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Greek Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning Greek it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Greek language facts:

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5 Interesting Greek Language Facts

1. Greek is a Hellenic language

The Greek language is derived from Proto-Greek, the first form of Greek spoken during the 3rd millennium BC. It later evolved into Ancient Greek, which was spoken during the Antiquity. Modern Greek emerged after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Greek is the oldest recorded living language, with written records spanning over 34 centuries.

2. There are around 13 million native Greek speakers

The Greek speakers are mainly in Greece and Cyprus, but also in Italy, Albania, Turkey. The Greek diaspora, which can be found in Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and other countries, is also using Greek on a daily basis.

3. Greek has significantly influenced Western literature

Greek has also influenced languages, mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. Many English words related to these fields are of Greek origin. Along with Latin, Greek is still used for creating new words in English and other languages.

4. The longest Greek word contains 182 characters

When transliterated into English, Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon is the longest Ancient Greek word. It is a fictional dish and was created by Aristophanes in his comedy Assemblywomen.

5. The word “alphabet” is actually formed of “alpha” and “beta”

“Alpha” and “beta”, are the two first letters of the Greek alphabet.

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Frequently asked questions

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

How do I know what level I am?

Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)

Do I need a course book?

You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.

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