Walking into a restaurant or shop and saying hello in Cypriot rather than English shows you’re making an effort with the local culture, and as such, they’ll be more accommodating.
It’s also probably the easiest word you’re going to read on this list.
In the south, shake hands, smile, and maintain direct eye contact during the greeting. In the north, many Turkish Cypriots will lower their eyes during the greeting as a sign of respect.
Greek Cypriot – Herete/ Ya sou
Turkish Cypriot – Merhaba
2. 'Thank you'
Cypriots are extremely hospitable and it’s considered polite to accept at least a little of what is being offered to you, even if you don’t want it. Meet their warmth with a gracious thank you.
Greek Cypriot – Efkharisto
Turkish Cypriot – Tesekkur ederim, sagol
3. 'Do you speak English?'
Let’s face it, you’re going to get to a point where no amount of pointing and playing charades is going to help you with more complicated matters, but asking in Cypriot will gain you some serious kudos.
Greek Cypriot – Milate anglika?
Turkish Cypriot – Ingilizce biliyormusunuz?
4. 'How much is it?'
This one’s always handy whether you want to know in advance how much your taxi fare will be, the cost of an excursion or the perfect souvenir you’ve stumbled across at the local market.
Greek Cypriot – Posso kane?
Turkish Cypriot – Ne kadar?
5. 'I would like a beer'
You’ve been out sightseeing all day in the sun, you’re exhausted and all you want is an ice cold beer and a comfortable chair.
Greek Cypriot – Tha ithela mee a bira, parakalo
Turkish Cypriot – Bira istiyorum
6. 'Yes and No'
It will serve you well knowing these two simple words, especially as the Greek Cypriot word for ‘yes’ sounds like the English word for ‘no’.
Greek Cypriot – Nai
Turkish Cypriot – Evet
Greek Cypriot – Ochi
Turkish Cypriot – Hayir
7. 'Where is the toilet?'
The majority of public toilets in Cyprus are free but some will charge a small fee. You can also use the toilets in a bar or cafe, but it is custom to at least offer to buy a drink or offer a small sum in return.
Greek Cypriot – Pu ine i tualeta?
Turkish Cypriot – Tuvalet nerede?
8. 'I don't understand'
Sometimes it saves time to just admit defeat rather than spending 20 minutes nodding politely and leaving even more confused than you started.
Greek Cypriot – Then katalaveno
Turkish Cypriot – Anlamiyorum
9. 'Can I have the bill please?'
You’ve been seated, finally figured out the menu, ordered your food, eaten an amazing meal and now you need the bill. Surprise your waiter by asking for it in your best Cypriot.
Greek Cypriot – Tha borusa na ekho to loghargh’asmo?
Turkish Cypriot – Hesabi alabilir miyim, lutfen?
10. 'What time is it?'
Gone are the days of wearing watches, your phone battery is dead and you desperately need to know the time so you don’t miss the last bus back to your hotel.
Greek Cypriot – Ti wra einai?
Turkish Cypriot – Saat kac?
Every culture has its own particular rituals to celebrate the start of drinking, yet the basic idea remains the same the world over. Raise your glass, clink with your friends and say…
Greek Cypriot – Stin iya mas!
Turkish Cypriot – Serefe!
Manners are universal and saying please will turn any question from a rough demand into a gracious request.
Greek Cypriot – Parakalo
Turkish Cypriot – Lutfen
13. 'Good Morning'
Head down to breakfast and greet the hospitable hotel staff with a bright and breezy morning greeting before sitting down and enjoying a traditional Cypriot breakfast including bread, halloumi, eggs, olives and tomatoes.
Greek Cypriot – Kalimera
Turkish Cypriot – Gunaydin
If you’ve already memorised the Greek Cypriot word for ‘hello’ you’re in luck as they use the same word when bidding goodbye. The Turkish version is a bit more of a tongue twister, but with practice, it’ll be rolling off your tongue in no time. Remember to say goodbye to each person individually when leaving.
Greek Cypriot – Yah sou
Turkish Cypriot – Allahaismarladik
15. 'My hovercraft is full of eels'
Hijacked from a Monty Python sketch in the TV comedy show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, this phrase is used in a sketch about a badly translated English-Hungarian phrasebook. It’ll both impress your friends and make the locals laugh when they ask you to say something in Cypriot.
Greek Cypriot – To hoverkraft mu ine gemato helia
Turkish Cypriot – Hoverkraftim yilan baligi dolu