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Greek has been notorious for trying to Purify the Language.

People tried to conserve the Attic Dialect( which evolved to Katharevousa, named blatantly as an attempt to conserve and purify) and Regular citizens spoke Koine while the Palace, Education, Official Documents and even high end Personas were/spoke Attic which turned to Katharevousa. It was a state of diglossia for about 2 millenia. And Koine which evolved to Demotike did not win straightly the confict.

In other languages have there been any greater turmoil and attempts to purify the language( if not so persistent/extensive at least greater in intensity) or at least comparable/similar? Is Real Academia Española an example?

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    Your example (Greek) is not about "purism". It's more a case of a conservative variety that is used alongside a more innovative vernacular. "Purism" is about removing what is perceived as foreign or vulgar, like coining new German words in order to remove French words, or new Turkish words in order to remove Arabic or Persan borrowings. – Arnaud Fournet Oct 12 at 9:47
  • As A. Fournet said that is not purism. The case of katharevousa is wrongly described sometimes like a language replacement. None is speaking katharevousa today and even if one tries it sounds rather riddiculous. Greek still contains a considerable number of words from Latin and Turkish. – Midas Oct 12 at 11:19
  • @ArnaudFournet The only difference is that Greek did not need to coin new Greek words to replace foreign words. Otherwise it was exactly that an attempt to regress to the pure Attic dialect which had no foreign influences. Demotike and Koine to a lesser extend had the problem that they were not pure. Why is it conservatism to regress to the pure language with no foreign influences but purism to coin new words. Katharevousa means exactly that Purifying. – George Ntoulos Oct 12 at 13:21
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    @GeorgeNtoulos: Greek has many substratal words. We can presume that those come from Minoan or other languages spoken in Greece during neolithic and early bronze age era. – Midas Oct 13 at 10:53
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    @Midas So Neolithic,Cycladic and Minoan. But could one(a modern linguist) identify a Neolithic, Cycladic or Minoan word in the Attic greek? We have gone up to Linear B but Linear A is a tottaly different story. But I need to say that many Nationalists or otherwise people obsessed with conserving the language are obsessed with Attic even it was not absoluttely pure. – George Ntoulos Oct 13 at 11:01
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In French, a quite recent example would be the Toubon Law. This law enforces the use of French in all official media, as a way to struggle against the massive use of English language. It followed a quite usual trend by the Académie Française of trying to coin French words to replace English neologisms that started by being adopted as-is. This often concerns new technologies, though not always.

The success was limited (and the law was made fun of by being called "loi AllGood") but some words survive. For instance French has baladeur which was coined as an almost exact translation of the word walkman, which was rendered obsolete by the success of this new word (well, granted, walkmans are now pretty obsolete objects themselves, nowadays). Prior to the law, the academy coined logiciel for software, which is now a standard.

This trend to "fight" against English language is much stronger in Québec, Canada, since the rest of the country speaks English. They will translate everything. For instance, in France french language, many US movies retain their original name, while the name will be translated in Québec french language. Another recent example, in french, the word télécharger used to mean download or upload, without clear distinction, leading to ambiguities. More and more, in France french language, télécharger means only download and uploader was coined, which is adding the french ending "er" to the english word. In constrast, for upload, Québec french language uses téléverser which is a portmanteau of télécharger and verser (to pour).

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