10 Oldest Languages in the World
By: Shahzad Bashir
A long time ago, before civilizations, kingdoms were established. They used to communicate by using gestures and ancient oral sounds. The necessity of language occurred 10000 years ago and it changed the path of humanity. The use of the language has opened a new era of development for us. The origin of the first-ever language is a highly demanding question in history. Certain ancient scriptures and cave carvings affirm some of the oldest languages in the world.
We often take our language for granted for example English is not the only popular language in the world. Presently linguists estimate that there are over 6900 languages spoken on the earth and they need to start from somewhere. There are many languages that are traced back thousands of years.
Let’s see some of the oldest languages in the world.
1. Sumerian Language
Sumerian is one of the oldest languages and it is advent back in 3500BC. The oldest proof of Sumerian language was Kish Tablet which was found in Iraq. Sumerian language is an older language than Egyptian and was replaced by Akkadian (spoken language in southern Mesopotamia but Sumerian Language continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary, and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD.
2. Egyptian Language
Egyptian is known as the primitive language of Egypt and a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. A written record of the Egyptian language is found in 3400 BC. For a couple of years, linguists have translated this language which means this language is easily understandable. This language was spoken around the 17th when there was a writing change over time.
3. Mycenaean Greek
Mycenaean Greek is the most primitive form of the Greek language. It is the chancellery language used mainly for records and inventories of royal palaces and commercial establishments. The Mycenaean Greek language is originated in the 16th century BC and it is interpreted in 1950.
There is no literature written in Mycenaean Greek. The use of this language ended up when the Mycenaean civilization fell.
4. Old Chinese
Old Chinese is also called Archaic Chinese. It is originated 3000 years ago. The old Chinese was found at the archaeological site of the ancient city of Yinxu where researchers found oracle bones with the earliest form of the Chinese language.
Old Chinese was not tedious. It encompasses the rich sound system in which rough breathing differentiated the consonants. Work on the old Chinese Language started with Qing Dynasty.
Aramaic is a language that belongs to the Semitic subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Aramaic language has been used for more than 3000 years but now its existence is at stake today because people who speak it are in retirement age.
Aramaic is the language that has served as a language of the administration of empires and divine workshops. There are still Semitic peoples from the Near East who still speak this language in spite of its unpopularity.
6. Latin Language
Latin is the classical language that belongs to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Some people think that Latin is the dead language but it is not correct. People see Latin as a language that is written on paper but not one which is traditionally spoken.
Pope Benedict XVI changed this view when he resigned from his post in 2013. In 75 BC classical Latin is the common language but it is unknown how many people speak the Latin language. There are many lovers of the Latin Language who have to keep the language alive.
7. Tamil Language
The Tamil Language is the renowned language of the Tamil people and it was originated in 500BC. There are approximately 70 million people who still speak the Tamil language.
Tamil is the language that is recognized by modern speakers of the time. People who speak Tamil could read old Tamil Texts. With the passage of time, this language has lost its importance.
Another primitive language is Sanskrit and it was originated in the first century AD. The first manuscript of Sanskrit was found in Ayodhya which is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Ancient Sanskrit is also found in the Indian State of Gujrat. Sanskrit is the ritualistic language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
This language was once considered the language of munis and rishis but now the modern world is of the opinion that Sanskrit is the best language to be used in computers. It is also a scientific and systematic language furthermore Sanskrit is considered the richest literature in the history of mankind.
9. Mayan Languages
The Mayan language is considered one of the oldest in the world. The Mayan languages was originated in the third century. It has 32 different dialects. The oldest Mayan language is not words but still, they are old pictures called glyphs.
The manuscript of the Mayan language was first found at the ruins of Tikal which is the oldest city discovered in the rain forest of Guatemala. Within the temple, there are stone shafts. One of these shafts is Stela 29, which contains the oldest example of the Mayan Language.
10. Arabic Language
The Arabic language is ranked as the top six of the world’s major languages. It is the language of the holy book of Islam and is widely used in Muslim World. It is associated with a Semitic group of languages which includes Hebrew and Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. The Arab language was originated in the early 300s.
The first known example of the Arabic Language was from the Namara inscription which was found in 1901. The inscription was found on the basal rock which had come from the tomb. This inscription is of great importance because it depicts that Romans and Arabs knew each other in the fourth century.
Language is an integral part of our lives, It differentiates us from primates. In this era of digitalization and globalization language is more than just a means of communication. It is also an integral part of cultures and civilizations. History shows that all the civilizations and cultures that have taken action for the survival of their language are very successful.