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It is time to start typing your Greek texts Posted by on Sep 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

Γεια σας! Do you like typing in Greek but are not familiar with the Greek keyboard yet? In this post, we will see how to type in Greek, even without a Greek keyboard. We will also see some rules about the use of the accent (τόνος) and the dieresis (διαλυτικά, two dots over a vowel).

This is the Greek keyboard:

 

Το ελληνικό πληκτρολόγιο (By Ourania Kyrkintanou)

 

Typing  Greek letters

If you do not have a Greek keyboard, there is no problem. Here is how you can use the English keys to type the Greek letters:

W: ς

R: Ρ ρ

Y: Υ υ

U: Θ θ

P: Π π

S: Σ σ

D: Δ δ

F: Φ φ

G: Γ γ

H: H η

J: Ξ ξ

L: Λ λ

C: Ψ ψ

V: Ω ω

B: Β β

N: Ν ν

E, T, I, O, A, K, Z, X, and M are the same in Greek.

 

final –ς: press W

Stress lower cases: press the semicolon key + Letter (vowel)

Stress upper cases:  press the semicolon key and then Shift + Letter (vowel)

Insert dieresis: Shift + Alt+ semicolon key and then press I or Y

Insert dieresis with accent: Shift +W +I or Y

Insert the Greek question mark: press Q

Insert the Greek semicolon: type 0387 and at the same time press left Alt and X.

Please note that the key U is the letter Θ θ on the Greek keyboard.  If you want to type  the Greek Υ, υ (ipsilon), press Y y.

 

By meineresterampe via Pixabay

 

About the accent

In modern Greek there is one accent. It does not affect the pronunciation but it is used  to denote that a syllable is stressed. It is placed only over vowels.

 

A. Only words with more than one syllable are can take  accent. Exceptions:

#1. ή: it means or.

Example: Ποιος είναι αυτός; Ο Πέτρος ή ο Παύλος; / Who is he? Petros or Pavlos?

 

#2. πού: when it means “where” in a question.

Example: Πού είναι τα παπούτσια μου; / Where are my shoes?

Που can also mean who, which or that. In this case, it is not stressed.

Example: Ο καφές που μου έδωσες είναι ζεστός. / The coffee (that) you gave me is hot.

 

#3. πώς: when it means “how” or in a question.

Example: Πώς σε λένε; / What is your name? (literally, how do they call you?)

Πως can also mean that and it is not stressed.

Μας είπε πως θα έφευγε νωρίς. / He told us (that) he would leave early.

 

 

B. When a word is written in upper cases, it is not stressed.

Example: ΦΑΡΜΑΚΕΙΟ (pharmacy), ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΕΙΟ (post office).

 

C. When the first letter is capital and must be stressed, the accent is placed on the left side of the letter.

Example: Άννα, Έλενα, Όμηρος.

 

D. When a syllable has a diphthong (two vowels), the accent is put over the second vowel.

Example: αλεπού (fox), αίθουσα (hall).

 

About the dieresis

A. We put the dieresis when we want to split a diphthong. We put it over ι or υ.

Examples: πεϊνιρλί (boat shaped pizza), παϊδάκια (lamb chops), προϋπόθεση  (condition, requirement). If we don’t use the dieresis, the diphthong will be read as one sound.

 

Πεϊνιρλί
By florianjuengermann via Pixabay

 

B. When the first letter of the diphthong is stressed, we don’t put the dieresis. We pronounce two different sounds.

Example: σόι (family), γάιδαρος (donkey)

 

C. When the second letter of the diphthong is stressed, we use the dieresis and we pronounce two different sounds.

Example: πολυθεΐα (polytheism)

 

I hope this post has been useful. Don’t be afraid to type in Greek, just keep practicing and after a while, typing will be an automatic process. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


Comments:

  1. Kyriakos:

    Thanks Ourania – I have been typing Greek for a while but learned some new tricks!
    You mentioned the monster word γάιδαρος with the accent 4 syllables from the end! I recommend this page for an amusing discussion of this anomaly: http://www.foundalis.com/lan/grstress.htm

    • Ourania:

      @Kyriakos Καλησπέρα, Κυριάκο, χαίρομαι που βρήκες το άρθρο χρήσιμο!
      Thank you for sharing this page. The author has made an excellent work! Just about the word φράουλα, the syllables are three: φρά-ου-λα.


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