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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo_Matrakas

Writing in Greek or Greeklish (Greek with Latin characters)

Last update: September 22, 2016

Hi!!! The last few days many learners have asked us about Greeklish. I would like to clarify some things about it.

  • The alphabet of the course is the Greek alphabet, which is the official alphabet of the Greek language

  • In some courses, such as the Russian or the Ukrainian, Duolingo has activated the transliteration mode feature, therefore users can learn these languages using either Cyrillic or Latin letters.

  • In Greek and Hebrew Duolingo hasn't activated this feature (at least yet). We asked the staff some days before Beta release and this was the answer: We haven't scheduled work yet. It will take time as our engineers have their plates full, but we will put it on our list. We will go ahead and release into beta even without the latin characters for now.

  • Many learners can't use the Greek keyboard! We have added some links with instructions below. For online Greek keyboards click here and look at the 'Greek Keyboard' section.

  • As the transliteration mode feature is not activated yet, we have started to transliterate sentences in Greeklish manually. We will transliterate ONLY the best Greek translations in each sentence, but this will last some months if it is to transliterate all Greek sentences. We are planning to implement language rules automatically. We are discussing this with the Duolingo staff and this is the reason why there is no progress on manual transliteration the last days.

  • If you have problem with your Greek keyboard and want to transliterate a Greeklish sentence to Greek use this online converter following the letter rules of the site---> gr.transli.cc

The best way to learn a language is by using the alphabet of that language. However, to make your experience on the Greek course easier and more enjoyable we are providing two methods to choose from to write your answers.

HOW TO ADD THE GREEK ALPHABET TO YOUR KEYBOARD

Here are some links to easily convert your keyboard to enable you to use both Latin and Greek characters as you need. We have found these easy to install and simple to use. If you have any other links please share them with the community.

Windows.

Support Microsoft

Wikihow

Conversation Exchange

For Mac

For those who prefer to use only Latin characters we will accept the best translation of each sentence in Greeklish. This is a screenshot of how it works:

These are the sentences that will be considered correct. As you can see the transliteration to luludi ke to pop [korn/corn] will be considered correct, but the transliteration to anthos ke to pop corn will be considered wrong.

GREEKLISH LETTERS

Greeklish has two main subversions. The Phonetic Greeklish (the Greeklish letters are very close to the sound of the equivalent Greek letters e.g η is i, θ is th, ει is i, ω is o) and the Symbol Greeklish (the Greeklish letters in this version are similar with the equivalent Greek symbols e.g. η is h, θ is 8, ει is ei, ω is w). We have adopted Phonetic Greeklish, because it is preferable for teaching purposes, although Greek speakers use mainly Symbol Greeklish.

These are our transliteration rules:

  • Letter α ---> a
  • Letter β ---> v
  • Letter γ ---> g
  • Letter δ ---> d
  • Letter ε ---> e
  • Letter ζ ---> z
  • Letter η ---> i
  • Letter θ ---> th
  • Letter ι ---> i
  • Letter κ ---> k
  • Letter λ ---> l
  • Letter μ ---> m
  • Letter ν ---> n
  • Letter ξ ---> ks
  • Letter ο ---> o
  • Letter π ---> p
  • Letter ρ ---> r
  • Letter σ / ς ---> s
  • Letter τ ---> t
  • Letter υ ---> i
  • Letter φ ---> f
  • Letter χ ---> h
  • Letter ψ ---> ps
  • Letter ω ---> o
  • ει ---> i
  • οι ---> i
  • αι ---> e
  • ου ---> u
  • μπ ---> b
  • γγ ---> g
  • ντ ---> d
  • αυ ---> av OR af depending on the letter that follows.
  • ευ ---> ev OR ef depending on the letter that follows.

Only the above transliterations will be accepted.

SKILLS WHERE GREEKLISH IS ACCEPTED AT THE MOMENT

  • ABC, Basics 1, Basics 2, Phrases, Food, Animals 1

We are still working on Greeklish and it will last few months. This post will be updated every time we add Greeklish in more skills. ONLY the best translations of each sentence will be transliterated into Greeklish, therefore it is better to type in Greek. We are planning to implement language rules automatically. We are discussing this with the Duolingo staff and this is the reason why there is no progress on manual transliteration the last days.

Η Ελληνική ομάδα

September 5, 2016

115 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

It seems to me that an essential part of learning a language is to learn its alphabet and how to read and write it. There might be some rationale for skipping this if you were learning conversational Greek but for a course which is largely based on reading and writing it seems to me to be indispensable.

