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April 12, 2021

International Greek Language Day, celebrated at the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic to Romania

The International Greek Language Day celebration, which took place at the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic to Romania on Thursday evening, was devoted to the personality of Latin literature professor Liviu Franga, a dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, and included a conference on the influence of the Greek language on the Latin language held by professor Andreas Michalopoulos from the University of Athens.

At the end, there was an award ceremony of the students who won the writing contest of Romanian literary texts with words of Greek origin.

The event, organised by the Embassies of the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus, in partnership with the Department of Romance, Classical and Neo-Greek Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, was open by Ambassadors of the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus in Bucharest, Sofia Grammata and Filippos Kritiotis, and took place in the presence of some ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest, as well as of numerous participants. The event took place with the support of the Hellenic – Romanian Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, with the participation of the Hellenic Union of Romania.

Professor Liviu Franga’s personality, alongside a portrait of his, was evoked by professor Tudor Dinu from the Bucharest University, who was a student of his. “23 years ago, in February 1977, I was waiting for him, together with my colleagues from the first year, for the Latin professor, university lecturer Liviu Franga. (…) Liviu Franga is the main Romanian exegete of Latin poetry,” Tudor Dinu said.

Professor Liviu Franga said that Greek language is a world language and any other language that would want to usurp its worldwide nature won’t succeed. He recited with emotion, to the participants, a poem which he plans to include in a volume devoted to Greece.

In a statement to AGERPRES, professor Franga confessed that there was “also a personal reason” for his involvement in the anniversary event.

“I personally concluded an administration cycle at the University of Bucharest. There were two mandates, 2012 – 2016 and 2016 – 2020, during which I was dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures. This was an extraordinary experience about me and one of the axes that guided and crossed my didactical and professional activity was the support of the Neo-Hellenic studies in a wider context, in a faculty where about 35 foreign languages are studied. Here, in the Greek area, the historic connections are very important with Romania, with Romania’s history, with the Romanian people in general. Therefore, it was not just a personal celebration, but a spiritual communion which we achieved with the aid of the hosts. (…) We have spent some unforgettable moments under the sign of the Romanian-Greek friendship,” he said.

Professor Liviu Franga pointed out that the poem he red will be part of the volume “Song for the Greek Land.” “It is the second poem I have written, as a homage paid to the Greek culture, the history of Greece, the Greek language. My literary activity is less known, I have published a few literature volumes. This poem, read as a first, is part, alongside another, published in 2017, of that volume project which is to me the moment of homage paid to the Greek culture both as a professor and as a culture passionate. The volume will be called ‘Song for the Greek Land.” I have said ‘the Greek Land” and not “Greece” because to me everything that is Greek is like a second mother land,” the dean of the Bucharest University explained.


In his lecture, professor Andreas Michalopoulos widely evoked the history of the emergence and evolution of the Hellenic language, referring to the two contact points it had with the Latin language, languages that were the base of the European cultural edifice, “which we all, Romanians, Greeks, are proud to belong to.”

“From all the factors and reasons of introducing Greek words in the Latin language none was stronger than Christian religion. (…) Linguists, based on the systematic comparison among Greek, Latin and Sanskrit and the related languages, reached the conclusion that these languages belong to the same family of Indo-European Italic languages.(…) In a simplified manner, one might say that Greek and Latin resemble each other. Rome’s expansion determined the expansion of the Latin language. (…) Indeed, there wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a significant part of the technical and philosophical vocabulary of the modern European languages comes directly or indirectly from Latin words,” professor Andreas Michalopoulos said.

The event at the Greek Embassy concludes a series of events devoted to the Greek Language Day, which began 11 days ago, Hellenic Union President Dragos Zisopol told AGERPRES.

The Hellenic Union deputy brought to mind that, two years ago, “a great step for the worldwide Hellenism” was achieved through the approval, upon his initiative, of the law on the establishment of the Greek language day, arguing in the substantiation report that 9 February marks the commemoration of the Greek national poet, Dionysios Solomos, and it was declared International Greek Language Day in 2017.

“Last year, we celebrated for the first time this day, at the Military Centre of Bucharest, together with all official representatives of Greece to Romania. This year, we wished to do something more and we celebrated this day within the Romanian Academy, where we had notable guests both from Greece and Romania. Here we are today at the Hellenic Republic Embassy, 11 days after the celebration at the Romanian Academy, concluding in Romania all events that were organised by the territorial units of the Hellenic Union of Romania. (…) We have a law that allows us to to this – a very important aspect for the Greek diaspora worldwide and at the same time a model worth following,” the UER President said.

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