What's the Oldest Language We Still Use

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Identifying the oldest language still in use today is a complex task influenced by linguistic evolution and historical records. To estimate a language's age, experts often analyze its written history. Tamil, spoken in India and Sri Lanka, is a contender, with potential written records spanning 2,800 to 7,000 years. However, debates arise over whether it has transformed too significantly to be considered the same language. Greek, with texts dating back to the 14th century BC, boasts a history of at least 3,400 years. Despite this, Ancient Greek differs substantially from its modern counterpart. Chinese, with evidence of writing from 3,300 years ago, introduced characters used by over 1 billion people later in history. Hebrew and Arabic feature 3,000-year-old written records, but Classical Arabic has shifted in usage. Sanskrit, with texts dating back 3,500 years, is considered by some as the oldest still-used language, primarily utilized by Hindu priests in India.


1- Why do debates arise about whether Tamil is the oldest language still spoken today?

2- What is the linguistic history of Greek, considering texts dating back to the 14th century BC?

3- Which language introduced characters over 1 billion people use today, despite evidence of writing from 3,300 years ago?


You have completed the comprehension questions. 

Parts of this lesson are based on: An article Engoo Daily News..