+1 vote
I've noticed that some cities are transcribed with letter β (v), such as Belgrade>Βελιγράδι [Veligradi], Budapest>Βουδαπέστη [Voudapesti], Barcelona>Βαρκελώνη [Varkeloni], Berlin>Βερολίνο [Verolino] κτλ.

Is there a certain rule that applies only to some foreign words and city names or is it just some random reason, like it sounds better or something like that?

1 Answer

0 votes
The Greek letter “Β”-”β” (βήτα) in ancient Greek was pronounced as the Latin letter “b”, while in modern Greek it is pronounced as the Latin letter “v”.  The Latin letter “b” is pronounced as “ΜΠ” or “μπ” in modern Greek.

If a foreign name was transferred into Greek when the Greek “Β/β” sounded like “b”, it would be natural to spell it with “Β” instead of “Μπ”, in order to imitate the foreign sound.

If a name was transferred to Greek much later, when the Greek letter “Β/β” sounded like the Latin “v”, it could be that they wanted to imitate in the written word the ancient style of the sound.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com.

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