After World War II and the civil war in Greece, over 160,000 Greeks migrated to Australia in search of a better life. One such migrant is my uncle Vaggelis, who moved to Melbourne in the late sixties and has been living there with his family ever since. Visiting them for the first time offered me the opportunity to experience the Greek Australian community at first hand. While observing their interactions with each other, I noticed that they would often use this rather unusual vocabulary that was neither Greek nor English; it was an ethnic dialect commonly used amongst the migrant community called Greeklish.

It’s All Greeklish to Me is a typography-focused project exploring the migration of Greeks to Australia, the impact that it had on language and the emergence of the Greeklish ethnolect. The publication consists of two narratives: a main narrative giving insight into the history of Greek migration to Australia and issues surrounding language and identity, and secondly, a series of supporting interviews with my uncle and one of my cousins. These interview tip-ins give context to the use of language and highlight their different relationships with it. In a world of movement, languages cannot remain static. Like every other ethnolect, Greeklish is a manifestation of the changes and challenges migrants have to overcome to bridge the language and cultural barriers.


Ar ôl yr Ail Ryfel Byd a’r rhyfel cartref yng Ngwlad Groeg, ymfudodd dros 160,000 o Groegiaid i Awstralia i chwilio am fywyd gwell. Un ymfudwr o’r fath yw fy ewythr Vaggelis, a symudodd i Melbourne yn y chwedegau hwyr ac sydd wedi byw yno gyda’i deulu ers hynny. Wrth ymweld â nhw am y tro cyntaf, ces i’r cyfle i brofi cymuned Groegaidd Awstralia o lygad y ffynnon. Wrth arsylwi nhw’n rhyngweithio â’i gilydd, sylwais y byddent yn aml yn defnyddio geirfa eithaf anarferol nad oedd yn Groeg na Saesneg; roedd yn dafodiaith ethnig a ddefnyddir ymysg y gymuned ymfudwyr o’r enw Greeklish.

Mae It’s All Greeklish to Me yn brosiect a ffocysir ar deipograffeg sy’n ymchwilio i ymfudiad Groegiaid i Awstralia, effaith hynny ar iaith a datblygiad y dafodiaith ethnig Greeklish. Mae’r cyhoeddiad yn cynnwys dau naratif: prif naratif sy’n rhoi mewnwelediad i hanes ymfudiad Groegiaid i Awstralia a materion o gwmpas iaith a hunaniaeth ac yn ail, cyfres o gyfweliadau ategol gyda fy ewythr ac un o fy nghefndryd. Mae’r cyfweliadau hyn yn rhoi cyd-destun i’r defnydd o iaith ac yn amlygu eu perthnasoedd gwahanol â hi. Mewn byd sy’n llawn mudo, ni all ieithoedd aros yn ddisymud. Fel pob tafodiaith ethnig arall, mae Greeklish yn amlygiad o’r newidiadau a heriau y mae’n rhaid i ymfudwyr eu goresgyn i oresgyn y rhwystrau iaith a diwylliannol.