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Tattoo Ideas: Greek Words & Phrases

Updated on January 22, 2016
Greek tattoo meaning "wisdom"
Greek tattoo meaning "wisdom"

 

Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world; it has been spoken in Europe since the year 2000 BC. Several different forms of Greek have been spoken since then, including classical, Hellenistic (spoken during the days of Alexander the Great), medieval (used by the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century) and modern Greek. Dhimotiki is presently the official language of Greece since 1976. It is spoken by approximately 15-25 million people worldwide.

Despite the saying "it's all Greek to me", meaning that an expression is nonsencial, tattoos done in the Greek language are not an unusual occurrence on the BMEzine website where I find most of my pictures. Unlike Hebrew and Arabic, which use highly specific character sets, Latin, which has long been extinct, and Irish Gaelic, which has numerous dialects, Greek can be a fairly easy language to translate. Greek lettering tattoos can be an expression of pride for one's nationality and a dedication to one's heritage. Many English words have a Greek equivalent, and can easily be found using any number of English to Greek translators available on the web or at your local bookstore. This online dictionary will translate the word of your choice into either modern or Ancient Greek and will show you the word using letters from both the English and Greek alphabets.

As with any tattoo that is done in a foreign language not your own, make sure you do your homework. Double check your translation with several sources. A native speaker is your best bet, someone who speaks Greek as their first language, English as their second, or vice versa. If a native speaker is not available to you, your next best bet is a scholar who has studied the language extensively. Last but not least, there are several online translators who offer their services for free. Although they can be very useful, keep in mind that it is important to ensure your translation is correct by either using several different online translators or confirming it's accuracy with native speakers on a Greek forum or message board.

GREEK PHRASES

Gnothi seauton -- Know yourself

Dos moi pa sto, kai tan gan kinaso -- Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth

Pistis, elpis, agape -- Faith, hope, love (from 1 Corinthians 13)

Ta panta rhei kai ouden menei -- Everything flows, nothing stands still

Kai gar hois allo meden, aute pareste -- When all is gone, there is still hope

To pepromenon phugein adunaton -- It's impossible to escape from what is destined

Nipson anomemata me monan opsin -- Wash the sins not only the face (a palindrome, read the same backwards and forwards)

GREEK LETTERING TATTOOS

"Beautiful"
"Beautiful"
"Dangerous thoughts"
"Dangerous thoughts"
"Grace"
"Grace"
"If you have to crawl to live, stand and die"
"If you have to crawl to live, stand and die"
"Love never fails"
"Love never fails"
"Resurrection"
"Resurrection"
"Truth"
"Truth"
"Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed"
"Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed"

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      James 3 months ago

      Hey guys can someone tell me if this is correct "My Family is My Strength": Η οικογένεια μου,είναι η δύναμη μου

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      Irianna 7 months ago

      OMG. the last tattoo is ALL wrong!!! WTF??????? It's καταδικασμένοι and not καταδιγασμένοι. Also this tattoo doesn't make sense in greek. The translation of this tatoo in english is: Everyone is more beautifull because we are doomed. WTF? Also "Everything is more beautifull because we are doomed" should be translated like this " Όλα είναι ποιό ωραία γιατί είμαστε καταδικασμένοι" I'm greek btw.

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      giorgos 2 years ago

      Translating into Greek language from English is quite hard if you have a sentence...You must specify:

      1. Your gender

      2. To whom you are refering to

      3. Specify some words if they are adjectives or adverbs

      Many words are the same in English but in Greek they are different.

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      anna 3 years ago

      please!! don't get a tattoo in a language you don't know!!!

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      Giorgos 3 years ago

      "My Family is My Strength": Η οικογένεια μου,είναι η δύναμη μου

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      Giorgos 3 years ago

      Brave and loyal: Γενναίος και πιστός

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      MK 3 years ago

      I am want to get "brave and loyal" tattooed on my shoulder blade, but want a correct translation. Anyone know enough greek to translate that for me? Thanks.

