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The ABCs of Greek - Learn the Greek Alphabet

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Learn the Greek Alphabet - the Greek Letters Pi, Rho, and Sigma
The greek letters Pi, Rho, and Sigma

Pi, rho, and sigma

If you stayed awake in math class, you'll recognize the letter "Pi". If not, it's going to take some training to reliably see it as "p" - especially since the letter that looks like "P" isn't. For architecture buffs, it looks like a small pylon gateway - which may help give you the "p" sound.

What is a "P" doing pretending to be an "R"? Generations of English-speaking students of Greek have wondered the same thing.

Now comes to one of the biggest problems - the letter "Sigma", which looks like a backwards "E" but is pronounced "s". To make matters worse, its lowercase form has two variants, one of which looks like an "o" and the other which looks like a "c", though that may at least give you a hint as to the sound.

Confused? It gets worse. Many graphic artists have seen the apparent resemblance to the letter "E" and routinely plop it in as if it were an "E" to give a "Greek" feel to lettering. Movie titles are particular abusers of this letter... even "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", whose creators should have known better.

Try this to help you remember this letter- "I See an E but I Say an Ess." Hang on, we're almost through here.

Go on to the next three letters of the Greek alphabet.

You can also have some fun practice on some real Greek roadsigns. Click through to see a sign in the original Greek, make your guess, and then see if you were right on the next page.

Learn More Greek:

Learn to Say Hello in Greek
More Greek Phrases
Say "Happy Easter" in Greek
Christmas and New Year's Greetings in Greek
Count to Ten in Greek

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