February 9: International Greek Language Day

9 February 2018
380 Views

After years of campaigning by academics, educators and Greeks of the diaspora, Feb. 9 has officially been declared International Greek Language Day.

Starting in 2018, the day is expected to spark off initiatives to help spread Greek language and culture worldwide.

Greek has a long and well-documented history — the longest of any Indo-European language — spanning 34 centuries.

It holds an important place in the history of the Western world and Christianity; the canon of ancient Greek literature includes works such as the epic poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Greek is also the foundational language of Western science, especially astronomy, mathematics, logic, and philosophy, such as the Platonic dialogues and the works of Aristotle. The New Testament of the Christian Bible was written in Koine Greek.

Together with the Latin texts and traditions of the Roman world, the study of ancient Greek writings and society constitutes the discipline of Classics.

13 million speakers

Keeping that Roman link, it was the Greeks of Italy who were the first to propose an international day for the Greek language. The Athens government eventually adopted the proposal and the plenary session of the Greek parliament unanimously accepted and institutionalized it.

The specific date coincides with the Commemoration Day of Greece’s national poet, Dionysios Solomos, whose lengthy poetic composition To Freedom makes up the lyrics of the Greek national anthem.

In the modern world, the Greek language has not been restricted by borders. Countless Greek words enrich other languages, culminating in the international medical terminology in which about 80 percent of the scientific terms have a Greek root.

As the official language of two EU member states, Greece and Cyprus, it is one of the 24 official languages of the European Union and by a rough estimate, is currently spoken by nearly 13.2 million people in Greece, Cyprus and the Greek diaspora around the world.

Source: Greek Reporter

You may be interested

Travel to Greece: Where to go in Argolis, Peloponnese
GREECE
shares115 views
GREECE
shares115 views

Travel to Greece: Where to go in Argolis, Peloponnese

Panos - Aug 16, 2018

Located at just under a 2-hour drive from Athens, the Argolis peninsula in the Peloponnese region offers many different historical…

Folegandros: Images of an undiscovered gem
GREECE
shares397 views
GREECE
shares397 views

Folegandros: Images of an undiscovered gem

Panos - Aug 16, 2018

Shining under the Aegean sun, Folégandros was named after the son of King Minos. This off-the-beaten-path destination captivates the visitors…

The man who captures criminals for the D.E.A. by playing them
GREECE
shares16 views
GREECE
shares16 views

The man who captures criminals for the D.E.A. by playing them

Panos - Aug 16, 2018

On the afternoon of February 9, 2011, in a suite at the City Hotel in Bucharest, two men, hoping to…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.