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Mystery Uncovered! Know What the Oldest Language in the World Is

Oldest Language in the World
Which is the oldest language in the world? This question can have many answers and opinions. Read on to know the right answer to this question.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Sep 5, 2018
According to recent archaeological evidence, Tamil, spoken in the Indian sub-continent seems to be the oldest language in the world. Archaeologists recently encountered references to rivers that dried up almost 10,000 years ago written in Tamil. It is also believed that Sanskrit, which heavily influenced many European languages also originated from Tamil.
The topic of world's oldest language is under a lot of debate, as there are many contenders for this title. From Asia there are Sanskrit, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. From west there are Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Old Irish, Gothic, and Lithuanian.
Ancient inscriptions on stone wall in Tamil language
The oldest scriptures are found in Sanskrit and Tamil.
Also, The Holy Bible was first written in Hebrew. So this makes it quite confusing to determine the oldest language in the world. However, it is true that these languages have influenced each other in some or the other way.
Language is never constant. It undergoes daily change with new phrases and words coming in existence. So the rough words and sounds that were made by ancient man developed into soft sophisticated words which we use today.
Historians believe that languages must have originated some thousands of years ago. However, there is no strong evidence to prove it. Historians are yet to find why the need of languages arrived in the first place. Some say that it was an evolutionary process, as broken rough words were made into languages to understand and adapt nearby surroundings.
To figure out the oldest language, we need to know the oldest civilization of the world. And so arises the question of who came first. Was it the Aryans? Was it the Europeans or Dravidians? No one can pass a clear judgment on this, as every one claims that their race was the first one.
According to researchers, in the beginning, man was a lone animal who later formed groups and hunted for food. This is where the need of communication arose.
Picking up one language from thousands and naming it as the oldest language in the world is not a piece of cake. An extensive research, and a thorough look at the history of mankind is needed to understand where it all began.
The human civilization is a vintage factor. In recent times, languages have reduced from millions to thousands, and then to a few hundreds. But some people still speak some old languages.
All living beings communicate with each other, but only humans are capable of communicating with each other through speech, with the use of different languages. The communication of animals is not as sophisticated and developed as verbal communication of humans.
We all use millions of words daily, but have you ever wondered where did all these words came from? The most interesting thing about knowing and learning different languages is, it seems that they existed even before the birth of human civilization.
According to a recent survey there are about 6000 languages which exist today, this number also includes the various tribal languages spoken on various islands. The world's most spoken language is Mandarin Chinese which is spoken by more than a billion speakers. The second place is bagged by English language with over 485 million speakers.
The top ten list of the world's most spoken languages is given here.
  1. Mandarin Chinese
  2. English
  3. Spanish
  4. Russian
  5. French
  6. Hindi
  7. Arabic
  8. Portuguese
  9. Bengali
  10. Japanese
Numbers show that there are about 200 languages spoken by a million people, and there are also some which are spoken by less than 15 people. Such languages are now on the verge of extinction.