After all, if you visit Greece there will be no handily transliterated signs, they will of course all be in Greek. Furthermore, if you are struggling with using a language in real life, it can be useful to have a notepad to write things down, such as names of hotels, addresses or prices, it goes without saying that in Greece, they will be written in Greek.

Because of this I have written a step by step guide to installing an on-screen Greek keyboard on an Android device, which will hopefully be helpful to at least some of my fellow learners.

For anyone using an Android tablet it is possible to convert the native keyboard to Greek very simply by downloading the Greek language package and then toggling on the world icon. In addition, there are any number of Greek keyboards available in Google Play Store some free and some paid. My preferred keyboard is the Google keyboard app, which has a huge choice of languages available including Greek. As with the native keyboard the on-screen keyboard shows the Greek letters and is easy to use.

To download the language package for Greek, proceed as follows:,

1/ Go into settings,

2/ Click on General,

3/ Click in language and input,

4/ Click on the settings wheel at the far left of the chosen keyboard,

5/ Click on available languages,

6/ Select Greek.

Return to your keyboard. You will now have both English and Greek installed

To swap between languages when using the keyboard (starting in English) :

Click on the world icon next to the space bar,

This will change the keyboard layout from English to Greek.

To revert to English repeat the process.

You can now toggle easily between the two layouts and scripts. Note, if you have more than one additional language installed you will initially need to go through all of them to locate Greek, however, once you have begun the keyboard will just toggle between the two languages you are using.

I have found that the Google keyboard is the most user friendly but there is an element of personal choice involved.

Edit. Note that I am not referring to using the app which does not yet offer Greek but using Duolingo in the browser of your tablet. I find Chrome works well but Duolingo will work on any Android browser.

I have also posted this guide as a reply to Jaye16's list of resources.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LAQ318433

Thank you so much! I have been struggling with accessing an online language tool which took a lot of the fun out of my Duolingo sessions. This is brilliant and I am sure will reinforce my learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/em7ec

The thing is, it's simply MUCH easier to learn the Greek alphabet than to learn the Modern Greek system of romanization. And if you know any Ancient Greek (as several of the learners here seem to), trying to do "Greeklish" will simply be unnecessarily confusing -- for example, και as ke and η as i rather than e. This of course makes sense as reflecting the modern pronunciation, but will just be confusing if you already know or plan to learn Ancient Greek.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/em7ec

Also, if you're doing Ancient, note that most of the keyboards you may already be using for Ancient Greek (e.g. Tavultesoft Keyman) will not necessarily work properly for this course: the keys are placed differently, so even if the output is the same, the underlying code seems to be different (e.g. on Keyman, pushing Y will output ψ, while this course reads it as υ, which is what Y outputs to on the Windows Greek keyboard.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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HOW TO ADD THE GREEK ALPHABET TO YOUR KEYBOARD

These are a few we find easy to install and to use. If you have others please share them with the community. If you encounter problems let us know so we can inform others.

Windows: Click here-> includes screen shots

Click here-> windows keyboard

Click here->wikihow

Click here->exchange

Mac:

Click here->wikihow

Check out the other comments on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

For anyone using an Android tablet it is possible to convert the native keyboard to Greek very simply by downloading the Greek language package and then toggling on the world icon. In addition, there are any number of Greek keyboards available in Google Play Store some free and some paid. My preferred keyboard is the Google keyboard app, which has a huge choice of languages available including Greek. As with the native keyboard the on-screen keyboard shows the Greek letters and is easy to use.

To download the language package for Greek, proceed as follows:,

1/ Go into settings,

2/ Click on General,

3/ Click in language and input,

4/ Click on the settings wheel at the far left of the chosen keyboard,

5/ Click on available languages,

6/ Select Greek.

Return to your keyboard. You will now have both English and Greek installed

To swap between languages when using the keyboard (starting in English) :

Click on the world icon next to the space bar,

This will change the keyboard layout from English to Greek.

To revert to English repeat the process.

You can now toggle easily between the two layouts and scripts. Note, if you have more than one additional language installed you will initially need to go through all of them to locate Greek, however, once you have begun the keyboard will just toggle between the two languages you are using.

I have found that the Google keyboard is the most user friendly but there is an element of personal choice involved.

Edit. Note that I am not referring to using the app which does not yet offer Greek but using Duolingo in the browser of your tablet. I find Chrome works well but Duolingo will work on any Android browser.

