I am taking a course in ancient Greek, and there are various accents that go above the vowels. I want to be able to type these on Ubuntu.

For example, if I hit ;, then a (while in the modern Greek keyboard layout), I get this character: ά. However, I can't figure out how to add the other accents (`` and^`, for example).

  • You might be interested by this. – Kazark Nov 10 '12 at 3:18

See if this helps: How to type Greek, Greek Polytonic in Linux


Result                Key combination                      Works for…
Tonos/Acute ΄         Dead key (;) + vowel                 All vowels: ά έ ή ί ύ ό ώ
Dialytika ¨           Dead key (:) + vowel                 These vowels: ϊ ϋ
Dialytika with Tonos  Dead key (;) + Dead key (:) + vowel  These vowels: ΐ ΰ
Dialytika with Tonos  Dead key (:) + Dead key (;) + vowel  These vowels ΐ ΰ
Περισπωμένη ῀         AltGr + Dead key ([) + vowel         ᾶ ῆ ῖ ῦ ῶ
Υπογεγραμμένη         AltGr + Dead key (]) + vowel         ᾳ ῃ ῳ
Ψιλή ᾿                AltGr+ Dead key (:) + vowel or       ἀ ἐ ἠ ἰ ὐ ὀ ὠ ῤ
                      the letter ρ
Δασεία ῾              AltGr+ Dead key (”) + vowel or       ἁ ἑ ἡ ἱ ὑ ὁ ὡ ῥ
                      the letter ρ
Βαρεία `              AltGr+ Dead key (’) + vowel          ὰ ὲ ὴ ὶ ὺ ὸ ὼ
Μακρόν ¯              AltGr+ Dead key ({) + vowel          ᾱ ῑ ῡ
Βραχύ ˘               AltGr+ Dead key (}) + vowel          ᾰ ῐ ῠ
  • 1
    This works, except for one thing. In attic Greek, there is a 'circumflex' accent. It looks like this: ᾰ, except with the curve upside down (in the shape of a rainbow). Perhaps this is not in modern Greek--is there a way to type it in Ubuntu? – Matthew Aug 27 '09 at 18:44
  • I searched around a bit and wasn't able to find a definitive answer, but maybe try typing a tilde (or caret) + vowel? (tilde: ~, caret: ^). – Donut Aug 27 '09 at 19:03
  • Comment from Serdar: "What is dead key? which key is that?" – Gnoupi Jul 20 '10 at 13:20
  • 1
    @Serdar: A dead key is a key that modifies the next key pressed. In the example in my original question, ; is a dead key. – Matthew Jul 20 '10 at 15:33

If you use the "Ubuntu" font, then you get a circumflex from the [ key on the Greek polytonic keyboard. If you use other fonts, then you get a tilde above the vowel in stead.


For anything you can't type, you can atleast find it in the charmap, run the program Character Map (gucharmap), it is an awesome Unicode browser, searchable by name or secion (look for polytonic greek).

I found this one there: ᾰ (U+1FB0 GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH VRACHY)

Edit: Now I realize this is the same (looked different at different size) and you wanted it with the curve opening downwards. I Looked through the Character Map with all hits for "alpha" and it does not seem to have any character like that.

Is this more like it? α̑

that is normal Alpha together with ‍̑ U+0311 COMBINING INVERTED BREVE

  • I'm confessing now as a Unicode voyuerist, gucharmap even lets you understand chinese, just look up what each character is called, every sigle one of them has a standardized name in english. – u0b34a0f6ae Aug 27 '09 at 20:32
  • Yeah, the inverted breve is what I'm looking for. Hopefully I won't have to use the character map, but now I have a backup plan, so thanks! (I had tried searching character map for "circumflex", but all I found was the ^ character.) – Matthew Aug 27 '09 at 23:24

There is no INVERTED BREVE for Greek/Ancient Greek. There is only BREVE, as in ᾰᾸ.

Have a look at http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1F00.pdf This is the Unicode standard file for Ancient Greek. If the character is not there, then it probably does not exist.

  • It's true that there is no character called "inverted breve" in Ancient Greek. There is a character called "perispomeni". It takes two different forms, depending on the typeface. One form looks like a tilde, the other looks like an inverted breve. This character is unusual in Unicode, because the two forms have two different Unicode offsets. – Matthew Mar 12 '10 at 1:01

I have ubuntu 14.04 and it doesn't let me use the key combinations I can use in windows to properly accent some words, such as ὅτι.

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