The Mystery of the Incidental Ch

Cyprusing

There are probably few things that can unite anglophones and hellenophones in Cyprus more than their annoyance at the ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary transliteration of words that we see all over the country. One particularly confusing rule is the use of Ch for the Greek letter Χ, which is meant to represent an “H” sound – not a “Ch” at all.

Because of this, English speakers, who may or may not already be struggling to learn Greek, end up sounding even more ignorant, when they ask directions to the archaeological site at Chee-rokoitia, or go to the deli counter for half a kilo of Chee-romeri. On the other hand, Greek Cypriots, who generally speak fantastic English, are left baffled by the unnecessary C, when the H alone would do the job. So where did this strange convention come from? And why not just change it?

SkypePhoto_20170624_101308 The dairy company…

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