February 9th is International Greek Language Day

February 9th is International Greek Language Day

February 9th is International Greek Language Day

February 9th is International Greek Language Day and many of you are going to ask why to devote a day to the language.

There are many good reasons for this, Greek is one of the oldest Indo-European languages and is usually divided into Ancient Greek and Modern Greek.

It is a language that, more than any other language, has developed, shaped and expressed most of the scientific theories, philosophical thought and literature in the western world for millennia. It is therefore not surprising that the Guinness Book of Records classifies the Greek language as the richest in the world with 5 million words and 70 million word types!

The Greek alphabet is one of the first alphabets to include vowels and consonants. It appeared around the turn of the 8th and 9th centuries. The present modern Greek alphabet consists of 24 letters (7 vowels and 17 consonants).

An astonishing 150,000 words in modern English have direct or indirect origins in ancient Greek, hence the expression "The Greeks have a word for it" which is often used when you want to describe something but you cannot recollect the right word. Each of us use a large number of these words every day without being aware of where they actually come from, since they are already part of everyday life.

Alphabet is formed of the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, ‚alpha' for a and ‚beta' for b. Words that start with 'ph-' are usually of Greek origin, for example: philosophy, physical, photo, phrase, philanthropy. Phobia describes an irrational fear - and there are many strange phobias whose names also come from Greek or democracy, from demos (δήμος - "people") and kratos (κράτος - "power") means power to the people. Some further examples are:

Angel = Άγγελος (Aggelos)
Aroma = Άρωμα (Aroma)
Base = Βάση (Vase)
Center = Κέντρο (Kentro)
Cosmos = Κόσμος (Cosmos)
Devil = Διάβολος (Diavolos)
Dynasty = Δυναστεία (Dynasteia)
Economy = Οικονομία (Economy)
Euro = Ευρώ (Evro)
Galaxy = Γαλαξίας (Galaxias)
Giant = Γίγαντας (Gigantas)
History = Ιστορία (Eestoreea)
Hour = Ώρα (Ora)
Idiot = Ιδιώτης (Idiots)
Mystery = Μυστήριο (Mystery)
Nike = Νίκη (Nike)
Panic = Πανικός (Panic)
Paradise = Παράδεισος (Paradeisos)
Planet = Πλανήτης (Planeetes)
Psycho = Ψυχο (Psycho)
School = Σχολείο (Scholeeo)
Symbol = Σύμβολο (Symvolo)
Technology = Τεχνολογία (Technology)
Telephone = Τηλέφωνο (Telephone)
Thermometer = Θερμόμετρο (Thermometro)
Triumph = Θρίαμβος (Thriamvos)

So, pay attention to the words you hear and speak, and try to figure out where they're coming from, they just might be Greek!


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