Greek language factsheet

Written on 3 May, 2021


Greek is spoken by around 13 million people, mainly in Greece and Cyprus, alongside a sizable Greek-speaking minority in Albania.

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus, Albania and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Five interesting facts about the Greek language:

1. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, with at least 3400 years of written records.

2. Its writing system is the Greek alphabet, which has been used for over 2,600 years.

3. The longest Greek word contains 182 characters, ‘Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon’. When translated into English, it is a fictional dish created by Aristophanes in his comedy Assemblywomen.

4. The Greek language has three genders, like German, which are masculine, feminine and neuter.

5. The Greek language holds an important place in the history of the Western world, beginning with the epics of Homer. Ancient Greek literature includes many works of lasting importance in the European canon.

If you would like to work with a professional translation agency for the translation of your documents from Greek to English or English to Greek, please do get in touch with the award-winning team at Surrey Translation Bureau.

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