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Greek language

Greek Language

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. The ancient languages which were probably most closely related to it, ancient Macedonian (which may have been a dialect of Greek) and Phrygian, are not well enough documented to permit detailed comparison. Among living languages, Armenian seems to be the most closely related to it.

Modern Greek is spoken by about 15 million people mainly in Greece and Cyprus. There are also Greek-speaking populations in Georgia, Ukraine, Egypt, Turkey, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Southern Italy. The language is spoken also in many other countries where Greeks have settled, including Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Greek is the official language of Greece where it is spoken by about 99.5% of the population. It is also, alongside Turkish, the official language of Cyprus. Due to the membership of Greece and Cyprus in the European Union, Greek is one of the 20 official languages of the European Union.

Modern Greek is written in the late Ionic variant of the Greek alphabet. It is regarded as the first alphabet in the narrow sense, giving full representation to vowels on a par with consonants, unlike its predecessor, the Phoenician alphabet (also called an "abjad"). Its oldest discovered inscriptions date to the 8th or 9th Century BC. It assumed its final form in Athens in 403 BC, and displaced other regional variants due to its use for the Attic Koine dialect during the Hellenistic era.