Estimated native speakers: 13 million
Official/de facto official language in: Greece, Cyprus
Language family: Indo-European – Hellenic
A brief history:
The language of Aristotle, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Socrates, Homer, Plato, Alexander the Great, Aesop, Euripides, Sophocles, Euclid and Pythagoras – the Greek language has a prestige like no other. It’s absolutely mind-boggling that historians and linguists have pinned the Greek language to as early as the 3rd millennium BC, and that it continues to be spoken today! As the official language of Cyprus and, of course, Greece, Greek is also spoken in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey and Russia, to name a few.
When attempting to learn Greek abroad, the most challenging new task may be tackling the Greek alphabet, which developed from the Phoenician alphabet around the 9th century BC. While studying abroad in breathtaking Athens or in the paradise of the Greek islands, imagine the delights of being able to read The Iliad, The Odyssey, Antigone and Medea in the original Greek – a worthy prize for your language-learning odyssey!