This page allows you to easily type Modern Greek alphabet letters without a Greek keyboard. You can edit your text in the box and then copy it to your document, e-mail message, etc.
Hmm an ad should be here, but it didn’t load. Help Press the key which sounds like the Greek character you want to type. Alt and press U one, two or three times. Enter to turn the Greek layout on and off. Stop the mouse over each button to learn its keyboard shortcut. Press the key which sounds like the Greek letter you want to type. Point at a button to see its shortcut.
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This online Greek keyboard is designed for typing Modern Greek, not Ancient Greek letters. If you’re looking for an Ancient Greek keyboard, check out this one by Randy Hoyt. Box 346 Nottingham , NG8 5FX. Semitic alphabet by way of the Phoenicians, used from about the 8th century b. Greek, and forming the basis of many other scripts, including Latin and Cyrillic.
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Greek Alphabet Letters – Information about the Greek Alphabet Greek Alphabet letters are 24.
About the Greek Alphabet The Greek alphabet is a set of twenty four letters used to write and speak the Greek Language. The Greek alphabet is in use since the late 9th or early 8th century BC with some small differences. After all, the word alphabet itself derives from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet. Greek Alphabet Letters The 24 letters in the Greek alphabet are quite different from the letters of the Latin alphabet, despite the fact that the Latin alphabet is based on the Greek Alphabet. Diacritics to represent stress and breathings were added to the alphabet in around 200 BC.
These diacritics representing breathings were officially abolished by presidential decree in 1982, in order to make Greek language easier to write. Greek letters, but some of them are notably different. Letter gamma for instance is Γ,γ, while lambda is Λ,λ, mi is Μ,μ, ni is Ν,ν and omega is Ω,ω. In words with one syllable only, no accent mark is used.
The Greek alphabet has many different types of letters with the same sound. The same applies to “o”, which can be ο – omicron or ω – omega. Diphthongs in the Greek Language Diphthongs include combinations of vowels, which produce a certain sound. Gamma, in speech, which is more akin to a y sound. The Latin alphabet has some script letters that do not exist in the Greek alphabet, such as B, C, D, G, W, Q and J. Reading the Greek Alphabet In general, in Greek you pronounce whatever you read, the way you read it. The gender of letters in the Greek Alphabet During the byzantine times, the letter names were feminine nouns, preceded by the feminine article η.
Today, the letter names are neutral nouns preceded by the neutral article τo. When you are referring to a letter you use neutral gender and nouns. Writing in Greek Ancient Greeks used to write from left to right or right to left. This system was abandoned in ancient Greece once the alphabet was formed and established in the entire Greek region, but you can see it in the Inscription of the Law of Gotys. Today Greek is written from left to right. The article Drama and Theater by Dr.
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John Kalaras and the speech of Dr. Greek belongs to the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European language family, and is spoken by about 13 million people mainly in Greece and Cyprus, where it is an official language. Greek is also recognised as a minority language in parts of Italy, and in Albania, Armenia, Romania and Ukraine. Greek was first written in Mycenae with a script known as Linear B, which was used between about 1500 and 1200 BC.
This variety of Greek is known as Mycenaean. On Crete another script, known as the Cypriot syllabary, was used to write the local variety of Greek between about 1200 and 300 BC. The Greek alphabet has been in continuous use since about 750 BC. Phoenician alphabet and the order and names of the letters are derived from Phoenician. The original Canaanite meanings of the letter names was lost when the alphabet was adapted for Greek.
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The result was the world’s first fully phonemic alphabet which represented by consonant and vowel sounds. Status: official language of Greece, an official language of Cyprus, officially recognized as a minority language in parts of Italy, and in Albania, Armenia, Romania and Ukraine. At first, there were a number of different versions of the alphabet used in various different Greek cities. These local alphabets, known as epichoric, can be divided into three groups: green, blue and red. The blue group developed into the modern Greek alphabet, while the red group developed into the Etruscan alphabet, other alphabets of ancient Italy and eventually the Latin alphabet. By the early 4th century BC, the epichoric alphabets were replaced by the eastern Ionic alphabet. The capital letters of the modern Greek alphabet are almost identical to those of the Ionic alphabet.
