The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. The Greek language now predominates in the South of Cyprus and Turkish in the north.
The Greek Cypriot is a dialect of Greek that reflects the influence of the myriad of nations that have ruled Cyprus over the years. Although it observes the grammar and syntax of the Greek language, it contains certain non-standard words, including some from Ancient Greek, and some words are pronounced in a different way.
Learning Greek helps you to appreciate the Cypriot way of life and make the most of your time in the country. Even just learning the basic pleasantries in Greek will earn you the respect of Greek Cypriots.
The Turkish dialect spoken by Turkish Cypriots is closely related to other dialects of Anatolia, but distinct from the urban dialects of Istanbul, Ankara, and Zmir. The differences that exist were much less significant than those found between Turkish and other Turkic languages of Central Asia. Ataturk’s language and educational reforms brought sweeping changes in standard Turkish. The Turkish Cypriot community was the only Turkish minority in former Ottoman territories outside mainland Turkey to quickly adopt Ataturk’s linguistic changes as well as the other revolutionary principles of his program.
English is spoken everywhere in the country, as the country was a British colony from 1878 until 1960. English is considered a symbol of sophistication and many Cypriots strive to perfect their English because of the many Greek Cypriots have lived and worked or been educated in the United Kingdom.