12 Facts About Greeklish


Unlike standardized systems of Romanization of Greek, as used internationally for purposes such as rendering Greek proper names or place names, or for bibliographic purposes, the term Greeklish mainly refers to informal, ad-hoc practices of writing Greek text in environments where the use of the Greek alphabet is technically impossible or cumbersome, especially in electronic media.

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Greeklish was commonly used on the Internet when Greek people communicate by forum, e-mail, IRC, instant messaging and occasionally on SMS, mainly because older operating systems did not have the ability to write in Greek, or in a unicode form like UTF-8.

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Sometimes, the term Greeklish is used informally for a non-standard language variety used by bilingual speakers of English and Greek, i e Greek with heavy macaronic or code-switching admixture of English words, or vice versa.

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In phonetic use, there is no concern to reproduce Greek orthography, and the Greeklish is a phonetic transcription of Greek words — although often there is a mixture of the two.

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An example of phonetic Greeklish could be the same word, "square", written like this: "platia".

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The Greeklish transliteration was based on the Greek translation of the original book written by Astro Teller.

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Around 2004, after most computer software became compatible with Unicode UTF-8 or UTF-16 systems, use of Greeklish was strongly discouraged in many Greek online Web discussion boards where Greeklish was in use before.

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Administrators threatened to ban users who continued to use Greeklish, thus making the use of Greek mandatory; but using Greeklish failed to become a serious reason to get banned.

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The reason for this is the fact that text written in Greeklish is considerably less aesthetically pleasing, and much harder to read, compared to text written in the Greek alphabet.

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On Greek IRC channels and IM applications, most of the time only Greeklish is used because it is simpler to type and typing errors are more easily excused.

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However, Greeklish has been criticised because the user's text bypasses spellcheck, resulting in lowering their ability to write native Greek correctly.

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Since the appearance of Greeklish there have been numerous attempts to develop applications for automatic conversion from Greeklish to Greek.

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