What writing system(s) does this language use? edit

Greece has used the Greek alphabet since the 9th century B.C. The Greek alphabet was the first alphabet to introduce the concept of a vowel. It contains 24 letters, as shown here.

Α, Β, Γ, Δ, Ε, Ζ, Η, Θ, Ι, Κ, Λ, Μ, Ν, Ξ, Ο, Π, Ρ, Σ, Τ, Υ, Φ, Χ, Ψ, Ω

How many people speak this language? edit

About 12 million people speak Greek, making it the 52nd most common language.

Where is this language spoken? edit

Greek is an official language in Greece, Cyprus, and the European Union, but some people speak Greek in Bulgaria, Albania, Italy, and Turkey. Greek is also spoken by millions of immigrants who live in the United States, Canada, Australia, and various European and African countries, among other places.


immigrant — A person who has come from another country to live and work.

What is the history of this language? edit

Ancient Greek was the language of the Ancient Greek civilization. It was similar to Modern Greek to read, but was pronounced very differently. It gradually evolved into Modern Greek over time — it is one of the only languages to have a continuous history for more than 3000 years!

Some famous authors or poets who speak this language edit

Greek literature has had a continuous history for about 3000 years.

Homer - wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. (Ancient Greek)

Vitsentzos Kornaros - wrote Erotokritos. (Modern Greek)

Dionysios Solomos - wrote Ύμνος Στην Ελευθερία (Hymn to Freedom) the poem that became modern Greece's National Anthem: "Απ' τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη, των Ελλήνων τα ιερά, και σαν πρώτα ανδριωμένη, χαίρε, ω χαίρε λευτεριά"

Andreas Kalvos - Greek poet.

Kostis Palamas - Greek poet.

Constantine Cavafy - famous Greek poet.

Nikos Kazantzakis - Greek writer and philosopher.

Giorgos Seferis - winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Odysseus Elytis - winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn? edit

Χαιρετισμοί pronounced Greetings
Γεια σου yia soo Hello (informal, literally "your health")
Χαίρετε herete Hello (formal, literally "be happy")
Καλημέρα kalimera Good morning
Καλησπέρα kalispera Good evening
Καληνύχτα kalinihta Good night
Αποχαιρετισμοί apohe-re-tiz-mi Good-byes
Γεια σου(singular) / Γεια σας(plural) yia soo Good-bye (informal, literally "your health")
Χαίρετε herete Good-bye (formal, literally "be happy")
Τα λέμε (αύριο) ta leh-meh (avrio) See you (tomorrow)
Εις το επανειδείν sto epa-ni-din See you (formal)
Άλλα Other
Eυχαριστώ (πολύ) efharisto/ polu/ Thanks (a lot)
Σε ευχαριστώ(singular) /Σας ευχαριστώ(plural) se efharisto/ Thank you
Παρακαλώ parakalo/ Please
Συγγνώμη signomi Pardon me
Ναι - Όχι ne ohi Yes - No

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language? edit

A children' song:

Ο χορός της χελώνας The Dance of the Turtle
( Ιωάννης Πολέμης, 1862 - 1924) (Ioannis Polemis, 1862 - 1924)
Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό Once upon a time
έστησ’ ο λαγός χορό the rabbit organized a dance.
και τ’αηδόνι κελαηδούσε The nightingale was singing
με φωνή μελωδική with a melodic voice,
κι ο λαγός χοροπηδούσε and the rabbit was jumping around,
κι όλοι εθαύμαζαν εκεί. and everybody was admiring him.
Μια χελώνα τον θωρεί A turtle sees him,
και ζηλεύει και θαρρεί she is jealous and thinks
πως χορό κι εκείνη ξέρει that she can dance, too.
και φωνάζει στο λαγό She calls the rabbit and tells him:
« έλα πιάσε με απ’το χέρι "Come, take my hand
να σ’ακολουθώ κι εγώ ». so that I can follow you".
Ο λαγός καιρό δε χάνει The rabbit does not lose any time.
απ’το χέρι τηνε πιάνει He grabs her by her hand
και χορεύοντας πηγαίνει and goes around dancing,
και τη σέρνει και γελά, he drags her around and laughs.
μα η χελώνα φορτωμένη But the turtle, overwhelmed,
πέφτει και κατρακυλά. falls and tumbles.

References edit

  • "Greek language" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 6 April 2006 18:01 UTC


  • "Modern Greek literature" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 6 April 2006 17:59 UTC