Edit. I have posted this separately on this page as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toddy48658

OK I did all this and it works fine but how do you input characters with accents ? Lots of my answers come back 'almost correct' because I leave them off. Gratefull for any help. I'm on Windows 10


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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Hi and welcome to the Greek for English course. You say you "did all this" which I'm assuming means you now have the Greek keyboard.

To write the accent on a letter you do this: on the Greek keyboard, hold down the English semicolon ; (on the right of the L), at the same time type the letter you want. All done. :-)

You should also know that words are not rejected because they do not have accents. If you write: μαμα instead of μαμά Duo will accept it but tell you "Almost correct".

Hope this help and best wishes. We are here for any other questions you have.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annwitbrock

How did you get Greek Duolingo to run on your tablet? It is only available on desktop for me. Not listed on tablet among my other languages. Not sure I can add any more keyboards on the tablet though:-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

@annwitbrock I use Duolingo on the browser of my tablet, not the app I very rarely use the app for anything. I use Chrome myself but Duo will run in any Android browser.

What makes you think you can't add another keyboard to your tablet? If you let me know what the problem is I might be able to help you as there should be no problem adding additional keyboards from Google Play Store. Let me know if you think I can help. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annwitbrock

I already have too many keyboards on the tablet. It only takes 4 or 5. I didn't think of using the browser (and it has been very unstable recently). The app is pretty good on the tablet, but I miss being able to refer to the grammar sections and browsing the vocab lists. Browser is a good call. Will remember I still have that option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

@annwitbrock I am glad you have been successful in adding the keyboards and had a good play with the various options. I find that resisting the temptation to add Azerbaijani or Thai just because I can is almost overwhelming but you're right, it is so much better to have all the languages easily accessible and it gets easier to use with practice of course.

As for browsers as far as I know Duo will run on any Android browser not just Chrome, so if you are running out of space you could almost certainly use the native browser, or whatever browser you are currently using.

My streak has very little to do with discipline, I have the coach set to 1, which means that if I am very tired, or the Internet is unreliable etc, all I need to do is one quick lesson and the streak continues. The actual number of days is one of those things, one day follows another and before you know it you have a long streak but as a matter of fact, it is quite short compared to some people who have streaks a year longer than mine. I also always have a streak freeze enabled just in case. :-)

The reply button always disappears after a certain number of replies but as you have seen, using the last reply button in that conversation works just as well.

It sounds as if you're on the right track now anyway but do feel free to come back to me if you think I can help you further. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

@annwitbrock I use Chrome and it is generally very stable. I think all browsers have their "funny five minutes" but overall, I've found it to be the most stable of the lot.

If you don't mind me asking, why do you have so many keyboards? I only have 3 ... the native keyboard, Google keyboard and a bluetooth physical keyboard.

I currently have 15 languages enabled on both the Google keyboard and the blutooth one. The native one, like yours has a much more limited number of language options.

Just as a matter of interest, I am currently writing this on my Android tablet, using the Chrome browser.

Let me know if there's anything else you want to know. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annwitbrock

Ifphigenia, I only just found these google tools - I was using the settings keyboards until just now, thanks. I had a good play installing different options last night, and am familiarising myself with the desktop keyboards now. It's a bit awkward switching to and fro. At some point I moved away from the chrome on android tablet as it wasn't performing for other things (like recognising buttons in games). But it will be helpful to have all the proper keyboards for spanish etc too instead of skimping with the English one. I was also running out of room to support multiple browsers, but that's ok for now ;-)

Reply button is missing on your comment for some reason. I admire the discipline of your very long streak!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andonelli

Hi Iphigenia

I am using the Duolingo app on my Android smartphone and managed to enrol in the Greek course using a different login from my other courses.

I would counsel against installing Greek as the input language as your phone/tablet will adopt Greek as your input language for the GUI and you will have to keep switching back and forth and you will also need to be able to read the Settings menu in Greek to get back your native language!

The solution is to leave the Language and Input setting alone and simply install a Greek keyboard from the Play Store. In lessons you can switch keyboards by clicking the keyboard icon on the task bar.

Για :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

Hi Andonelli, if you have another look at the guide I posted you will see that I am not suggesting for one minute that anybody should change the input language, merely to add another language to their existing keyboard.

Whilst you can find many different keyboards on Google Play and I have indeed suggested people should look there also, the majority of native android keyboards offer Greek as an additional language.

I would never advise anyone to change their input language unless they were reasonably fluent in the other language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred_be

Really, is it possible to do the Greek course in the app ? I'm interested. I'm already started on FR and DE in the app and language list does not include GR


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andonelli

Further to my post on using a Greek keyboard app in Android.

