ANSWERS: 58
  • At about 3,200 years old, the oldest language, as well as the most spoken language in the world, is Mandarin, or Chinese.
  • The Persian language is possibly the oldest in the world
  • Undoubtedly, Tamil is the oldest living language. Recent archaeological evidence suggest that Tamil could have been the language used by the Indus civilization and even the Sumerians. References to rivers that dried up 10000 years back are seen in Tamil literature. Also, there are references to a lost continent, which is believed to be buried under the Indian ocean. We need more archaeological research in the ocean to get concrete proofs for this. In fact, there is a possibility that Tamil was the root of sanskrit, which is believed to be the root of all Indo European languages. Till date, we can trace almost 60 - 70 % of Sanskrit words to their roots in Tamil.
  • i think tamil is the oldest because im tamil lol eventhough its tru im tamil but there are lot of evidence and old records proving it
  • This is a difficult one to be exact on. Do you mean a language that is unchanged from its classical form and still used? Or do you mean a language that has a history, but is now quite different from its original ancestor? If you mean the latter, then there are any number of languages that are lineally descended from older languages, some of which have been recorded for up to 3000 years. These would include Chinese (Mandarin), Sanskrit/Hindi/Urdu, Tamil, Persian, and Greek. Some of the Celtic languages would also qualify as they are attested to the time of Christ, and would have flourished well before that. Their descendants still speak forms of these languages today. However, the oldest cannot be determined, because undoubtedly there are many languages which have been unrecorded but have a history that dates back that far and possibly further, eg the Aboriginal languages of Australia some of which were only codified in the 19th and 20th centuries, but have a lineal history (established by archaeological evidence of the tribes who speak them) of between 5 and 40 000 years. As for the oldest unchanged language still used today, it would have to be one of the religious languages that is dead as far as having a community that uses it on a daily basis, but is still used for ceremonies. Included in these would be Sanskrit, Avestan (Persian- used for Zoroastrian rites), Ancient Greek (both Classical and Koine) and Hebrew. Latin would not be far behind.
  • Spoken? I don't know. But non verbal would be body language - it's universal.
  • Sanskrit. End of discussion.
  • Tamil was the typicall language of the Drvidian people, the people of the Indus, now the rescent discovery has eveidence beyong the indus valley... the Lemuria, dating back more than 10 000bc that even Sumerian language is an Archaic Tamil according to linguistic expert. Needless to debate on Tamil language ancient quality, Tamil is indeed the basement for all languages . What is there to compete with a language which date back more than 10 000bc, Tamil is a global tongue
  • Tamil is definitly oldest dating back more than 10 000bc, even Sumerian language which dates back 3000bc is considered an archaic Tamil, where is Sanskrit a language than was created during 1500bc be oldest. lol Firstly Sanskrit is craeted by Aryans when they stepped into the Indus Valley as Inruders. The language was created as a sense of identity for them. Without the influence of Tamil, there is no Sanskrit. Sanskrit evolve from Bramhi Script. Brahmi evolve from old Tamil script.
  • Tamil is certainly the oldest living language in this world. As pointed out, Sanskrit is neither older nor independent as Tamil. Infact most of the sanskrit words have their roots in Tamil. I present here the evolutionary steps of few sanskrit terms. Shiva - from "Sivan"- a modified form of "Sivandavan"(one who is red in colour) Pooja - from "Poo + Sei" (Poo-flower, sei-offer, to offer with flower) Krishna - karuttanan > kruttanan > krushnan > krishnan > krishna (meaning black in colour) Indra - Indiran = In + Irai (In-Inbam-joy, Irai - God, God of joy) Rudra - Udhiram > Urudhiran > Rudhiram > Rudran > Rudra (meaning having the colour of blood) Thus all these terms have their roots in Tamil. Sanskrit doesn't have its own grammer but borrows from prakrit text of Panini. Sanskrit is the language of latter vedic period and was made glorious in medieval period by false claims due to which Tamil suffered heavily but stood up with time due to its independent evolution and Sanskrit broke into several sister languages
  • Greek has a documented history of 3,400 years, the longest of any single natural language in the Indo-European language family. It is also one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, with fragmentary records in Mycenaean dating back to the 15th or 14th century BC, making it the world's oldest recorded living language. Today, it is spoken by approximately 17–25 million people in Greece (official), Cyprus (official), Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Italy, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and emigrant communities around the world, including Australia, United States, Canada, Germany and elsewhere. Greek has been written in the Greek alphabet (the oldest continuously used alphabet, and the first to introduce vowels) since the 9th century BC in Greece (before that in Linear B), and the 4th century BC in Cyprus (before that in Cypriot syllabary). Greek literature has a continuous history of nearly three thousand years.