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      just saying 3 years ago

      that is not greek for dangerous thoughts it simply means hazardous

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      Giorgos 3 years ago

      Too many mistakes in these pages...too many, my eyes are hurting

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      Elene 3 years ago

      My God the last one is soo terribly wrong. And it has different meaning too. (which doesn't even make sense.)

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      magda 3 years ago

      the last is translated so wrong and mean another thing and so dangerous thoughts and beatifull what the f .. if you dont know dont right it wrong

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      jb22 3 years ago

      how do you say, "My Family is My Strength"

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      spped 3 years ago

      Αν δεν δημιουργήσεις το πεπρωμένο σου, η μοίρα σου θα σου επιβληθεί.

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      Zeynep 4 years ago

      Please can someone translate this sentence to greek? "If you do not create your destiny, you will have your fate inflicted upon you.'

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      greco 4 years ago

      ''Please can someone help translate these names into the greek alphabet.

      ZOE

      TONI

      ALEX

      Thanks''

      hello!

      It is:

      ΖΩΗ

      ΤΟΝΙ

      ΑΛΕΞ

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      radeshnee 4 years ago

      Please can someone help translate these names into the greek alphabet.

      ZOE

      TONI

      ALEX

      Thanks

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      Giorgos 4 years ago

      Some of those tattoos are missing letters or misspelled...

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      lennie 4 years ago

      Hi i need 'Acts, not words', is it "Πράξεις, όχι λόγια' mail me lmarenzi14@gmail.com

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      kym 4 years ago

      λουλούδι μου

      this is my flower in greek

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      Maia 4 years ago

      Hello. i'm thinking about getting a tattoo in greek letters

      i would like to know how to write "I feel alive" in greek.

      oresnikmaya@gmail.com

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      Brandy 4 years ago

      My mother just passed. I would like to put her name then "may her memory be eternal" can someone help me with that in greek please.

      brandyand2@comcast.net

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      Νίκος 4 years ago

      Dear. Naomi 123

      ΖΗΣΕ ΤΗΝ ΚΑΘΕ ΣΤΙΓΜΗ,ΓΕΛΑ ΚΑΘΕ ΜΕΡΑ,ΑΓΑΠΑ ΠΕΡΑ ΑΠΟ ΛΕΞΕΙΣ.

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      pipis 5 years ago

      naomi123

      Ζήσε την κάθε στιγμή-γέλα κάθε μέρα-αγάπα πέρα από λέξεις

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      naomi123 5 years ago

      hi there im 50% greek and im wondering if anyone can help me how the fraze. live everymoment- laugh everyday- love beyond words. in if possibly modern greek and ancient so i can compare the style. im doing a design for my bedroom and want to paint that in my art work. thanks so much

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      Evaggelia 5 years ago

      stay strong, live life : μείνε δυνατός, ζήσε τη ζωή

      About fonts to write your name Amaryllis (what a wonderful name by the way) you should try the "Mystral" font, it's in Microsoft Word Office too. I just love it to write anything in Greek... it's like the whole word is written with one line. At least that's something I like and it's quite difficult to find such a font avaliable for Greek.

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      Amaryllis 5 years ago

      I'm looking for Greek fonts to design my tattoo, especially "elegant" ones. Can somebody help me with this? Thanks!

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      Jo 5 years ago

      Jo 1 second ago

      Hello, I need the following to be translated in Greek can anyone please help? Thanks! My email is oshh.koshh.84@gmail.com

      "Stay Strong Live Life"

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      Jo 5 years ago

      Hello, I need the following to be translated in Greek can anyone please help? Thanks!

