Yevanic is a variety of Greek that was used by the Romaniots or Romaniote Jews, a Jewish community who have lived in Greece and neighbouring countries for more than 2,000 years. It was also spoken by the Constantinopolitan Karaites or Greco-Karaites, a Jewish community who have lived in Istanbul for over a thousand years. Yevanic is mutually intelligible with Greek, however includes loan words from Hebrew and Aramaic, and is written with the Hebrew script.
Yevanic is also known as Judæo-Greek, Romaniyot, Romaniote or Yevanitika. The name Yevanic comes from the Hebrew word Yāwān (Greek).
In 2011 there were thought to be fewer than 50 Yevanic speakerss, mainly in Israel, especially in Jerusalem. There are also a few speakers in Turkey and the USA. The Yevanic speakers are all elderly, and none speak Yevanic as a native language.
קֵאִיטוֹן פְרוֹפִיטִיאָהקִירִיאוּ פְּרוֹשׁ יוֹנָה אִיוּ אֲמִתָּי טוּאִיפִּין׃ אַנַשְׁטָאפּוֹרֶבְגוּ פְּרוֹשׁ נִנְוֶה טִין בּוֹלִי טִין מֶגָלי יאָלָלִישֶידִֿקֶ אִיפִּי אַפְטִין אוֹטִי אֶנֶבִין קָקִיאָהאִי אַפְטִין אֶנוֹפִּיאוֹמוּ
Ke itοn prοfitía Kiriu pros Iona iu Amitaï tu ipin: "Anásta, pοrevghu pros Ninve tin poli tin megháli ke dialálise epi aftin oti enevin i kakia aftin enopion mu."
The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."
Yevanic alphabet and sample text provided by Michael Peter Füstumum
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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