  • G R E E K has a D O C U M E N T E D history of 3,400 years, the longest of any single natural language in the Indo-European language family. It is also one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, with fragmentary records in Mycenaean dating back to the 15th or 14th century BC, making it THE WORLD'S OLDEST RECORDED LIVING LANGUAGE. Today, it is spoken by approximately 17–25 million people in Greece (official), Cyprus (official), Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Italy, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and emigrant communities around the world, including Australia, United States, Canada, Germany and elsewhere.
  • Greek has a documented history of 3,400 years, the longest of any single natural language in the Indo-European language family. It is also one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, with fragmentary records in Mycenaean dating back to the 15th or 14th century BC, making it the world's oldest recorded living language. Today, it is spoken by approximately 17–25 million people in Greece (official), Cyprus (official), Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Italy, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and emigrant communities around the world, including Australia, United States, Canada, Germany and elsewhere. Greek has been written in the Greek alphabet (the oldest continuously used alphabet, and the first to introduce vowels) since the 9th century BC in Greece (before that in Linear B), and the 4th century BC in Cyprus (before that in Cypriot syllabary). Greek literature has a continuous history of nearly three thousand years.
  • It would seem that this is one of the earliest forms of linguistics still in use today. Khoisan, Why do we always tend to forget the Africans The Khoisan, or Click, linguistic family is made up of three branches: the Khoisan languages of the San Bushmen
  • Body language
  • But a new genetic study underlines the extreme antiquity of a special group of languages, raising the possibility that their distinctive feature was part of the ancestral human mother tongue. They are the click languages of southern Africa. About 30 survive, spoken by peoples like the San, traditional hunters and gatherers, and the Khwe, who include hunters and herders. the Ju|'hoansis' line of descent is so ancient that it goes back close to the very root of the human family tree. There are reasons to assume that the click languages may be very old. One is that the click speakers themselves, particularly a group of hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari, belong to an extremely ancient genetic lineage, according to analysis of their DNA. They are called the Ju|'hoansi, with the upright bar indicating a click. (''Ju|'hoansi'' is pronounced like ''ju-twansi'' except that the ''tw'' is a click sound like the ''tsk, tsk'' of disapproval.)
  • But a new genetic study underlines the extreme antiquity of a special group of languages, raising the possibility that their distinctive feature was part of the ancestral human mother tongue. They are the click languages of southern Africa. About 30 survive, spoken by peoples like the San, traditional hunters and gatherers, and the Khwe, who include hunters and herders. the Ju|'hoansis' line of descent is so ancient that it goes back close to the very root of the human family tree. There are reasons to assume that the click languages may be very old. One is that the click speakers themselves, particularly a group of hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari, belong to an extremely ancient genetic lineage, according to analysis of their DNA. They are called the Ju|'hoansi, with the upright bar indicating a click. (''Ju|'hoansi'' is pronounced like ''ju-twansi'' except that the ''tw'' is a click sound like the ''tsk, tsk'' of disapproval.) It would seem that this is one of the earliest forms of linguistics still in use today. Khoisan, Why do we always tend to forget the Africans The Khoisan, or Click, linguistic family is made up of three branches: the Khoisan languages of the San Bushmen
  • Ok, um.. so.. am I suppost to google it and then copy paste my answer or something? O.O seems like that's what everyone else is doing..
