Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Greek Language.

The Greek language, being a living organisation, has been evolving since its first written forms, to Homer, past Plato, the Hellenistic period, the Byzantine epoch, forming itself to its current form, the so cold Modern Greek. Greek was for many centuries the common language of the ancient world around the Mediterranean. It was the language of culture and commerce; the language in which new and innovative ideas were propagated, hence we have the birth and evolution of philosophy in the Greek world. No educated Roman was without it, that is why countless words were incorporated into the Latin vocabulary and hence, through the scholars of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance who spoke Greek at least as fluently as Latin, passed to the European languages of today.

In English, about a third of the words are either transliterated Greek or of Greek origin; including most medical, scientific and literary terms, as well as hundreds of names for plants, animals and elements.
Modern Greek has retained unchanged more than 80% of its original vocabulary; however, the rest is made up of transliterated foreign words, derived mainly from English, Italian, French and Turkish.
A number of Greek word used in English are: Christ (the Anointed One), apostles, martyrs, choir, crypt, monastery, dogma, mysterious, ethereal, tragic, magnetic, democratic, nostalgic, automatic, diplomatic, European, hysterical, ironic, anonymous, aristocratic, ethics, anarchists, symbols, diamonds, theatre, scenes, comedy, cinema, scandal, architect, ideas, electric, hydraulics, atom... 

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