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The Language

Greek is the main language of Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands. It is a beautiful language but a difficult one for English speakers to master by virtue of it having a completely different alphabet on top of the normal problems that come with learning languages. Additionally the grammar of the Greek language is even more complicated. The nouns are split into 3 genders each of them with their own different case endings in both singular and plural and each requiring adjectives and articles to match the case, number and gender.

Thankfully however you will not need to know Greek when you visit Kefalonia as nearly everyone will speak English. The tourism industry is the number one industry in Kefalonia and it is growing ever more popular as a holiday destination with Italians, French, Germans and the English, as well as the Greeks themselves. Because so many of the locals work in tourism and work in the resorts, English is essentially their second language and is spoken everywhere. (Because of the island’s close ties with Italy most locals also speak Italian too.)

That being said it is worth learning some important phrases and taking a phrasebook with you when you go. Firstly, it makes a good impression with the locals if you are at least trying to make an effort and speak their language and secondly if you do head out from the resorts and end up touring some of the little villages you will encounter older locals who do not speak English. In such cases you might want to have a phrasebook on hand in case you need to ask directions or get some help.

To get you started here are a few useful phrases:

Hello – yasa
Yes – ne
No – ohi
Sorry – sighnomi
Thank you – efharisto
Please – parakalo
How are you? – Ti kanete?
Good Morning – kalimera
Good Afternoon – herete
Good Evening – kalispera
Goodbye – andio
Goodnight – kalinihta
I’m all good thanks – kala efharisto
My Name Is- me lene.
What’s your Name? – pos sas lene
When? – pote?
Where is? – pou ine?
Do you speak English? – milate anglika?
I understand – katalaveno
I don’t understand – dhen katalaveno
How much? –  poso kani?

One – enas (m) mia (f) ena (n)
Two – dhio
Three – tris (m&f) tria (n)
Four – teseris (m&f) tesera (n)
Five – pende
Six – exi
Seven – epta
Eight – ohto
Nine – enea
Ten – dheka

Getting Around
Bus – astiko
Taxi – taxi
Train – treno
Boat – karavi
Plane – aeroplano
I would like – tha ithela.
A return ticket – isitirio me epistrofi
First class – proti thesi
What time does the (…) leave/arrive? – ti ora fevyi/ftani to .?
Asking for Directions
How do I get to? – pos tha pao sto/sti.?
In Front – prosta
Left – aristera
Right – dexia
Behind – piso
Straight ahead – efthia
Where is ? – pou ine..?
Is it near? – ine konda?
The Airport – to aerodromio
The Bus – to leoforio
The Train – to treno
The Station – o stathmos
The Ticket – to isitirio
The Restaurant – to estiatorio
The Police – I astinomia
In front – prosta
The Village – to horio
The Hotel – to xenodohio

Looking for Accommodation
Where is.?: pou ine..?
I’d like.: thelo ena
A good hotel: kalo xenodohio
Single: mono
Double: dhiplo
Room: dhomatio
The Main Town – I hora
The Village – to horio
The Hotel – to xenodohio
How much is it?: poso kani?
Is breakfast included?: symberilamvani ke pro-ino?
May I see it?: boro na to dho?
Is There A Room Available? – exete elefthero domatio?
With a sea view? – me thea thalassas?
Single Room – mono domatio
Double Room – diplo domatio
How Much Does it Cost Per Night? – Poso kostizei jia mia nihta?
For 5 Nights – jia pende nihtes
Is Breakfast Included? – simberilamvani kai proino?

Eating Out
Can I have … ? – boro na eho…?
I would like – tha ithela
What would you recommend? – Ti mas protinete?
Can I order a table for two at eight o’clock – Tha ithela na kliso trapezi jia dio jia appose, okto iora?
Can I have the bill please? – To logariasmo, parakalo?
What are you having to drink? – ti tha piite?
Greek Salad – horiatiki
Bread – psomi
Wine – krasi
White – lefko
Red – kokkino
Beer – bira
Sugar – zahari
Water – nero
Potatoes – patates
Pork – hirino
Meat – kreas
Beef – moshari
Goat – katsiki
Coffee – kafe
Tea – tsai
Without Sugar – sketo
Sweet – gliko
Without Milk – horis gala
With Milk – me gala

Open – anikto
Closed – klisto
Where is an ATM? – pou exi ATM?
Do You Take Credit Cards? – pistotikes kartes pernete?
Could you Wrap That? – borite na to tilliksete?
How Much is That? – poso kani
I like that – m’aresi afto
Do You Have…? – ehete…?
I want that – thelo afto
I don’t want that – den thelo afto
Is it made out of wood? – ine ksilino?
Is it hand made? – ine hiropiito?
Is it real leather? – Ine gnisio derma?
Is it a Greek product? – ine Elliniko proion?

Now – tora
Tomorrow – avrio
Today – simera
Tonight – apopse
Yesterday – hthes
What time is it? – ti ora ine?
It’s – ine
One o’clock – mia i ora
Seven thirty – efta ke misi
Food & Drink
Bread – psomi
Beer – byra
Milk – ghala
Water – nero
Tea – tsai
Chicken – kotopoulo
Cheese – tyri
Breakfast – pro-ino
Lunch – mesimvrino
Dinner – vradhyno