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dpappas87

Member
This is some cool info I found out about katharevousa.

Greek is the official language and is spoken by nearly all the citizens. It is an Indo-European language that has been used in this area since the second millenium B.C.E. , although it has undergone considerable change. A major division exists between the ordinary spoken language known as demotic and a formal version known as katharevousa, which was developed in the eighteenth century to revive elements of ancient Greek and develop a national language that did not favor any regional dialect. Katharevousa spread quickly among political leaders and the intelligentsia. Writers initially embraced it, although most turned back to demotic Greek by the twentieth century. Katharevousa was used for most state documents, in many newspapers, and in secondary school instruction until the 1970s but has been displaced by demotic Greek since that time.

Source: https://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Greece.html#ixzz717YSfPBy
 
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Worldwide Greeks Editor

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks so much for sharing this great information!!
 
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ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
It's a real shame this is not taught in school anymore. Most people can't speak it anymore...
 
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kcixcy

Member
Hmmmm.....interesting I've never heard of this before
 
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k_tsoukalas

Moderator
Is this a more formalized version of the Greek language? I think I may have seen it written in some older Greek writings...
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
Is this a more formalized version of the Greek language? I think I may have seen it written in some older Greek writings...
You have definitely seen it in older writings. Until about the 1930s (I think) they used to teach katharevousa in school. Today, almost no one speaks it and people will laugh at you if you speak it; although, some words are still used. For example, the technical terms for "red blood cell" and "white blood cell" are erythrocyte and leukocyte. In katharevousa erythros means red and leukos means white.

Greek is getting g dumbed down and it's a shame. The younger generation wants to simplify things (e.g. getting rid of dipthongs) - e.g. In the past the word "train" was spelled "τραίνο" and now people spell it as "τρένο".
 

nadellii

Active member
You have definitely seen it in older writings. Until about the 1930s (I think) they used to teach katharevousa in school. Today, almost no one speaks it and people will laugh at you if you speak it; although, some words are still used. For example, the technical terms for "red blood cell" and "white blood cell" are erythrocyte and leukocyte. In katharevousa erythros means red and leukos means white.

Greek is getting g dumbed down and it's a shame. The younger generation wants to simplify things (e.g. getting rid of dipthongs) - e.g. In the past the word "train" was spelled "τραίνο" and now people spell it as "τρένο".
Sometimes simple is good, but you lose a lot of history and culture with it. I find Greek very hard to spell and learn, and i’ve heard a lot of native speakers struggle with the spelling. The rules are pretty hard to follow. I’m not sure if that has much to do with katharevousa though
 

Jerry s

Member
Sometimes simple is good, but you lose a lot of history and culture with it. I find Greek very hard to spell and learn, and i’ve heard a lot of native speakers struggle with the spelling. The rules are pretty hard to follow. I’m not sure if that has much to do with katharevousa though
Greek grammar is very difficult to learn, especially for a foreigner. Up until the 70's ancient Greek was taught at high schools. Just like English they made it simpler and easier to learn. They even had two different accents, oxia and perispomeni, that's gone. What about pneumata they don't exist now either.
I don't know where you I'm guessing USA. American English is simpler than UK English. As an example they replace "gh" in the word light with a T .
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
Greek grammar is very difficult to learn, especially for a foreigner. Up until the 70's ancient Greek was taught at high schools. Just like English they made it simpler and easier to learn. They even had two different accents, oxia and perispomeni, that's gone. What about pneumata they don't exist now either.
I don't know where you I'm guessing USA. American English is simpler than UK English. As an example they replace "gh" in the word light with a T .
Ancient Greek is still taught in high school and middle school.
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
Sometimes simple is good, but you lose a lot of history and culture with it. I find Greek very hard to spell and learn, and i’ve heard a lot of native speakers struggle with the spelling. The rules are pretty hard to follow. I’m not sure if that has much to do with katharevousa though
Learning to spell in Greek is no different than other languages. The people in Greece who can't spell are the same as English speakers who can't spell - they aren't trying hard enough to learn.

Grammar isn't that hard to learn in Greek, but you will pick it up over time and start to sound more like a native as you practice.
 

francescool

Active member
Learning to spell in Greek is no different than other languages. The people in Greece who can't spell are the same as English speakers who can't spell - they aren't trying hard enough to learn.

Grammar isn't that hard to learn in Greek, but you will pick it up over time and start to sound more like a native as you practice.
Hmm that's a pretty good point
 

ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
Hmm that's a pretty good point
When it comes to spelling and phonetics, English is far harder language than Greek because English is a language made up of several different languages. When it comes to grammar, English is a complete joke, except for the prepositions "in, at, on, and to". Most languages only have one word for these prepositions, and in Greek that word is se (σε). Eimai sto (se + to) spiti sou = I am at/in your house, Eimai sto (se + to) nisi = I'm on the island, thelw na paw sti (se + ti) thalasa = I want to go to the beach. Greek people will use these prepositions incorrectly when speaking English (e.g. I am to your house), and it's hard to teach them exactly when to use them because there are specific rules on when to use them.
 
