Top Tips for Using Some Greek Language on Your Cyprus Holiday

One of the great things about holidaying in Cyprus is that English is taught as a second language in the schools from primary age upwards. You will discover that not only do the catering staff and shopkeepers speak it fluently, but all the road signs and place names are often as not written in both Greek and English.

This should come as no great surprise, however, once you remember that the Island was under British rule right up until August of 1960. The good news is that the Cypriot people still extend one of the warmest welcomes you will find anywhere in the world to British tourists along with visitors from all around the globe.

Joining in with the locals

It is well recognised that one of the quickest ways to “gel” with the locals is by speaking a few words of their own language. Whilst it may all “sound like Greek” to us, along with other languages, English takes many of its words from the original Greek. If you have seen the movie “My Fat Greek Wedding” you will already know that.

Joking aside, however, there is more than just an element of truth in the films rather jocular treatment of the subject and this article aims to equip you with a few words that are sure to enhance both your holiday and your Greek language repertoire.

Just a simple greeting

Virtually every conversation in Cyprus starts by saying ‘Hi” which is pronounced Yah-soo (person to person) or Yah-sas when addressing a group of 2 or more.

In the morning and right through to the early afternoon a simple “good morning” pronounced Kah-lee-mer-ah is accepted as the standard greeting and late afternoon and evening greetings of Kah-lee-sper-ah or just the standard Yah-sas or Yah-soo will get you by.

There is often a bit of confusion about the right way to say ‘good night” as the phrase Kah-lee-neekh-ta is only used when parting to go home to bed and not when welcoming guests.

Going a long way with only a few words

Tourists can rest assured that a few polite words will always go a long way with the friendly Cypriot people. Most of those working in the tourist areas are likely to be more than impressed by your efforts even if you start in Greek and finish off in English.

Just a few words and phrases listed below will be enough to get you by and they are certain to put a smile on the local’s faces.

  • Please or you’re welcome Para-kah-lor
  • Thank you Eff-ha-ri-stow
  • Yes Ne
  • No Oh-hee
  • Excuse me Sig-nome-ee

Picking up a few words of Greek language and practising on the locals can only add to the fun of your Cyprus holiday and you can be sure that your efforts will always be appreciated. Thanks to the liberal use of English on the island there is also a good chance that once the locals realise you are interested, they will be more than happy to help you out with a few new words of their own too.

Making the most of your Cyprus holiday

The really good news is that no matter what language you speak, Cyprus is the perfect destination no matter what kind of holiday you prefer. From history and culture to sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife, Cyprus is the place for families, couples, and groups to find them all.

A guarantee of 320 days of sunshine is your assurance of a sun and fun-filled Cyprus holiday, and that translates into a great experience whatever language you speak.


Here at Cyprus Sun Holiday Rentals we speak the language of great holidays so visit our site for more info or call us now on 00 357 2383 1194.

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