The first written records of Chinese language date back 3000 years to 1200 BC and the Zhou Dynasty. Over time, the Chinese language has evolved and nearly 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language. This is the most popular language spoken in the world.
The earliest written evidence of the Greek language dates back to 1450 BC. Greek is mostly spoken in Greece, Albania, and Cyprus, by roughly 13 million people. The Greek language has a long and rich history which makes it among the oldest of European languages.
Egyptian is the oldest known language of Egypt. It comes from the Afro-Asiatic language family.Tomb walls bearing autobiographical writingsin Old Egyptian have been found dating back to 2600 – 2000 BC. There is considerable and varied literature in Egyptian. Today, Egyptian survives as the liturgical language of the Coptic Church.
Researchers believe that Sanskrit, which heavily influenced many European languages, originated from Tamil. Sanskrit is the classical language of India, dating back to 3000 BC.Sanskrit is still one of India’s official languages, although its use in the vernacular is limited.
Tamil language is more than 5000 years old and its literature is vast and varied. Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. Just 14 years ago, a survey concluded there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil proving the language is still used today.
Many scholars believe the origins of language are not suitable for serious study due to the lack of evidence. This list hones in on the oldest known languages still in existence today. Theory has it that the need for verbal communication arose because man formed groups to better hunt, thereby creating the need to communicate with one another. Language has evolved from the grunts and sounds of ancient man to today’s more sophisticated words and phrases.