Calabrian dialect (Greek)

The Greek- Calabrian (also: Greco- bovesianische ) is a dialect (now strongly influenced by the Italian language ) modern Greek dialect. He is spoken in Calabria, while the second Italo- Greek language is spoken in Salento. Both languages ​​are regularly referred to as italiotisches Greek ( Katoitaliótika ) Grecanisch or Griko. However, there are two different forms of language with different origins.

The Greek - Calabrian is listed in the Red Book of endangered languages ​​of UNESCO, together with the Grecanischen. Even Euro Mosaic dealing with it and accept them as a threatened minority language within the European Union.

It is further in Ethnologue as a dialect of Modern Greek mention. Somewhat doubtful is this line drawn from the Ethnologue conclusion as that language has a parallel to the modern Greek and separately ongoing development of the medieval Byzantine Greek ( or even from ancient Greek ). It can therefore be referred to rather than the modern Greek related because as its descendant.

Against this background, it would be more correct to refer to the Greek - Calabrian dialect as the medieval Byzantine Greek as a dialect of Modern Greek.

This type of Greek has never experienced in its history, a time of extensive expansion. It was used only in the daily everyday communication without having it managed to play a significant role in administration, literature and church affairs. Taking this together, the classification of the Greek - Calabrian seems is possibly less connected as a dialect and not a language with a lack of distinctive characteristics than with a lack of prestige.

  • 6.1 Rediscovery
  • 6.2 Cultural Associations
  • 6.3 Mass Media
  • 6.4 Education and awareness raising
  • 6.5 criticisms


Dissemination in the past

This language was spoken throughout the south of Calabria to the 15th and 16th century, as it slowly through the Romance dialect ( Calabrian ) was replaced. However, there remain influences of the Greek - Calabrian in grammar and in much of the vocabulary. During the reign of Anjou, the Greek language was spoken in a large area between Seminara, Taurianova, the Mesima Valley and the high level of Poro. A brief historical overview shows the progressive disappearance of the Greek dialect in various Calabrian areas since the 16th century.

Around the middle of the 16th century, this language had disappeared in the area of Petrace, especially in the Valley of Diverso and Tasi. During the following centuries, it has also led to a suppression in some valleys on the west side of the Aspromonte at the Strait of Messina, as in the Catona and Gallico valleys.

During the 19th century the language was lost in some places, such as Pentedattilo, Africo, Brancaleone, Motta San Giovanni, Montebello, San Lorenzo, on the coast of the Ionian Sea in Aspromonte.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the decline expanded to the cities Palizzi, Staiti, Cardeto, Roccaforte del Greco, Amendolea and Condofuri.

Oppression of fascism

During the Fascist period in Italy linguistic minorities to use their mother tongue were severely hindered. This also had an impact on the Greek - Calabrian. During the 1930s the phrase was " You seem to be a Greek, " in reference to a particularly stupid person popular. The dialect was soon himself regarded by his native speakers as a symbol of cultural backwardness, and teachers punishing their students when the "foreign" language used in school.

Current distribution

Today, Greek - Calabrian is spoken in nine cities in the Bovesìa region, including Bova, Roghudi, Gallicianò, as well Chorio di Roghudi, Bova Marina, and the city of Reggio Calabria in San Giorgio extra 's as well as in the area of Rione Modena.

There are several hundred speakers in Arangea and Sbarre at Reggio Calabria and a small number in Melito di Porto Salvo known, particularly because of immigration from Roghudi and chorio after the floods of the year 1971.

Talk about 2000 people and understand the language, of which only about 50% are younger than 35 years, despite the efforts of cultural associations and the administration.

In Bova by many the study of Modern Greek is preferred over the Greek - Calabrian today.


This language has much in common with the modern Greek. Speaking of their origin, to emphasize some philologists, it is a dialect of medieval Greek, while others claim it entstamme directly to the ancient Greeks, and in particular the Doric Greek, which was spoken in Magna Graecia and an independent development 've had only affected through the medieval Greek.

Evidence of this are archaisms that language uses the words of the Greek Doric, which are not used in Greece. It further has a series of distinctive characteristics compared to modern Greek. Thus, for example, in many cases the Endungs ​​" s" to many words lost (for example Gaidaros ( "ass" ) is to gadaro in Greek - Calabrian. There is also no future tense, the grammatical requirements through the use of the present tense met.

An important feature is the use of the Latin alphabet instead of the Greek.