German-Greek Translations by Experienced, Native-Speaker Translators

Greek

Language combinations for translations involving Greek:

  • Greek to German
  • German to Greek
  • English to Greek
  • Greek to English

Eisenmann Übersetzungsteam provides technical translations by native speakers of Greek into and from Greek for all subject areas: economics, law, technology, medicine, advertising, IT etc.

Our subject areas range from finance to law, from technology to advertising, websites, certificates and references.

All texts are translated by experienced specialist translators of Greek into their mother tongues (Greek or German), as per the native speaker principle.

The Spread of Greek

Greek is an Indo-European language and belongs to its own branch of this language family, known as the Hellenic branch. It can be assumed that Greek was once closely related to Ancient Macedonian.

There are approximately 12 million native speakers of Greek, 9.9 million of which live in Greece, where it is the official language. The remaining native speakers are spread across 35 different countries. Greek is, alongside Turkish, also an official language in Cyprus. It is also accepted as a local official language and a language of education in many regions of South Albania, where a Greek minority group resides.

The History of Greek

The written tradition of Greek began in the 17th Century AD, 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 assumed the Phoenician writing system instead, which 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.

Through the political, economic and cultural domination of Athens in the 5th Century BC, the Attic Greek dialect spoken there became the supra-regional lingua franca, before becoming a global language and lingua franca under the rule of Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BC.

The cultural superiority of the East lead to Greek even being retained as an official language alongside Latin in the Roman Empire.

The influence of foreign languages and dialects led to attempts to ‘purify’ the Greek language and to return to classical Attic Greek. A few centuries after the split of the Roman Empire, such a purified form of Greek was declared an official language and language of literature of the Byzantine Empire.

Education in Greek was absolutely forbidden during the occupation by the Ottoman Empire. This led Greek to often be taught at home by priests, and used otherwise in everyday life. Greek was, however, subject to great changes in this age due to lacking education and knowledge of script.

The founding of modern Greece finally led to the introduction of so-called ‘Katherévousa (Greek for ‘pure language’) as an official language and language of education. This was actually an artificial language which retained the vocabulary of Koiné (oriented on classical Attic Greek) but displayed grammatical structures which had been shaped by New Greek.

The vernacular (Dimotiki) only became an official language of government and science in 1976, but at the same time many words from Katherévousa were adopted into Dimotiki.

Particularities of Greek

Although the Greek language was forced to undergo a myriad of changes in its pronunciation over the course of the millennia, the orthography has remained almost identical due to the enormous efforts to ‘purify’ the language. The accents and symbols for aspirates originating from Hellenic times were used until just recently. The grave accent, the circumflex and the aspirates spiritus asper and spiritus lenis were abolished on 29th April 1982 by presidential decree. Since then, written Greek has only contained the acute accent which indicates the tone of a syllable.

Regarding the difference between Ancient Greek and New Greek, we can say that the grammar of Ancient Greek displays many similarities to Latin, i.e. participial constructions. When learning Ancient Greek, knowledge of Latin is therefore of advantage. However, it must be added that Ancient Greek contains more structural similarities to German than Latin; for example definite articles in German are very similar, whereas they do not exist at all in Latin. In addition, this similarity with Latin can also occasionally cause confusion because tenses in Greek are often used differently to Latin.

The grammar of New Greek (Dimotiki) is essentially based on Ancient Greek, however there are three fundamental differences:

Firstly, New Greek contains no infinitives. These have been replaced by a sentence structure with “na”: “Thelo na pao.” means “I want to go”, or literally “I want that I go”.

Secondly, the dative case in New Greek has been replaced by the preposition “se” with the accusative, or is prefixed by the article “s”, i.e. “sto periboli” means “in the garden”.

Thirdly, New Greek contains no perfect tense; this has been completely replaced by the aorist form.

Written and spoken Greek has greatly influenced the development of Europe. Most European languages display many Greek origins, and even Latin and Cyrillic originated from a Greek alphabetical basis. The return to Greek - at one time almost forgotten in the West - triggered by the influx of many Byzantines after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was one of the main sources of the Renaissance and of humanism.

Even today, when scientific/technical terms are created, Greek (and Latin) words are often the preferred choice.

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