What is the oldest language still spoken today?

Language is something living, constantly changing and evolving. But there are several languages that have existed for more than 3,000 years and are still used in everyday life. In this article we will tell you about the oldest languages that are still alive in the world.


Hebrew is a sacred language of Jewish texts that appeared over 3,000 years ago, and the first forms of the language appeared in texts around 1200 B.C. At first it was only used by religious scholars, but later it became the everyday language of the ancient Israelites.

By 400 A.D., Hebrew was no longer a common spoken language and was almost extinct. However, in our time the rise of Zionism ensured the revival of the language, and today it is spoken by about nine million people, mostly in Israel, where it is the official language.


Sanskrit is another language that emerged from religion in ancient times, serving as the vernacular of the Vedas, the sacred texts of Hinduism, as well as the historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit was written around 1200 B.C., which means that this language has a recorded history that goes back more than 3,000 years.

Sanskrit is still used in some form, although mostly only by Hindu priests during religious ceremonies. It is estimated that less than 1% of Indians speak the language, and only 14,000 people consider it their first language.


About 80 million people still speak Tamil, a language that was created around 300 B.C. It is used primarily in Sri Lanka and in the southern state of India.


Greek has been used in one form or another since at least 1300 B.C. Its classical form is different from the language spoken in Greece today, but most fluent speakers should understand the language of Hellenistic or “koine” Greek spoken in the past.

However, forms such as the Attic dialect, one of the oldest forms spoken by people such as Socrates, are likely to be too distant for modern speakers to have a solid understanding of it.


Arabic has played an extremely important role in world history. Early forms of Arabic appeared as early as the eighth century B.C., but the language underwent considerable change over the centuries, especially between the third and sixth centuries A.D.

It originally emerged in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula, and is a member of the Semitic family of languages, which also includes Hebrew and Aramaic. It is estimated that about 371 million people around the world speak Arabic as their first language. Many speak it as a second language because of its importance to Islam.


While it is impossible to pinpoint the oldest language in the world, these languages are the oldest that are still used in everyday life. Not only do they represent a part of human history, but they continue to live and evolve to this day.

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