7 of the oldest languages that still exist and are used in the world

In addition to funding and security levels, language problems are often the biggest challenge for travelers to travel to a new country. For some people, the difference in language can complicate the traveler’s journey. Especially if the local population does not really understand a third language like English.

Although it may seem difficult for some people, it turns out there are those who consider language differences not to be meaningful. Among the many languages in the world that you can meet when you are adventuring, this time we summarize seven of them which are considered as the oldest languages in the world but still exist in the present. Anything?

1. Hebrew

Hebrew Manuscripts

Initially, Hebrew was not an official language used by the general population of Israel to communicate in the range of 400 AD. However, eventually this language was used as a liturgical language for Jewish communities throughout the world and became one of the official languages in the 19th and 20th centuries, precisely after the second world war. Although according to estimates Hebrew has only been used for the past 5,000 years, the Taleninstituut Nederland on its official website reveals that according to written relics that exist, Hebrew has been used since 1000 BC. Although modern Hebrew has some differences from the original language, native speakers can still understand it. Until now, Hebrew is still in use, and there are an estimated nine million people who speak Semitic languages from this branch of the Afro-Asian language family.

2. Tamil

Tamil Inscription

Spoken by around 78 million people in the world and recognized as the official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore, Tamil is the only classical language that can survive into modern times. Researchers found inscriptions in Tamil dating from 300 BC. However, based on other evidence, scientists believe that the Tamil language first appeared around 2500 BC. Unlike other languages – such as Sanskrit or other ancient Indian languages – which ceased to be used as a common language in 600 AD, Tamil actually continues to grow and is one of the 20 most commonly used languages in the world.

3. China

Chinese is the only language that is most widely used throughout the world. Beginning in 1250 BC at the end of the Shang dynasty, together with Tamil, Chinese is one of the oldest languages that still survive to this day in the world. There are many dialects and variations of Chinese, such as Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien. With a total of 1.2 billion speakers who consider Mandarin as a mother tongue, Chinese is not only one of the languages with the most speakers, but also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

4. Farsi

Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh

You may not be too familiar with Farsi, but actually Farsi is the language used in modern Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Besides being known as Farsi, this language is also popular with the name Persian, because it is a direct descendant of old Persia which was used during the Persian Empire. Over the centuries, Persian has influenced other languages such as Urdu. Therefore, Persian literature has a great historical significance and is widely studied by linguists in the world. The Persian language is thought to have existed since 600 BC and evolved to become more modern in 800 AD

5. Basque

Basque Inscription

Basque is considered as one of the languages that holds mysteries. Although used by 900 thousand people as a mother tongue in Spain and France, and Latin for writing needs, the Basque language in fact has no connection with Latin or other languages in the world. Until now, scientists have not been able to determine its origins, but what they do know is that the Basque language existed and was used before Roman troops reached Spain in the 2nd century. That also makes researchers consider that Basque is perhaps the oldest language in Western Europe.

6. Lithuanian

Lithuanian Manuscripts

Most European languages come from Lithuanian languages which developed to form dozens of different languages such as German, Italian, and English. Touted as one of the oldest languages, Lithuania began to separate into a different language around 3500 BC. With a total of three million speakers worldwide, Lithuanian is one of the most conservative Indo-European languages, as is ancient Sanskrit, Latin and Greek.


Greek Inscription

Known as the language of philosophers, intellectuals, and scientists in the past, Greek is currently used by more than 13 million people. Researchers’ notes reveal that Greek originated around 1500 BC and is currently recognized as the official language of the United Nations and the European Union. Greek is thought to have existed since at least 3000 BC, although the oldest evidence of artifacts found is from 1450 BC. Although it has evolved to become more modern starting in the 11th century AD, Greek holds the record as the oldest living language in the world. Until now, native speakers of Greek are scattered in various parts of the world, mostly in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey, and Albania.

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