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Sunset at Naxos

Sunset time? Definitely time to say "Kalispera".

Definition: Kalispera is a common greeting used in the afternoon and evening in Greece. You'll hear it from taverna touters, friends, and older Greeks taking a "volta" or evening walk around the plateia or plaka, or town square. It's usually translated as "Good evening", but it starts being used well before dusk, in the later afternoon. Kalispera sas is a more formal greeting, to elders, guests, or persons deserving of respect.

Breaking it down, the actual word combines kali or "good" with "spera" or hope and actually means something close to "Good hope" or "Best wishes", but it is never translated this way, any more than the English "Goodbye" is translated as "God be with you", though that is the origin of that phrase.

Pronunciation: ka-lee-SPARE-uh

Common Misspellings: kalespera, calispera

Greek Letters: Καλησπέρα

Other similar greetings starting with a "Kali" sound include kalimera, kalinikta and kalomena.

Interested in Greek? Here's a quick and easy way to Learn the Greek Alphabet. 


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