Cyprus language

cyprus flag

The Republic of Cyprus is a country belonging to Europe, whose capital is Nicosia. It has a population of 1 million inhabitants (158º) and an extension of 9,251 km 2 (162º). Its human development index is very high (32º) and its official currency is the Euro. But what language do they speak in Cyprus?

What language do they speak in Cyprus?

Cyprus has two official languages:

  • Greek , spoken by 80.9% of Cypriots, in its Cypriot Greek variant.
  • Turkish , which is spoken by 0.2% of the population, also in its Cypriot Turkish variant.

Other minority languages ​​are English (4.1%), Romanian (2.9%), Russian (2.5%), Bulgarian (2.2%), Arabic (1.2%) and Filipino (1.1 %).

As for foreign languages, the most learned are: English (76%), French (12%) and German (5%).

Note: In Cyprus there is a delicate situation, since the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (with disputed sovereignty) declared itself independent in 1983, only being accepted by Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In this region there is only one official language, Turkish.All data shown on this page excludes this Turkish Cypriot population, as the Cypriot government lacks census control over this area.

map division of languages ​​and languages ​​cyprus turkey

The Greek language

Cypriot Greek (κυπριακά) is a dialect of Modern Greek, spoken by about 700,000 inhabitants. This is just a dialect used in everyday language, since Standard Modern Greek is officially used. It has numerous loanwords from Cypriot Turkish (and vice versa). Standard Modern Greek has also been used in education since the late 19th century, and is the language of the media (albeit in a recognizable Cypriot form).

The Turkish language

Cypriot Turkish (Kıbrıs Türkçesi) is a dialect of Turkish, spoken by a small part of Cyprus (0.2%). Originating in Anatolia, it has evolved over centuries. It is the vernacular language of Cypriots with ancestors from the Ottoman Empire, as well as Cypriots who converted to Islam during the Ottoman era. Apart from Cypriot Greek, it has influences from Italian and English. It is intelligible with standard Turkish.

Is English spoken in Cyprus?

The level of English in Cyprus is high (higher than many European countries). English is present on traffic signs, public notices, in advertising, etc. This is due to the British heritage, as it was the sole official language during its British colonial days until 1960, and remained the de facto language in the courts until 1989. Up to 76% of the population speak English, and it is Compulsory teaching from the age of 9.

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