10 Interesting Facts About The Greek Language

The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Greek is an unusual, but so recognizable alphabet. Interesting features of this language are not limited only to this.

  1. Greek belongs to the Indo-European languages, being the only one of the Greek group. It is the official language of the European Union, it is spoken in Greece and Cyprus. In addition, there are about 15 million native speakers of this language in the world.
  2. Written artifacts in Greek dating back to the XIV century were found. The Greek alphabet became the basis for the Latin alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet and a number of other alphabets.
  3. Greek alphabet is the first one known to us in which vowel letters were used. Other alphabets of those years dispensed only with consonants, and diacritics were used to denote vowels.
  4. The ancient Greeks wrote from left to right and from right to left at the same time. Subsequently, the Greeks preferred to write only from left to right.
  5. When ancient Greece was conquered by the Romans and became one of the provinces of the Roman Empire, the conquerors recognized that knowledge of the Greek language was mandatory for any educated person.
  6. Today Greek is divided into Medieval Greek, Middle Greek and Ancient Greek. The first one is divided into two forms: Demotic and Kafarevousa. Dimotic is a simpler version of the language. Kafariovusa is a conservative form considered the language of the aristocracy.
  7. Modern languages have many borrowings from Greek. There are at least 50,000 words with Greek roots in English. However, the modern Greek language itself already contains many borrowings from English.
  8. The longest Greek word consists of 172 letters and looks likeIts author is the famous ancient Greek comedian Aristophanes. He used this word in 392 BC in the comedy “Lysistrata”. It means a dish made from a set of ingredients.
  9. In Greek, a semicolon is placed instead of a question mark. When the Greeks need to use a real semicolon, they put the usual point, but not at the bottom, but in the middle of the line (the so-called interpunct). However, sometimes this sign replaces the colon.
  10. The New Testament was written in Greek. The quality of the translation of texts from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek turned out to be far from perfect. There are many difficult-to-understand passages and mistakes in the Gospel because of this.

Here is such an interesting and mysterious Greek language.