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Διεθνής Ημέρα Ελληνικής Γλώσσας – Is it all Greek to you?

Διεθνής Ημέρα Ελληνικής Γλώσσας – “Is it all Greek to you?” as Roman Emperor Julius Caesar said if we believe Shakespear or we should give faith to great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote “We are all Greeks”?

February 9th is been celebrated as International Greek Language Day.  Τhe date was slected in 2017 because it coincides with the Commemoration Day of Greece’s “national poet” Dionysios Solomos. The aim of this initiative is to highlight the fundamental role played by the Greek language in world culture throughout the centuries and encourage the Greeks of the diaspora and anyone who wishes to get involved and learn about Greek culture, to systematically research and learn about it.

In its press release, regarding this year’s celebration, the Ministry of Education writes: “It is important to learn and love the Greek language, because of its virtues but mainly because it has expressed a great culture, that shaped and codified the first and statutory layer of the upper vocabulary and the basic concepts of Western civilization. Over the centuries, its contribution has been decisive as a means of enhancing and spreading Greek culture and today, it is considered as one of the world’s oldest languages”.

The efforts of the diaspora Greeks of Southern Italy to establish the International Greek Language Day and the fact that it was celebrated for the first time at the initiative of the Federation of Greek Communities and Brotherhood of Italy in Naples, May 2016, should also be noted.

Various events are organized on this day in all Greek educational institutions, as well as foreign ones that offer Greek language courses or Greek studies.


A number of events take place both in Greece and in many different parts of the world where there are Greek speakers.

A two-day conference is organized in Naples, on February 8 and 9, with the participation of students of Greek as well as diaspora schools where Greek language is taught, scientific institutions and expatriates associations.

On February 6, an event was held at the Cairo Opera House, in Egypt, on the projects regarding the teaching of Greek language to foreigners, namely those of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The celebrations will be concluded on Saturday, February 9, with a big event that will take place throughout the community, at the Abetio School, with the support of the Hellenic Center of Cairo.

“Greek Language: Origins and timelessness. Rendition of world literary heritage works into Greek ” is the theme of a roundtable organized by the Hellenic Culture Center in Moscow and will be presented by the Consul General of Greece in Moscow, Mrs Eleni Vakali.

Bucharest, Paris, Melbourne and other cities host similar events and happenings, creating thus a new dynamic for International Greek Language Day, a promising institution that has just begun to spread its wings. (with info from ert.gr)

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  1. As a long term Briton resident in Greece I would love to be able to speak Greek – at least beyond the very limited grasp of the language that I do have. The problem for native English speakers is that whilst the pronunciation of English words is rather flexible, the pronunciation of Greek words has to be spot on. In particular it’s vital to stress the correct vowel, to get the correct gender, and use the correct tense. It’s thus incredibly difficult for English speakers to practice their Greek because (in my experience anyway) Greeks just don’t understand our poor pronunciation when we do try to use our limited Greek.