Καλημέρα everyone! Today, let’s talk about Greek.
Greek counts 13 Million speakers around the World. Where? Principally in Greece, Cyprus and Albania. It is one of the 24 official languages of the EU. But Greek is also spoken worldwide by the Greek diaspora (Greek community abroad), mostly in the US, Australia, South America and Germany. English is the first foreign language in Greece and kids learn it in school from an early age. For this reason, around 50% of the population are able to understand it and speak it. Especially in big cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki but also in the islands, where tourism is higher. Nevertheless, the Greeks are very and rightly proud about their language. One of the pillars of the Greek community abroad, in fact, is to maintain the Greek language and culture alive! For this reason, and many others, translating your content into Greek could be a good choice.
1. By translating your content into Greek you will reach the Greek community at a stronger and deeper level.
2. The Greek language is very rich and articulate therefore some concepts and phrases won’t be recreatable in English.
3. If you want to reach more Greek users and customers, translating into Greek is a necessity. This because in rural areas they do not speak other languages.
4. If, for example, you are planning on opening a business selling Greek products in another country, having your advertising and marketing content available Greek will make it seem more legit and authentic.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Greek is an Indo-European language derived from Proto-Greek, the very first form of Greek spoken during the 3rd millennium BC. It is the oldest recorded language. Modern Greek emerged after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. During most of the Modern Greek period, the language was in a situation of diglossia. This means that spoken dialects existed side by side with more archaic written forms – Dimotiki and Katharevousa. The combination of the two originated Standard Modern Greek. Standard Modern Greek is the language learned in school and used for official purposes.
1. The Greek language and Culture are the Fundamentals of the Western World
One of the most interesting and mindblowing facts about the Greek language and culture is that it literally put the basis for languages and cultures of the Western World.
It is no joke when they say that if you study Ancient Greek, you are able to understand words in different European languages – more than 150.000 English words have a Greek root! For example, take the word “alphabet” – “alpha” and “beta” are the first two words of the Greek alphabet!
So many words are composed with morphemes that originate from the Greek language. E.g.:
PHIL (from φιλιά ) à Love, attraction, tendency towards, obsession. Used both as a prefix and suffix. See: philanthropy, filo+antropos, literally love+men.
PHOBIA (from φόβος) à Fear, aversion, panic, irrational fear. In English the word is exactly the same! See: agoraphobia, agora+fobia, literally square+phobia.
ARCHAE (from ἀρχή) à Beginnin, origin, source of action, element. See: Archetype, arkè+typos, literally start+type.
Here are some other examples of morphemes:
- Andr = man
- Biblio = book
- Di = two
- Eu = good
- Geo = earth
- Homo = same
- Mania = madness
- Poly = many
But there are so many more. Check it out!
2. Originally, Greek was written right to left.
Ancient Greek was written right to left. Afterwards it was written boustrophedon, meaning that when a line reached the end of the page it continued below, kind of like a tape where also the letters were reversed.
It was during the 5th century BC that the direction of Greek writing was standardized as left to right. In that moment also all the letters were standardized with a right-facing orientation
3. The longest word in literature is Greek!
According to the Guinness World Records, the longest word ever to appear in literature can be found in the comedy play Assemblywomen, written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes:
It is the longest Greek word, even if not real, with 183 letters and 78 syllables.
Cool or what?
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