Knowing your numbers in Greek can help you figure out directions, possibly understand what room you were just assigned (if you find the rare hotel desk clerk who doesn't speak English - I've heard there is one), and understand what time it is or will be when you are supposed to catch that hydrofoil or plane.
Here's How to Count to Ten in Greek
1. Ena - EN-a - ένα : Think "EN-a ONE" as in the phrase "An' a one, an' a two..." used to count into a piece of music.
Celtic music fan? Think of "Enya".
2. Dio - THEE-oh - δύο : Try remembering "duo" for "dio" - again, like in a musical duo. But note that the actual sound is a soft "Th" rather than the hard dental "D".
3. Tria - TREE-a - τρία : Again, music makes this one easy - think of a trio of musicians.
4. Tessera - TESS-air-uh - τέσσερα : This one is harder, but there are four letters in the name "TESS" .
5. Pente - PEN-day - πέντε : The PENTagon is a five-sided shape - and also an important building for Americans.
6. Exi - EX-ee - έξι : This one, it may help to think about being s-exi... or sexy, which sounds much closer to "six". Remember, Greeks do give points for just attempting to speak Greek - no one will mind if you say "sexy" instead of "ex-ee".
7. Efta - EF-TA (about equal stress) - εφτά: If only the Romans hadn't messed with the calendar, S-eptember would still be the seventh month of the year.
Try thinking of a seventy-seven year-old S-eptagenarian for help on remembering this one.
8. Octo - oc-TOH - οκτώ: Want some eight-legged octopus for dinner tonight? There you go! However, squid won't help you here - it has to be that eight-legged octopus.
9. Ennea - en-NAY-a - εννιά: Ennea has two "ns" in it - just like our own number nine.
10. Deka - THEK-a - δέκα: Easy - remember a decade is a group of ten years. Just remember that soft "d" again.
Want to go just a bit farther? En-deka - or one-ten, is eleven. Dodeka - or two-ten- is twelve. At thirteen, the order reverses and the small number follows the ten, as in dekatria, or ten plus three. And Zero is mithen.
There you are - you can now count to ten (plus a couple more) in Greek!
1. ____________ 6. ___________ 11. __________
2. ____________ 7. ___________ 12. __________
3. ____________ 8. ___________
4. ____________ 9. ___________
5. ____________ 10. ___________
Since hotel rooms often number in the hundreds, it's useful to know how the higher numbers are handled. One hundred (100) is ekato - εκατό.
More on Greek numbers, including a way to translate your own name into Greek numeric values.
Here are some other resources to help you learn traveler's Greek: