Death of Georges Galanes, modern Greek teacher at Inalco (2000-2023)

14 June 2023

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It is with great sadness that we have just learned of the death of our colleague Georges Galanes. Inalco, the Modern Greek section, its teachers and students, have just lost a universally appreciated colleague who devoted his entire career and put all his energy into teaching Modern Greek.

A fine connoisseur of the language and passionate about its history, he trained several generations of students who will always be remembered for his competence, his desire to pass on his knowledge, his availability and kindness.

After graduating from Athens University with a degree in Greek and French Languages and Literatures (1988), he obtained his DEA diploma in Literary Studies at Paris VII, under the direction of Julia Kristeva, Du sujet et du silence dans les romans de Samuel Beckett. In 1999, he defended his doctoral thesis at Inalco, under the direction of Henri Tonnet, Le comique dans les comédies de la Renaissance crétoise et l'influence des comédies italiennes du XVIe siècle.

In 2000, he was recruited as Maître de Conférences at Inalco after teaching there as a fellow and then as a maître de langue. He has a particular interest in teaching Modern Greek phonetics and lexicology, subjects he taught during the first years of his recruitment. His close and fruitful collaboration with Professor Henri Tonnet, head of the Modern Greek section for many years, resulted in the publication of a Methode de grec moderne in two volumes, as well as the publication, under his coordination, of a dictionnaire grec moderne-français (1998).

Following the publication of this first dictionary, his dream is to publish a major modern French-Greek dictionary, using innovative lexicographic methods for the processing and presentation of entries and nomenclature. Using data from the Larousse platform (via Pataki Editions), he cleverly adapts the Greek material to provide the user with information that integrates contextual and interactional data, and goes far beyond the perimeter of the unit's lexical field (presentation by modules, phraseologisms, neologisms, registers), responding as effectively as possible to often complex needs. The dictionary, the product of several years' hard work, with its impeccable typography and perfect readability, was very well received in both Greece and France; Georges Galanes was very proud of it, and both Greek and French users were delighted.

An excellent didactician, his teaching at Inalco was dedicated to the fundamentals of the language, but also to the history and dialects of modern Greek, and finally to specialty Greek, a subject in which he had an excellent command thanks to his contrastive lexicographical knowledge. His latest book (in collaboration with Guo Jing), published in 2020, is entitled L'enseignement de l'oral en classe de langue, stimuli et évaluation, published by Editions des archives contemporaines, Collection "Plidam".

Georges Galanes headed the Modern Greek Section from 2013, with total dedication and great efficiency, until his health problems prevented him from dealing with heavy administrative loads and continuous demands. He devoted the last years of his life to his courses, which he taught until his last day.

His students, his colleagues in the Modern Greek section, the Europe Department and the PLIDAM team mourn an admirable teacher-researcher, a friend, and a person of uncommon courage, strength in the face of adversity and benevolence.

The funeral ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 1 at 10:00 am, at Saint-Stéphane Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7 rue Georges Bizet, 75016 Paris.

A tribute is scheduled for Monday April 3 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at Inalco, in room 4.24 at the Pôle des Langues et Civilisations, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris.