Diphthongs

As a rule, in Greek you pronounce every individual letter separately.  There are, however, some vowel combinations (known as diphthongs) where two vowel sounds are blended into a single sound.

 

In many cases the combination is pronounced just like the individual letters would be, simply blending the two sounds more smoothly.  a plus u equals au; e plus u equals eu.  The diphthongs falling in this category are ui, au, eu, hu, wu.  You will find some of these diphthongs in the practice exercises below.

There are also some diphthongs which are pronounced differently than you might expect from looking at the individual letters:

ai is pronounced like the ai in aisle.

      kai

      mai

      etai

      kainoV

      kairoV

      lusai

      ercomai

      chrai

ei sounds like the ei in weight.

      ecei

      luei

      einai

      threin

      grafei

      peirasmoV

      cairein

oi sounds like the oi in oil.

      oikoV

      oinoV

      polloi

      loipoi

      balloi

      poiein

      adelfoi

      oikumenh

ou is pronounced like the ou in soup.

      nouV

      toutou

      autou

      outoV

      logou

      qeou

      kosmou