Learning - General Knowledge | 4-15 yrs

6 Languages Of The Ancient World


Language is the primary way to communicate. It comes in many forms: written, spoken and non-verbal.  

A recent study conducted by Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand suggests that language first originated in southwestern Africa. As human beings moved to different parts of the world they took language with them and over time it evolved. New languages were created and sometimes, old ones died out. 

There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today but increased homogenisation means that this figure is rapidly shrinking. Languages such as Latin and Sanskrit were popular once but now barely anybody speaks them. Some old languages like Tamil and Chinese have changed with the times but continue to be widely spoken today.

Take your child through this list and educate him about some of the languages of the ancient world.



Tamil is believed to have originated between 2300 -2700 years ago. The first records of written Tamil appear around the 2nd Century BCE on the walls of caves in the Tamil Brahmi script. The Old Tamil of this time is a far cry from the modern Tamil...


Arabic belongs to the family of Semitic languages which include Aramaic and Hebrew. In it's written form, Arabic inscriptions are common after the birth of Islam, around the 7th Century CE. However, this language is believed to have been born a fe...


The Sanskrit language is nearly 3,500 years old. Sanskrit is often considered to be the 'mother of all languages'. Most Indian languages have originated from Sanskrit. Although it is commonly not spoken today it still has enormous significance and...


The origins of Latin are unclear. It is believe to have been brought to Italy around 1000 BCE by a group of Indo-European immigrants. Latin became the offical language of the Roman empire and quickly spread through it's frontiers and beyond. Curre...


Hebrew is classified as a Semitic language. It is the language of the Jewish people and is mentioned several times in the Bible. Hebrew is truly an ancient language with it's oldest written records making an appearance almost 12,000 years ago. Mos...


Chinese is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world today with over 1.3 billion people speaking it. Old Chinese was the common language of the Zhou dynasty which ruled China between the 11th and 7th Centuries BCE. Chinese is an incredi...

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