Oldest languages in the world still spoken

The oldest language in the world still spoken today is a matter of debate among linguists and historians. Some of the candidates for this title are Tamil, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Basque, Arabic and Lithuanian. Here is a brief overview of these languages and their origins:

Tamil is a Dravidian language that originated in South India and Sri Lanka. It has a written history of over 2,000 years and is still spoken by about 80 million people in these regions and in other parts of the world. Tamil is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka, Singapore, and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language that originated in ancient India. It is the oldest attested Indo-European language and the language of the Hindu scriptures and classical literature. Sanskrit is still used as a liturgical and scholarly language by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. It is also spoken by some communities in India and Nepal as a mother tongue or a second language.

Hebrew is a Semitic language that originated in the Levant region. It is the language of the Jewish scriptures and religious texts. Hebrew was revived as a modern spoken language in the 19th century by the Zionist movement and is now the official language of Israel with about 9 million native speakers. Hebrew has also influenced other languages such as Arabic, Aramaic, and Yiddish.

Basque is a language isolate that originated in the Basque Country, a region that spans parts of France and Spain. It is not related to any other known language family and its origin is unknown. Basque is spoken by about 750,000 people who have preserved their culture and identity despite centuries of political and social pressure. Basque has also influenced other languages such as Spanish, French, and Gascon.

Arabic is a Semitic language that originated in the Arabian Peninsula. It is the oldest attested Semitic language and the language of the Quran and Islamic literature. Arabic has spread across the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond through trade, conquest, and religion. Arabic is spoken by about 580 million people across various dialects and varieties. Arabic has also influenced other languages such as Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili, and Malay.

Lithuanian is another old language that is still spoken today. It belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family and originated in Eastern Europe. Lithuanian has retained many archaic features that are similar to those of Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin. Lithuanian is spoken by about 3 million people mainly in Lithuania, where it is the official language, and in some neighboring countries such as Poland, Belarus, and Latvia.

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