María Palomares Tarí
THE GREEK LANGUAGE: THE FACTS!
Greece has produced some of the most influential figures in human history, including philosophers like Plato and Socrates, scientists such as Aristotle and Hippocrates, women who changed history like Aspasia of Miletus or Hypatia of Alexandria, and leaders like Alexander the Great. But how much do you know about the Greek language?
Today we’ve brought together 5 surprising facts about the language that in its own way helped to define today's Western culture. Ready?
Greek is the official language of Greece, which is also called the Hellenic Republic, and is also one of the official languages of the Republic of Cyprus. However, there are also big Greek and Cypriot communities in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, Chile, South Africa and Russia, but also in neighbouring countries, such as Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
The Greek language (or Modern Greek or Hellenic as it is sometimes called) belongs to the Indo-European language family and is the continuity of Ancient Greek. Both languages share almost the same alphabet, grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Latin language and all the Latin-derived languages were influenced by Ancient Greek.
It’s estimated that around 30% of the English vocabulary consists, directly and indirectly, of words of Classical Greek origin. Most of them are technical and scientific terms.
The first two letters in the Greek alphabet are alpha (α) and beta (β). Therefore, even though English uses Roman letters, the word “alphabet” actually refers to Greek characters!
Greek is one of the oldest documented living languages in the indo-european language family. In fact, there are written records in Greek that date back at least 3,400 years, or 34 centuries! The oldest record was found on a clay tablet dated between 1450 and 1350 BCE.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Greek or Latin languages?
Share it with us!