Back in March 2021, we started a Greek Language Survey with the help of Hellenic Film Society USA. The main idea behind this survey was to reach as many of you as we could and find out the ways in which you connect to Greece, the Greek language and culture.
We asked you all sorts of questions from where you stay when you visit Greece to how often you watch Greek movies. We received 484 unique responses! And if we realized one thing, is that all of these people experience their connection to Greece in unique ways but it is evident that the preservation of this connection and of the Greek language and culture is what matters to all of you.
Before presenting some of your answers in more detail let us mention some general statistics that have come up. About 23% of the people who completed our survey visit Greece once a year, while 24% answered “not often.” Some of the most popular places in Greece that people visit are Athens, Crete, the Peloponnese, Thessaloniki and various islands like Lesvos and Paros.
50.4% said they were born in Greece, while 21.5% said that their grandparents were born there, meaning they are third generation Greeks in the U.S.
When it comes to Greek cinema, 35% said that they don’t watch Greek films often, while 33.5 % watch Greek films a few times a year. An astonishing 93.8% said that they would welcome the opportunity to watch more Greek films throughout the year.
Were you wodering where all these people who completed our survey live. Well, the answers vary. New York and Canada are definitely the answers that came up the most. There are also people living in Boston, Melbourne, Sydney, Houston, Sweden, and South Africa among others.
Shall we make things more specific?
31.4% said 5, which means that they have great competency in Greek while 40% answered either 2 or 3 showcasing limited fluency.
47.8% unfortunately do not speak Greek often, while 29.5% speak Greek every day. These numbers definitely show the generational difference in the preservation of the Greek language in Greek communities abroad, proving that older generations do in fact speak Greek more often than younger people who either rarely speak it or do not know how to speak Greek at all.
About 50% of all these people, however, believe that the preservation of their Greek identity depends on the knowledge of the Greek language, showing once again how important the Greek language is for Greeks everywhere.
How did or do you learn Greek?
Parents and Greek Church Schools seem to be the experience for most people asked in the survey since 41.7% answered that this is how they learned Greek. These ways of learning could be connected with the age group that mostly participated in the survey which was over 50 years old with a percentage of 61.2%.
While not many of the people who participated in the survey took online classes to learn Greek, about half of them answered that they consider online learning as one of the most effective ways to learn Greek proving that Greek online lessons are gradually becoming a very popular form of learning Greek.
We would like to thank Hellenic Film Society USA for their help and support throughout this process. But most of all we would like to thank all of you for taking the time to complete this survey and help us get a better understanding of the various ways people of Greek heritage experience Greece and the Greek culture abroad.
Regardless of the ways you connect to Greece, what is certain is that we are all here because we love the Greek culture and language and love helping to spread Hellenism around the world! And if you are not sure just yet, we are here to help you Learn to Love Greek!