#FoitiTips: Greek language; How do Greek speakers respond to its evolution?

Translated by Maria Oikonomou

Based on the original text by Ελένη Πετεινού

Without a doubt, human language is a living organism. This means that it is subject to constant evolution. Of course, this is true for the Greek language as well, which has gone through many stages of change and evolution over the centuries .

Nowadays, new communication codes are being created, serving some of the needs of modern societies. The language of social media, which includes emojis/gifs, Greeklish (a system for transliterating Greek into the Latin alphabet, either phonetically or orthographically) etc., serves the need for short, fast and easy expression of thoughts and ideas.

This new way of communication, however, may have some impact on Greek language. Misspelling, the inability to express oneself in a clear and comprehensible way, the lack of vocabulary are some of the problems that linguistic expression faces today.

Fortunately, there are ways for Greek speakers to cope with the development of Greek language without losing valuable language skills:

Greek language: Reading books more frequently

Reading has many benefits, as it is a creative activity, which at the same time enriches the vocabulary and expressions.

Greek language: Writing a diary

By writing a few lines in a diary, trying to express in words their feelings and thoughts, Greek speakers practice their expression.  

Disable auto-correction on mobile

Although it offers enough convenience and certainty that the message is correctly spelled, its frequent use can damage spelling. This is obvious  in circumstances where it is not possible to use it.

Avoid replacing Greek words with English ones

English is the most widely spoken language in the world and its knowledge is very important. However, it is often noticed that Greek speakers use a foreign word, as they can not remember its Greek equivalent! Therefore, it would be nice to consciously try not to replace words that already exist in the Greek language with English ones.

Less use of emojis

Although it is more vivid, using an image to express emotions can damage people’s linguistic expression. There is, of course, the view that “a picture is worth a thousand words“. To a large extent, this is accurate, as long as the phrase does not turn into: “a picture is worth a thousand words that people can not remember“.

Evolution , change and remodeling are something natural, inevitable and to some extent desirable. However, the important thing is people not to lose, during the evolution of their language, parts of their identity that makes them what they really are.

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