      "Stay Strong Live Life"

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      Yess 5 years ago

      Can some one please help me translate this verse in Arabic please "love is patient love is kind it always protects and it always persevere "

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      Zoee Eliakidou 5 years ago

      Seize the day in Greek is: ?????? ?? ????. If you can find the Greek alphabet then the letters are: Alfa (the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet, the same as the latin A), Delta (4th, like a triangle), Ro(17th, is the same as the latin P), Alfa(1st), Xi(14th, 3 parallel lines), Epsilon(5th, the same as the latin E), Taf(19th, the same as the latin T), Ita(7th, the same as the latin H), Mi(12th, the same as the latin M), Epsilon (5th, the same as the latin E), Ro(17th, the same as the latin P), Alfa(1st, A). The Greek alphabet is easy for the english (france, italian, spanish, portugese, german) speaking people, because in fact, what you call "latin alphabet" in fact is the Greek alphabet of the 7th century B.C. I, who am a Greek, use a Greek alphabet of the 5th century B.C. I suggest you give it a try to learn Greek, you 'll find it easy, after all, the 30% of all the above mentioned languages is still in Greek. If you need any extra help don't hesitate to ask me. Greedings from Greece.

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      Hayley 5 years ago

      Can anyone translate

      Seize the day in Greek capital letters?

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      Bill 5 years ago

      Love with passion - ??????? ?? ?????

      Samantha Genesis Grace - ??????? ??????? ??????

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      twetybrd09 5 years ago

      okay i would like a tattoo and i want it to say love with passion in greek but i cant find how to spell any of it in greek so how would it look ????? and how do you spell samantha genesis grace in greek??? plz help lol

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      argi hellas 5 years ago

      haha the last tattoo..??????????????...haha wrong...??????????????...if you want to have a tattoo in greek,just check it first..@michaelg love of glory is, ????? ??? ???? or a more powerful meaning, ???? ??? ????

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      Greek 4 ever 5 years ago

      Hi there to all i ahve posted this before a long time but i ll say it again i will be pleased to help you with any translations needed at byras4@yahoo.com cause this site does not displays greek charachters! feel free to contact!!

      Greetings from Greece!!

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      michaelg 5 years ago

      Hey I need help!! Need to figure out how to spell ”love of glory” in Greek lettering

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      Dennis 5 years ago

      The phrase is: I rather die on my feet then live on my knees

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      ross Shannon 5 years ago

      what is strength and honor is greek ?

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      steven 5 years ago

      Hi guys

      In june I'll have a new tattoo on my arm...

      Kai gar hois allo meden, aute pareste

      When all is gone, there is still hope

      but i want it in this

      ? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????????? ---- is this the correct writing...i want to be sure...thx guys

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      chris sorvi 5 years ago

      Hi to all of you if you have any questions about spelling words in greek send me email in chrissorvi@yahoo.gr and i'll be happy to respond

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      Chris 5 years ago

      carpe diem = ?????? ??? ????

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      Matt 5 years ago

      What would be the Greek equvillant to Carpe Diem?

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      H. Carl 5 years ago

      I just happened upon this site and noticed the many and egregious mistakes of spelling, accentuation, and misuse of Greek words. For example, "??????" is not even a Greek word (the artist thought it meant "beautiful"). Even if it was, an acute accent never falls on an initial vowel; rather, there should be a smooth or rough breathing mark (?,?). The Greek word "?????" is used in Classical literature with the meaning "beauty of form," but only with reference to plants. The made-up word "??????" is not attested in any Greek literature. Learn how to research languages before permanently marking your bodies, people.

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      KS 5 years ago

      GREEK LETTERING IS NOT PROPERLY SHOWN ON THIS WEBSITE. I JUST TRIED AND A BUNCH OF QUESTIONMARKS CAME OUT INSTEAD.

      IF YOU RE GETTING A TATTOO DONE GO ASK A GREEK PERSON AND MAKE SURE U GET THE RIGHT THING. IN ONE OF THE PICS ABOVE I SPOTTED A SPELLING MISTAKE. SUCH A SHAME!

