Jesus 8880
The Sacred Geometry Mysteries of Christianity

Greek Alphabet Pronunciation

The 7 Greek Vowels

The ancient Greek grammarians believed the seven vowels contained pnuema (spirit) or the "breath of life" because the sound of each vowel could be sustained as long as one had breath in his lungs. There are three types of vowels: long (H and W), dual (A, I, and Y), and short (E and O). In the Book of Revelation, there is some evidence that the seven Greek vowels were viewed as the "Seven Spirits-of-God."

Uncial
uppercase
Minuscule
lowercase
Name
Pronunciation
Comments
Uppercase Alpha "A"
lowercase alpha
Alpha
alfa
like the a in father
like the a in bat
The Greeks classified the two different a sounds as long and short.
Uppercase Epsion "E"
lowercase epsilon
Epsilon
eyilon
like the e in bet ehhh
Uppercase Eta "H"
lowercase eta
Eta
hta
like the e in they
"Aaayy" (long a) as said by the "Fonz" on the old TV show Happy Days
Uppercase Iota "I"
lowercase iota
Iota
iwta
like the i in machine
like the i in sit
the Greek long I is the English long E
Uppercase Omicron "O"
lowercase omicron
Omicron
omikron
like the o in rot short o, has kind of an "ahhh" sound
Uppercase Upsilon "U"
lowercase upsilon
Upsilon
uyilon
like the oo in deja vu
like the u in universe
youooo
Uppercase Omega
lowercase omega
Omega
wmega
like the o in no ohhh

The Seven Greek Diphthongs

A diphthong is two vowels that combine to make a single sound. The second vowel of a diphthong is always an iota (i) or an upsilon (u). In all other vowel combinations, the vowels are pronounced separately.

dipthong
pronunciation
ai
"eye" as in aisle
ei
"ay" as in freight
oi
"oi" as in foil
ui
"we" as in sweet
au
"ow" as in kraut or
"av" as in avenge
eu
"you" as in feud or
"ev" as in ever
ou
"oo" as in group

The 8 Semi-Vowel Consonants

The semi vowels are divided into two groups, single and double sound consonants. These letters have properties like the vowels because their sound can be sustained by a hum, purr, or a hiss. Virtually every single Greek word ends with a vowel or the following five pure-sound, semi-vowel consonants.

the 5 pure semi-vowel consonants

Uncial
uppercase
Minuscule
lowercase
Name
Pronunciation
Comments
Uppercase Lamda "L"
lowercase lamda
Lamda
lamda
like the l in lamb
Uppercase Mu "M"
lowercase mu
Mu
mu
like the m in me
Uppercase Nu "N"
lowercase nu
Nu
nu
like the n in new
Uppercase Rho "R"
lowercase rho
Rho
rw
like the r in more pronounced "hhrrr" with a hard h before the r - but the r can also be trilled
Uppercase Sigma "S"
lowercase sigma
lowercase ending sigma
Sigma
sigma
like the s in sing lowercase sigma regular sigma used anywhere but the end of a word
lowercase sigma final sigma is only used at the end of a word

the 3 semi-vowel double consonants

Some Greek words end with a x (ks) or a y (ps) but since the final sound in these double consonants is an "s" the final letter is still considered to be an "s."

Uncial
uppercase
Minuscule
lowercase
Name
Pronunciation
Comments
Uppercase Zeta "Z"
lowercase zeta
Zeta
zhta
like the "dz" in cords or adz zeta (dzeta) is a double consonant
Uppercase Xi
lowercase xi
Xi
xi
like the "ks" sound in tacks or tax xi (ksee) is a double consonant
Uppercase Psi
lowercase psi
Psi
yi
like the "ps" in lips psi is a double consonant

The 9 Mute Consonants

These letters are classified as mute because they can only be uttered for an instant ... their sound can not be sustained. They are divided into three subgroups. The aspirates Q, F, and X contain a small amount of breath or spirit because they possess the "h" sound (th, ph, ch). The intermediates B, G, and D have even less spirit because the "a" sound they emit lasts for just an instant. The inaspirates K, P, and T have no spirit at all because the sound of these letters have no vowel to help them "speak" ... only a short, explosive, mute burst of air. Some foreign proper names (like Gog and Magog) end in mute consonants.

Uncial
uppercase
Minuscule
lowercase
Name
Pronunciation
Comments
Uppercase Beta "B"
lowercase beta
Beta
bhta
like the b in bat the first consonant and second source name for the word alpha-bet
Uppercase Gamma "G"
lowercase gamma
Gamma
gamma
like the g in god the double gamma "gg" has an "ng" sound, like in king or triangle.
Uppercase Delta "D"
lowercase delta
Delta
delta
like the d in devil
lowercase theta
Theta
qhta
like the th in theology
Uppercase Kappa "K"
lowercase kappa
Kappa
kappa
like the k in kill
Uppercase Pi "P"
lowercase pi
Pi
pi
like the p in peek
Uppercase Tau "T"
lowercase tau
Tau
tau
like the t in taught
Uppercase Phi "F"
lowercase phi
Phi
fi
like the f in phone
Uppercase Chi "X"
lowercase chi
Chi (Khee)
ci
like the ch in loch a gutteral German "kh" sound like Aachen
never like the ch in chap

Greek Breathing Marks

Any Greek word that begins with a vowel is always accompanied by a little raised comma called a breathing mark. If the tail of the comma is to the right, the vowel is pronounced with an h-sound, which is called a rough breathing. If the tail is to the left, there is no h-sound, which is called a smooth breathing.

Example: The Greek word for sin (harmatia) is pronounced "har-ma-tee-a"

Rule of Thumb Pronunciation Guide

To pronounce a Greek word,
  • First, identify all the vowels in the word
  • Then, identify pairs of vowels that form diphthongs
  • Next, count each diphthong as one syllable, and every other vowel as another syllable
  • The total number of vowel sounds is the number of syllables in the word.
  • If the word begins with a vowel, look for the rough or smooth breathing mark
  • Pronounce the word syllable by syllable. A syllable begins with any consonant or combination of consonants that can begin a Greek word. A syllable ends with a vowel or with one of the five semi-vowel consonants (l,m,n,r,s) that can end a Greek word.
  • If the word has an accent mark, pronounce the whole word and stress the accented syllable.

Problems of Greek-English Transliteration

The decision of how to spell a foreign word in English so that it's native pronunciation is preserved is called transliteration. This is very difficult to do in English because English text does not produce phonetic results. For example, the letters in the words grove, move, and love all end with "ove," but the pronunciation of each word is very different. A lot of double vowels and dashes have to be used in order to approximate the sound of a Greek word. The internet involves even more complications because people do not have adequate Greek fonts installed on their browsers and operating systems.


Links
Institute of Biblical Greek - Four Major Conventions of Greek Pronunciation

Jesus 8880 Sacred Geometry Bible Study Publications
The Sacred Geometry Mysteries of Jesus Christ
Vol 1: The Gospels ... www.jesus8880.com
Vol 2: The Book of Revelation ... www.revelation2368.com
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Daniel Gleason, all rights reserved