Greek Language. History, facts and phrases

Greek Interesting Facts

Photo: Interesting facts about the Greek language

If you’ve made up your mind to learn Greek, it’s always a good idea to learn a little bit about the origins and history of the language you want to master. Ilovegreece offers the most interesting facts about the Greek language:

Greek is a Hellenic language.

Greek came from Proto-Greek, the first form of Greek spoken in the 3rd millennium BC. It later evolved into the ancient Greek language spoken during antiquity. Modern Greek emerged after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Greek is the oldest recorded living language, with written records spanning over 34 centuries.

There are 14 million speakers of Greek in the world

Greek speakers mainly live in Greece and Cyprus, but also in Italy, Germany and the United States. The Greek diaspora, which can be found in Western Europe, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and other countries, also uses Greek on a daily basis.

The Greek language has had a significant influence on Western literature

Greek has also influenced almost all of the world’s languages, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. Many English words related to these sciences are of Greek origin. Along with Latin, Greek is still used to create new words in English and other languages.

The longest Greek word contains 182 characters

“Λοπαδοτεμμαχοσελαχογαλεοκρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριματοσιλτοκακεχυμενοκιχ-λεπικοσυφοφατοπερισιτελαλικικονοπτελειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγνοπτερύγων.” which in Russian translates roughly as “oyster-cambal-crab-sweet-sweet-cardamom-oil-apple-honey-selery-peanut-glucharino-glucharino-kuropachi-hare-poletelachi-kulebyaka,” and is the longest ancient Greek word. It is a fictional dish created by Aristophanes in his comedy Women in the People’s Assembly.

The word “alphabet” is actually formed from “alpha” and “beta” (“vitta”)

Greek courses

A great way to improve your Greek language skills is to take a group Greek course at the universities in Thessaloniki and Athens in special language schools, where tuition is paid from the state scholarship fund.

Indo-European Group

Greek is one of the languages of the Indo-European language family. Today it is the only representative of the Greek group, although its isolated dialects of Tsakon, Cappadocian and Pontic, which are on the verge of extinction, are sometimes considered separate languages.

What to see in South America

The neighbors speak Greek

Due to the intensification of economic relations of Greece with other Balkan countries as well as due to massive migrations into the country during the last twenty years, Greek is spoken by a number of people from the neighboring countries as well. Especially important is its role in Albania, where it is widely spoken in the south of the country and in large cities and is in fact a working language.


Greek words entered the Russian language mainly in two ways – through international vocabulary and through Church Slavonic. 65% of Russian names are of Greek origin, e.g. Nikolai, Konstantin, Mikhail, Andrei, Ivan, Alexei, Fedor, Ilya, Georgy, Vasily, Denis, Dimitriy and many more.

Why “Greek”, “Greek”?

The Russian adjective “Greek” is derived from the noun Greek, which is derived from Praslav. *The Russian adjective “Greek” is derived from the Greek noun γραικός, the name of one of the Greek tribes. The self-name of the language is η ελληνική γλώσσα, formed from ελλην “Hellenes, Greeks”. Hellenes (Greek Έλλην) – in ancient Greek mythology the ancestor of the Greek people, who according to different versions was the son of either Deucalion and Pyrrha, or Zeus, or Poseidon and Antioch.


The ancient Greek language was divided into many dialects. It is customary to distinguish four dialectal groups: eastern (Ionic, Attic dialects), western (Doric), Arcado-Cyprian (South-Achaic), and Aeolian (North-Achaic). From the Attic dialect in the later, Hellenistic era (after the campaigns of Alexander the Great) emerged a common Greek language, the so-called Koyne (κοινή), which became the spoken and administrative language in the wide areas of the eastern Mediterranean. Almost all modern Greek dialects are derived from the Koine. The exception is the isolated Tzakoni (Tzakonian) dialect, or language (Greek τσακωνικά), which is traditionally derived from the ancient Doric dialect.

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