Language is vital for communication in our everyday lives. It is also one factor that differentiates us from the other animals. For human beings, language has formed the basic unit of civilization. It is essential for our day-to-day expressions and also to preserve our culture, history and traditions. However, it is extremely sad that there were several languages that are completely dead now. It means, these languages are no longer spoken in our modern society. Keep reading to find out what these languages are…
Sanskrit is the language of ancient India. There were a lot of ancient plays, poetry, religious texts, mathematical formulas etc written in this language in ancient India. It is a prominent language that holds the Indian literary tradition. It is a very important language for scholars to understand the evolution of Indian society. Even today, a lot of the languages spoken in India are derived from Sanskrit, though the language is dead itself. Tamil is another language which is as old as Sanskrit, but it's still living now.
It is the European counterpart of Sanskrit. It is the most popular language that is dead in today’s world. Like Sanskrit, Latin language holds the literary traditions and history of the Roman Empire. It was spoken in a vast part of the world, from Europe to the Western Mediterranean coastal regions of Africa. However, the language came to an end with the downfall of the Roman Empire. Many languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese are derived from Latin.
Coptic is one of the ancient languages of Egypt. Coptic is a mixture of three different languages, Hieroglyphics, Demotic and Hieratic. It was used throughout Egypt when the Ptolemaic rulers spread Greek culture throughout the region. It is considered to be the first language of Christianity by some historians. This language plays a major role in understanding the initial stages of Christianity.
The Sumerian people were the first of all ancient civilizations to invent the system of writing. Unfortunately, with the decline of Sumerian empire, their language also disappeared from the face of the planet. However, scientists discovered several Cuneiform tablets containing Sumerian poetry, laws, stories, and paintings. They have still not been able to understand or translate them as the language has not been used by people for several centuries.
The Akkadian Language also could not sustain the test of time. This language was spoken from the 3rd to 1st Millennium BCE throughout Mesopotamia. For centuries this language was not known to scholars. Later, in the 19th and 20th century, several historians re-discovered this language and have been working to decode it to learn more about the ancient societies of the world.
Do you know the names of any other languages that are now dead in the modern times?