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Languages of Greece

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Hellenic Republic, Elliniki Dimokratia. 11,100,000. National or official language: Greek. Literacy rate: 94%–96%. Immigrant languages: Armenian (20,000), Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (2,000), Balkan Gagauz Turkish, English (8,000), Ladino (2,000), Northern Kurdish (22,500), Russian, Serbian, Urum, Western Farsi (10,000). Also includes Arabic (28,000). Information mainly from W. Browne 1989, 1998; B. Comrie 1987; R. Dawkins 1916; P. Trudgill and G. Tzavaras 1977. Blind population: 13,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 42,600 to 634,565 (VanCleve 1986). Deaf institutions: 17. The number of individual languages listed for Greece is 16. Of those, 14 are living languages and 2 have no known speakers.
Albanian, Arvanitika

[aat] 50,000. Ethnic population: 150,000. Attica (Attiki), Boeotia (Viotia), south Euboea (Evia), and Salamis island (Salamina); Thrace; Peloponiso Peninsula, Arkadia; Athens; northwest Peloponnese and other areas in the Peloponnese; Andros north. Mainly rural. 300 villages. Alternate names: Arberichte, Arvanitic, Arvanitika.  Dialects: Thracean Arvanitika, Northwestern Arvanitika, South Central Arvanitika. Partially intelligible with Albanian Tosk [als]. Dialects perceived as mutually unintelligible.  Classification: Indo-European, Albanian, Tosk 
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Albanian, Tosk

[als] 10,000 in Greece (2002 N. Nicholas). Epyrus region, village of Lehovo. Alternate names: Arvanitika, Camerija.  Classification: Indo-European, Albanian, Tosk 
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Aromanian

[rup] 50,000 in Greece (Salminen 1993). Population total all countries: 123,300. Ethnic population: 700,000 in Greece (Association of French Aromanians). North, Northwest Salonika, Pindus Mountains, Trikala area. Also in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia. Alternate names: Armina, Arumanian, Macedo Romanian, Macedo-Rumanian, Vlach.  Dialects: Structurally a distinct language from Mengleno Romanian [ruq] (F. Agard). It split from the other 3 Rumanian languages between 500 and 1000 A.D. Many dialects.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern 
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Bulgarian

[bul] 30,000 in Greece (1998 Greek Helsinki Monitor). Western Thrace, 3 departments, including Xanthi. Dialects: Pomak (Pomakci, Pomakika).  Classification: Indo-European, Slavic, South, Eastern 
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Cappadocian Greek

[cpg] Extinct.  Dialects: Sille, Western Cappadocian, Pharasa. Similar to Pontic [pnt]. Even more distinct from Standard Greek [ell] than Pontic [pnt].  Classification: Indo-European, Greek, Attic 
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Greek

[ell] 10,700,000 in Greece (2002 census). Population total all countries: 13,084,490. Widespread, especially in Greek Macedonia. Also in Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Canada, Congo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Macedonia, Malawi, Mozambique, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation (Europe), Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey (Europe), Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States. Alternate names: Ellinika, Graecae, Grec, Greco, Neo-Hellenic, Romaic.  Dialects: Katharevousa, Dimotiki, Saracatsan. Katharevousa is an archaic literary dialect, Dimotiki is the spoken literary dialect and now the official dialect. The Saracatsan are nomadic shepherds of northern Greece. The Greek of Italy and that of Corsica are probably separate languages (1992 R. Zamponi). In Cyprus, the dialect is reportedly more similar to Classical Greek [grc] in some vocabulary and grammar than that spoken in Greece, and to have many Arabic and Turkish [tur] loanwords. Lexical similarity: 84%–93% with Greek in Cyprus.  Classification: Indo-European, Greek, Attic 
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Greek Sign Language

[gss] 42,600 (VanCleve 1986).  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Greek, Ancient

[grc] Extinct.  Dialects: Koine Greek, Classical Greek.  Classification: Indo-European, Greek, Attic 
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Pontic

[pnt] 200,000 in Greece (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Population total all countries: 324,540. Throughout Macedonia, especially Salonica, a borough of Kalamaria. Also in Azerbaijan, Canada, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation (Europe), Turkey (Europe), United States. Alternate names: Pontic Greek.  Dialects: Standard Greek [ell] speakers cannot understand Pontic, and Pontic speakers reportedly do not understand or speak Standard Greek [ell]. Pontic clubs and centers exist in the Athens-Peiraeus suburbs.  Classification: Indo-European, Greek, Attic 
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Romani, Balkan

[rmn] 40,000 in Greece (1996 B. Igla). 10,000 Arlija, 30,000 Greek Romani. Athens, Agia Varvara suburb, about 500 families. Dialects: Greek Romani, Arlija (Erli).  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Balkan 
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Romani, Vlax

[rmy] 1,000 in Greece.  Alternate names: Romanés, Tsingani.  Dialects: Lovari.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax 
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Romanian, Megleno

[ruq] 3,000 in Greece (2002 N. Nicholas). Population total all countries: 5,000. Kilkis Prefecture, Meglen region, north of Salonika. Also in Macedonia. Alternate names: Meglenite, Meglenitic.  Dialects: Structurally a distinct language from Romanian [rom], Aromanian [rup], and Istro Romanian [ruo](F. Agard).  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern 
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Romano-Greek

[rge] 30 (2000).  Alternate names: Hellenoromani.  Dialects: Structured on Greek [ell] with heavy Romani lexicon.  Classification: Mixed language, Greek-Romani  Nearly extinct.
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Slavic

[mkd] 250,000 in Greece (2007 Boskov). Macedonia region, Florina, north Kastoria and Thessalonica prefectures. Alternate names: Macedonian, Macedonian Slavic.  Classification: Indo-European, Slavic, South, Eastern 
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Tsakonian

[tsd] 1,200 (1981 J. Werner). 300 are shepherds. Kastanitsa, Sitena, Prastos, Leonidi, Pramatefti, Sapounakeika, Tyros, Melana towns, possibly Korakovunio; Peloponnesos east coast. Isolated in summer in east Peloponnesus in mountains west of Leonidi; in winter Leonidi town area. Alternate names: Tsakonia.  Dialects: Northern Tsakonian (Kastanista-Sitena), Southern Tsakonian (Leonidio-Prastos), Propontis Tsakonian (Vatka-Havoutsi). Derived from the Doric dialect spoken in Lakonia by ancient Spartans. Northern and Southern are reportedly mutually intelligible, but Propontis was more distinct, and more similar to Standard Greek. Not inherently intelligible with modern Greek (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Lexical similarity: 70% or less with Standard Greek [ell].  Classification: Indo-European, Greek, Doric 
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Turkish

[tur] 128,000 in Greece (1976 WA). Thrace and Aegean regions. Alternate names: Osmanli.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Turkish 
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