Greek, an Independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages is a native language to the Balkans, Aegean islands, western Asian Minor and Cyprus. It holds the record for the longest documented language in history spanning 3,400 years.
It has 13 million native speakers and the writing system is known as the Greek Alphabet. It is the official language of Greece, Cyprus and the European Union. Although not an official language, it is also recognized by the countries of Albania, Armenia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine, making Greek one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
The historical unity and continuing identity between the various stages of the Greek language is often emphasized. Although Greek has undergone morphological and phonological changes comparable to those seen in other languages, never since classical antiquity has its cultural, literary, and orthographic tradition been interrupted to the extent that one can speak of a new language emerging. Greek speakers today still tend to regard literary works of ancient Greek as part of their own rather than a foreign language. It is also often stated that the historical changes have been relatively slight compared with some other languages. According to one estimation, Homeric Greek is probably closer to demotic than twelfth-century Middle English is to modern spoken English.