Hello everyone! My name is Gianlorenzo and I was born in 1993 in Salento, the heel of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula. Like most of my compatriots who were born and raised in Italy by an Italian family, I'm a diglossic (or "dilalic") native speaker, perfectly mastering both Italian and the local Salentinian Romance variety (commonly called "Salentinian dialect").
My first approach to a foreign language was in elementary school, where I attended my very first English lesson. During my years in middle school I also had the opportunity to get a taste of French, a language that I can now only partially understand both when I read it or when I listen to someone speaking it (veeery clearly and slowly) but that I can't really write or speak.
My passion for languages and lingustics revealed itself in 2012 when I began my university course in Linguistic Mediation in Rome, where not only did I have the opportunity to improve my English but also to study two more languages: Spanish and Arabic. Between 2014 and 2016 I went multiple times to Morocco and Jordan where I deepen my knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic and the local Arabic dialects. While I was in Jordan i took a trip to Jerusalem, an experience that sparked my interest for Modern Hebrew, a language that I later decided to include in my master degree course curriculum in Eastern Languages and Civilizations at "L'Orientale" University of Naples.
What pushed me to become an active wiktioner, however, has nothing to do with Arabic or Hebrew. The main reason I'm here, in fact, is the passionate love that I have for Italiot Greek. The glossonym Italiot Greek refers to a number of endangered Greek varieties of ancient and/or medieval origins which are still spoken in southern Italy and that can be further subclassified in two main branches: the Calabrian Greek and the Apulian (or Salentinian) Greek (called respectively Greko and Griko by native speakers).
Although I wasn't born in a Griko-speaking family, I've been considering Griko as part of my cultural heritage since the very first moment I began to learn it, which happened quite late: despite my hometown being just few kilometres away from the Salentinian hellenophone area (the so-called Grecìa Salentina) it wasn't until the age of 22 that I started to develop a serious interest towards Griko.
After years of study on books and practice with native speakers not only did I reach today a good fluency in the language, but I also became an activist for its revitalization. Today, in fact, I collaborate with a group of young women and men from Calabria and Apulia to increase awareness on these endangered varieties among (especially young) locals and promote their lerning by younger generations.
I personally think that Wiktionary can be an extraordinarily useful tool for any endangered language. With my little contribution, I hope it'll demonstrate its utility to all those who desire to give to Greko and Griko the opportunity of still being spoken in the years to come.