Ethnologue: Areas: Europe

Greece

10,124,000 (1995). Hellenic Republic, Elliniki Dimokratia. Literacy rate 94% to 96%. Also includes Arabic 28,000, Armenian 20,000 (1986), English 8,000, Western Farsi 10,000, Serbo-Croatian. Christian, Muslim. Blind population 13,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 42,600 or more (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 17. The number of languages listed for Greece is 14. Of those, 13 are living languages and 1 is extinct.

ALBANIAN, ARVANITIKA (ARVANITIKA, ARVANITIC) [AAT] 50,000 (Newmark) to 140,000 possible speakers (1977 Trudgill and Tzavaras). Attica (Attiki), Bocotia (Viotia), southern Euboea (Evia), and the island of Salamis (Salamina); Epyrus region and Athens. Mainly rural. Indo-European, Albanian, Tosk. Arvanitika is partially intelligible with Tosk. Speakers are called 'Arvanites'. The language is heavily influenced by Greek. Spoken by older people. Young people are migrating to Athens and assimilating as Greeks. Christian. NT 1827.

BULGARIAN [BLG] 30,000 in Greece (1971 census); 9,000,000 in all countries (1981 WA). Thrace. Also in Turkey, Bulgaria, Moldova, Yugoslavia, USA, and Canada. Indo-European, Slavic, South, Eastern. Dialect: POMAK. Also referred to locally as 'Macedonian' and 'Vlach'. The term 'Vlach' seems to be applied variously to dialects of Bulgarian, Romani, and Romanian in Romania, Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. Many Greek loan words and others from the dead language, Thraco-Illyrian. Pomak is close to Serbian and Bulgarian; geographical dialect shading toward each. Muslim. Bible 1864-1923. NT 1840-1927. Bible portions 1823-1994.

GREEK (GREC, GRAECAE, ROMAIC, NEO-HELLENIC) [GRK] 9,859,850 in Greece, 98.5% of the population (1986); 578,000 in Cyprus; 314,000 in Germany; 114,000 in Poland; 20,000 in Italy; 60,000 in Albania; 50,000 in Sweden; 4,000 in Turkey (1993); 4,700 in Armenia (1993); 106,677 in Australia; 60,000 in Egypt; 458,699 in USA (1970 census); 104,455 in Canada (1971 census); 100,000 in Georgia (1993); 47,000 in Kazakhstan; 1,800 in Paraguay 104,000 in Ukraine (1979); 105,000 in Russia (1979 census); 70,000 in South Africa (1993); 12,000 in Austria (1995); 2,000 in Malawi (1993); 1,600 in Djibouti (1993); 700 in Sierra Leone (1993); 400 in Congo (1993); 11,000 in Bulgaria; 200,000 in United Kingdom; 800 in Bahamas; 12,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Also in Corsica (France), Jordan, Romania, Tunisia, Zaïre. Indo-European, Greek, Attic. 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. Greeks in Russian and Ukraine speak either Greek or Turkish and are called 'Urums'. National language. Typology: SVO. Braille NT. Bible 1840-1955. NT 1638-1989. Bible portions 1547-1949.

GREEK SIGN LANGUAGE [GSS] 42,600 or more users, including 12,600 deaf children and 30,000 active adult users (1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Roots in American and French sign languages and various indigenous sign languages, which came together in the 1950's.

GREEK, ANCIENT [GKO] Indo-European, Greek, Attic. Dialects: KOINE GREEK, CLASSICAL GREEK. Koine Greek is used as a religious language by the Greek Orthodox Church. NT c. 42-98 A.D. Extinct.

PONTIC (PONTIC GREEK) [PNT] 200,000 in Greece (1993 Johnstone); 120,000 in western Georgia; 320,000 or more in all countries. Suburbs between Athens and Peiraeus Katerini. There may still be speakers on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. Also in Boston, Philadelphia, Canmton, Akron, USA; Toronto, Canada; and small communities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Indo-European, Greek, Attic. Brought to Greece in the 1920's and 1930's by immigrants from the Black Sea coast, which had been inhabited by Greeks since antiquity. Speakers of Standard Greek cannot understand Pontic, and Pontic speakers are reported to not understand or speak Standard Greek. Pontic clubs and centers exist in the Athens-Peiraeus suburbs. Young people may speak Standard Greek as their first language. Speakers in North America are reported to hold onto their language more zealously than those in Greece. Ethnic Greeks in Georgia called 'Rumka' speak Pontic Greek.

