(This may have been answered elsewhere and I may look like a fool!) After many attempts at listening to γ , I am stuck as to whether it is pronounced more like g , h , or a cross between the two. γράμμα has, for instance, been "wramma" to me, but I think it is maybe "gramma" ("grammar"?) Perhaps it is my ears, but the entries on Forvo make γράμμα sound like g , while αγόρι , both there and here, sound a bit like "gh."
I got it, thanks. :) Γ and γ are like " y " at the beginning of a word, and that " gh " -like sound (still mastering it!) in the middle of a word. I'm lingot-ing this so others will see it.
To add to FunkyNoone's reply , more appropriately than saying it's completely a "w" sound, try positioning your mouth as if you were about to start pronouncing "water" an then unround the lips (relax them so they are not in an O shape) but leave everything else unchanged, (tongue in same position). and also it is palatalized in front of /e/ and /i/.more about this here. http://www.foundalis.com/lan/grkalpha.htm
As I understand it, vowel length was contrastive in Ancient Greek but no longer is in Modern Greek. Modern Greek uses the very common and simple five-vowel system (a-e-i-o-u, as in Italian and Spanish). The letters η, ι, and υ and the digraphs ει and οι are all read as /i/.
Well, had we been learning Classical Greek, I think the connection between κουρος ("boy" or "youth") and κόρη ("girl" or "maiden") would have been pretty obvious. But it has been a few years - roughly 2,500 - and many everyday words have been replaced by others, sometimes with very different origins.
It seems to me that κορίτσι is probably a diminutive of κόρη (which has meanwhile come to mean "daughter"). The derivation of αγόρι is more interesting. From Wiktionary: "From Byzantine Greek ἀγόριν (agórin); diminutive of Koine Greek ἄγωρος (ágōros, “young”), from Ancient Greek ἄωρος (áōros, “untimely”), from ὥρα (hṓra, “time, season”). Compare with Byzantine Greek ἄγουρος (ágouros)."