As most of you know, I’m a Greek writing in my adopted language, English. However, my first stories were written in Greek, and I am about to publish Runaway Smile – my first children’s book – in Greek. So this seemed like a good time to describe the unusually passionate relationship Greeks have with their language.
Incidentally, this post came to be because of a question my editor had regarding the correct usage of a common Greek name (hi, Lorelei). She had encountered it as both Demetrios and Dimitris, and could not understand when each form would be used. When I explained that Demetrios might be used in official documents, but everyone will use Dimitris in everyday life, I felt compelled to offer some back story.
During the 400 year long Ottoman occupation, the language picked up a number of Turkish words. Following Greece’s 1821 war of independence, a number of scholars led by Adamantios Korais rejected these influences and argued…
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