Greek: The language with the longest word
10 facts about the Greek language
Origin of the language
Greek emerged in the Balkan peninsula.
History of the language
It is believed that Greek originated during the Neolithic period or the Bronze Age.
Learning the language
An English speaker could need as many as 1100 hours to learn Greek.
Greek language diversity
Did you know?
The term polyglot comes from Greek: poly (many) and glot (tongues), meaning “speaker of many languages.”
Greek is older than both Latin and Chinese, making it an ancient language. Ancient Greek is called Proto Greek and differs significantly from Modern Greek.
Modern Cypriot Greek closely resembles Ancient Greek, more so than Modern Greek.
Greek of Rhodes, a dialect of the people of island Rhodes, is more similar to Cypriot Greek than the Athenian Greek dialect.
Cypriot Greek is almost unrecognizable to Modern Greek speakers from Greece due to the greatly different dialects.
syphophattoperisteralektryonoptokephallio-kigklopeleiola-gōiosiraioba-phētraganopterýgōn is said to be the longest word ever; it describes a dish in Ancient Greek from Aristophanes’ play Assembly Woman.
Greek language for beginners
Ten basic words to start learning in Greek:
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
Philosopher, polymath, writer, teacher, astronomer and cosmologist
The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
Philosopher, teacher, writer, poet, physicist and mathematician
The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.
Philosopher, teacher and educator
Fun facts about the Greek language
The English word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha and beta.
Greek punctuation differs from English punctuation; a question mark (?) in Greek is a semi-colon (;).
Almost every English word that begins with “ph” has been derived from Greek: physics, philosophy, pharmacy and more.
Counting in Greek is Different
Counting in Greek follows different rules; for instance, the numerals are decimals based on the power of 10.
The letter “o”
Like German, Greek uses long compound words. However, in Greek, the letter “o” is used to connect words together to make compound words.
The Longest word
The longest word in literature appeared the ancient Greek text, Assemblywoman. It is a whopping 189 characters long!
Boustrophedon means that the Greek language alternates between being written from left-to-right and right-to-left.
Difficult to learn
Greek is one of the most difficult languages to learn; the meaning of sentences can change depending on which word(s) is stressed.
Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world; it was also the official language of the Roman empire.
Greek is an isolated language; it does not belong to any language family. Rather, other languages have been derived from it.