Community News Weekly

“Speak Greek in March campaign … and not only”

Under the auspices of the “Speak Greek in March campaign … and not only”, we are announcing two
initiatives:

  1. Metropolis, the game
  2. Greek Language Seminar

METROPOLIS is an app for both Android and the App store and can be downloaded free of charge. It is a game aimed at a diverse age group, with the purpose of entertaining and at the same time contributing to the learning of the Greek language.

It has been developed by Fotios Tsiouklas, an 18 year old successful entrepreneur and app developer and a number of volunteers who researched, prepared the content, produced the studio recordings and tested the application for errors.

The key roles have been undertaken by Cr Mike Zafiropoulos AM and Harry Kouthouridis. Two young students of the Greek language, Nefeli Kouthouridis (10 year-old) and Geroge Sembelidis (14 year old) recorded the female and male voices in the game.

Advice and support was sought and enthusiastically extended pro bono by several experts. Without this extensive voluntary effort, this project would not have been possible.

The “Speak Greek in March … but beyond it too” campaign is grateful for the generous offer by Fotios Tsiouklas to make the full version of the game freely available, as a gift to the Greek community in the Hellenic Diaspora, but also to students in Greece. It takes years to produce such a game and requires considerable funds.

Furthermore, while such demanding games normally charge to recover costs, the love of retaining and promoting the Greek language as widely as possible, made all involved in its production to offer their services pro bono.

As often, things offered free of charge may be considered not important enough or of a low quality, this is definitely not the case with Metropolis.

It is a high-quality game that every Greek family must have. We need the support of teachers, parents, grandparents, students and community organisations who care to retain the mother of all languages alive in Australia to encourage the downloading and frequent use of this app.

We would welcome feedback from any users, as only through review and evaluation we will be able to make improvements and correct any errors.

We recognise that the traditional methods of teaching our mother tongue to future generations need to be supplemented by other strategies, more friendly and more accessible to today’s children, who with the recent technological advances have become inseparable from their smart telephones and other such devices.

The app can be downloaded free of charge by searching for Metropolis in the Apple Store and for Android in the Play Store.

GREEK LANGUAGE SEMINAR

In order to review and evaluate how well the Greek language is maintained from the first generation to subsequent ones and suggest ways of improving its retention, a Seminar has been organised within the framework of the Campaign “Speak Greek in March … but beyond it too” in the afternoon of the 26th of May 2019 at the Greek Centre, 168 Lonsdale St, North Melbourne.

The Seminar has secured linguists, teachers, academics, parents and grandparents, Greek and bilingual school principals and Greek speakers from mixed marriages or non-Greek background and representatives of the Greek language mass media to discuss ways of responding to the challenges we are facing as a minority to retain our mother tongue in multicultural Australia.

The aim of the Seminar is, on one hand to examine the problems, the challenges and the current reality that the Greek language faces in the Diaspora and on the other hand, to look into future activities, innovative practices and ideas of educators, community organizations and individuals, who are interested in promoting and retaining the Greek language.

Consequently, emphasis will be given to identifying solutions, exploring ideas for improvement and generally investigating ways to keep the Greek language alive in Australia.

The Seminar specifically aims to:

• Examine the current state of the Greek language in Australia and at various educational institutions
• Investigate ways of facing different challenges
• Propose ideas for the advancement and promotion of the Greek language
It will have six sessions:

First Session

Current state of affairs, trends, experiences of other similar countries of the Diaspora, perspectives.

Second Session

Role of Greek language schools and other educational organisations, support of Australian / Greek governments, challenges, suggestions for improvements, innovation, cooperation, coordination, experiences of other language communities.

Third Session

Particular experiences of individuals, such as descendants of mixed marriages, non-Greeks who speak Greek, students of the Greek language who are recipients of scholarships / awards, the role of parents / grandparents.
Fourth Session

Particular experiences of Greek Community Media. Contribution to the retention and promotion of the Greek language.

Fifth Session

Particular experiences of Day Schools, Greek language in the School’s curriculum, contribution to the retention and promotion of the Greek language.

Sixth Session

Future perspectives, funding, role of providers and community organizations, the possibility of creating a Hellenic Language Foundation, cooperation with other language minorities, pertinent proposals for the strengthening of the Greek language.