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Greek an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages is the language of the Greeks. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. In its ancient form, it is the language of classical ancient Greek literature and the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In its modern form, it is the official language of Greece and Cyprus, and spoken by approximately 20 million people (first language for ca. 15 million), including minority and emigrant communities in numerous parts of the world. Its written form uses the Greek alphabet. Greek is spoken by about 14 million people, mainly in Greece and Cyprus, but also worldwide by the members of the Greek Diasporas. There are traditional Greek-speaking settlements in the neighboring countries Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as in several countries in the Black Sea area such as Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and around the Mediterranean Sea, Southern Italy, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and ancient coastal towns along the Levant. The language is also spoken by Greek emigrant communities in many countries in Western Europe, especially the United Kingdom and Germany, in Canada and the United States, Australia, as well as in Argentina, Brazil and others.