Greek and English Names Glossary -
Or why there are so many ways of spelling Greek words in English
The Greek Alphabet is different in both letter shapes and sounds to the modified Latin Alphabet used in everyday English.
For example, the Greek letter for 'L' sounds more like 'li' than 'ell'. This means that attempts to transcribe Greek names
and titles into English on signs and in guidebooks can be very misleading.
'Zoodochos Pighi' is a very awkward sound to transcribe - some books render the second word as 'Pigi' or 'Piyi', as the
sound is most like the English 'y' (as in 'yet') or 'gh' (hard g as in 'grab'). The 'ch' sound is similar to that in 'loch'.
Other titles are similarly ambiguous. 'Trizina' and 'Troezene' are supposedly the same sound, as are 'Kalavria' and 'Kalaureia'.
The snag for the English reader is that the pronunciations are unlike those learned painfully in English classes at school.
Saints in Greek can be male or female, unlike their (sexless ?) treatment in the English language. So 'Aghios', 'Ayos', 'Agios',
all mean a church dedicated to some male saint, e.g. Giorghios (Giorgios) or George, whilst 'Hagia', 'Aghia', 'Aya', all mean
a church dedicated to some female saint, e.g. Sophia.
I have adopted the convention of using 'English-version' names for historical sites and 'Greek-version' names for modern
towns and locations. The exceptions are places like 'Athens' and 'Corinth', where an English speaker will more readily
understand the meaning.