A language of Greece

Alternate Names
Grec, Greco, Neo-Hellenic, Romaic
Νέα Ελληνικά‎ (Néa Ellīniká), ελληνικά‎ (Elliniká)

10,700,000 in Greece (European Commission 2012). Total users in all countries: 13,170,460 (as L1: 13,111,960; as L2: 58,500).



Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.


Katharevousa, Dimotiki, Saracatsan. Katharevousa is an archaic literary dialect, Dimotiki is the spoken literary and now official dialect. The Saracatsan are nomadic shepherds of northern Greece. The Greek of Italy and that of Corsica are probably distinct 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 Latin [lat] and Turkish [tur] loanwords. Lexical similarity: 84%–93% with Greek [ell] in Cyprus.


SVO; prepositions; noun head final; gender (masculine/feminine/neuter); definite and indefinite articles; case-marking (3 cases); verb affixes mark person, number; passives (active, medio-passive, passive); tense and aspect; comparatives; 18 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; non-tonal; free stress.

Language Use

Many also use English [eng] (European Commission 2006). A few also use French [fra] (European Commission 2006), Standard German [deu] (European Commission 2006).

Language Development

Fully developed. Bible: 1840–1994.


Braille script [Brai]. Cyrillic script [Cyrl], used in Ukraine. Greek script [Grek], primary usage.

Other Comments

The Karamanli were Orthodox Christian Turks who came from central Turkey.

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