When did Melbourne first develop its large Greek community?

It’s doubtful the Greek population of Melbourne ever exceeded 300k; and the more Greeks assimilate, the harder that is to count. I think it could be argued that Chicago had a larger Greek population at least at one point. Thessalonica has a population over a million, so Melbourne was never the largest Greek city outside of Athens.

There was the occasional random Greek in Australia as far back as the 1820s. A discernible community in Melbourne dates from the 1890s (about 150 strong), and the first Greek church in Melbourne, the Church of the Annunciation, opened in 1901. Back then, the community was from a small number of Greek islands—Kalymnos, Ithaca, Kastellorizo, with one family member bringing another. Kalymnos and Kastellorizo were sponge diver islands, and diving was an initial source of employment for Greeks in Australia. (Hence the pearling houses of Paspaley and Kailis in Broome.)

The upsurge of the Greek population in Melbourne, and the rest of Australia for that matter, dates from 1950–1975, and was the result of mass migration of Greeks from impoverished post-war Greece (and in lesser numbers, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt), to work in the factories and then small businesses of Australia. In my family, the earliest family member, my uncle George, came out to work as a carpenter in Sale in 1947; the latest family member was my uncle Andrew, who joined my father working in the fish ’n’ chip shop business in 1970.

Unlike the Italians, Greeks avoided becoming farmers in Australia, and stuck to the cities; for that reason, there was a healthy presence of Italians in rural Queensland, but the Greek population was heavily concentrated in the capital cities of each state. By far most Greeks ended up in Sydney and Melbourne; as of the 2011 census (Greek Australians), 30,000 people in NSW were born in Greece, and 50,000 in Victoria.

Melbourne was at the time the industrial powerhouse of Australia, and it needed factory fodder; that was one drawcard for early migrants, and I assume is what gave it the edge over Sydney. As with many other diasporas (and as indeed with the earlier Greek migration wave), family members brought other family members, and critical mass of the diaspora encouraged other Greeks to join it, as familiar territory. (The current Greek Financial Crisis wave of migration is conspicuous in Oakleigh, the current Melbourne Greektown, for both reasons.)

What are some differences between the Greek of Greece and Cypriot Greek?

Cypriot Greek is one of the South-Eastern group of Greek dialects, along with Chios and the Dodecanese. So the differences between the Greek of Rhodes (in Greece) and the Greek of Cyprus are less far apart than the Greek of Athens and the Greek of Cyprus. In fact, if you aren’t finely attuned to the dialects, you can mistake someone from Rhodes as someone from Cyprus; that has happened to my dad in taxis in Crete.

But I’m going to assume the question is about Standard Greek vs Cypriot Greek. These are the first things that come to mind:

  • Survival of word-final -n.
  • Survival and expansion of double consonants. That includes word-initially (usually in loanwords from Turkish), where they are realised as aspirates.
  • Deletion of voiced fricatives between vowels; so Standard Greek traɣuði “song”, Cypriot trauin.
  • Fortition of θj, ðj to θc. So Standard ðia(v)ole “Devil!”, Cypriot θcaole.
  • Palatalised velars become palatoalveolar (though that actually happens in most Greek dialects outside the standard).
  • Some archaic verb inflections.
  • Old French loanwords; e.g. tʃaera “chair”.
  • Impressionistically, a few more Turkish loanwords than in Greece.
  • Unmarked VSO word order instead of SVO.
  • A deep love of cleft constructions. I have cited in a paper the phrase from a folk tale ίνταλος εν ποννα εύρω τωρά να γινώ γιατρός “How is it that I will work out now how to become a doctor”.
  • A healthy survival of the dialect as the low lect in a diglossia; there is abundant Cypriot dialect written online, including dialect-specific ASCII romanisation.

Btw, I’ve just discovered that Google matches dialectal ίνταλος with Standard πώς in searches. I am impressed!