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      KS 5 years ago

      Toni - family in greek (lower case) is "??????????"

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      antreas 5 years ago

      if you want to ask something for greek letters or words add me on fb and ask http://www.facebook.com/AndreasR9 :)

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      Tom 5 years ago

      Hi guy, can anyone translate "Do or Die" into Greek font please, will be much appreciated?

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      Toni 5 years ago

      I was just wondering if someone could translate family into the lower case letters

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      cp 5 years ago

      hey guys,im greek :)

      if you want to have a tattoo written in greek you sould REALLY find someone to translate the word or phrase you want to get correctly. most of the tatoos above are written wrong. don't trust just anybody when you're gettin a tattoo cause theres no turning back option :\

      the "dangerous thoughts" sould be "??????????? ???????"

      the "Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed" "?? ????? ????? ?????????? ????? ??????? ??????????????"

      also the word "?????????" it's just a greek female name.

      the right word is "????????".

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      zoe 5 years ago

      I have researched that my name means life and translated is ???

      if i were to have it tattooed like this............

      ?

      ?

      ?

      would it say the same thing?

      Thanks!

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      stelios 5 years ago

      hey amy. the most names you write does not translate in greek.

      no 5 in greek is ????? eveybody needs help or tranlsation can contact me at s-mpalasis@cyta.gr

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      Jamie 5 years ago

      Hello anyone who can help translate... I want to be 100% sure this is the correct translation before I permanently ink myself.

      The phrase is "Choices are the hinges of destiny."

      I believe it is translated as:

      ???????? ????? ?? ?????????? ??? ??????????

      and this is pronounces Ep-lo-yes ee-nay ee men-des-edes too pep-ro-meno.

      is this correct?

      Thanks!

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      STARDUST 5 years ago

      1??????

      2---

      3----

      4 ????

      5 ?????

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      amy 5 years ago

      Hello all, I know that some of the postings are really old but I was wondering if anyone can help me. I am trying to get confirmation that these translations are correct. I am Greek but do not know the language well. Just want to double check. Thanks, Amy

      Claire - ????

      Jack - ????

      Benjamin - ????????

      Sarah - ????

      Thomas - ?????

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      fotini 5 years ago

      Make sure that your translation is correct and don't trust translating sites..you'd better ask from a native speaker to translate a word or phrase to greek..it saddens me that people have tattoos wich are completely nonsense!It's as if i wrote ''grate hopes'' instead of ''great hopes''..wouldn't it be ridiculous?

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      fotini 5 years ago

      kat:''live with joy and purpose ''=''???? ?? ???? ??? ?????''

      susan:"Damien,?? ????? ??? ?????"

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      Mauricioserna 5 years ago

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      Mk 5 years ago

      Can someone please translate "Bear patiently, my heart, for you have suffered heavier things"

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      karka24 5 years ago

      How do you spell : It's all greek to me.....in capital letters in Greek ???

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      DZ 5 years ago

      How about "Strength from life"?

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      Susan 5 years ago

      How does "Damien , my little miracle " look like in Greek ??? Please help. Thanks ~

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      Kat 5 years ago

      How do I write "live with joy and purpose" in greek?

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      Άγγελος 5 years ago

      @Megan Always Love = ??? ????? ?????

      @zoe grandpa = ???????

      for more help feel free to email me at...angel.korop@gmail.com

      Greetings from Athens,GR.

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      zoe 5 years ago

      how is grandpa in greek letting please.

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      Megan 5 years ago

      Yes! I would still love a translation please! for the words "always love". thank you!

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      evi 5 years ago

      sorry guys new mail, I used my old one on the above comment : scottishfun27@yahoo.gr

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      evi 5 years ago

      hi, do u all need still translation? if yes I can do the translations for u!just let me know which of u still want it or u can e mail me and ask me in scottish terrier@yahoo.gr I am native greek speaker,and I work as a translator. so feel free... kai vasili einai polu malakia to tattoo kai h metafraseis pou exoun kanei!

