Ethnologue: Languages of the World
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Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Europe > Greece > Greek


A language of Greece

ISO 639-3ell

Population  10,700,000 in Greece (2002 census). Population total all countries: 13,084,490.
Region  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.
Language map  Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
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
Language use  Official language.
Language development  Fully developed. Bible: 1840–1994.
Writing system  Cyrillic script, used in Ukraine. Greek script.
Comments  Greeks in the Russian Federation and Ukraine speak either Greek or Turkish and are called ‘Urums’. The Karamanli were Orthodox Christian Turks who came from central Turkey. SVO.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Greek
Population  60,000 in Albania (1989).
Region  South.


Language name   Greek
Population  689,000 in Cyprus (2002 census).
Region  Nearly all in south Cyprus.
Language map  Cyprus
Dialects  Cypriot Greek.
Language use  National language.
Comments  Christian.


Language name   Greek
Population  42,000 in Egypt (2004).
Region  Alexandria.
Language map  Egypt and Libya


Language name   Greek
Region  Cargese, Corsica.
Dialects  Cargese.
Language use  Shifted to French.


Language name   Greek
Population  20,000 in Italy (Vincent 1987).
Region  South, east of Reggio; Salento (Colimera, Sternatía, Zollino) and Aspromonte (Bova, Condofuri, Palizzi, Roccoforte, Roghudi).
Alternate names  Greco
Dialects  Salento, Aspromonte.
Language use  Mostly older adults.


Language name   Greek
Population  4,150 in Romania (2002 census).
Language use  The Karakatchan are Romanian nomadic shepherds who speak Greek.

Turkey (Europe)

Language name   Greek
Population  4,000 in Turkey (1993).
Region  Istanbul City.
Comments  Nearly all Greeks emigrated from Turkey. There were 1,500,000 in Turkey in 1900.


Language name   Greek
Population  7,210 in Ukraine (1970 census). Ethnic population: 106,909.
Region  Donetsk Oblast, Mariupol town. 18 villages.
Language map  Ukraine
Dialects  Mariupol Greek (Tavro-Rumeic, Crimeo-Rumeic).
Language use  Most ethnic Greeks speak Russian as L1. Some speak Urum [uum] (Podolsky 1985).

Entries from the SIL Bibliography about this language:

Academic Publications

Alsop, John R., editor. 1981. An index to the revised Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich lexicon.

Black, Cheryl A. and Stephen A. Marlett. 1996. "On generating the Greek noun phrase."

Bodine, Walter R. 1999. "Celebration of a discipline: On the study of Hebrew and Greek."

Friberg, Timothy. 1978. The discourse structure of the Greek text of Galatians.

Friberg, Timothy. 1982. New Testament Greek word order in light of discourse considerations.

Greenlee, J. Harold. 2000. "‘Oτι’ and ‘Iνα’ content clauses."

Hargrave, David J. 1974. The significance of Paul’s use of rock (ŋETPA) in I Corinthians 10:4.

Kolgjini, Julie May. 2001. Review of: Comparative syntax of Balkan languages, Maria-Luisa Rivero and Angela Ralli, editors.

Larsen, Iver. 2001. "Word order and relative prominence in New Testament Greek: a new look."

Levinsohn, Stephen H. 1992. Discourse features of New Testament Greek: a coursebook.

Levinsohn, Stephen H. 2000. Discourse features of New Testament Greek: a coursebook on the information structure of New Testament Greek.  Available for purchase

Malone, Terrell A. 1980. The double accusative in Koine Greek: a syntactic study.

Manabe, Takashi. 1978. "Topic-comment based linguistics model and its application to Greek and Japanese."

Marlett, Stephen A. 1976. Copy-raising in Koine Greek.

Marlett, Stephen A. 1987. "Extraction from complement clauses in Koine Greek."

Miehle, Helen L. 1981. Theme in Greek hortatory discourse: Van Dijk and Beekman-Callow approaches applied to I John.

Pope, Anthony. 1988. "The use of the present indicative to signal future time in New Testament Greek, with special reference to the Gospel of John."

Radney, J. Randolph. 1988. "Some factors that influence fronting in Koine clauses."

Tauberschmidt, Gerhard. 2001. Secondary parallelism: a study of translation technique in LXX Proverbs.

Trail, Ronald L. 2003. An exegetical study of Revelation 1-11.

Unseth, Peter. 1981. The structure and rhetorical effect of seven questions in Koiné Greek.

Van Otterloo, Roger. 1988. "Towards an understanding of ‘lo’ and ‘behold’ functions of idoú and idɛ in the Greek New Testament."

Werner, John. 1985. "When is past not past? (the epistolary aorist)."