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Politics

Our Everyday Greek: Survival Guide for Greece Travelers – Gyros

July 22, 2018
Dimitra Pontoporou

Pita, πίτα, in Greek is the pastry wrap inside which we put a souvlaki or the gyros grilled meat together with potatoes, tomato, onions and sauce. Gyros means round in Greek, and gyros in the Greek cuisine is pieces of meat grilled in a rotating vertical spit.

Greek word  Pronunciation  Meaning
πίτα                PEEta                      pita
σουβλάκι    souVLAki            souvlaki
γύρος             YEEros                 gyros
Κοτόπουλο  koTOpoolo        chicken
Χοιρινό        hiriNO                   pork
Μπιφτέκι    biFTEki               burger
κρεμμύδι  TO kreMEEdi         onion
πατάτες     EE paTAtes         potatoes
Η ντομάτα    EE doMAta     tomato
Με πατάτες Me paTAtes   with potatoes
Με ντομάτα Me doMAta    with tomato
Με κρεμμύδι ME kreMEEdi  with onion
μουστάρδα   mooSTArda       mustard
τζατζίκι        tzaTZIki            yogurt garlic sauce
μαγιονέζα   mayioNEza      mayonnaise
Ή                    EE                        or
Με                 ME                        with
Χωρίς        hoREES                without
Και              KE                           and

GREEK YOU ALREADY KNOW
Πίτα, pita bread.
Γύρος, gyros. It comes from the Greek word which means round. It refers to the rotating vertical spit, where the meat pieces are grilled.
Σουβλάκι, souvlaki.
Πατάτες, like potatoes.
Ντομάτα, like tomato.
Τζατζίκι, tzatziki.
Μουστάρδα, like mustard.
Μαγιονέζα, like mayonnaise.

ORDERING A GYROS OR SOUVLAKI WRAP

First you have to say, if you want souvlaki or gyros inside your pita wrap. Then you will probably be asked, whether you want chicken or pork souvlaki, chicken or pork gyros.
Then you have to name the ingredients with which your pita wrap will be filled: potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and the sauce you prefer: tzatziki (yogurt garlic sauce), mustard or mayonnaise. Keep in mind that the word “με” (ME) means with, and the word “χωρίς” (hoREES) means without.

Θέλω μία πίτα με γύρο.
THElo MEEa PEEta ME YEERo.
I want a pita with gyros.

Θέλω μία πίτα με σουβλάκι.
THElo MEEA PEEta ME sooVLAki.
I want a pita with souvlaki.

-Κοτόπουλο ή χοιρινό*;
koTOpoolo EE hiriNO?
Chicken or pork?
* The word “or” in Greek is “ή” (ΕΕ). It is written exactly as the feminine grammatical gender article η, the only difference being that it is accented with the tonos (΄).

Με πατάτες και ντομάτα.
ME paTAtes KE doMATa.
With potatoes and tomato.

Με κρεμμύδι. / Χωρίς κρεμμύδι.
ME kreMEEdi / hoREEs kreMEEDi.
With / without onion.

Mε τζατζίκι. / χωρίς τζατζίκι.
ME tzaTZEEki / hoREES tzaTZEEki.
With / without tzatziki.

Με μουστάρδα. Με μαγιονέζα.
ME mooSTArda. / ME mayioNEza.
With mustard / with mayonnaise.

COMMON DIALOGUE
-Θέλω μία πίτα με σουβλάκι.
THElo MEEa PEEta ME sooVLAki.
I want one pita with souvlaki.
-Kοτόπουλο ή χοιρινό;
koTOpoolo EE hiriNO?
Chicken or pork souvlaki?
-Κοτόπουλο. koTOpoolo. Chicken.
-Με ντομάτα, πατάτες. Χωρίς κρεμμύδι.
ME kreMEEdi, ntoMAta, paTAtes. hoREES kreMEEdi.
With onion, tomato, potatoes. Without onion.
-Σως; SOS? Sauce?
-Τζατζίκι. tzaTZEEki. Tzatziki.

-Θέλω μία πίτα με γύρο.
THElo MEEa PEEta Me YEEro.
I want a pita with gyros.

-Χοιρινό ή κοτόπουλο;
hiriNO EE koTOpoolo?
Pork or chicken?

-Χοιρινό. hiriNO. Pork.

-Με ντομάτα, πατάτες και κρεμμύδι.
ME doMAta, paTAtes KE kreMEEdi.
With tomato, potatoes and onion.

-Σώς; SOS? Sauce?

-Μουστάρδα. mooSTArda. Mustard.

If you want to order more than one pita with gyros or souvlaki, you have to say the number:

Θέλω δύο / τρεις πίτες με γύρο.
THElo DEEo / TREES PEEtes ME YEEro.
I want two / three pitas with gyros.

We usually accompany our souvlaki with French fries and beer.

Μία πατάτες τηγανητές.
MEEa paTAtes tiyaniTES.
One portion of French fries.
Μία μπύρα. MEEa BEEra. One beer.
Δύο / τρεις πατάτες τηγανητές / μπύρες.
DEEo / TREES paTAtes tiyaniTES /BEEres.
Two three portion of French fries / beers,

PRONUNCIATION KEY

i (idiom), ee (needle), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.

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