Greek Cypriot is the dialect spoken by Cypriots living in Cyprus and abroad. It is estimated that the Greek Cypriot dialect is spoken by more than seven hundred thousand people in Cyprus and several hundred thousand abroad.
Even though it is considered a Greek dialect, the distance from mainland Greece and the isolation from the rest of the Greek-speaking world led to the development of various linguistic characteristics distinct from standard Modern Greek.
Cyprus was cut off from the rest of the Greek-speaking world from the 7th to the 10th century AD due to Arab attacks.
It was reintegrated into the Byzantine Empire in 962 to be isolated again in 1191 when it fell to the hands of the Crusaders. These periods of isolation led to the development of various linguistic features distinct from Greek.
The Online Greek Tutor, founded by Valentinos Filippou, offers online lessons on the Greek Cypriot dialect.
“Greek Cypriot is a dialect that is spoken in Cyprus and it is a dialect that interests many learners especially those who are connected to Cyprus,” Filippou says.
“We offer a short course (around twenty classes) with basic Greek Cypriot words and phrases,” he explains. “So, this course is a survival Cypriot course for everyday interaction. We usually offer it as a supplementary course to the normal Greek courses.”
Greek Cypriot dialect retains features of Ancient Greek
The Cypriot dialect retains many features of Ancient Greek and is considered to be a dialect of Koine Greek. Although Cyprus has endured foreign influencers, the Cypriot dialect has remained not only Greek but Ancient Greek at the core.
There are many people of Greek Cypriot descent who want to reconnect with the language of their homeland, Filippou notes and adds that there are also those among the millions of tourists visiting Cyprus each year that want to communicate with the locals in their own dialect.
Filippou and his Online Greek Tutor team are based in Cyprus. He has been an online Greek tutor since 2014 teaching one-on-one Skype lessons and creating video lessons for his students so as to explain various aspects of the Greek language.
Cypriot course is a part of learning Greek
“Dialects are an important part of any language, and learning the dialect deepens your knowledge of the language,” Filippou says.
He adds, however, that: “You cannot just learn Cypriot. You learn Greek, and the Cypriot course is a part of learning Greek.”
Learning Greek online has become a popular method to understand and speak the language for tens of thousands of people throughout the world.
“Working online with people from all over the world, I realized how the internet is providing so many opportunities for both teachers and students,” Filippou says.
“Most of our students are people who live far away from Greece and Cyprus, but they have their homeland in their hearts,” he adds.
“They want to connect with Greek culture and history through the Greek language,” he explains. “Others are busy individuals who cannot go to a class every week at the same time and day or they don’t have the time to commute to their class.”
Learning Greek can admittedly be quite challenging. A new vocabulary, different syntax, unfamiliar sounds, and challenging rules of grammar might result in a new student feeling quite overwhelmed.
However, the Online Greek Tutor team promises to make it easy with lessons tailored to each student’s needs. It specializes in adult learners and works with people of various backgrounds and different learning goals.
For more information on the available courses, click on this link.