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      Megan 5 years ago

      Hello! I want to get the words "always love" tattooed on me in Greek. Can someone please help me?! I'd like to see it in it's greek translation and how it's said in english if at all possible.

      Thank you so much!

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      vasilhs 5 years ago

      katadikagmenoi???ti malakia einai ayth re kanate or8ografiko???0xa0x0a0xa0xax0x0a :P

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      Marcie 5 years ago

      Can someone tell me how to write "The beautiful things are difficult to attain" in greek. Thanks

      Marcie

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      persa 5 years ago

      @hades

      "embrace your fears" in Greek would be:

      "????????? ???? ?????? ???".

      @Danny

      "My family" in Greek would be:

      "? ?????????? ???".

      ?LSO, CAUTION: The last tattoo pictured is wrongly translated in English, wrongly spelled and wrongly stressed.

      "EVERYBODY is more beautiful for we are doomed", is the proper translation.

      "? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????? ??????????????" AND NOT: "??????????????".

      Slappy work...

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      Danny 5 years ago

      My family in Greek please

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      hades 5 years ago

      can some one translate "embrace your fears"

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      Katerina 5 years ago

      I'm greek and i can help, so here's my mail Kate_rina93@hotmail, contact me and i can translate you word, senteces and names from english to greek

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      Linda 5 years ago

      Thought: If you DO use Greek lettering for your tattoo remember that if you do not use capitals you HAVE to make sure the accents are placed where they are supposed to be; in Greek the right placing of the accents is very important.You want your tattoo to be correct and not just cool looking..;-)

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      stav 5 years ago

      hmmmm, that didn't come out right!

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      stav 5 years ago

      Could someone pls translate the below text into english and also does it make sense. thankyou

      ????? ??? ????? ?? ?? ?????, ???’ ? ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????, ??? ? ????? ??????? ????, ? ?? ?????????? ?? ??????????? ?? ?? ?????.

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      lol 5 years ago

      hahaha some of the pictures are so wrong... hahahaha

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      efi 5 years ago

      george: ?'????? ??????, OR ?'????? ??????, OR capitals: ?'????? ??????

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      michael c lynch 5 years ago

      Ciao, Piacere di conoscerti in giorno, Come stai e il tempo nella tua zona? Spero che 'tutto va bene e vestito spero che leggerete più avanti in una buona condizione della mente, io sono il signor Michael so che si può essere una sorpresa come mi sono posta oggi stavo dando un'occhiata Ricerca di un amici nuovo cliente e mi raccolto interesse in voi, se avete il tempo di sapere cosa sto offrendo valutata in soggetti racchiude e vedere cosa succede in futuro sarò molto felici se potete Scrivimi direttamente alla mia casella di posta elettronica a (business4ideas@burntmail.com) per permettere

      anch'io ti invio i miei dati a lavorare il vostro business scegliere soggetti e dirvi di più su me stesso.

      Devo aspettare la vostra risposta.

      Vostro nel reguards ....

      Sig. Michael

      ecco la mia mail (business4ideas@burntmail.com) per favore io come voi a contattarmi direttamente al mio indirizzo e-mail, non nel sito si prega se si vuole veramente essere interessato a darmi la possibilità di fare affari Provera me, sarò in attesa di tua mail

      che così io ti manderò i miei dati valutato soggetti grazie e Dio vi benedica

      il tuo amico

      Michael! E-mail:-working4you @ burntmail.com,

      http://www.webspawner.com/users/searchautosurf/

      http://www.webspawner.com/users/yourblueprints/ind...

      PSA Sto cercando di costruire e creare posti di lavoro della nuova economia con molte persone con exzamples racchiude altri più salvati così come i vostri sudditi valore disegno vendite dei visitatori e promuovere la tua attività mi puoi aiutare con qualsiasi cosa in una sorta di soldi in banconote come alcuni ricavato sarà devoluto per aiutare le organizzazioni di carità!

