1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "ο ωκεανός"

"ο ωκεανός"

Translation:The ocean

September 2, 2016



Why is "the" spelled "o" here? Because the next word begins with a vowel?


In Greek there are three genders, so there are three definite articles.

  • ο (for singular masculine words)
  • η (for singular feminine words)
  • το (for singular neuter words)

  • οι (for plural masculine and femine words)

  • τα (for plural neuter words)

I hope that this helps. :-)


Well, you summed it up about perfectly. Thanks fam :)


What are the indefinite articles in Greek?


The indefinite articles in Greek are:

  • ένας (m)
  • μία (or μια) (f)
  • ένα (n)

They have no plural. :-)


Just like the Turkish Okyanus


and in latin it sounds just like that. oceanus, which is also the titan of the seas borders in roman and greek mythology.


couldn't "το θαλλασα" also mean ocean


As far as I know, θάλασσα is generally translated as 'sea', not 'ocean'. Of course sea and ocean are often used interchangeably (though according to the google search I just did a sea is technically smaller and often partially enclosed by land). In any case it would sound weird to say the Pacific Sea or the Red Ocean.

I don't know if the same distinction exists in Greek, but if so that's probably why θάλασσα is not accepted here.

On a side note, the correct gender is η θάλασσα :)


In Ancient Greek, there was only one Ocean which was conceived of as encircling all land. η θάλασσα was a body of water surrounded by land. Obviously modern geography changes the concepts somewhat, but my guess would be that they are not interchangeable in the way some English speakers do.

I am attempting an answer because there has been no reply for a month: obviously modern Greek speakers please correct me if necessary!


The first ocean was the Greek flood Ωκεανός around the circle of the earth. Today there are 5 oceans. These are in descending order by area:

the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic) and Arctic Ocean

ο Ειρηνικός, Ατλαντικός, Ινδικός, Ανταρκτικός (Νότιος) και Αρκτικός (Βόρειος) Ωκεανός

Very much like Hecataeus (550-476 BC) world map https://el.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%91%CF%81%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%BF:Hecataeus_world_map-grc.svg


So Greek does not mind two vowels together like here?


Wondering the same - should there be a glottal stop between article and noun?


Why is the beginning of the word stressed when the accent mark is on the "o" at the end of the word?

  • 8

The beginning of the word sounds stressed because the text-to-speech (TTS) audio available is not very good (I checked the individual word audio as well, the first syllable sounds too stressed). Check here, the audio result is a lot more natural.

Regardless of TTS, when the first syllable is the same with the article vowel you might get a false stress effect. But not as it sounds here, it's more of a long vowel, slightly more stressed than the next unstressed syllable.


is there a links with the god "Ouranos" god of the sky and see ?


Okeanos (=ocean) is one of the 12 Titans, the children of Gaia (=earth) and Ouranos (=sky). (according to Hesiod)


BTW, Ouranos is better known in English as Uranus (which is Latin).


Why ο ωκεανός instead of ο οκεανός?


Greek has historic orthography. In ancient Greek όμικρον/ small O denoted a short O and ωμέγα/ great O denoted a long O.


Until you wrote it, I didn't get it was o "micro (small)" and o "mega (big)"...

The hardest things to see are the things you see all the time.

Thanks for doing that!


I have never heard anyone in Greece say ο ωκεανός, they usually say θαλλασα.


Maybe because Greece is surrounded by "θάλασσες"., or do your Greeks say η Ατλαντική Θάλασσα;;?*

  • 277

That's ok. We have no way of knowing what they are referring to but I bet they say "ο Ατλαντικός Ωκεανός" the Atlantic Ocean" and "ο Ειρηνικός Ωκεανός" "The Pacific Ocean" etc.


so ocean sounds like "Oak-ian-os"?


"εα" isn't in the list of explained diphthongs for this lesson. Is it pronounced like the German word "ja"?


EA is always in two different syllables and therefore not a diphtong: ω-κε-α-νός. It is pronounced with the two vowel sounds ε+α, (German e + German a, and no German consonant sounds like εα

Diphtong < δίφθογγος, δι < δύο=2 and φθόγγος=sound, tone or two vocal-sounds (become one)


I put omicron ocean and it said I was wrong. :( Please help me understand

  • 8

Hello! I understand how you might think that. However, this phrase introduces the definite masculine article, which is ο, rather than being one of the phrases teaching the alphabet. The letter omicron is itself the masculine article (in nominative case, in singular). Similarly the letter η is the feminine definite article. Check the comments in this very discussion, there is a post that lists all the articles, definite and indefinite and be sure to check the Tips and notes section under most lessons (Tips and notes are available only on the desktop website version, not the apps or the mobile version unfortunately).
The first skill can be a bit tricky to get through and will be changed with the new version of the course, so please try to persevere and get to the next part of the course. We're here for help, just remember that checking the comments first usually gives you the answer you're looking for. Also have a look at the sticky notes for guidance, resources and suggestions. Welcome to the Modern Greek course! :)


Yes. When the lower-case sigma is the last letter it is written ς. The upper-case sígma is always Σ: ΩΚΕΑΝΟΣ


Yes and no, if it is at the end of a word it's a ς.


I'm loving to study greek, but I feel some stressed having to turn the keyboard configuring at each new question. Is there any way to turn the keyboard from english to greek and viceversa not using the mouse? Thanks


If you are on Windows 10, you could try pressing the Windows button + the space bar at the same time to switch to a different keyboard layout.

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.