covid greek vocabulary

The Greek vocabulary of the COVID-19 pandemic

The year 2020 will be remembered as the Covid-19 pandemic year. During this year, most of us were talking about the pandemic whereas at the same time we have been bombarded from everywhere with what is happening around the world regarding Covid-19. Consequently, a new vocabulary of words and phrases related to Coronavirus came to the surface and into our daily life with many of them being unknown to most of us. Some of our students, here at The Online Greek Tutor, came out with questions concerning the vocabulary of the pandemic used in the Greek language. So, we decided to present to you the Covid Pandemic Greek Vocabulary which includes words and phrases used to describe everything related to the pandemic. In this article, we separated the words that have Greek origin and words that do not have Greek origin but are important for you to know if you want to discuss the pandemic in the Greek language.

Pandemic Words and phrases of Greek origin

A thing that characterizes the Greek language is the fact that it is a scientific language. Namely, the majority of the terminology in science in general –and medical science specifically– uses words of Greek origin. So, let’s go to see what words and phrases are used in English and have Greek origin.

Ageusia (=η αγευσία). The lack of taste. The etymology of the English word is from the a- (negative prefix) + γεῦσις (ancient Greek that mean the sense of taste) + ia

Anosmia (=η ανοσμία) The word anosmia is based on the ancient Greek ἀν (an) + ὀσμὴ (osme, smell) and it means the lack of smell.

Antiseptic (=το αντισηπτικό). This word, also of ancient Greek origin, comes from ἀντὶ (anti, against) + σήπειν (sepein, to rot).

Asymptomatic (=ο ασυμπτωματικός). The word comes from a + symptomatic. The word symptomatic has an ancient Greek root (συμπτωματικὸς adj., σύμπτωμα noun).

Coronavirus (=ο κορονοϊός. In the microscope, the virus looks like a crown with thorns on its surface. The Latin word for crown is the corona. In Greek, the word we use to say crown is ‘’Κορόνα’’ (corona).

Pandemic (=η πανδημία) The root here is the Latin word pandemia which is coming from the ancient Greek word ἐπιδημία. The similar ancient Greek word πανδημία (πᾶν + δῆμος) means all the people.

Teleteaching (= η διδασκαλία από απόσταση). The first synthetic of this word tele- is from the ancient Greek τῆλε (=afar). The same applies for the following word.

Telework (=η εργασία από απόσταση).

pandemic greek word
Pandemic: πανδημία (πᾶν + δῆμος) means all the people.

Other pandemic words and phrases translated in Greek

Let’s now see other words and phrases that are used to talk about the pandemic in Greek. Learning these words, we are sure that you can talk about the pandemic in Greek without a problem.

Cases of COVID-19 (=τα κρούσματα). The etymology of the word κρούσμα and κρούσματα (singular and plural) is the ancient Greek word κρούω and it means strike.

Contagious infection (=η μεταδοτική ασθένεια).

Dry cough (=ο ξηρός βήχας).

First and second wave of pandemic (=το πρώτο κύμα της πανδημίας).

Herd immune (=η ανοσία αγέλης).

High dependency unit or HDU (=η μονάδα αυξημένης φροντίδας)

Hospital (=το νοσοκομείο).

Immune system (=το ανοσοποιητικό σύστημα).

Intensive care unit (=η μονάδα εντατικής θεραπείας or ΜΑΘ).

Intubation (=η διασωλήνωση).

Isolation (=η απομόνωση). These terms refer to people who have already tested positive to COVID-19.

Lockdown (=Τhe Εnglish term lockdown is the one that is used the most. If we are looking for a Greek translation we could say, ‘’το γενικό απαγορευτικό κυκλοφορίας’’).

Medical equipment (=ο ιατρικός εξοπλισμός).

Medical treatment (=η θεραπευτική αγωγή).

Novel Coronavirus (=ο νέος κοροναϊός).

Nurse (=ο νοσοκόμος/η νοσοκόμα and ο νοσηλευτής/η νοσηλεύτρια).

Outbreak of the pandemic (=η έξαρση της πανδημίας).

Pandemic or epidemic curve (=η καμπύλη της πανδημίας or επιδημίας).

Patient zero (=ο ασθενής μηδέν).

Public health (=η δημόσια υγεία).

Quarantine (= η καραντίνα). Both, English and Greek words are of Italian origin and are based on the word quaranta (forty) and the phrase quarantina giorni (forty days). This goes back to the medieval times when the Black Death was ravaging Europe and every Venetian ship coming from places with plague cases should stay in the open sea for 40 days before entering Venice’s port.

Respirator (=ο αναπνευστήρας).

Restriction of movement (=η απαγόρευση κυκλοφορίας).

Sanitary measures (=τα υγειονομικά μέτρα).

Second wave of pandemic (=το δεύτερο κύμα της πανδημίας).

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS (=σοβαρό οξύ αναπνευστικό σύνδρομο).

Social distancing or physical distancing (=κοινωνική αποστασιοποίηση or σωματική απομάκρυνση).

Symptoms of COVID-19 (=τα συμπτώματα του ιού).

Test (=το τεστ and η εξέταση).

greek word for quarantine
Quarantine: both, English and Greek words are of Italian origin

The chain of transmission of the virus (=η αλυσίδα μετάδοσης του ιού).

The infection from the virus (=η μόλυνση από τον ιό).

The spread of the virus (=η διάδοση του ιού).

The viral load (=το ιικό φορτίο).

Tracking (=η ιχνηλάτηση or η ανίχνευση).

Vaccine (=το εμβόλιο).

Virus (=ο ιός).

The Covid Pandemic Greek Vocabulary is all that you will need to be able to discuss the pandemic in Greek. Next time you meet a Greek, try to discuss the pandemic in his/her own language.

Valentinos Filippou

Valentinos Filippou

My name is Valentinos Filippou. I have been an online Greek tutor since 2014. I’ve been teaching one-on-one Skype lessons and making video lessons for my students so as to explain different aspects of the Greek language.

More About Me

FAQs about the Covid 19 Epidemic and Coronavirus words in Greek

10 thoughts on “The Greek vocabulary of the COVID-19 pandemic”

  1. Πολύ ενδιαφέρων – ευφαριστώ πολύ.
    But I can’t read your Greek for ‘viral load’

    Χαρούμενα Χριστούγεννα!

  2. Υπέροχο άρθρο! Oι εξηγήσεις ήταν ιδιαίτερα ενδιαφέρουσες. Ευχαριστώ!

  3. Thanks Valentino for all you do for us. Your lessons help to me too much, for learning Greek. I follow you of beginning and I am grateful for your help. I start to learn Greek before two years ago. Today my Greek friends they give to me compliments how good is my Greek lenguage.
    Hilia evharisto…
    Best Regards from Kefalonia.

    1. Πολύ ωραία λόγια Μαρία! Να ‘σαι καλά! 🙂 Χαίρομαι που βοήθησαμε την πρόοδό σου στα ελληνικά!

  4. Μεταξύ άλλων, η προέλευση της καραντίνας και των κρουσμάτων, και απλά τα ονόματα των συμπτωμάτων (τα δίδυμα!) αγευσία και ανοσμία.

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