greek

This week I have completed a major overhaul of the Alphabet page at Now there are pronunciation examples for every letter in Modern Greek, Hellenistic Koiné, and Attic Greek. Most of these examples include an audio recording for clarity.

The audio recordings for ancient Greek use the reconstructed historical pronunciations. The Erasmian pronunciation is not included since it does not represent a well researched reconstruction of the actual pronunciation of Greek at any period.

Choose a letter below to see an example.

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω

Diphthongs and Digraphs

I have also added a section on diphthongs and digraphs. Where possible I have included recordings for these as well, but I do not have good recordings for all of them yet.

A diphthong is a pair of vowel sounds pronounced as a single syllable with the first sound gliding into the other.

A digraph is a pair of letters used to represent a single meaningful sound (phoneme).

Some of the pairs of letters below were true diphthongs in one historical period, but had become digraphs by another. In the case of αυ, ευ, and ηυ they were diphthongs in the classical period (Attic), but had become vowel/consonant pairs by the hellenistic era.

αι ει οι ου υι αυ ευ ηυ μπ ντ

I hope you find these materials helpful.

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