CIT offers Greek interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.
Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Greek language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Greek language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Greek language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the German language, as well as of the culture and history of the Greek people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.
The Greek Language
The Greek Language, a popular Indo-European language, is spoken primarily in Greece. The Greek language and culture have a long and documented history of over 3400 years. Approximately 13 million people speak Greek, mainly in Greece and in Cyprus, being an official language in both countries. Greek is also spoken in other countries such as Armenia, Italy, Albania, Romania and Ukraine.
The first records of Greek were written in Mycenae in a certain writing called Linear B. It was used between the 1500 and 1200 years BC. It was known as Mycenaean. On the Island of Crete, which is the largest Greek Island, another script called Cypriot syllabary was used to write Greek between 1200 and 300 BC.
Ever since it was first used in 750 BC, the Greek alphabet has been pretty continuous in its use. It was first derived from the Canaanite and Phoenician alphabet. The order and names of the letters in the alphabet were from the Phoenician. There used to be known names for all the letters. For example, the Greek letter alpha used to be aleph in Canaanite, which means “ox,” beta was beth, meaning “house” and so on. These names and meanings had been lost when the alphabet was adapted for Greek. The language has multiple writing systems such as Linear B., Cypriot syllabary and Greek alphabet.
When the Greek alphabet was first used, there were several versions of the alphabet in different Greek cities. These alphabets were epichoric and were divided into three groups known as the green, blue and red group. The blue group is what we known as the Modern Greek alphabet today. Today, the Greek alphabet is only used to write the Greek language. However, throughout history, it was used to write many other languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Urum and Aromanian.
The Greek alphabet has many notable features. For example, it was the first alphabet to include vowels. It used to be written in many directions horizontally as well. However, since 500 BC, it began being written only from left to right.
Ever since the end of the 4th century BC, the Greek language became more and more unified (during the Hellenistic period). For the thousand years before this, there were many Greek dialects, having different phonetic and morphological details. Scholars have tried to mesh together some of the groups of dialects, such as Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriotic, considering them as “Central” Greek languages or Arcado-Cypriotic and Ionic-Attic as Southern. Collectively, there are two distinguished periods that differentiate between dialects. One if between the 14th and 12th centuries BCE and the other is between the 8th and 4th centuries BCE.
There are so many dialects in the Greek languages and many groups of dialects as well. These groups are West Group, the Aeolic Group, the Arcado-Cypriotic Group and the Ionic Attic Group. The West Group is spoken in Northwest Greece (Aetolia, Locris, Locri Episephyrii, Phocis), Saronic Doric (territory of Corinth, Megarid, Eastern Argolid), Western Argolic, Southeast Aegean Doric (Melos, Thera, Cos, Rhodes, Cyrene, Gela and Acragas), Crete, Laconia (Tarentum, Heraclea), Messenia, Achaea (Ithaca and Sybaris) and Elis. The Aeolic group is spoken in Boeotia, Thessaly, Lesbos and Asiatic Aeolis. The Arcado-Cypriot Group is spoken in Arcadia, Cyprus and Pamphylia. Lastly, the Ionic-Attic Group is spoken in Attica, Euboea (Catana and Cumae), Northern Cyclades and Asiatic Ionia.
The phonology of the Greek language has shifted between periods of Greek history. The Old Attic Greek language had 7 vowels. The consonantal structure had many stops. There are two liquid sounds and two nasal sounds.
If a Greek word has 3 or more syllables, it is marked by an accent on one of the vowels. There is a gender representation but only for noun, adjective and pronoun. There are three numbers (singular, dual and plural) that distinguish noun and verb. Verbs in Greek have four systems: present, aorist, perfect and future.
Many might consider that the Greek language is made up largely of loan words. Many of these words were taken from people who lived in Greece before the Proto-Greeks arrived and brought their language. Eventually, the Greek language became fully developed, with many nuances.
The popular Mycenaean script was no longer used in the 12th century when their palaces were destroyed due to the Dorian invasions. It appears that the Greeks were illiterate for a few centuries. In the 8th century, the Greeks used most of the Phoenician alphabet. Between the 8th and 5th centuries BCE, there were some differences in the letters between cities. The Greek language had gone through many changes and reforms. Around 400 BCE, the alphabet became more normalized.
Fun Facts about Greece
• The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic
• The Olympic games originated in Greece
• Greece has thousands of islands, including popular vacation destinations such as Santorini and Mykonos