This Σφυριά (Sfyria) language, on the island of Evia, Greece, is a whistle language, that has long served a multitude of purposes. The word Σφυριά, from the Greek word σφυρι (sfyri), as the noun ‘whistle,’ symbolizes a militaristic stronghold that was long usedagainst enemies on the island, and more particularly, in the village .

The village, once bustling with a large population, now contains few; those who have held on to properties inherited from their parents and grandparents, and who are themsewlves aged. The only elementary school, in 2021, had only two students. 

At the island of Evia, the village of Antia, home to the Sfyria community. Antia remains obscured by Evia’s mountainous terriain, in the south-east corner of Evia, on the slopes of Mount Ochi.

Antia houses the last few remaining Sfyria whistlers of Greece. The name Sfyria builds on the Greek word sfyri, denoting thet noun ‘whistle.’

The sfyria language is not in itself a language, but rather, a whistle-phonetic replication of the actual Greek languagge, and hence, it may well constitute a “speech registrar,” similar to shouting or whispering. In line with this, the sfyria registrar letters, syllables, and phrases correspond to the actual Greek ‘spoken’ language elements, by emulating its tones and frequencies.

The grammar and the vocabulary of the sfyria language exactly equate to standard Greek, but in whistle form. One of the many advantages of the sfyria language is the fact that the whistle sound travels 4 km or further, a feat which is impossible for spoken language.