Noel Enete
New Testament Greek
Alphabet Section 2

The second group of letters falls nicely into two sections. Indeed, if you say the names of the letters quickly, pausing in the middle, they are difficult to forget.
  1. zeta
  2. eta
  3. theta
  4. iota
  5. kappa
  6. lambda

Zeta pronunciation

This letter is very much like the English letter z. Notice how the capital letter even looks like the English Z.
  • Pronounciation: like the z in zebra
  • Transliteration: z

Figure 1: Zeta

Eta pronunciation

This letter can be very confusing. It looks like an English n but it has the sound of a long a. It is really closest to an English e (which is why it is transliterated with an e). If you stretch your imagination far enough, you might conceive of an e with an a sound -- maybe neighbor for example (I told you it was a stretch). This letter will need some rote memory. But look at it this way, if you get the name of the letter right, you will get the sound it makes as well.
  • Pronounciation: like the a in gate
  • Transliteration: e with a short horizontal line over it

Figure 2: Eta

Theta pronunciation

This makes a th sound. It is the first letter in the Greek name for God -- theos (which is the basis of the English word theology).
  • Pronounciation: like the th in theology
  • Transliteration: th (theta is transliterated by the two English letters t and h)

Figure 3: Theta

Iota pronunciation

This corresponds to the English letter i. The only difference is that this letter has a curl at the bottom and does not have a dot over it.
  • Pronounciation: like the i in hit
  • Transliteration: i

Figure 4: Iota

Kappa pronunciation

This corresponds to the English letter k in appearance and pronunciation.
  • Pronounciation: like the k in king
  • Transliteration: k

Figure 5: Kappa

Lambda pronunciation

This corresponds to the English letter l in pronunciation. If you look at the shape of a lambda long enough, it can begin to look like an English l.
  • Pronounciation: like the l in lump
  • Transliteration: l

Figure 6: Lambda

by Noel Enete . . . . . .