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auroracoor1

Member
When it comes to spelling and phonetics, English is far harder language than Greek because English is a language made up of several different languages. When it comes to grammar, English is a complete joke, except for the prepositions "in, at, on, and too". Most languages only have one word for these prepositions, and in Greek that word is se (σε). Eimai sto (se + to) spiti sou = I am at/in your house, Eimai sto (se + to) nisi = I'm on the island, thelw na paw sti (se + ti) thalasa = I want to go to the beach. Greek people will use these prepositions incorrectly when speaking English (e.g. I am to your house), and it's hard to teach them exactly when to use them because there are specific rules on when to use them.
This is true, Ive heard many people say that English is pretty hard in terms of getting the grammar perfect, but because there is no verb conjugations its actually pretty easy to communicate when you don't know it perfectly
 

amygdalE

Member
It's a real shame this is not taught in school anymore. Most people can't speak it anymore...
I'm in no position to make a judgment on the utility of this formalized Greek language, but I just learned from Wikipedia that it does, or tries to do, away with the ancient Greek vowel diphthongs; I suppose it retained Xi [ks] and Psi [ps]. That is a pity, because many diphtongs are not mere diction phenomena, but significant grammatical forms, as in "Zeus huei". Furthermore, one reason I think that Greeks, not Phoenicians, invented the alphabet is precisely that the Greek language had an abundance of vowel sounds which had to be represented in writing. (The fact that some Semites used only consonants in their writings does not imply that the original alphabet consisted of only consonants; it was syllabic, as in the Linear B script and in Greek metric poetry. Syllables require vowel accuracy.)
 

redsoxdw_

Member
I'm in no position to make a judgment on the utility of this formalized Greek language, but I just learned from Wikipedia that it does, or tries to do, away with the ancient Greek vowel diphthongs; I suppose it retained Xi [ks] and Psi [ps]. That is a pity, because many diphtongs are not mere diction phenomena, but significant grammatical forms, as in "Zeus huei". Furthermore, one reason I think that Greeks, not Phoenicians, invented the alphabet is precisely that the Greek language had an abundance of vowel sounds which had to be represented in writing. (The fact that some Semites used only consonants in their writings does not imply that the original alphabet consisted of only consonants; it was syllabic, as in the Linear B script and in Greek metric poetry. Syllables require vowel accuracy.)
What exactly is a dipthong?
 

amygdalE

Member
What exactly is a dipthong?
To begin with, a single, simple, and distinct sound of the human voice is called a phoneme. Two phonemes, uttered one immediately after another, are called a diphthong. English,too, has many diphthongs, but they are not written down. E.g. : "Night" is not written as n-a-i-t. "No" is not written as n-o-u, where u is a mere sound-flair/twist of o. // Since it is difficult to utter consonants without vowels, Greek has/had few consonantal dightongs. Typical example: PSykhE, which in English becomes S-a-i-ki. // My view: The earliest Greek writing was syllabic, that is, it reflected singing such as it is done to this day, that is, by breaking down whole words into syllables, utterable groups of consonant(s) + vowel(s). [Oh, dont for-get me, O my dar-ling on this my wed-ding day, ...] Gary Cooper was starring in the movie.
 
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ellinasgolfer0320

Active member
What exactly is a dipthong?
It's a combination of letters to make a new sound that they would not make on their own.

For example, in Greek ε=eh and υ=ee but when combined ευ=ef like in the word euharistw (sometimes written efharistw)
 
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kcixcy

Member
It's a combination of letters to make a new sound that they would not make on their own.

For example, in Greek ε=eh and υ=ee but when combined ευ=ef like in the word euharistw (sometimes written efharistw)
Hmmm, so interesting! Everyone on here knows so much about Greek which is super helpful because Im trying to learn some Greek so that I can learn to speak with my husbands family and have an easier time when I visit Greece. Thanks for your info
 

National Geographic showcases the food culture of Greece in the most beautiful way

Crete has the best food culture in Greece! This video captures it so well

Vocabulary words that you need to know if you are going to the beach in Greece!

These are going to be super helpful when you're going to the beach in Greece!

  • Swimsuit – το μαγιό – to mayio
  • Red (black, blue, etc) Swimsuit – το κόκκινο (μαύρο, μπλε, etc) μαγιό – to kokkino (mavro, ble, etc) mayio
  • Beach – η παραλία – I paralia
  • Ocean – ο ωκεανός – o okeanos
  • Mediterranean Sea – Η Μεσόγειος – I mesoyeeos
  • Sun – Ο ήλιος – o ilios
  • Sunglasses – τα γυαλιά Ηλιού – ta gyaliá Ilioú
  • Swimming – κολύμπι – kolimbi
  • Towel – πετσέτα – peseta
  • Seashell – το κοχύλι – to kohili
  • Suntan – το μαύρισμα – to mavrisma
  • Palm Tree – το φοίνικα – to finika
  • Life Guard – ο ναυαγοσώστης – o navagosóstis
  • Sunscreen – το αντηλιακό – to aftiliako
  • Bikini – το μπικίνι – to bikini

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

I know its a little early (Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet) but Im already too excited and preparing for Christmas!! What are your favorite Greek Christmas traditions?? :)

What do Greek-Americans and Greek-Canadians do for thanksgiving?

This question is out of pure curiotisty! What do my fellow Greek-Americans and Greek-Canadians do for thanksgiving? Do you eat turkey? Do you even celebrate?

5 Greek wedding gifts not on the registry

Time Capsule​

Gift the newlyweds with a time capsule they can fill with memorabilia from their wedding, letters to each other, and dreams they have for their future together.

Gold Jewelry​

Giving gold jewelry to a Greek bride is something that has been done for centuries. Greek Orthodox weddings are steeped in tradition and religion, so gifting the bride with a piece of gold jewelry such as a bracelet or necklace is very thoughtful.

Money​

It’s hard to go wrong with the gift of money. It allows the bride and groom to purchase something they really want or need or even tuck it away for the future.

Personalized Stationary​

If you look at the bride and groom’s wedding invitation, you can get a little sense of their style together. You can parlay that into a beautiful set of stationary for the newlyweds.

I copied these from https://www.greekboston.com/wedding/gifts-not-registry/ :)
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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