What is Your Name in Greek? How to Hellenize Your Name

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today we romanize everything. We romanize Russian, we romanize Arabic, we romanize Japanese into Romaji, we romanize Chinese into Pinyin, we romanize Vietnamese into Vietnamese alphabet. How about we do a reverse? Or we better call it Renaissance, because what we are going to discuss is how to hellenize.

It is always interesting to think, about 2,300 years ago, after Alexander the Great (Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας) had conquered the massive land from Aegean Sea to Indus Valley, everything was hellenized or hellenistic-ized. Greek became the lingua franca of many regions for hundreds or even thousands of years and many vocabularies of different languages are hellenized. However with the lose of power of the Byzantine Empire, Greek and all the Hellenization faded in a surprisingly fast speed.

OK, let’s stop the blah blah blah, I know many don’t like history stuff. What we are really talking about today is how to hellenize your name, or to be specific, your English name.

First, I have to say Greek alphabet is not as powerful as say the Cyrillic alphabet. There are some sounds which can be missing from English.

Second, there are several pronunciation systems in Greek, old and new, archaic and modern. So which one we use? Here I’m going to use the classic alphabet, because it covers more sounds that we have in English, and the diphthongs are more understandable. However, actually it doesn’t matter much which alphabet to use, because no matter which we pick, there are always ambiguity.

Now let’s take a look!

The following are the alphabet charts from Omniglot.

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