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Experienced specialist translators at Eisenmann Translations can translate in all technical fields, including chemistry, biology, medical procedures and mechanical engineering.
All texts are translated by experienced specialist translators of Greek into their mother tongues (Greek or German), as per the native speaker principle.
The written tradition of Greek was born in the 17th Century BCE, and is therefore the oldest in the world. The oldest existing records of the language are written in Linear B script, and date back to Mycenaean times.
After the destruction of the royal courts during the so-called “dark century” (1100-700 BC) and the subsequent loss of Linear B, the Greeks adopted the Phoenician system of writing instead. This remains in use today.
In classical antiquity, there were numerous Greek dialects. The most important of these were Attic (taught today in schools as ‘Ancient Greek’), Ionic, Doric and North Western, Aeolic and Arcadocypriot Greek. Ionic was generally spoken by the Athenians, Doric by the Spartans, Attic by the Macedonians and Aeolic by the Thessalians.
The Attic dialect spoken in Athens became the supra-regional lingua franca in the 5th Century BCE through the political, economic and cultural domination of Athens. It then became a global language and lingua franca under the rule of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BCE. Ancient Greek works still renowned today include Homer’s epic poems ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’, Herodotus’s ‘The Histories’ and Plato’s ‘The Republic’. It is worth noting that Homer, in a similar vein to Shakespeare, wrote in his own language creation known as Homeric Greek.
Even during the Roman Empire, Greek was preserved as an official language alongside Latin due to the East’s cultural predominance.
A rough overview of the development of Greek is that it evolved from Ancient Greek to Classical Greek in around the 6th Century BCE, then to Koine (also known as Biblical Greek) in the 3rd Century BCE, before becoming Medieval Greek in roughly the 1st Century CE.
The influence of foreign languages and dialects gave rise to attempts to ‘cleanse’ the Greek language, and to return to Attic Greek. Several hundred years after the split of the Roman Empire, a successfully ‘cleansed’ form of Greek was established as an official language and the language of literature of the Byzantine Empire.
During the occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire, it was absolutely forbidden to teach the Greek language. This resulted in priests often teaching Greek at home, and Greek being used in everyday life. The language was, however, greatly influenced in this period due to poor standards of education and lacking knowledge of the written script.
When modern Greece came into being, ‘Katherévousa’, or ‘pure language’, was installed as an official language and as the language of education. Katherévousa was actually an artificial language retaining the vocabulary of Koiné (based on classical Attic Greek) but which contained grammatical structures characterised by New Greek.
Greek has left a great impression on the English language. English words of Greek origin such as ‘phenomenon’, ‘crisis’ and ‘hypothesis’ remain subject to Greek grammatical rules when pluralised. Other borrowed words from Greek (there are thousands!) include ‘encyclopaedia’, ‘acrobat’, ‘aerodynamics’, ‘antitoxin’, ‘bacteria’, ‘comedian’, ‘grammar’ and ‘hydroelectric’.
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Updated 18 May 2014.