  • The language of love?
  • Hebrew
  • Greek, Chinese, Hebrew - ALL are dead. now these new have almost nothing common. Greeks cant understand old Greek. As far as i know, the oldest living language that is still spoken in ordinary life with minimal changes is Lithuanian: http://www.urm.lt/index.php?-1188439358
  • Greek, Chinese, Hebrew - ALL are dead. now these new have almost nothing common. Greeks cant understand old Greek. As far as i know, the oldest living language that is still spoken in ordinary life with minimal changes is Lithuanian: http://www.urm.lt/index.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_language
  • G'day Daydreamer, Thank you for your question. It would seem that it is Greek or Chinese. However, that comes with the caveat that we base it on written language. For example, the Albanian language was only written down around 1600 AD but has probably existed for several millenia. I have attached sources for your reference. Regards Ask a Linguist http://www.linguistlist.org/ask-ling/oldest.html Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_first_written_accounts
  • Gibberish
  • Hi. First things first: I am greek but I like studying languages, incl. lithuanian! I think the question is hard, because we lack enough written evidence: history. I can understand pretty much of ancient greek -level depends on era, up to homeric- so the guy claiming modern and ancient greek languages as disjoint, probably is out of touch with reality (in other words, I am his counterexample - and some others!) Greek could possibly be the oldest european living language, save lithuanian which lacks similar written accounts; but extrapolation from linguistics makes us credit it otherwise. That said, I believe Chinese and Tamil could very well contest as well, as answers in our question... btw. please be careful with your answers and don't make this thread sound like (anti-)nationalistic advertisement. Finally, yes, it does feel great to walk around in Greece and find monuments with really ancient inscriptions which are still finely legible for a modern speaker. I think this is an argument ;-)
  • I would have thought Hindi to be very ancient, but after reading the other posts, I think I'll just shut up. : D
  • Tamil is the oldest living language of India and the world. It belongs to the Dravidian group of languages. Tamil is the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu, and also has official status in Sri Lanka and Singapore. Tamil ranks 17th amongst the top twenty of the world's most spoken languages. Tamil has a literary tradition of over two thousand years. Tolkappiyam, the oldest known literary work in Tamil, has been dated variously between second century BC and fifth century AD.
  • I can tell you that the oldest language still in use is tamil.. Tamil is a dravidian language and has no connections in linguistics with indo-european or aryan languages.. History tells us that, aryan invaded india in and round 1st century BC and conquered the land that was largely popluated by dravidians, and dravidians then spoke tamil.., aryans learnt culture and ;litereature from dravidians.. coz history says that aryans were nomads and only in india did they end up settling and getting cultured.. Culture includes litereture too.. so they should have learnt tamil and from that language would have produced Snskrit.. Proof being that 'Tholkaapiyam' in tamil was written around 1st century BC..,and the oldest known vedas in sanskrit were written around 4th century AD.. Tholkaapiyam if u can see..is a garammar book.. a grammar in a language can only be born if the language had flourished earlier.. It requires lots and lots of written literature or literary works to define grammar of one language.. if the oldest of tamil works is a grammar text.. just imagine the number of literary works written before it and its time limits before the grammar work itself... All the above states that TAMIL indeed is the oldest of language in india.. and it is the oldest language still in use.. people of tamilnadu a province in india.. still speak tamil.. the population of tamil speakers in india is above 7 crores.. and with tamil people settled in other countries to be added.. the count is around 8 crores..
  • Ofcourse it is TAMIL. Its age is said as "kal thondraa mann thondraa kaalaththae munn thondriya mooththa thamizh.." meaning it is birth is even before stoneage and civilisation. Till date the age is not known.
  • persian from it derives arabic, urdu, hindi.. even some spanish or u know what, it might be latin or greek
  • Body language
  • Guyz... Saw quite a lot of discussion on Indo-Aryan-Persian languages. Some of the facts are: Totally seven languages in the world have documentary proof of their existence for more than 2000 years. They are: Greek, Latin, Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Sanskrit & Hebrew. Out of these seven the documentary evidence, Sanskrit is the oldest. (carbon dating of the half-life period dates backs to 6500-5000 BC). So as per your question the answer should be either one of these (we can exclude Latin & Chinese). Although scientist agree to the concept of Lemuria continent, still we do not have any documentary evidence of human life. P.S: recently one of the JOIDES expedition have confirmed the existence of plant life in this region, but until they find any evidence of human inhabitation, we cannot estimate the age of Indo-dravidian languages or any other language which existed during that time) JOIDES: Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling regards SSK
  • Sanskrit is older than Tamil. Many of the Tamil roots are from Sanskrit. We can understand by reading linguistic and philology. Sanskrit has it own beautified grammar which no other language can. Tamil can also be described as oldest but only after the Sanskrit.Its a living language its called AMRUTHA BHASHA which means the language will never come to an end. Tamil's grammar, prose and poetry are tip of an iceberg of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is God owns language which deals with all Sciences and Ethics and Philosophies. Hail Sanskrit.
  • Baby talk....LOL.......No really tho don't quote me on this. But I think it may be Sanskrit.........Plus 5 for your question & have a GREAT DAY..............M.C.S.
  • when it comes to say living oldest language, then its definitely Tamil.
  • Plankalkül is the first ?
  • I would probably say Hebrew or Chinese.
  • Some think that it may be the Basque Language that is still spoken in parts of Spain and France, near to the Pyranees. Some believe that it is direct descendant of the languages that were spoken in Western Europe before Farming was introduced around 5000 BC or earlier. On the other hand, others believe that the language of the Bushmen of South Western Africa may be over 100 000 years old and most closely resemble the original language spoken by humanity. As languages change with time it is fairly certain that modern Bushmen speak a language that their ancestors could not understand.
  • Sign language
  • visual basic
  • Tamil is one of the old and living language. no any other oldest languages living still now. Tamil Dravidian are brother for Telugu,Kannada,Malayalam languages in south India.Tamil is 5000 yrs old .we had this language only as proof.Sanskrit,Greek,Latin,Norse,Egyptian. love this language. lots of good life poem like Thirukural in this language.just read you will understand.sure
  • Tamil is a good answer, but I'd place my money on one of the Khoisan languages, the "click" languages of Southern Africa. These languages have short histories in terms of when they first were written, but there's a chance that some of them have elements spoken by their predecessors from--who knows?--tens of thousands of years ago. Paleolingusits have very clever ways of tracing a language's history, but the fact is that we will probably never have this one nailed down.
  • the arabic language of course
  • Tamil is the oldest surviving language in the world, and its development has been fairly continuous. Though other languages like Sanskrit and Latin are old, they are only literary languages, not spoken on a daily basis.Some other old languages like Chinese have varied greatly at different times of history.
  • Body language
  • I think it is hebrow the language of Juseus chirst .and the budist language I think it is the tamil.
  • Hebrew the language of Jesus.
  • notice that the only people who r voting for tamil language r tamilians, a ghetto type society with a very high sense of inferiority complex which actually manifests itself as arrogance and superiority complex in modern tamil population. One will never find a tamilian on his own, he will always tend to form a closed group with other tamilians in any part of the world. Another result is the urge to prove themselves as the oldest civilisation / language / culture in the world which they definitely are not, but then others hardly have the time or the inclination to argue with them.
