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Linguists, often aided by anthropologists and biologists, debate the origins of language to find out when, why, and how humans first began communicating verbally—estimates range from 50,000 to 2 million years ago. But regardless of when language evolved, language became a defining feature of  human existence. While words spoken aloud can vanish in the air of history, words written by generations and millennia past can vanish. These written texts give us the key to identifying the world's oldest languages ​​still spoken today.

Of course it's not that easy. These languages ​​may still exist, but that doesn't mean they haven't evolved over time. First, many of the oldest languages ​​are clearly ancestors of modern versions, but modern speakers are only partially or possibly completely unable to understand the ancient languages. Greek, for example,  has been spoken for over 3,000 years. However, it would have been difficult for ancient philosophers who spoke Koine Greek  to understand modern Greek and vice versa.

 Likewise, Hebrew, which is also over 3,000 years old, is very different when heard on the streets of modern Israel and 3,000 years ago in the same region. Interestingly, Hebrew as a spoken (as opposed to liturgical) language fell out of use after about 200 AD. and was not restored until the 18th century.

The Tamil language, Dravidian, is also quite old. It is a classic literary language spoken by tens of millions of people in Tamil Nadu (state of India), Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. The oldest surviving Tamil literature, Tolkappiyam, was probably written by a Jain monk around 200 AD. Other ancient languages ​​still spoken today are Arabic (dating  to the 8th century BC), Chinese (its archaic form dates back to 3,000 years ago and has quite a rich literary tradition), and Sanskrit (the language of the Vedas, which is also reported). 3000 years). although it is spoken  as a primary language by many people today). Although Latin is old, it is not used in colloquial speech. Some languages ​​are also ancient mysteries,  such as Euskera, the ancient language of the Basque Country, and Lithuanian and Latvian,  which are very isolated in the language family tree.

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