Photo courtesy of Alison Marsh

Quick Facts


Total Worldwide Speakers: 13,084,490


Language Family: Indo-European


Spoken in:
Greece, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Canada, Congo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Macedonia, Malawi, Mozambique, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation (Europe), Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey (Europe), Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States



The Greek alphabet has been in continuous use for the past 2,750 years or so since about 750 BC. It was developed from the Canaanite/Phoenician alphabet and the order and names of the letters are derived from Phoenician. At first, there were a number of different versions of the alphabet used in various different Greek cities. These local alphabets, known as epichoric, can be divided into three groups: green, blue and red. The blue group developed into the modern Greek alphabet, while the red group developed into the Etruscan alphabet, other alphabets of ancient Italy and eventually the Latin alphabet.


By the early 4th century BC, the epichoric alphabets were replaced by the eastern Ionic alphabet. The capital letters of the modern Greek alphabet are almost identical to those of the Ionic alphabet. The minuscule or lower case letters first appeared sometime after 800 AD and developed from the Byzantine minuscule script, which developed from cursive writing.



Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot


Collins Gem Greek Dictionary

Author: Harry T. Hionides, Niki Watts, Helen George-Papageorgiou
Publisher: Collins
Copyright: 1987
ISBN 978-0004-5854-82
No of Copies 1


Earth & Water

Audio Tracks Greek
Subtitles English
Running Time 112 min
Rating Not Rated

Eternity and a Day

Audio Tracks Greek
Subtitles English
Running Time 130 min
Rating Not Rated


Byki Greek

Byki is a powerful and personalized language-learning system. It teaches you words and phrases first, rather than grammar, and locks these into your memory so that you can recall them perfectly and remember them forever.

One-Day Greek

Going on vacation or studying abroad? Need to learn a few basic phrases to get you by? The One-Day language learning program will help you do just that. Quickly learn the necessary words and phrases that will help you while abroad. The audio CD comes with a booklet to help users visually recognize words and phrases if desired.

Talk Now! - Greek

An interactive language learning program, Talk Now! is an excellent program for beginners to a new language. Features include speech recording to compare your voice to those of native speakers, quizzes, a printable dictionary, and more. Compatible on both PCs and Macs.

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Regular, Ancient, and Koine Greek are all available through Mango.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.


Web-Based Links

BBC Languages — Greek

BBC Language is an online base language learning software that offers resources for Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and many more languages. Learn the basics of 36 different languages and the culture as well!

Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.