Greek

Language History

The first discovery of the Greek written language dates back to before the 8th century BC when letters were found on mud tablets. Languages known as “Linear A” and “Linear B” developed, but it is during the Classical Period (6th-4th century BC) when a “common language” was introduced and used by millions of people. The most significant dialects were the Ionic and the Attic, with the latter being used as the common language. Attic later blended and became known as the Hellenistic Koine.

In the 19th century, the ”katharevousa” was established and used for government, education and religion, while the ”dimotiki” language developed as a common tongue among the people. The 20th century, however, saw much debate and political anguish between these two languages, but eventually, the ”dimotiki” language was adopted in education and administration, pushing it to become the very formal language used in Greece today.

According to mustgo.com, Greek is spoken by approximately 13 million people around the world. There are some 10.7 million people who use the language in Greece, and other 1.1 million speakers in Cyprus.

Where is Greek Spoken?

Greek is the official language of both Greece and Cyprus. Nevertheless, it is also spoken in other countries around the world such as the U.S, the U.K, Australia, Albania, Italy, Ukraine, Romania and Hungary.




Greek language_map_inner page

FACT

Did you know that the Greek language was the first to use vowels? It previously only consisted of only consonants. It was also originally written from right to left!

Did you know?

The word “alphabet” refers to the first two letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha (α)and beta (β)!

“Greek is one of the oldest languages in Europe. It has been spoken for over 3,000 years.”

4 Easy Phrases in Greek!

GreekEnglish
Καλημέρα (kah-lee-MER-ah)Good Morning
Tι κάνεις (tee-KAΗ-nis)?How are you?
Χάρηκα πολύ (HA-ree-ka po-LEE)Nice to meet you
Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ri-STOE)Thank you

False Friends in Greek and English

GreekTranslationWrong Meaning
Αγωνία (agonia)suspense/anxietyagony
Εμπάθεια (empathia)hostilityempathy
Συμπάθεια (sympathia)fondnesssympathy
Λογιστικός (logistikos)related to accountinglogistics

Population vs. Internet Penetration

Greece Population:

11,124,603

Internet Users:

7,815,926

Penetration:

70.3%

As of 2019. Source:
www.internetworldstats.com

Fact!

Did you know that almost every English word that starts with “ph” has Greek roots? These words include “physics”, “philosophy” and “photo”.

Greek Translation Tips

• An English to Greek translation will almost always require more ‘space’ as Greek text typically expands by 30 percent.

• Verb form in Greek depends on tense, mood, voice, person and number, while nouns depend on gender, case, and number.

• Don’t forget to insert the accent where it belongs – the accent mark in Greek is the acute (´).

• When translating a manual to Greek, know that titles within the body of a text are usually displayed in capital letters.

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