Tsakonian (τσακώνικα)

Tsakonian is a variety of Greek spoken in the Tsakonian region of the Peloponnese in Greece. It is derived from Doric Greek, and is mutually unintelligible with Standard Modern Greek. A few hundred people, most of whom are elderly, speak Tsakonian fluently, and more people speak it less well.

Tsakonian is seen as a dialect of Greek by many, but some see it as a separate language. It is thought to be a descendent of the language of the Lakonians (Spartans), and the name Tsakonian may be derived from 'exo-Laconians' (Outer Lakonians).

Tsakonian is used to some extent in churches and schools, but has no official status.

Tsakonian alphabet and pronunciation

Tsakonian alphabet and pronunciation

Download alphabet charts for Tsakonian (Excel)

Details of the Tsakonian alphabet provided by Michael Peter F¨stumum

Sample text

Πουλάτζι ἔμα ἐχα τθὸ κουιβί τσαὶ μερουτέ νι ἔμα ἐχα
ταχίγα νι ἔμα ζάχαρι ποϊκίχα νι ἔμα μόσκο,
τσαί ἁπό τὸ μόσκο τὸ περσού τσαὶ ἁπὸ τὰ νυρωδία
ἑσκανταλίστε τὁ κουιβί τσ' ἑφύντζε μοι τ' αηδόνι.
Τσ' ἁφέγκι νι ἔκει τσυνηγού μὲ τὸ κουιβί τθὸ χέρε.
Ἔα πουλί τθὸν τόπο ντι ἔα τθα καϊκοιτζίαι,
να ἄτσου τὰ κουδούνια ντι νἁ βάλου ἄβα τσαινούρτζα.


Poulátzi éma ékha tʰo kouiví tse merouté ni éma ékha
takhíga ni éma zákhari poïkíkha ni éma mósko
tse apó to mósko to persoú tse apó ta nirodía
eskantalíste to kouiví ts' efíntze mi t' aïdóni.
Ts' aféngi ni éki tsinigoú me to kouiví tʰo khére
Éa poulí tʰon tópo nti, éa tʰa kaïkitzíe
na átsou ta koudoúnia nti na válou áva tsenoúrtza.

IPA transcription

puˈlatɕi ˈema ˈexa tʰo kwiˈvi tɕe meruˈte ɲ ˈema ˈexa
taˈçiɣa ɲ ˈema ˈzaxaʒi po.iˈcixa ɲ ˈema ˈmosko
tɕ aˈpo to ˈmosko to perˈsu tɕ aˈpo ta ɲiroˈði.a
eskandaˈʎiste to kwiˈvi tɕ eˈfidze mi t a.iˈðoɲi
tɕ aˈfeɲɟi ɲ ˈeci tɕiɲiˈɣu me to kwiˈvi tʰo ˈçere
ˈe.a pouˈʎi tʰon ˈdopo di ˈe.a tʰa ka.iciˈtɕi.e
n ˈatsu ta kuˈðuɲa di na ˈvalu ˈava tɕeˈnurdza

Standard Greek version

Πουλάκι είχα στο κλουβί και μερομένο το είχα.
το τάιζα ζάχαρι και το πότιζα μόσχο
και από τον πολύ τον μόσχο και την μυρωδιά του
εσκανταλίστη και το κλουβί και μου έφυγε τ' αϊδόνι
Κι' ο αφέντης το κυνηγάει με το κλουβί στο χέρι:
Έλα πουλί στον τόπο σου, έλα στην κατοικία σου
ν' αλλάξω τα κουδούνια σου να βάλω άλλα καινούργια


I had a bird in a cage and I kept it happy
I gave it sugar and wine-grapes
and from the great amount of grapes and their essence,
it got naughty [possibly means it got drunk] and escaped.
And its master now runs after it with the cage in his hands:
Come my bird back where you belong, come to your house
I will remove your old bells and buy you new ones.

Sample video in Tsakonian

Information about Tsakonian | Numbers


Information about the Tsakonian language

Hellenic languages

Greek, Griko, Pontic Greek, Tsakonian, Yevanic

Languages written with the Greek alphabet

Arvanitic, Bactrian, Cypriot Arabic, Greek, Griko, Karamanli Turkish, Tsakonian

Page last modified: 19.01.22


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