A language of Greece

Alternate Names
Pontic Greek

400,000 in Greece (2009 Z. Diakonikolaou). Total users in all countries: 1,178,000.


Epirus and Western Macedonia, and Macedonia and Thrace administrative units: all of Serrai, Kilkis, and Pella; Thessaloniki except for portion south of Kalamaria borough; fringe enclaves in Drama and Imathia.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


None known. 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.

Language Use

Youth may speak standard Greek as L1. Speakers in North America reportedly maintain the use of Pontic more zealously than those in Greece.

Language Development

Cyrillic script [Cyrl], rarely used. Greek script [Grek], primary usage. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Brought to Greece in the 1920s and 1930s by immigrants from the Black Sea coast, which had been inhabited by Greeks since antiquity.

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