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How do you pronounce "filo"?

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My Greek friend who taught me how to make spanakopita pronounced it "FY-LO" but my American friends pronounce it "FEE-LO." Can someone clarify for me? TIA!

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  1. I've always used "fee-lo", based on my greek-heritage friends.

    1. Try walking up to the clueless American teen behind the counter (even at a Greek diner) and asking for a "heros", which (unless I'm mistaken is how they properly pronounce Gyros.) No, you gotta ask for a "jai-row" before he clues in.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wayne keyser

        I think it's more like "earo", but I could be wrong! Or maybe more like "yearo"... I don't know, just give me that sandwich! ;-)

      2. Pretty close. Greeks pronounce gyro as yee-rhoh. The r isn't like the English r, it sounds more like a gutteral rolled r.

        1. Wayne, maybe the teen looks clueless because you're pronouncing it "hero" and he has no clue what you're asking for?!

          1. FEE-lo dough is the correct pronunciation. I am not fluent but i can get by in Greek.

            1. Yiayia always said FEE-lo as does the rest of my greek speaking/greek heritage family.

              And yes, gyro is gee-rhoh with some gutteral sounds

              If I had worked behind the counter as a teen at a greek diner(which I never did but many of my friends did at their family diners)...i'd have sent you down the street to the sub place if you asked me for a "hero." Maybe that's why they're confused. I did work the gyro booth for years at our church food festival and definitely grew accustomed to hearing "JYE-ro" as a common mispronunciation.

              1. IIRC, the Y vowel in Greek and Latin was classically pronounced by shaping your mouth to say a long U but saying a long E; rather nasal. Anyway, the long E is a closer approximation than a long I in English.