“Economic activity in Greece without official currency: The terms and their economies
in VALEONTIS, C. (ed.): Hellenic language and terminology – Communications of the 8th Conference, Hellenic Society for Terminology, Athens – Greece, pp. 203-217.
Irene Sotiropoulou, 2011
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This paper belongs to an ongoing PhD research project, titled “Exchange Networks and Parallel Currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”, which is already in its third-year phase.
The project comprises both theoretical study and field research and it focuses on economic activity in Greece which is performed without the use of any official currency. The research faces severe terminology problems, which may be categorised, for analytical purposes only, in:
a) the terms used to describe the activity itself in one language.
b) the terms used in Greek to describe this activity in comparison to the terms used in other
languages for same or quite similar activities.
c) the academic terminology on international level concerning all this economic activity and the
major problem that this terminology refers to currencies only but not to the rest of the activity.
d) the inexistent academic terminology in Greek for all this economic activity, as the latter has not
been systematically studied on academic level so far.
e) the peculiarity of Greek terms already used to describe this activity: not only English or French
terms are used, either translated or even transcribed into Greek language as they are, but also
several terms seem to be probably originating in Turkish, or other languages.
At the beginning of the research, it seemed that the choice of terminology was a practical issue, which would simply enable the researcher to create a concise view of the topic studied. However, the more the research advanced, the more the terms used acquired a power of their own; they created questions well linked to a multi-dimensional viewing of the economy and at the end, they “demand” to “talk economics” on behalf of their users.