  • I have seen many answers, But as far as the question is concerned, i can clearly say Thamiz(Tamil) is one of the oldest language which is even used widely today, there may be some languages in African Continent which may be used even today!!! Who knows??, Prakrit,Sanskrit,Hebrew,Greek are also oldest language. And i have seen some answers stating that Sanskrit Arisen from Thamizh and Thamizh arisen from Sanskrit, which i could say its false, since Sanskrit is truly an Indo-Aryan Language which has its own base, and Tamizh is a Dravidian Language his its own base, and people says Thamizh is there before Sanskrit or any other language may be true, but there is solid evidence for it. Anyways let Archeology Department of Various Nation take care of finding which being oldest!!!!, but now as far as the question is concerned, "What is the oldest language that is still in use today?", I can Clearly say Thamizh is one of the oldest language from India which is even used officially by 70Million people across the world and stands 19th official language of the world Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers Sanskrit and Prakrit are also oldest languages in India but its not officially used by people nowadays, which has been replaced by Hindi. but still many people knows Sanskrit
  • Languages are living things that constantly change. There is no such thing as an old language. All languages being spoken today are modern and none is older than any other.
  • Any language continuously develops. Among modern languages, the least changed ancient language is, apparently, Hebrew - thanks to the early adopted literacy in the ancient Israel, and an amazing story of its recent restoration. Virtually any word that was in use 4000 B.C. still valid in the modern Hebrew.
  • I would say the language of the Aborigines from Australia.They live on an island and where separate from other humans,over 30,000 years ago.
  • Tamil language had three Sangams (forums) for developing Tamil literature. The first Sangam was in Kapadapuram. This place was in Lemuria continent. Lemuria sank into the sea before so many centuries (not much history about Lemuria). So, Tamil is very much older.
  • Sign language...Was used way back in the cave man days along with all kinds of grunts and moans and what not...Of course I have no fricken clue and I am totally guessing my ass off...I have further analyzed my answer and figure, it must be taken with a grain of salt lol
  • Still in use today.. [b]Welsh hasn't changed since 300AD Basque may be the oldest in its original form (originating between 200BC-200AD) [/b] What's the "oldest language"? In my opinion, we don't know the answer to this question, although some people will give one anyway. Here are some criteria people use, and reasons why linguists don't think they really work. Oldest Written Form Some people base their answer on which language got written down first. If you're counting absolute oldest, probably Sumerian or Egyptian wins because they developed a writing system first (both start appearing in about 3200 BC). If you're counting surviving languages, Chinese is often cited (first written in 1500 BC), but Greek is a possible tie because it was written in Linear B beginning ca. 1500 BC.* *Data from "Ancient Scripts of the World" (http://www.ancientscripts.com) But all of this is irrelevant, because writing is not equal to speaking. In 3200 BC, there were many, many languages spoken besides Sumerian and Egyptian, but they weren't fortunate enough to have a writing system. These languages are just as old. To take one interesting case, the Albanian language (spoken north of Greece) was not written down until about the 15th century AD, yet Ptolemy mentions the people in the first century BC.* The linguistic and archaeological evidence suggests that Albanians were a distinct people for even longer than that. So Albanian has probably existed for several millennia, but has only been written down for 500 years. With a twist of fate, Albanian might be considered very "old" and Greek pretty "new". *See An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages by Philip Baldi. Longest in the Region Another criteria people use is how long a language has been spoken in a particular region. For instance, Basque is considered very old because the evidence is that there have been Basque speakers in Spain and France since at least the 2nd century BC and probably longer than that. Similary, Welsh is considered the "oldest language in Britain" because its speakers were there first. But population movements cannot determine a language's age. English speakers have moved all over the world, but even if English only arrived on a continent in the 19th century, it does not negate the fact that some form of English was spoken in the 6th century AD in England. Even Welsh has moved a bit, establishing foot holds in Patagonia (Argentina) and Canada - however, this language still originated in Britain.
  • the language of love, most definitely existed even before speech
  • Bureaucrat.

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