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Greeklish (or Latinoellinika) is Greek language written with the Latin alphabet ('English').

Table of contents
1 Introduction
2 History
3 Orthographic & Phonetic Greeklish
4 Lack of Standard
5 Books written in Greeklish
6 Web Sites written in Greeklish
7 Greek Companies which use Greeklish
8 Use in Business Communication
9 Current trends
10 Examples
11 References
12 External link


Greeklish is commonly used on the Internet when Greek people communicate by email, IRC or other means.


In the past it was difficult to make computers recognize Greek characters, because not all operating systems or applications had support for Greek. Today, because modern software supports a lot of languages including Greek, it is much easier for Greeks to communicate in their mother tongue over the Internet. However a lot of people still use Greeklish, maybe because it is faster to type and they do not have to worry about orthography and grammar.

It is reported by some people that the first modern usage of Greeklish appeared in EMY (Ethniki Meteorologiki Ypiresia), the national meteorological service of Greece, several decades ago and certainly before the Internet.

Orthographic & Phonetic Greeklish

Greeklish may be orthographic or phonetic.

Lack of Standard

There are many ways to write Greeklish. As there is no commonly accepted method of transcripting Greek characters into Latin ones between the Greek Internet users, everyone uses their own way.

ELOT, The Greece's Standards Organization, have proposed a standard transliteration, used by the British Council, but not by the general public.

Books written in Greeklish

Giannis Androutsopoulos (see References) talks about "Exegesis", a book written in Greeklish of roughly 200 pages. It was a novel about lovers who communicate thru the Internet. The book was about to be published by Oxy Publications, as Mr. Androutsopoulos describes. The Greelish transliteration of Exegesis, which used the ISO 8432 transliteration standard, was based on the Greek translation of the original book.

Web Sites written in Greeklish

Most personal or informal web sites were written in Greeklish in the past. Today this is not the case, as the use of Greeklish on a web site is considered inappropriate. However there are still many Greek web sites which utilize Greeklish.

An example website written in Greeklish

Greek Companies which use Greeklish

Most Internet Service Providers in Greece use Greeklish in their emails. For example, the corporate announcements sent to users via email are usually written in English, Greek, and Greeklish. An example of this phenomenon is the Compulink ISP, one of the first ISPs of Greece.

Use in Business Communication

Use of English for business purposes or business communication is considered as a lack of business ability or respect, by some.

Current trends

As of 2004, a hostile movement against Greeklish appeared in many Greek online Web discussion boards (fora) where Greeklish was the primary "language" of communication. Administrators often ban users who continue using Greeklish, making the use of Greek mandatory. Examples include the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network Forum and the Forum.

On Greek IRC, only Greeklish are being used (as of 2004).

It is considered by many that Greeklish is dangerous for the cultural integrity of the Greek language.

However, others disagree and support Greeklish. Some university professors have proposed the official use of the Latin alphabet in the Greek language for the sake of its modernization.


As you can see, it is very common to use the number 8 for the letter Θ/θ (theta), or the letter u (probably because u and theta are on the same key on the Greek computer keyboards) or the combination th. For the letter E/ε (epsilon) usually Greeks use the English letter e or the number 3 (which looks like an epsilon inverted). But most commonly 3 is used for the letter Ξ/ξ (ksi) (because of the visual resemblance).


Apo ta fragoxiotika sta greeklish ("Από τα φραγκοχιώτικα στα greeklish") - Published September 5 1999 on a major Greek newspaper (TO VIMA Tis Kyriakis, ΤΟ ΒΗΜΑ Της Κυριακής) by Giannis Androutsopoulos (Γιάννης Ανδρουτσόπουλος), a linguist researcher at the University of Heidelberg: Discusses the historical usage of the Latin alphabet for writing Greek, giving references even from 1930's. The article is not available online anymore, although it was published on researcher's personal pages at Heidelberg some years before.

External link