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  • Pranav Nandurkar

Do you know: Some oldest languages of all time

Based on facts and researches, academics and professionals are still not entirely sure of how old a language is. It is even harder to accept which is the oldest surviving language. But if you are not aware of which were the oldest languages of all time, then here are few of them which are considered to be the oldest one. First, let us hear some facts based on languages.

According to the surveys, the total number of languages ​​in the world is about 7117, out of which the number of speakers of 90 per cent of the languages ​​is less than 100000. There are about 200 to 150 languages ​​that are spoken by more than 1 million people. There are about 357 languages ​​that only 50 people speak. Not only this, but there are also 46 languages ​​whose number of speakers is only one.


Some oldest of them are-

Sanskrit

Sanskrit is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. The Sanskrit language is called Devbhasha. All European languages ​​seem inspired by Sanskrit. It is one of the three earliest ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as Proto-Indo-European language. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had diffused there from the northwest in the late Bronze age. Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism, the language of classical Hindu philosophy, and historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism. It was a link language in ancient and medieval South Asia, and upon transmission of Hindu and Buddhist culture to Southeast Asia, East Asia and Central Asia in the early medieval era, it became a language of religion and high culture, and the political elites in some of these regions.

The most archaic of Sanskrit language is Vedic Sanskrit found in the Rig Veda, a collection of 1,028 hymns composed between 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE by Indo-Aryan tribes. The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit. The earliest attested Sanskrit text is the Rigveda, a Hindu scripture, from the mid-to-late second millennium BCE. No written records from such an early period survive if they ever existed. However, scholars are confident that the oral transmission of the texts is reliable: they were ceremonial literature where the exact phonetic expression and its preservation were a part of the historic tradition.

The Sanskrit language has been spoken since 5,000 years before Christ. Sanskrit is still the official language of India. However, in the present time, Sanskrit has become a language of worship and ritual instead of the language of speech. All the auspicious works performed in Hindu religion are recited by Veda Mantra, whose language is Sanskrit.


Tamil

Tamil is a Dravidian language natively spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka. Tamil is the official language of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as well as two sovereign states, Sri Lanka and Singapore. In India, it is also the official language of the Union Territory of Puducherry. One of 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India, Tamil was the first to be classified as a classical language of India and is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world. Recorded Tamil literature has been documented for over 2000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from ca. 300 BC-AD 300. It has the oldest extant literature among Dravidian languages

Among Indian languages, Tamil has the most ancient non-Sanskritic Indian literature. Scholars categorise the attested history of the language into three periods: Old Tamil (300 BC-AD 700), Middle Tamil (700–1600) and Modern Tamil (1600–present). In November 2007, an excavation at Quseir-al-Qadim revealed Egyptian pottery dating back to first century BC with ancient Tamil Brahmi inscriptions.

This language had a presence even around 5,000 years ago. According to a survey, 1863 newspapers are published in the Tamil language only every day. At present, the number of speakers of Tamil language is around 7.7 crores. This language is spoken in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.


Latin

Latin was the official language of the ancient Roman Empire and ancient Roman religion. It is currently the official language of the Roman Catholic Church and the official language of the Vatican City. Like Sanskrit, it is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language in Italy, and subsequently throughout the western Roman Empire. Latin has contributed many words to the English language.

Some basic form of Latin languages -

Old Latin - The earliest known form of Latin is Old Latin, which was spoken from the Roman Kingdom to the later part of the Roman Republic period. It is attested both in inscriptions and in some of the earliest extant Latin literary works, such as the comedies of Plautus and Terence. The Latin alphabet was devised from the Etruscan alphabet. Other sub-languages were Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, Medieval Latin, Renaissance Latin, New Latin, Contemporary Latin. Latin comes in the romance branch of the Indo-European language family. From this, French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese and the most popular language of the present time, English has originated. Due to the dominance of Christianity in Europe, Latin language in medieval and pre-modern times was the international language of almost all Europe, in which books of all religions, science, higher literature, philosophy and mathematics were written.