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Δίφθογγοι (thífthongi) – Diphthongs and double consonants in Greek

It is time to freshen up your reading skills! As you may have noticed, the Greek Language has either two vowels together or two consonants together which make the diphthongs and they have a specific way of pronunciation.  

Greek diphthongs composed of consonants 

Let us start with the consonants. There are five of them which one may encounter in the Greek Language:  

[b] / [mb] μπ, as in μπαμπάς (babás)  

[d] / [nd] ντ, as in ντίσκο (dísko) 

[g] / [ng] γκ, as in γκολφ (golf) 

[g] / [ng] γγ, as in σπαγγέτι (spaghetti)  

[ts] τσ, as in πίτσα (pizza)  

[dz] τζ, as in τζατζίκι (tzatzíki)  

Greek diphthongs composed of vowels 

As for the vowels, we have the following:  

[e] ε / αι, as in Ελένη, Αιμίλιος (eléni, emílios)  

[i] η / ι / υ / ει / οι / υι, as in Ηλίας, υγεία, οικονομία, υιοθετώ (ilías, ighía, ikonomía, iothetó) 

[o] ο / ω, as in Πολωνία (polonía)  

[u] ου, as in Ουκρανία (ukranía)  

[av] / [ev] αυ / ευ + κ, π, τ, φ, θ, χ, σ, ξ, ψ, as in αυτός, ευχαριστώ (aftós, efharistó) 

[af] / [ef] αυ / ευ + vowels, or the following consonants: β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, ρ, μ, ν, as in αυλή, Ευρώπη (avlí, evrópi) 

Now, try to read the following words for practice: τζάμι, φεγγάρι, επειδή, ευχή, Ουγγαρία, μπράβο