I recommend the Greek keyboard by sql which is available free in the Play Store.

This keyboard has a couple of nice features for English speakers:

. Double-clicking a Greek vowel will type the vowel with an accent

. On the Greek keyboard there is a κey with the label SMS. Clicking on that key will change the Greek keyboard letters to upper case and the SMS key's label will change to EN. Clicking EN will bring up the English character set within the Greek keyboard, and the EN label will change to !@# giving you a symbols character set. The !@# label will change to GR so clicking the key again will bring you back to the Greek alphabet character set. These shortcuts will save you switching in and out of the Greek keyboard app to the English system keyboard within lessons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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Here is a post we received on another link. Thank you. AghaZC

AghaZC **"On windows 8 I use the touch keyboard even though my computer does not have a touch screen You can get it by right clicking on the task bar - choose toolbars - touch keyboard You can then add the greek language from language settings.

Edit I knew this recently Write ; (semicolon) before the letter you won't notice any changes, but as soon as you write the letter you will find it accented ; + α = ά ; + ι = ί**"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thidrekr

Keyboard-wise, I absolutely recommend Google Input Tools:

https://www.google.com/inputtools/

It gives you the full ability to type in Greek, Chrome users can install it as a browser extension, you can see a visual representation of the Greek keyboard layout on your screen if you feel that you need it, and it is very easy to turn it on and off as needed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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  • 261

Yes, that's the one I have heard about with the Greek keyboard on your screen. Many thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasutino

I suggest everyone at least try to learn the Greek alphabet. I started learning Greek nearly a year ago and I can definitely say learning the alphabet is one of the easiest things about learning Greek. And once you know it, you can read and pronounce almost every word, unlike English. It takes 1-2 weeks to learn the alphabet depending on how much time you spend. What I did was write down and sound out each letter over and over again, filling up many pages. Learn maybe 3 or 4 letters at a time. And it worked really well.

If you're concerned about your keyboard not having Greek letters on it, don't threat too much. The sounds of the letters ερτιοπασδφγκλζνμ match roughly the same letter sounds as on the English keyboard. That just leaves learning where the ςυθηξχψωβ keys are. And it shouldn't take too long for your fingers to learn where they are with a good amount of practice.
And I'm not saying just because I found it easy it means everyone will. Just saying have a go:) (if you want to)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artistbrenda

I totally agree. While living in Greece, I learned to read the Greek alphabet. I'm learning Greek now, but I can sound out almost every word easily now, even if I don't know what it means! I find Greek one of the easier languages for learning the sounds, after just a bit of practicing the alphabet. It looks hard, but it's really not that bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annwitbrock

I think you meant "fret", not "threat" here ;-) Very different words in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beethofan

I can type Greek (windows 10 makes it possible) but I am having troubles switching constantly from Greek to Latin letters. My proposal is that DUOLINGO adds a constant virtual keyboard into the course which will make the typing much faster and much easier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeorgiosDC

Google Input Tools might help you (look somewhere above for details).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

Search for Nullbrains just a little further down this list. He has made a fantastic automatic keyboard switch with virtual keyboard for DuoLingo - it's a browser plug-in. I've used it with Greek, Russian and Danish! Fantastic!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nullbrains

Hi I have created a browser plugin for duolingo to enable automatic switching between different keyboards. It also shows an optional layout of the current keyboard in use!

Several languages are supported including Greek.

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duokeyboard/dekooljcgfaiokofbciaflklkfniimfa

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/duokeyboard/

Opera: https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/duokeyboard/ I hope some of you find it useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

Everybody, this is a fantastic app for us! You don't have to keep switching keyboards. The app does it all for you, and even shows you a mini-keyboard to guide you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

I installed your keyboard plugin, but I don't know how to get it to come up. Please give a short user guide.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nullbrains

Once you come across an input field for a certain language on duolingo for the first time a question is asked if the keyboard has to be changed. Than you can select the keyboard of your preference. In this case Greek.

