1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "το ξυλόφωνο"

"το ξυλόφωνο"

Translation:The xylophone

September 19, 2016



From A to Xylophone in 3 lessons :)

  • 1379

will be handy for a small talk in Athens


Duolingo should have alphabet books. I love making foreign language alphabet books.


So I have a question. I'm trying to understand what each letter sounds individually. But the Greek 'ο' sounds the same as the 'ω'? They both sound like an oo to me. Is that correct?


This confused me too, but according to this page (http://www.foundalis.com/lan/grkalpha.htm) it's because they were two different sounds in ancient Greek that have ended up sounding the same in the modern language! Omicron was a short "o" as in "got" and omega was a long o like the "aw" in "law. Nowadays both are "o" as in "got".

The three "i" sounds (ι η υ) have a similar background :)


I think it would better to use IPA than letters of an English word, which can be pronounced many different ways.

Omicron (Ο/ο) was and is /o/. Omega (Ω/ω) went from /ɔː/ to /o/.

Iota (Ι/ι) was and is /i/. Ēta (Η/η) went from /ɛː/ to /i/. Ypsilon (Υ/υ) went from /y/ to /i/.

And then there's the consonants and diphthongs. Hope that helps.


Thanks, pretty interesting.


In German "ß" and "ss" sound the same.

In Polish: "rz" and "ż", "h" and "ch", "ó" and "u". The same story: there were two different sounds, one of them no longer exists in the language, but the difference remains in ortography.


"ß" and "ss" sound the same in German but "ß" lengthens the preceding vowel. So "Maße" (measurements) has a long a while "Masse" (mass) has a short a.

  • 63

They both sound the same, just 'o'.


So, how can i understand where to use omicron or omega?

  • 63

You will need to learn every word with its spelling, there are some rules but they are not enough to explain why words are spelled the way they are. Something you will see for example in the next lessons is that active voice verbs in the first person always end in -ω, like κάνω-to do, θέλω-to want. No exceptions.


That seems hard... Thanks for a clear explanation!


Not nearly as hard as English spelling.


Whats the difference between "ξ" and "ξυ"? They're both x?


Are Ηη, Ιι, and Υυ all pronounced the same way?

  • 63


Why sometimes the ω is used like an ο?


that letter is Omega (ω), and it is pronounced «o». The same happens with Omicron (ο), and it's also pronounced «o».

So in the pronunciation you won't find any differences. What is different is when to use them in Greek.


More info about this case, as I asked to a Greek friend:

[26/7 11:39] Pavlos Nikolau: But ξυλόφωνο the second word is φωνή which means voice and its written with ω [26/7 11:39] Pavlos Nikolau: The second o is because of the nature of the word. τΟ ξυλόφωνΟ [26/7 11:40] Pavlos Nikolau: This is not male or female and the words whose have no sex in greek language are written with omicron in the end.

So if its neuter (το ...) in the end it will have omicron.


I chose xylophone which was the correct answer but Duolingo said I'd chosen the incorrect answer


The correct translation is ”the xylophone,” with the article.


When to use o and when to use ω


I think it's one of those situations where you just have to memorize which letter to use. I was watching a YouTube video explaining the alphabet, and the person commented that spelling in Greek was difficult for new comers due to the multiple letters having the same sounds.


I cant type in greek on my phone what should i do?

  • 63

To activate the Greek keyboard in your device, see the information posted at MODERN GREEK RESOURCES How to get the keyboard and much more.
The team has posted a lot more on resources in the Greek forums at https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/936 .


Duolingo counts my answer completely wrong even though i got the main word right but missed "the." Give me some credit.

  • 63

That's how Duolingo works: it allows some typos but rejects answers with missing words... Don't be disheartened, you'll soon get the hang of it! Welcome to the Greek course!


There should be some credit for fetting parr of the answer correct.


“fetting parr?” = “getting part?”

Here on the user discussion forum there's little to no chance that a Duolingo responsible will read your proposal. We are all learners like you. You could try posting on the support forum.

Remember that Duolingo is not a Dungeons and Dragons game where your objective is to get to the next level. Here (I think) your objective is to learn Greek. A wrong answer means that Duolingo will present you with the same exercise again, and that's useful. If it accepted partly correct answers you would never learn the really correct answers.


Im confused over here, when do you use omicron or omega when you wanna do the /o/ sound?

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