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      beckiee: Βεcκιεε 5 years ago

      stephany

      As above is spelt : ?? ???v?

      so below: ?? ?????

      As within: ?? ??????

      So without: ?? ???????

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      GEORGE 5 years ago

      S'AGAPO PAPPOY

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      Daniella 5 years ago

      I'm thinking of getting a Tattoo on my wrist for my Papou who passed away 2 years ago of cancer. I just want to be sure I spell everything right, so can someone please tell me how to write "I love you, Papou" in proper Greek?

      Thank you

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      paul 5 years ago

      How you remind me

      Translated to Greek ...please

      and the name Noelle also

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      Stephanie 5 years ago

      I was wondering if it would be possible for someone to translate, "As above, so below. As within, so without." To greek for me please.

    • Thanos Alexioy profile image

      Thanos Alexioy 5 years ago from Kavála, Greece

      thanasaros@hotmail.com thats my facebook account for any1 who would like a translation i am 100% greek so... add me if you need me

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      Nikos 5 years ago

      Joanne you need the transaltion in modern or ancient Greeks?

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      joanne 5 years ago

      does anyone know the greek translation to the saying;

      wonder is the beginning of wisdom

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      dave 6 years ago

      i got tattooed on my hands, many words are poverty

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      Marianna 6 years ago

      Hi guys! I have some translations for you..

      @Anita: "love to live and live to love" = "????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??????"

      @Armin: "Be As You Wish To Seem " = "?? ????? ????? ??? ????????? ?? ????????" This translation is in modern greek,sorry i couldn't find the ancient one..!

      @Tyler: your name spelled in greek is: ??????

      Hope i helped! :)

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      vycka 6 years ago

      is it 21 in greek ? ?????? ???

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      tyler 6 years ago

      how do you spell tyler in greek?

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      Armin 6 years ago

      Hello, can anyone help me with finding the ancient greek translation of the famous Socrates quote:

      "Be As You Wish To Seem "

      I need it to be precise and accurate. Please e-mail me at: ArminBlazevic@gmail.com

      or post on here, thank you for your time.

      -Armin

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      Megan 6 years ago

      Can somebody please translate "stand for something or you'll fall for anything"... Please and thanks :)

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      Anita 6 years ago

      Please translate "love to live and live to love

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      Liam 6 years ago

      So this -- “ ???????? ?? ???????? ?????? ???? ?? ???????? ??? ?? ???? " Means "If you have to crawl to live, stand and die" ? Check my spelling please thanks !

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      gek 6 years ago

      Hi all!

      I'll try to help as much as i can...so

      @Sharan - The letter R is the letter P in Greek which is spelled different in English so it might be cinfusing for someone who will try to understand it

      @Luke

      "dance is the language of the soul and the physical expression of the heart" - ? ????? ????? ? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ? ?????? ??????? ??? ???????

      @Debbie - Forever is only the beginning - ?? ????? ????? ???? ? ???? or ? ?????????? (= eternity) ????? ???? ? ????

      @Steph - .Hope - ??????

      .It is impossible to escape what is destined - ?? ?????????? ?????? ??????? (ancient Greek)

      In case some greek letters are not appeared you can email me: melonlegk@yahoo.gr

      Cheers!!

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      Sharan 6 years ago

      Hi

      I want write the letter 'R' on my neck in English but it should b tricky I mean no one can easily understand it....if anyone knows please help me....

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      Debbie 6 years ago

      Hi can anyone translate, Forever is only the beginning into Greek please? debbie.kerr1986@btinternet.com

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      Luke 6 years ago

      Hi there I would like it if some one could please help me with a translation into Greek.

      "dance is the language of the soul and the physical expression of the heart"

      If and one could please help that'd be awesome can email me the translation to dncboi(at)hotmail(dot)com

      Thanks you :)