ROMANIAN, MACEDO (MACEDO-RUMANIAN, ARUMANIAN, AROMUNIAN, ARMINA) [RUP] 50,000 in Greece (1973 Byrd); 60,000 in Albania (1993 Johnstone); 110,000 in all countries, or more. Northwest Salonika, and northern Greece, Pindus Mts., around Trikala. Also in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern, South. Structurally a distinct language from Romanian (F. Agard). It split from the other 3 Rumanian languages between 500 and 1000 A.D. 'Armini' refers to the people. Rapid assimilation to Greek culture; children attend Greek schools. 20% live traditionally. Bible portions 1881-1889. Survey needed.

ROMANIAN, MEGLENO (MEGLENITIC, MEGLENITE) [RUQ] 12,000 (1995). Meglen region, north of Salonika. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern, South. Structurally a distinct language from Romanian, Macedo Romanian, and Istro Romanian (F. Agard). The 4 Romanian languages split between 500 and 1000 A.D. Survey needed.

ROMANI, BALKAN [RMN] 40,000 in Greece including 10,000 Arlija, 30,000 Greek Romani; 1,000,000 in all countries (1980 UBS). Also Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, Iran, Moldova, Ukraine. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Balkan. Dialects: GREEK ROMANI, ARLIJA (ERLI). A Gypsy language. Muslim. Bible portions 1912-1937. Work in progress.

ROMANI, VLACH (ROMANÉS, TSINGANI, ROM) [RMY] 1,000 Lovari in Greece; 1,500,000 in all countries (1986 estimate). Also in many other countries of Europe and the Americas. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax. Dialect: LOVARI. Some Gypsies prefer to maintain their isolated way of life. They can understand Manus (Manuche) only with difficulty. Speakers call themselves 'Rom'. Settled Gypsies, who are bilingual, accept being called 'Tsingani'. They call the non-settled Gypsies 'Yifti'. Distinct from Rumanovlach, a variety of Rumanian. Christian. NT 1984-1995. Bible portions 1930-1986.

ROMANO-GREEK (HELLENOROMANI) [RGE] Indo-European, Greek, Attic. Structured on Greek with heavy Romani lexicon. A Gypsy language. Survey needed.

SLAVIC (MACEDONIAN SLAVIC, MACEDONIAN) [MKJ] 41,017 mother tongue speakers in Greece, 0.537% of the population (1951 census); 1,386,000 in Macedonia (formerly Yugoslavia; 1986); 30,000 in Albania (1993); 3,995 in Canada (1961 govt. report); 2,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Macedonia region in Greece. Also in Bulgaria. Indo-European, Slavic, South, Eastern. Called 'Slavic' in Greece, where 'Macedonian' only refers to people living in Macedonia, a separate country. Speakers are bilingual in Greek, which is used for education and religion. Bible 1988. NT 1967-1976. Bible portions 1952-1959.

TSAKONIAN (TSAKONIA) [TSD] 300 shepherds (1981 J. Werner); 10,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Towns of Kastanitas, Sitena, Prastos, Karakovonve, Leonidi, Pramatefti, Sapounakeida, Tyros; eastern coast of Peloponnesos. Isolated in summer in the mountains west of Leonidi in the eastern Peloponnesus; in winter they descend to Leonidi and neighboring towns. Indo-European, Greek, Doric. Dialects: KASTANITAS-SITENA, LENIDI-PRASTOS. Derived from the Doric dialect spoken in Lakonia by ancient Spartans. There were monolingual speakers in 1927. It is not inherently intelligible with modern Greek (Voegelin and Voegelin). Children attend Greek schools, including kindergarten, in winter. Pastoralists. Survey needed.

TURKISH (OSMANLI) [TRK] 128,380 in Greece (1976 WA); 59,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Thrace and Aegean regions. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Turkish. The number of Turks in Greece remains fairly constant, because growth is offset by a steady flow of emigration to Turkey. Muslim. Bible 1827-1941. NT 1819-1991. Bible portions 1782-1985.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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