Pontic Greek is a variety of Greek spoken mainly in northern Greece in the regions of East Macedonia and Thrace, Central Macedonia and West Macedonia, and in also Attica. There are also some speakers in parts of Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Armenia. In Turkey it is spoken by Pontic Greek Muslims in eastern parts of Trabzon Province. In Ukraine it is spoken mainly in Mariupol. In Russian it is spoken mainly around Stavropol (Ставрополь). In 2009 there were about 778,000 speakers of Pontic Greek, including 400,000 in Greece and 5,000 in Turkey [source].
Originally Pontic was spoken in the Pontus area on the southern shores of the Black Sea, in what is now the Turkish province of Kars, and in southern Georgia. After the Christian Pontic Greeks were expelled from Turkey as part of the population exchange in 1923, they moved to Greece.
Pontic Greek speakers used to call their language Romeyka (Ρωμαίικα / Romeika), and speakers in Turkey still call their language Romeyka, Rumca or Rumcika. Elsewhere the language is known as Pontic (ποντιακά, pontiaká), which was originally a scholarly term.
In Greece Pontic Greek is written with the Greek alphabet. In Turkey it is written with the Latin alphabet, and in Russian it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
Έτον ένας γέρος κ' είχεν έναν πετεινόν, π' εκούιζεν παρώρας παραζάμανα κ' εγνέφιζεν το γέρον τον παραπονεμένον. Έρθεν και -ν- ο αλεπόν κ' έφαγεν τον πετεινόν, π' εκούιζεν παρώρας, παρώρας παραζάμανα. Κ' εγνέφιζεν το γέρον τον παραπονεμένον. Έρθεν και -ν- ο σκύλον, έφαγεν τον αλεπόν.
Етон енас герос к' еhен енан петинон, п' екуизен парорас паразаmана к' егнефизен то герон тон парапонеmенон. Ертьен ке -н- о алепон к' ефаген тон петинон, п' екуизен парорас, парорас паразаmана. К' егнефизен то герон тон парапонеmенон. Ертьен каи -н- о скилон, ефаген тон алепон.
Eton enas yeros k' ehen enan petinon, p' ekuizen paroras parazamana k' eğnefizen to yeron ton paraponemenon. Erthen ke -n- o alepon k' efayen ton petinon, p' ekuizen paroras, paroras parazamana. K' eğnefizen to yeron ton paraponemenon. Erthen kai -n- o skilon, efayen ton alepon.
Hear a recording of this song:
It was an old man who had a rooster, who used to crow at the wrong time and wake up the poor old man. Then comes the fox and eats the rooster, who used to crow at the wrong time. And wake up the poor old man. Then comes the dog and eats the fox.
Details provided by Michael Peter F¨stumum
Information about the Pontic Greek language
Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Aghul, Akhvakh, Akkala Sámi, Aleut, Altay, Alyutor, Andi, Archi, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Avar, Azeri, Bagvalal, Balkar, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bezhta, Bosnian, Botlikh, Budukh, Bulgarian, Buryat, Chamalal, Chechen, Chelkan, Chukchi, Chulym, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Daur, Dolgan, Dungan, Enets, Erzya, Even, Evenki, Gagauz, Godoberi, Hinukh, Hunzib, Ingush, Interslavic, Itelmen, Juhuri, Kabardian, Kaitag, Kalderash Romani, Kalmyk, Karaim, Karakalpak, Karata, Karelian, Kazakh, Ket, Khakas, Khanty, Khinalug, Khorasani Turkic, Khwarshi, Kildin Sámi, Kili, Komi, Koryak, Krymchak, Kryts, Kubachi, Kumandy, Kumyk, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lak, Lezgi, Lingua Franca Nova, Ludic, Macedonian, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Moldovan, Mongolian, Montenegrin, Nanai, Negidal, Nenets, Nganasan, Nivkh, Nogai, Old Church Slavonic, Oroch, Orok, Ossetian, Pontic Greek, Romanian, Rushani, Russian, Rusyn, Rutul, Selkup, Serbian, Shor, Shughni, Siberian Tatar, Sirenik, Slovio, Soyot, Tabassaran, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Tatar, Teleut, Ter Sámi, Tindi, Tofa, Tsakhur, Tsez, Turkmen, Tuvan, Ubykh, Udege, Udi, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Ulch, Urum, Uyghur, Uzbek, Veps, Votic, Wakhi, West Polesian, Xibe, Yaghnobi, Yakut, Yazghulami, Yukaghir (Northern / Tundra), Yukaghir (Southern / Kolyma), Yupik (Central Siberian)
Page last modified: 27.01.22
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