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The minuscule or lower case letters first appeared sometime after 800 AD and developed from the Byzantine minuscule script, which developed from cursive writing. Today the Greek alphabet is used only to write Greek, however at various times in the past it has been used to write such languages as Lydian, Phrygian, Thracian, Gaulish, Hebrew, Arabic, Old Ossetic, Albanian, Turkish, Aromanian, Gagauz, Surguch and Urum. Around 500 BC the direction of writing changed to horizontal lines running from left to right. Diacritics to represent stress and breathings were added to the alphabet in around 200 BC.
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In 1982 the diacritics representing breathings, which were not widely used after 1976, were officially abolished by presidential decree. The letter sigma has a special form which is used when it appears at the end of a word. Ancient Greek alphabet This alphabet is based on inscriptions from Crete dated to about 800 BC. Greek was written mainly from right to left in horizontal lines at this time. It is uncertain what names were given to the letters, and some letters had more than one form. Greek numerals and other symbols The Ancient Greeks had two numeric systems: the Acrophonic or Attic system used the letters iota, delta, gamma, eta, nu and mu in various combinations. The Acrophonic system was replaced by an alphabetic system that assigned numerical values to all the letters of the alphabet.
Three obsolete letters, stigma, koppa and sampi, were used in addition to the standard Greek letters, and a apostrophe-like numeral sign was used to indicate that letters were being used as numerals. Hear a recording of the Greek alphabet by Vasiliki Baskos of learn-greek-online. Hear a recording of Modern Greek pronunciation by Vasiliki Baskos of learn-greek-online. When the sound is preceded by a voiced consonant and followed by another vowel, it becomes , e. When it is preceded by a voiceless consonant and followed by another vowel it is pronounced as , e. In both cases it is not stressed.
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A dieresis is used to indicate that vowels are pronounced separately, e. However, when the first of the two letters is stressed, the dieresis sign is not necessary, e. N turns into the corresponding nasal sound, e. Transliteration Óli i ánthropi yeniúnde eléftheri ke ísi stin aksioprépia ke ta dhikeómata. Translation All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. The history of the Greek alphabet starts with the adoption of Phoenician letter forms and continues to the present day. The Phoenician alphabet was strictly speaking one that was consistently explicit only about consonants, though even by the 9th century BC it had developed matres lectionis to indicate some, mostly final, vowels. The Greek alphabet was developed by a Greek with first-hand experience of contemporary Phoenician script.
Almost as quickly as it was established in the Greek mainland, it was rapidly re-exported, eastwards to Phrygia, where a similar script was devised. Most specialists believe that the Phoenician alphabet was adopted for Greek during the early 8th century BC, perhaps in Euboea. 750 BC, and they match Phoenician letter forms of c. Tradition recounts that a daughter of a certain Agamemnon, king of Aeolian Cyme, married a Phrygian king called Midas. This link may have facilitated the Greeks “borrowing” their alphabet from the Phrygians because the Phrygian letter shapes are closest to the inscriptions from Aeolis. 13th century, some for the 9th, but none of these are widely accepted. The Phoenicians who came with Cadmus—amongst whom were the Gephyraei—introduced into Greece, after their settlement in the country, a number of accomplishments, of which the most important was writing, an art till then, I think, unknown to the Greeks.
Herodotus estimates that Cadmus lived sixteen hundred years earlier, or around 2000 BC. He had seen and described the Cadmean writing engraved on certain tripods in the temple of Apollo at Thebes. Amphitryon dedicated me from the spoils of Teleboae. Herodotus estimated that if Scaeus, the son of Hippocoon was the dedicator and not another of the same name, he would have lived at the time of Oedipus. The three Fates created the first five vowels of the alphabet and the letters B and T.
