Greek and the ‘Grexit’: Paying Debts With Linguistic Gold

Recently, as the world watched Greece deal with overwhelming financial woes, the term ‘Grexit’ was coined to refer to the nation’s possible exit from the European Union. As of now, the ball is in Greece’s court and it is still unknown if the country will or will not end up having to separate itself from the E.U. Regardless of Greece’s current state, there’s no denying that this country has been a key influence in how much of the world has progressed and developed. This is most evident in the gift of language. Curious to know what we mean? Then read on to discover 5 key words Greek gave to the world and which most of us simply cannot do without.

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1. Democracy

Considering that all nations which form a part of the E.U. are democracies, it’s probably safe to say that this is the most important term given to us by the Greek language. Greece was considered to be the first democracy in the world and a trailblazer when it came to coining a term for it!

Add it up: Demos = the people, Kratia = power/ rule. Demos+Kratia → Demokratia → Democracy

2. Dialogue

Nothing is more important in our modern world than being able to talk through major issues – which is precisely what Greece is going through now as they discuss tactics with the E.U.! It seems pretty appropriate then that the word dialogue is a part of our language thanks to Greek!

Add it up: Dia = through, Legein = speak. Dia+Legein → Dialegesthai → Dialogos → Dialogue

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3. Politics

Politics are indeed playing a big role in Greece’s possible ‘Grexit,’ but it is thanks to the Greek language that we even have this term to throw around! Greece used to be one of the most politically powerful countries in the world and its political structure has served as inspiration to countries in Europe, North America, and elsewhere!

Add it up: Polites = citizen, Polis = city. Polites + Polis → Politikos → Politics

4. Strategy

Both Greece and the European Union are scrambling to come up with a strategy which will suit both parties, but Greece may have the upper hand considering that the word ‘strategy’ wouldn’t exist without the Greek’s language oomph!

Add it up: Strategia = generalship. Strategia → Strategy

Greek philosophersSome of the philosophical greats sure thought Greek was important! Image via PhotoPin

5. Ethics

As Greece and the E.U. strive to broker a deal which fits the ethics of everyone involved, it’s important to remember that this country was home to some of the greatest philosophers and thinkers in the world. Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates all spent plenty of time thinking about right and wrong, in other words, about ethics.

Add it up: Ethos = spirit/character, Ethike = morals. Ethos + Ethike → Ethic

If Greece could pay its debt with the linguistic gold it has given the world, the debt would probably be paid many times over! But despite the fact that Greece will have to sort things out in a more modern fashion, the cultural impact and significance Greek has had is priceless. Perhaps you are feeling inspired to know more about this fascinating language and how it has influenced your mother tongue. If so, top-tier language classes and free online placement tests will give you all the interesting know-how you need. With the right language skills in hand, you’ll be able to take a unique look at Greece’s colorful culture and history and understand this wonderful country’s current stance in a whole new way!