Humans devised languages to be able to communicate with each other. The earliest languages did not have a script. They were spoken and passed down through generations via word of mouth. With the passage of time, some of these languages were scripted down while others existed as is. What are some of the oldest spoken languages of the world?
• Hebrew – Hebrew is an Israeli language which came into being around 10th century BCE. It is the language of the Old Testament. The language almost died out between 200-400CE, but received a new lease of life as Zionism grew popular in the last two centuries.
• Irish Gaelic – Irish Gaelic began being spoken around 4th century AD, long before the Latin language was birthed. Irish Gaelic is the Western European language with the oldest vernacular literature in existence.
• Tamil – Tamil, which originated somewhere in Indian-Sri Lankan geographical region has been spoken for more than 2,000 years now. It holds the record for being the longest surviving classical language. It is the 20th most spoken language in the world. There are three forms of Tamil – modern, colloquial and classical, and all of these forms continue to be used widely. Unlike other ancient languages, Tamil never went out of common usage.