Greek language, once great ,now only in greece.

Achilleas   Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:38 pm GMT
Hi all antimoneers, i would gladly talk with you about a great language , once a time spoken nearly by 1/6 of the world population, the greek language. It was spoke starting from spain till to samarcanda, it was a language of great beauty, pride and glory, that now has lost all about the vestiges of the past,What do you think abou this language? Why is now not a ''lingua franca'' anymore? thanks for all the replies
Guest   Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:41 pm GMT
""once a time spoken nearly by 1/6 of the world population""

Achilleas   Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:42 pm GMT
Yes, during the roman empire, main of the eastern population spokje greek and a lot of western, it was calculated the around 50 mill of people spoke greek at that time
Guest   Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:43 pm GMT
A world polulation of 300 million?! During the Roman Empire?! Imposible
Achilleas   Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:45 pm GMT
Sorry, i meant about european population, not worldwide
Guest   Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:35 am GMT
greek is a cool language , but very difficult to learn
*CarloS*   Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:41 am GMT
Greek is a useful language, it might even help you know more about your own language. In my case, a great percentage of the words of Spanish come from Greek words (some almost remain intact). I think it's the second major influence Spanish has had, after Latin, although I may be wrong.
Achilleas   Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:53 am GMT
Difficult to learn? Maybe the ancient one! But there's no easier language than modern greek!
Gjones2   Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:08 am GMT
Achilleas, as the language of so many works important in Western cultural history, Greek interests me greatly. Recently I've been refreshing my very limited knowledge. I can't really read it, though, except occasional short sentences. Mostly I decipher rather than read.

I agree with Guest that Greek is a "cool language but very difficult to learn". As you say, modern Greek has lost some of the complexities of the ancient language, but it still seems complex. It has more cases than English, Spanish, and French, for instance, and no natural language can compare in simplicity with an artificial language like Esperanto.

Why isn't Greek a "lingua franca" anymore? Because Alexander the Great has been dead for a long time, and because another empire, the Roman one, replaced Alexander's. Greek continued to be highly respected by the Romans, and even the emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek, but over time knowledge of it declined. It almost disappeared in some parts of Europe for hundreds of years. Latin, while rather difficult, seems easier to persons who know the Romance languages or even English. Ben Jonson described Shakespeare's knowledge of ancient languages as "small Latin and less Greek". That has been true of many persons in Western Europe for the last half millennium.
Achilleas   Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:12 pm GMT
Sorry i must contradict you, in fact it was till the 1453 the most spoken language in europe thanks to the byzantine empire, so in the dark ages was the most spoken language
Gjones2   Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:37 pm GMT
Yes, it was undeniably important in the Byzantine Empire, but what I said was that Greek "almost disappeared in some [just some] parts of Europe for hundreds of years". The parts I had in mind weren't in the formerly Byzantine Empire but in Western Europe. With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Greek-speaking scholars who went west helped renew interest in Greek, and gradually it once again became an important academic language in Western Europe.
Guest   Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:02 pm GMT
Η γλώσσα είναι ένα σύστημα σημείων που αποτελείται από γράμματα, λεξήματα και γραμματικούς κανόνες και είναι το κύριο μέσο επικοινωνίας μεταξύ των ανθρώπων. Αποτελεί ιδιαίτερο χαρακτηριστικό του ανθρώπινου είδους.
Motumba   Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:50 pm GMT
Nobody cares about greek language or greeks anymore. They will no longer exist 100 years from now. They will be replaced with Bulgarian, Turkish and Albanian before you know it. Only a few remote southern islands will be greek speaking by that time, and they would probably be all populated with northern afrikans. Mkay....?
furrykef   Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:40 pm GMT
Who says a language confined to just one country can't be great?

The world cannot support many lingua franca at one time, or the whole point behind having a lingua franca would be ruined. So, naturally, if something else starts becoming popular, something else must decline. And, given that trends change, languages rising and falling in this fashion is inevitable. English, too, will decline someday. When, why, and how still remains to be seen, but I'm sure it will.

Also, I'm sure Greek has changed enough between back then and now that it's hardly the same language as it was before, so in a way it's silly to talk about the decline of the Greek language when the *modern* Greek language never had the spotlight in the first place.

- Kef
billgregg   Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:37 pm GMT
(Nerd alert: I used to dabble in type design.)

You almost never hear anyone talk about the esthetic properties of alphabets (or any kind of script for that matter), and it's all highly subjective, but I think the greek alphabet is beautiful. Both the caps and the lower case, but especially the lower case. The lower-case xi is amazing.