How Do You Pronounce Socrates in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, Socrates was a prominent figure in the field of philosophy. He was known for his unique teachings and intellectual contributions.

But have you ever wondered how to correctly pronounce his name? Let’s delve into the pronunciation of “Socrates” in Ancient Greece.

Origin and Meaning

To understand the pronunciation, it is important to know the origin and meaning of the name “Socrates.” The name “Socrates” is derived from the Greek language. In Greek, it is written as Σωκράτης.

Fun fact: The name “Socrates” can be broken down into two parts: “sos” meaning “safe” or “savior,” and “kratos” meaning “power.” Hence, Socrates’ name can be translated to mean “powerful savior.”


The pronunciation of Socrates’ name in Ancient Greece involves a few distinct elements. Let’s break it down:

  • S: The first letter, ‘Σ’ (sigma) in Greek, is pronounced like an ‘S’ sound.
  • o: The letter ‘o’ in Greek is pronounced as a short ‘o’ sound, similar to the ‘o’ in ‘got.’
  • kra: The syllable ‘kra’ is pronounced as it appears. You would say it with an emphasis on the ‘k’ sound followed by a rolled ‘r’ sound.
  • tēs: The ending syllable ‘-tēs,’ represented by the Greek letter ‘-ης,’ has a long ‘-e-‘ sound followed by an ‘-s.’

Putting it all together, the pronunciation of “Socrates” in Ancient Greece would approximate as “so-KRA-tees.”

Evolution of Pronunciation

It is worth noting that the pronunciation of Ancient Greek words and names has changed over time. Modern Greek, for instance, has different phonetic rules compared to Ancient Greek. Therefore, the way Socrates’ name is pronounced in modern Greek may differ from its original pronunciation.

Corrections in English

In English, the name “Socrates” is commonly pronounced as “SOH-kruh-teez.” This anglicized pronunciation deviates from the original Greek but has become widely accepted in English-speaking countries.

A word of caution: While the anglicized pronunciation is commonly used and understood, it’s essential to remember that it strays from the historical and linguistic roots of Socrates’ name.

In Conclusion

Socrates, the influential philosopher of Ancient Greece, had a name that carried great meaning. The correct pronunciation of his name in Ancient Greece was approximately “so-KRA-tees.”

However, over time and through language evolution, the anglicized version “SOH-kruh-teez” became more prevalent in English-speaking countries. Regardless of how you pronounce his name today, Socrates’ contributions to philosophy remain significant.