If you would like to change the settings later you can do this in the option menu by clicking on the add on button.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

I still can't get it to come up. I just get the message that there are no settings. What do you mean by "start a course" - start a completely new language? Log out of Duo and then log in again? Could it be competing with the computer language keyboard settings I've already set up?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

I finally got to start a new lesson, after having to keep repeating some, and there was your app! It's marvelous! I really recommend it to anyone. Once it's set up, which was really very easy, when it showed up in the new lesson, the right keyboard is available when you need it without having to select it. I'm going to try doing the Russian one, too, because I don't know the official Russian keyboard (RosettaStone used one very similar to the English keyboard.) I'm curious to see what it will be like! And I might as well do it for Danish - except it might not be possible because I've been through all the lessons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nullbrains

Great that you got it to work, using it for your existing Danish course should be possible. With "start a course" I meant that you need to do some exercises on a course until you encounter a question were you are asked to type someting in Greek, Danish, English etc. As you already noted only than the app will show up.

What I forgot to mention earlier is that you need to reload duolingo.com after installing the app to load its functionality. Perhaps that is why it did not work earlier.

Hope you enjoy the app for all courses that you are doing. And thank you for your comments, I adept the installation instructions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

I'm not sure what you mean by 'reload'. I closed chrome and reopened it. But I was mostly working on lessons I was "strengthening" I.e. repeating, and it apparently doesn't work for them, unfortunately. But I went back and did a regular lesson I'd done before and it worked fine. I've used it in Greek, Russian (thanks for the American phonetic keyboard, which RosettaStone uses) and Danish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nullbrains

Thank you, it was a bug in my app that caused it not to function with strengthening. I have updated the app and now it should work. The update should be available soon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annwitbrock

Thanks. So useful to be reminded how to add additional keyboards! This really ought to be prominently in the Help section, and where relevant, a link before the first lesson of every language that needs it! So embarrassed I missed this step and can now go add all the other keyboards so I can do alphabets on the desktop and not only on the android app! XXXXXXXX


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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Hints and tips for Duolingo use. .https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Queen_Ziga

I know touch typing and I find that I have easier time writing in greek, it's a good skill to know because after you learn it in one language you can convert it with little effort to other languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 261

Ditto. Only sometimes the ψ and ω still trip me up but otherwise I type about as fast in Gr. now as in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babe945710

How do you add accents above letters in the Greek keyboard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wyendot

@Babe945710 In addition to the link that Jaye16 has given you, have a look at the comments by mizinamo and Ifphigenia below.They tell you exactly how to get the accents.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 261

HOW TO ADD THE GREEK ALPHABET TO YOUR KEYBOARD These are a few we find easy to install and to use. If you have others please share them with the community. If you encounter problems let us know so we can inform others.

HOW TO ADD THE GREEK ALPHABET TO YOUR KEYBOARD

Windows:

https://billmounce.com/freegreekfont/unicode-windows This has screen shots.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17424/windows-change-keyboard-layout

http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Another-Language-to-Your-Computer-Keyboard https://www.conversationexchange.com/resources/keyboard-language.php?lg=en

Mac:

http://www.wikihow.com/Change-the-Keyboard-Language-of-a-Mac


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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  • 261

Thank you kakyoin for a super compilation of resources. >here<


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
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Again press the semi-colon then W. (((Is this right? I don't really understand it.)))

The Greek question mark looks just like the English semi-colon but when you are on the Greek keyboard you find it on the Q.

To enter both an accent and a diaeresis on the same vowel press Shift+W then the vowel you want to put it on. Thanks again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16
Mod
  • 261

Here is a link to a thread about switching keyboards and it contains very good ideas. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17573773$from_email=comment&comment_id=17574857


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KathleenVa369517

learning the greek alphabet is very easy if you break it down. There's 24 letters, so write and say them 4 at a time

try: α "alfa" -- β "veeta" -- γ "gamma" -- δ "delta"

and write/recite it over and over till you memorize it

then do: ε "epsilon" -- ζ "zeeta" -- η "eeta" -- θ "theeta" till you memorize it

then do: ι "iyota" -- κ "kappa" -- λ "lamda" -- μ "mee"

then do: ν "nee" -- ξ "ksee" -- ο "omicron" -- π "pee"

then do: ρ "ro" -- σ "sigma" -- τ "taf" -- υ "eepsilon"

then do: φ "fee" -- χ "chee" -- ψ "psee" -- ω "omega"

The whole thing can actually be sung to the tune of the "abc" song, sorta, especially when broken down into these groups of four.

alfa veeta gamma delta roughly corresponds to the tune of a b c d e f g

epsilon zeeta eeta theeta roughly corresponds to h i j k l m n o p

you get the idea, right? I sang it to my children when they were babies and it's like a lullaby you can never forget. Once you have the names and lower case memorized, go back and do it again with the upper case.

This who process can easily be accomplished in less than 2 hours if you stick with it for the sake of getting it done.

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