Greek (Greek Ελληνικά, – "Hellenic") constitutes its own branch of the Indo-European languages. It has a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any Indo-European language. It is spoken by 15 million people primarily in Greece and Cyprus, but also in many Greek emigrant communities around the world.
Greek is written in the Greek alphabet, the first true alphabet (as opposed to an abjad or abugida) and the ancestor of both the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabets.
Modern Greek is written with Greek alphabet in monotonic, polytonic or atonic, either according to Demotic (Mr. Triantafilidis) grammar or Katharevousa grammar. Some people write in Greeklish (Greek with Latin script) which is either Visual-based, orthographic or phonetic or just messed-up (mixed). The only official forms of Greek language are the Monotonic and Polytonic.
Normal Modern Greek (Greek Monotonic)
- words "και", "είναι";
- Each multi-syllable word has one accent/tone mark (oxia): ά έ ή ί ό ύ ώ
- The only other diacritic ever used is the trema: ϊ/ΐ, ϋ/ΰ, etc.
Ancient or pre-1980's Greek (Greek Polytonic)
- This is Katharevousa or some mixed form of Demotiki (Triantafilidis' grammar) and Katharevousa;
- You will notice several accents/tones. Examples: ~ ` and oxia (looks like 'ί);
- You may also notice this: ΐ, ΰ. ϊ, ϋ etc.
- Was common in some Greek media (television);
- You will see Greek characters without accents/tones;
- words: "και, ειναι, αυτο".
Greek in Greeklish
- Automated conversion software for Greeklish->Greek conversion exists. If you notice a Greeklish text it may be useful for the Greek el.wikipedia (after conversion).
- Keep in mind: in Greeklish more than one characters may be used for one letter. (example: th for theta).
- words "kai", "einai".
- words "ke", "ine";
- omega appears as o;
- ei, oi appear as i;
- ai appears as e.
- omega (Ω or ω) may appear as W or w;
- epsilon (E) may appear as "3";
- alpha (A) may appear as "4";
- theta (Θ) may appear as "8";
- upsilon (Y) may appear as "\|/";
- More than one characters may be used for one letter.
Messed-up (Mixed) Greeklish
- words "kai", "eine";
- combines principles of phonetic, visual-based and orthographic Greeklish according to writer's idiosyncrasy;
- The most commonly used form of Greeklish.