Today is International Greek Language Day!

Today is International Greek Language Day, celebrated annually every February 9, today we also honor the memory of Greece’s national poet Dionysios Solomos, who wrote Greece’s national anthem ”Hymn to Liberty.”

This celebration seeks to highlight the Greek language’s fundamental role and defining contribution in the development and establishment of European and world literacy and culture.

Greek remains a language which greatly enriches international scientific discourse; more than any other, it is the language which developed, shaped and expressed the beginning of most scientific theories, philosophical thoughts, and literature in most of the modern-day languages of the Western world.

“It is a language that has been spoken for forty centuries without interruption. It has also been written in the same way, using the same alphabet, for 28 centuries, and it has held on to the same spelling rules for 24 centuries,” noted prominent Linguistics professor and former Education Minister Georgios Babiniotis.

While Greek remains a language which is native to a mere 13 million people worldwide, its influence and contributions to the entire world are unparalleled.

Native speakers of the Greek language often find themselves initially perplexed when they visit countries and peoples well beyond Europe, only to realize that the languages they hear there use words and phrases, as well as grammatical and syntax rules, which derive directly from the Greek language itself.

It is no surprise that the phrase ”The Greeks have a word for it,” is used by English speakers each time they encounter difficulty in describing an object or an idea.

Greek Language World Day

Officially starting in 2018, this day celebrating the unique achievements of the Greek language has sparked initiatives to help spread this great language and culture worldwide.

Among this year’s events will be a great celebration in an Italian city with Greek origins, Naples, or Napoli, in southern Italy.

There, more than one thousand high school students are expected to gather this February to celebrate the Greek language and culture with theatrical events, dance, music, concerts, and guided tours to the ancient Greek monuments of Italy. There will also be formal seminars and many other activities devoted to Greek culture.