It is said that Palamedes, son of Nauplius invented the remaining eleven consonants. Some ancient Greek scholars argued that the Greek alphabet should not be attributed to the Phoenician alphabet. In his book On the malice of Herodotus, Plutarch criticizes Herodotus for prejudice and misrepresentation. Furthermore, he argues that Gephyraei were Euboeans or Eretrians and he doubts the reliability of Herodotus’ sources. As for Aristogeiton, Herodotus puts him not forth at the back door, but thrusts him directly out of the gate into Phoenicia, saying that he had his origins from the Gephyraei, and that the Gephyraei were not, as some think, Euboeans or Eretrians, but Phoenicians, as himself has learned by report. Plutarch and other ancient Greek writers credited the legendary Palamedes of Nauplion on Euboea with the invention of the supplementary letters not found in the original Phoenician alphabet.
Plutarch goes further back to describe an older Greek writing system, similar as he attested to the Egyptian writing. The majority of the letters of the Phoenician alphabet were adopted into Greek with much the same sounds as they had had in Phoenician. Phoenician had foreshadowed the development of vowel letters with a limited use of matres lectionis, that is, consonants that pulled double duty as vowels, which for historical reasons occurred mostly at the ends of words. Upsilon was added at the end of the alphabet, perhaps to avoid upsetting the alphabetic order that was used in Greek numerals. All Phoenician letters had been acrophonic, and they remained so in Greek. Phoenician also had an “emphatic” consonant, ṭēth, which did not exist in Greek.
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The Phoenician consonants kaph and qōph represented sounds that were not distinctive in Greek—at most, they may have been identified with allophones determined by the following vowel. Phoenician had three letters, sāmekh, ṣādē and šin, representing three or probably four voiceless sibilant sounds, whereas Greek only required one. The letter now known as sigma took its name from sāmekh but its form from šin, while the letter San, which occurred in a few dialects only, took its name from šin but its place in the alphabet from ṣādē. In the 8th to 6th centuries, local or epichoric variants of the alphabet developed. The main distinction is in the supplemental signs added to the Phoenician core inventory. With the exception of the early Fayum alphabet, which does not fit into the tripartite scheme, all abecedaries add Υ to the Phoenician inventory. Greek had five short vowels and seven long vowels, but only five vowel letters.
As in Phoenician, the difference in length was not originally made in writing. The provenance of omega is not known, but it is generally assumed to derive from omicron with a line drawn under it. Ionic alphabet, after a proposal by archon Eucleides. Ionic dialects, but sometimes led to ambiguities in Attic, which had retained the sound. By about 200 BC, a system of diacritical marks was invented, representing the tone accents in use in Ancient Greek.
Greek orthography has never had a comprehensive way of indicating vowel length, and this distinction has in any case been lost in Modern Greek. The uncial script consisted of large upright letter glyphs, similar to those used in inscriptions on stone and to the modern uppercase glyphs. It was used mainly for carefully produced book manuscripts. From the mid-9th century AD onwards, the uncial script was replaced in book writing by a new writing style, the minuscule, which used more compact, rounded letter shapes and was partly based on the earlier cursive. Some punctuation began also to be employed.
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The iota subscript was employed from the 13th century onwards. Often, in medieval manuscripts, old uncial letter forms were mixed in with the normal minuscule letters for writing titles or for emphasizing the initial letter of a word or sentence. Like in Latin, this became the root of the modern innovation of letter case, the systematic distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters in orthography. The invention of printing saw the codification of a more fixed set of letter structures.
Greek handwriting made extensive use of ligatures with letters written differently depending on their place in the word. Greek pronunciation has also changed considerably since ancient times, but these changes have not been apparent from the orthography, which has remained conservative — see Greek alphabet for a summary of the current situation. The name “digamma” reflects its shape rather than its sound. The letters of the alphabet were used in the system of Greek numerals. The Old Italic and Anatolian alphabets are, like the Greek alphabet, attested from the 8th century BC.