A LOOK AT THE OLDEST LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD AND THEIR PLACE OF ORIGIN
PRIYA SRIVASTAVA, TIMESOFINDIA.COM,
Dec 27, 2021
A look at the oldest languages in the world and their place of origin
Language is an evolution just like humanity! The process is slow, and goes on generation to generation. It’s quite difficult to say which language is older than the other. Having said that, let’s have a look at some of the oldest languages still spoken in the world and their place of origin!
Tamil (Sri Lanka, Singapore, India)
For those who don’t know, Tamil is the Oldest Living Language of the World. It is a language spoken by nearly 78 million people! It is widely spoken in Sri Lanka, Singapore and India and is a part of the Dravidian language family. It is also the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu. Inscriptions in Tamil from the 3rd century have been discovered by the researchers, which proves how ancient it is!
Sanskrit, though alive today, fell out of common usage back in 600 BC. Today, Sanskrit is a liturgical language found in the revered scriptures of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Rig Veda is the first written record of Sanskrit, written in the 2nd millennium BC.
The national language of Iceland, Icelandic is spoken in Iceland and also some parts of Denmark, USA and Canada. This North Germanic language is also quite old and was developed in the 9th and 10th century. The written scripts of Icelandic are similar to Old Norse.
Chinese (China, Hong Kong, Singapore)
Another most spoken ancient language in the world is Chinese, which is spoken by some 1.2 billion people in the world. Belonging to the Sino-Tibetan group of languages, the language has several complex dialects. The language is widely spoken in China, Tibet, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, among others.
Hebrew is among the most well-preserved languages in the world. It was the language for Jews across the world and in the 19th and 20th centuries; it went through a revival process and became the official language of Israel.
Farsi (Iran, Afghanistan)
Farsi, another most ancient language, is spoken in modern-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Farsi is a language that is a direct descendant of Old Persian, and is more or less similar to Persian language.
Basque (France and Spain)
It is another living pre-Indo-European language; strangely, no one knows the time or origin of this ancient language that holds myriad mysteries. Scientists have been working hard to solve the puzzle but haven’t succeeded yet. Basque is supposed to be a prehistoric language, primarily spoken by the Basque people living in France and Spain.
Arabic (Middle East and North Africa)
Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world spoken by some 270 million people across the globe. It is an official language of 26 states today! The language originated on the Arabian Peninsula and soon reached the Middle East and North Africa.
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