I am traveling to Rhodes and I guess that in touristic places I am not going to have to much problem but I was wondering if I'll have some trouble if I go to a restaurant or to visit some not that tourist places on the island.

I assumed that I have to learn some words or learn to identify them but I have been using some maps and the names are writen with Greek characters that is confusing so I am concerned about getting directions

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    I can't really think of a situation where familiarity with the greek alphabet will be useful. You might be able to read the words, but you still won't know what they mean! Consider the word κολοκύθι (kolokithi). Any idea what that is? That said, it never hurts to learn a little of the local language and customs.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 12:28
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    It may be helpful in identifying place name signs. For example, if you are wandering down by the docks looking for the ferry to Rhodes, knowing that the name "Ρόδος" literally translates to "Rodos", i.e. "Rhodes" might be very helpful. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 13:33
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    @Robert Columbia: Many of the road signs for places, in particular larger places, are bi-scriptal Greek/Latin in Greece.
    – chirlu
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 14:17
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    I've travelled to Greece (and several tiny Greek Islands) over the years. My inability to read or speak Greek (while shameful) has never proved to be any kind of problem in respect of knowing where I am or where I'm going. As for road signs, they tend to look like this, I think... bit.ly/2rtR77h
    – Strawberry
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 14:26
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    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/52653/…
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


According to this (No. 20):

It will be easy to communicate in Greece, even if your English is not fluent. Most Greeks are familiarized with tourists and they will help you if you need directions or an explanation. Moreover, most street signs are in both Greek and English.....

In addition, this TripAdvisor forum suggests that not knowing Greek shouldn't be a problem. As the comments have suggested, it won't hurt to learn it for your personal enjoyment.


Familiarizing yourself with the Greek alphabet is not a huge stretch and it's always useful to be able to re-recognize certain words, but....

Greece is a huge tourist destination from all over the world, especially Europe. You will find that in the tourist areas information, signage, menus etc will be available in multiple languages.

The extent of my Greek was "Take me to [mangled but apparently understandable place name]".

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    Very true about learning the alphabet. It is not hard, especially not as hard as learning the Hebrew or Arabic alphabets. Greek is about the same difficulty as Cyrillic - lots of recognizable symbols and a few quirks to get to know. If you already read Cyrillic (e.g. as used with Russian), you have almost mastered Greek too, so go ahead and spend an evening or two and learn it! I learned both the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets in less than a week each. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 13:35

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