Essential Greek for a Sailing Holiday

Sailing and scuba diving in Greece is both exhilarating and fun!

Communicating, even just a little, with the locals can make your experience even more memorable; and the Greeks are always appreciative of anyone who makes an effort. The further afield you go, the more it may be necessary to have a few phrases to communicate with the older generation or the people in more remote areas.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.

If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

― Nelson Mandela

The SailnDive crew are fluent in Greek and ready to help you in any situation. Meanwhile, here is a list of the most useful words and phrases for sailing in Greece; the spelling is phonetic:

Greetings and Salutations

1. Yásas/Ya – Hello/Hi and also Goodbye

2. Kaliméra – Good morning

3. Kaliníchta – Good night

4. Kalós Irthaté – Welcome

5. Kaló sas vríkamé – the answer to welcome (we find you well)

6. Ti kaneté?  – How are you ?

7. Eimé kalá, Isís ? I’m good , and you?

8. Kalá – Good

9. Endáksi – OK/Fine/Whatever

10. Milaté Angliká – Do you speak English?

11. Télos – It’s done!

12. Pollí Oréa – very nice

13. Pos se léne? – What’s your name?

14. Apo pu eisté – Where are you from?

15. Eimé apó….. – I am from…..

16. Óla Kalá? – Is everything ok? This also an answer. Yes everything is ok

17. Then katalavéno – I don’t understand

18. Neh – Yes

19. Óchi – No (the ‘ch’ is soft as in ‘character’)

20. Efharistó – Thank you

21. Parakaló – Please/It’s a pleasure/Excuse me

22. Signómi – sorry/excuse me

23. Na se kalá – may you be well

24. Sigá sigá – slowly/take it easy/there’s no rush but just one SIGA! Is Watch Out!

25. Ávrio – tomorrow

26. Kaló taxídi – Have a good journey

Boating Terms

1. Istiofóro – sailing boat

2. Paní– sail

3. Áeras/Ánemos – wind

4. Limáni – harbour

5. Petréleio – diesel

6. Ládi kinitíra – engine oil

7. Brostá – ahead

8. Písso – astern

9. Simadúra – Buoy

10. Voriá-Anatolí-Nótos-Díssi  –  North-East-South-West

11. Pixítha – compass (‘th’ as in ‘Then’)

12. Hártis – map

13. Kerós– weather

14. Kaló – good 

15. Polí– a lot/many/much/very

16. Vrohí– rain

17. Thálassa – sea

18. Kímata – waves

19.  Liminarhío – Port police

20. Asfáleia – insurance

21. Epikiróno – register

22. Éngrafa skáfous – boat papers

Useful greek phrases for sailing

1. Parakaló , boró na théso ethó? – (the ‘th’ as in ‘then’)  Can I moor here, please?

2. Póso makriá iné ya ……… far is it to?

3. Poso kostízi aftó?/ Póso Káni – how much does this cost?

4. Iné Vathía? – is it deep?

5. Parakaló, piáste toh skiní mu…please take my line

6. Pú boró na páro ….where can I get?

7. Parakaló , na plirósso?  Can I pay, please?

8. Pú einé …… – Where is…?

9. Póté – When

10. Ti óra..? – What time..?

Out and about

1. Pú borúmé na fame? – Where can we eat?

2. Ti sinistaté ? – what do you recommend?

3. Tha ithelé ena trapeze ya……. – I would like a table for….

4. Tha ithela na dthó to catalog – I would like to see the menu

5. Tha ithela na parangiló – I would like to order

6. Birá – Beer

7. Lefkó Krassí – white wine

8. Kokkinó Krassí – red wine

9. Glykó – sweet/dessert

10. Tó logarismó, parakaló – The bill, please.

Now you are ready to book that sailing charter holiday in Greece and get gabbing!

Do you sail in Greece? Feel free to share other phrases you’ve found useful in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!

Adapted from an article originally written by Merryn for

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