Greek language

Greek (Eλληνικά), the language of one of the major civilizations and one of the most important literatures in the world, has its own independent branch within the Indo-European language family and has no close living relatives. Of all living Indo-European languages, it is the one most closely related to Armenian.

It was spoken in the southern Balkans from the first part of the second millennium BC and has a documented history dating back over 3,500 years, being the oldest record of an Indo-European language. The first written evidence of Greek is some documents written in Mycenaean Greek found in Crete.

These documents were originally written in the Linear B writing system.
Modern Greek descends from Proto-Greek, the ancestor of the ancient Greek dialects that were spoken in different areas of Greece before the 4th century BC, and which were gradually replaced by a variety of Greek called common Greek or Koine (κοινή), based on the Attic Greek spoken in Athens.

The history of the Greek language is often divided into several periods influenced by political and linguistic factors:

  • Mycenaean Greek was the language spoken in the Mycenaean civilization (from the 16th century BC).
  • Classical (or ancient) Greek, known throughout the Roman Empire, was the language of the classical period of Greek civilization. Classical Greek fell into disuse in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, but continued to be used in the Byzantine Empire and was reintroduced to the rest of Europe after the Fall of Constantinople and the Greek migration to Italy.
  • Common or Koine Greek, a fusion of several Greek dialects with the Athens dialect, was the common Greek dialect and became one of the first lingua franca in the world.
  • Medieval (Byzantine) Greek was the literary language of the Byzantine Empire until its fall in the 15th century AD.
  • Modern Greek developed from the Koine Greek that is spoken today.

Dialects of Greek

There are several main forms of Greek:

Dhimotiki (δημοτική), the demotic or vernacular language, which was declared the official language of Greece in 1976

Katharévusa, an imitation of the classical Greek, which was used for literary, legal, administrative and scientific purposes during the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century.

Koine (Κοινή) is a combination of Dhimotiki and Katharévusa which is used for all official purposes and serves as a vehicular language in Greek schools.

Speakers of Greek

Greek is the national language of Greece, where it is spoken by some 10.7 million people, and it is the co-official language, along with Turkish, in Cyprus, where it is spoken by 1.1 million people. It is a de facto regional language in some provinces of Albania, where it is spoken by some 15,000 people. In addition, it is spoken in many other countries with Greek immigrant populations.  Greek is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union. It is spoken by 13 million people around the world.

Translation agency for Spanish-English-Greek

Now that you know a little more about the Greek language, you might be interested to know that we offer professional translation services from both English to Greek and from Greek into English. We specialise in translation from and into Spanish.

Have you ever thought about the potential customers you could reach if you had your WordPress in Greek? If you are planning your business strategy for this language, one of the most effective channels is video. If you regularly publish audiovisual content in English on YouTube or Vimeo, the incorporation of Greek Subtitles & Captioning is much easier than you think. Our translation company for the Greek language uses the latest technologies in computer-assisted translation to offer you the best quality and prices. If you need Greek Financial Translations or reliable Greek Legal Translators, please contact us and find out about our rates and conditions.