The primary objective of this template (and of the other {{lang}} templates) is to tag non-English text so that both human and machine readers are able to properly interpret, display and understand non-English text as part of an effort to move towards a semantic web. To that end, proper use of these templates help web browsers to choose the correct display font, text-to-speech screen readers to select a more appropriate pronunciation, search engines to better index and relate the context of the content, translation services to properly interpret the words, spell checkers to properly allow and/or require diacritics, and so on.

Regardless of the label that is displayed in front of the text (i.e.: "Ancient Greek:" vs. "Greek"), this template will always wrap the supplied Ancient Greek text inside of appropriate HTML <span>...</span> tags – that is to say that the Ancient Greek text will be tagged using the ISO 639-2 and ISO-639-3 language code for Ancient Greek: "grc". The following example wikicode:

{{lang-grc|ἄτομος|átomos|indivisible, an atom}}

produces the following HTML:

<a href="/wiki/Ancient_Greek" title="Ancient Greek">Ancient Greek</a>:
<span lang="grc" xml:lang="grc">ἄτομος</span>
<span title="Ancient Greek transliteration" class="Unicode" style="white-space:normal; text-decoration: none"><i>átomos</i></span>
"indivisible, an atom"

This metadata identifies the enclosed text as Ancient Greek for the benefit of search engines, browsers, screen readers, translators, typesetters, and so on. To these "non-human readers", Ancient Greek (encoded as "grc") has important distinctions from Modern Greek (appropriately encoded using "ell", "gre" or "grk" by other {{lang}} templates). For that reason, this template should never be used with Modern or Medieval or other Greek text.

|Ancient Greek text – using the Greek polytonic alphabet (with diacritics). (mandatory) – must be the 1st field
|transliterated text – the same text, transliterated using Latin alphabet (see Romanization of Greek). (optional) – must be the 2nd field
|translated text – in English. (optional) – must be the 3rd field
Code Result
{{lang-grc|ἄτομος}} प्राचीन ग्रीक: ἄτομος
{{lang-grc|ἄτομος|átomos}} प्राचीन ग्रीक: ἄτομος átomos
{{lang-grc|ἄτομος|átomos|indivisible, an atom}} प्राचीन ग्रीक: ἄτομος átomos "indivisible, an atom"
{{lang-grc|ἄτομος| |indivisible, an atom (lit: 'that cannot be cut')}}  प्राचीन ग्रीक: ἄτομος "indivisible, an atom (lit: 'that cannot be cut')" 

Articles using this template are automatically placed in Category:Articles containing Ancient Greek-language text.

  • {{lang-el}} for Modern Greek.
  • {{lang-ell}} for Modern Greek explicitly stated and linked so in the label.
  • {{lang-gkm}} for Medieval Greek.
  • {{lang-grc-gre}} for which the Ancient Greek description is not satisfactory or limiting.
  • {{lang|el}} and {{lang|ell}} tags Modern Greek text, without the label (for use with custom display, and other uses).
  • {{lang|grc}} tags Ancient Greek text, without the label (for use with custom display, and other uses).
  • {{transl|grc}} tags text as "Ancient Greek Transliteration" (has no visible effect other than said tag when pointer is placed on text).
  • {{grc icon}}