Throughout history, the Greek language has tremendously influenced the English one, seeing that a lot of words derive from Greek. Recently though, Greece is witnessing an opposite trend. American chain restaurants in Greece introduce their specialties in English and American brands use the English language to advertise their products.
US-made brands such as KFC, Starbucks and McDonalds’s or Max Factor, Lacoste and Tide have become very popular in Greece, especially amongst the latest generation. Products with American names are now households goods using the exact same names, eg. air fresheners, make up, pampers, ketchup, mustard.
Greek has been the root language for many scientific fields in the English and American culture and linguistics. As many would agree, the first one has played an important part in constructing the English language. Dialogue, climate, catastrophe, academics, symbol are only a few Greek words that are used in the everyday English language. However, Greeks today see that after all these years the English language has also had a great impact on Greece’s culture and language. I believe, that the origins of this influence on the dynamic nature of language started with the emergence of American fast foods in the two biggest Greek cities : Athens and Thessaloniki.
Recent research has come up with some reasoning of the extensive use of English language in Greece. (Oikonomidis, Agapios)
- English is the transaction and business language in our world.
- English is widely used in Greece as a sign of status and prestige.
- English is important is an important tool to make tourism a friendly and appealing experience
Being from Greece, and having lived most of my life there, I had never noticed all these changes in my culture and language. English has evidently impacted the Greek media, the marketplace and advertisement of consumer goods as well as the structure of the Greek language itself. It is very interesting to see how dynamic cultures and languages are and how much they influence different aspects of our everyday life.