You are currently viewing What is the Oldest Language in the World?

What is the Oldest Language in the World?

There is a site operated by the Linguistic Society of America where approximately 7,168 languages are spoken around the world. About 40% of spoken languages are at risk of extinction. This means that users are speaking other major languages and endangered languages may not be passed on to the next generation.

So what is the oldest language in the world?

ancient languages

Historians and linguists generally agree that Sumerian, Akkadian, and Egyptian are the oldest languages with clear records. All three are extinct. This means that it is no longer used and has no living descendants who can pass the language on to the next generation.

List of the world’s first written languages in history

Here is the list of oldest languages for which we have evidence from early in human history. These languages provide interesting insights into the beginnings of human communication. Some of these languages are:

1. Sumerian

Sumerian was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia and is considered one of the earliest writing systems in history, dating back more than 5,000 years. It has survived to this day thanks to the clay tablets used for writing.

2. Ancient Egyptians

This language has left an incredible mark on human history. This script has been used by the inhabitants of ancient Egypt since around 3,200 BC and is famous for the hieroglyphs they used to record their beliefs, culture, and historical events on murals and papyrus.

3. Elamite

This cuneiform language was spoken in what is now southwestern Iran. Written records in Elamite appear from around 2,600 BC and are believed to have survived until the 11th century AD.

4. Hittite

Hittite is one of the earliest recorded Indo-European languages. This language was spoken on the Anatolian Peninsula in present-day Turkey and was written in the cuneiform writing system. Hittite records date back to the 17th century BC.

5. Ancient Chinese

In the Far East, Chinese characters have the longest historical continuity in the world. The earliest known examples of Chinese writing found on inscriptions on oracle bones and ceremonial bronze, date back to 1,200 BC.

6. Mayan hieroglyphs

Mayan hieroglyphs are one of the oldest writing systems in the Americas, found in parts of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. It has been used to record the history and culture of the ancient Maya since around 300 BC.


These 6 were the oldest language in the world providing rich and privileged insight into how our ancestors communicated. However oldest language question, and the answer again depends on the situation. This depends on how you determine how languages originated, i.e. whether they originated from one universal language. It also depends on how you determine time and prove the known existence of a language.

Leave a Reply