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Discover the 5 oldest languages ​​in the world

Discover the 5 oldest languages ​​in the world

The richness of human civilization is evidenced by the existence of countless languages ​​around the world through which entire societies narrate their history.

For example, Sumerian is one of them. described Encyclopaedia Britannica (UK Education Site) As one of the oldest languages, it came under the rule of the Babylonian Empire, where it almost disappeared.

This is because nothing has been found in non-Mesopotamian sources about the existence of the Sumerians in antiquity, especially around the time of Christ. This is the opposite of what happened in Assyria, Babylon, and ancient Egypt, whose histories and traditions are amply documented in biblical and classical sources.

For that reason, review the history and origins of the five oldest languages ​​ever known.

The Sumerian language, which originated in southern Mesopotamia, was first described around 3100 BC. Encyclopaedia Britannica As an ancient language.

It, unlike other widely spoken languages, never extended its geographical boundaries beyond Mesopotamia (part of present-day Iraq and Syria). In fact, the encyclopedia states, “the small number of native speakers is completely out of proportion to the enormous importance and influence that the Sumerians had in the development of the region”.

The earliest writings in the Sumerian language are represented by texts of a commercial and administrative nature. Even school records suggest that language learning takes the form of simple writing exercises with symbols and words British.

These records cover the Archaic period of the language (four in total: Archaic, Archaic, Neo-Sumerian, and Post-Sumerian). Even today, the language is poorly understood due to the difficulties in reading and interpreting the first letters and the lack of documentary evidence about it.

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The Sanskrit language originated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent of Asia. It is an ancient Indo-Aryan language whose oldest texts are the Vedas (a compendium of Indian poetry and liturgy) and the Rigveda (the oldest of Hindu scriptures), which date from 1500 BCE in Sanskrit, although they have no authors. It has estimated the exact date of many of them.

According to the encyclopedia, texts in Sanskrit are still published today, though only in regional Indian scripts such as Kashmir, for example, located in the north of the country. However, it is not a language restricted to Hindu organizations. A British Sanskrit is considered the supreme and official language of the country by the Constitution of India.

As stated therein Britannica, The Hittite language was the most prominent of the extinct Indo-Europeans of ancient Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, which today forms the Asian part of Turkey.

The UK site explains that the language is closely related to other languages ​​spoken in the region, such as Carian, Luwian, Lydian, Lycian and Palladian.

Known for over 30,000 cuneiform tablets preserved in Hattusa, Turkey, the capital of the Hittite language. BritishThis corresponds to the period of the Hittite Empire in the city between 1400 and 1180 BC.

In addition, texts in Old Hittite, a form of the language used between 1650 and 1500 BC, are mostly preserved in copies made during the Hittite imperial period. These documents preserve the first examples of an Indo-European language ever discovered. British.

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India declared Tamil as the country’s classical language in 2004, meeting three precise criteria (ancient origins, an independent tradition, and a consistent body of literature).

According to British, the language is official in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, but is also spoken in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji and South Africa. By the early 21st century, more than 66 million people used Tamil to communicate. Correspondence, according to the encyclopedia. The oldest Tamil script dates back to 500 BC and is found on inscriptions and vases from that century.

It is a language that evolved from the Brahmi script, the ancestral system of all Indian scripts, except for Karoshi, which was inspired by Aramaic and changed its script over time. A British He also says that the advent of printing developed in the 16th century introduced a significant change in the size and composition of its characters. With regard to speech, the intonation of words led to the appearance of diglossia in their language. This means that Tamil has both a speech form and a more formal speech and writing system depending on the context.

Finally, the Avestan language, erroneously called the Zend language (an Eastern Iranian version of the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism in Persia), ceased to be used around 400 BC. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Avestan evolved from the late Pahlavi script, which was derived from Aramaic.