Precise Greek Translation is the Key to Understanding European Economy

Movements in Greece: the Focus of the World

December 19, 2016

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Greek Translation and European Economy

Hello, I am Yosshi. I entered the translating business two years ago, dreaming of an international career. Since then, every day I keep discovering more about the ever-fascinating world of translation.

In 2015, the Greek economy was gaining much attention from the world for its great influence on European economy. In order to understand these events in Greece, it is better to have mastered its language. However, my image of Greek was that it was difficult, to say the least. The way the English phrase "It's Greek to me" is used to mean "I don't understand at all" suggests that I am not the only one with this image.

In today's blog, I present my findings on the Greek language and its translation, which could be the keys to understanding Greek news and the current economy in Europe.

The Greek Crisis that Can't Be Overlooked

First, I would like to briefly summarize the economic problem in Greece that was attracting the world's attention.

The Euro, the unified currency for Europe, was made for the unification of Europe's market and economy. Greece adopted it in 2001. However, in 2009, it was revealed that Greece had been hiding an immense amount of financial debt. Fear of Greece having an economic collapse has caused a recession in Europe, and this is what is called the Greek financial crisis.

Even today, we frequently see the words "Greek crisis" on the news, and we cannot yet say that the country's public finances have stabilized. Greece's finance affects not only its own businesses, but also business in Europe and the exchange market as a whole.

The Most Difficult Language in the World? The Complexity of Greek Translation

Because Greek is such a difficult language, all the more accuracy is needed in translation. As was introduced in the beginning, Greek is well-known to be one of the most difficult languages in the world. One reason for this is the Greek alphabet, made up of 24 letters, which may only look like symbols to the untrained eye. For example, "Γ" is "G," "Δ" is "D," and "Ξ" is "Ks." Furthermore, there are many other factors that make this language confusing, such as the Greek "P" actually representing the English "R". In addition to the alphabet, it is said that diacritical accents and grammar in Greek are also difficult.

Similarities Between Greek and Japanese

Greek is one of the foundations for many European languages, including English. But surprisingly, it also shares some characteristics with the Japanese language as well. For example in Japanese, subjects such as "I" and "you" are taken out of the sentence when the meaning can be conveyed without them. In Greek, the subject can be identified by the inflection of the verb, so the subject is left out of the sentence, just like in Japanese.

Although Greek and Japanese are similar in that they can both omit the subject in sentences, translating the two languages requires comprehension skills to correctly understand vague Japanese expressions as well as the ability to correctly determine and use Greek inflections. Additionally, when translating Japanese into Greek for business purposes, one must also translate slight shades of meaning necessary for business and bargaining.

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