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What Language Do They Speak in Cyprus?

What Language Do They Speak in Cyprus

In the heart of the Mediterranean lies the island nation of Cyprus, where the sun shines bright and the history runs deep. The linguistic landscape of Cyprus is as diverse as its history, with a myriad of languages spoken across the island. However, Greek and Turkish hold a special place in the Cypriot community as they represent the official languages of the island.

Key Takeaways
Official LanguagesGreek, Turkish
Minority LanguagesArmenian, Cypriot Arabic
Foreign Languages Widely SpokenEnglish
ScriptGreek Alphabet, Latin Alphabet
Language InstitutionsCyprus Linguistics Society (CyLing), English Council Cyprus

The Official Vernacular: Greek and Turkish

Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish. The distribution of these languages is largely influenced by the political and ethnic divisions on the island. Here’s a glimpse into how these languages are intertwined with the island’s identity.

Greek Language in Cyprus

Greek is predominantly spoken by the Greek Cypriot community, which makes up about 77% of the population. The version of Greek spoken here has its own distinct dialect known as Cypriot Greek.

FeatureDescription
DialectCypriot Greek
ScriptGreek Alphabet
InstitutionsCyprus Linguistics Society (CyLing)
Language SchoolsThe Hellenic American University, The University of Nicosia

Educational Institutions

  • The Hellenic American University offers courses in Greek language and culture.
  • The University of Nicosia also provides opportunities for learning Greek.

Turkish Language in Cyprus

The Turkish language is primarily spoken by the Turkish Cypriot community, constituting about 18% of the population. Turkish Cypriots have their own dialect of Turkish which is distinct yet mutually intelligible with Standard Turkish.

FeatureDescription
DialectCypriot Turkish
ScriptLatin Alphabet
InstitutionsAtatürk Teacher Academy
Language SchoolsEastern Mediterranean University

Educational Institutions

  • The Eastern Mediterranean University offers Turkish language courses.
  • The Atatürk Teacher Academy provides training for Turkish language teachers.

Linguistic Minorities: Armenian and Cypriot Arabic

Cyprus is also home to linguistic minorities such as the Armenians and Maronites. These communities have their own languages which add to the linguistic tapestry of Cyprus.

Armenian Language

  • Spoken by the Armenian community in Cyprus.
  • Preserved through community schools and churches.

Cypriot Arabic

  • Spoken by the Maronite community.
  • It’s a unique dialect of Arabic with influences from Greek and Turkish.

Foreign Language Proficiency: The Role of English

English is widely spoken in Cyprus due to the island’s British colonial history. It’s often used in business and other professional settings making Cyprus an accessible destination for English speakers.

  • English is taught in schools from an early age.
  • Many Cypriots are bilingual or trilingual.

Conclusion

The linguistic landscape of Cyprus is a rich blend of official, minority, and foreign languages. Whether you are a language enthusiast or a casual traveler, Cyprus offers a linguistic adventure waiting to be explored.