Report: International Greek Language Day celebrated on February 9

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Report: International Greek Language Day celebrated on February 9Greek language has a long and well-documented history spanning more than 34 centuries

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

Beginning 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 among Indo-European languages — spanning 34 centuries.

It holds a significant 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, including 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.

Along with 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 neighbouring 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 constitutes 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 global 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 nowadays spoken by nearly 13.2 million people in Greece, Cyprus and the Greek diaspora around the world.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Tilemahos Efthimiadis License: CC-BY-SA

Source: greekreporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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