Yassou! Or, if you’re greeting a Turkish Cypriot, Merhaba! It’s easy to get started with some simple phrases, and even if your pronunciation leaves the locals giggling, your attempts at speaking the lingo will be greatly appreciated.
There are two official Cypriot languages spoken in Paphos and throughout the rest of Cyprus: Greek and Turkish. Out of the two, Greek is more commonly spoken in the south of the country, and around most of the major tourist resorts. Turkish is widely spoken in the north of the island. Don’t worry if you can’t get to grips with learning two languages before you go on holiday, as most Cypriots speak excellent English, especially in the more touristy areas. And wherever you go, signs and menus will be written in both Greek and English. However, it’s seen as polite and respectful to try and learn at least a few words of the native language for the place that you’re visiting on holiday. The basics like ‘hello’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will go a long way and are bound to raise a smile from your hosts. We’ve gathered together some of the most common simple phrases to get you started, complete with an audio guide to help you get the pronunciation just right. Take a look at our list of the most useful Cypriot language phrases you might need, click on the green icons to hear how they are pronounced, and get chatting to the locals. The more you practice, the better you’ll get!