EDIT: Added by Eutychius Kaimakkamis:

  • The -n at the end of words is usually pronounced when it’s the ending word. When there’s another word after it, the -n just nasalizes the vowel behind it and by extension the consonant or vowel next to it.
  • In many varieties (mainly in Tillyria and Kokkinochoria), θ and φ sometimes change to χ e.g. χαρκούμαι instead of θαρκούμαι or χιλούιν instead of φιλούιν. Sidenote: There’s even a satirical show with a a segment called “Τα άπλυτα στη χόρα” (instead of φόρα) where two football pundits talk with exaggerated Kokkinochoria accents and usually involves (poor quality) scatological humour like “να σου χέσω ένα χέμα” instead of “να σου θέσω ένα θέμα”.
  • Voiced consonants often turn into unvoiced ones e.g. φτέλλα instead of βδέλλα or αυκό instead of αυγό.

The correct pronunciation of ‘H’ is aych, so why do people say ‘haytch’?

Is there a /h/ in aitch?


Well, you won’t be surprised why someone thought it was a good idea to insert one, then. Every other letter names has something to do with the letter sound it represents. Even allowing for English orthography.

If you were the Byzantine emperor in the 14th century, what would you do to prevent the fall of your empire?

In 1300? That would make me Andronikos II Palaiologos.

Well, I’ve done the best I can with the Venetians and the Genoese. I’ve played them off each other, but I don’t have the money or the navy to get rid of them. I’ve done what I can with dynastic marriages as well. The Ottomans are starting to move on me, and I can only postpone the inevitable. Same goes for the Serbs. Hiring the Catalans certainly did not work out as a solution, but there’s a risk with any mercenary army.

There is one thing I can do though. Not just disown my grandson, Andronikos III Palaiologos. Have him blinded, the way my predecessors dealt with annoying relatives. The civil war between the two Androniki was where the fate of Byzantium was sealed.

Still, that would have likely only bought me a couple of decades. And Byzantium had a lot of lucky escapes over the following century, that it no longer deserved.

How can I, as an 18-year-old first year college student, help in Kumaoni language conservation?

There will be different answers depending on who speaks the language, where, what the community attitudes are to it, and what kinds of resources you have access to.

One starting point is Kat Li’s answer to How can modern society preserve dying languages?

From Wikipedia, it seems Kumaoni is in the same category as a lot of languages in Indonesia: being spoken by millions of people, but they’re unlikely to pass it on, because everyone is switching to the national language.

The most obvious think you can do, as an 18-year old student:

  • Use it.
  • Use it with other people.
  • Make Kumaoni language clubs, to make its use visible in university.
  • Use it online. And that includes texting in it.
  • Use it in ways that can enhance its prestige. You know how better than I can.
  • And don’t get too precious about the purity of Kumaoni. A Kumaoni with a whole bunch of Hindi (or English) words in it is still better than no Kumaoni at all.

Does Quora plan to award badges to users for their activity?

It is delightful to have questions like this burble up in your feed from the depths of time. (In this case, 2010.)

Congratulations, OP. You predicted Most Viewed Writers (Quora feature) and Top Writers (Quora program).

Do Quora users use Quora primarily because it strokes their intellectual egos?

I’ve answered a few questions like this by saying “I wish I could say that I did, just to be contrary, but really, I don’t.”

And it is true, as Melinda Gwin has said, that being here is quite humbling at times. That I realise that I have a lot to learn about philosophy and theology (from people like, oh, I dunno, Melinda), or literature (from our mutual Magister) or politics (from Victoria the Mahlerphobe) or history (like Dimitris Almyrantis) or Greekness (like Dimitra Triantafyllidou), or X or Y or Z. That I am here to learn.

And I am also here to hang out with people I have come to regard as friends, and if not friends, then certainly cherished acquaintances, who bring a smile to my face and balm to my soul.

But I post too.

And when I post? Absolutely it strokes my intellectual ego, and so it bloody well should. Several times a week, I will go through my profile feed to see stuff I’ve written recently, and thought yeah, that was a good argument; yeah, that was witty; yeah, that was passionate and needed to be said.

You mean you don’t?