10 Languages that People Have Spoken and Written for the Longest Time

People speak over seven thousand languages today. But are you curious to know which ones they used for the most extended period?

In modern times, people speak thousands of languages. Currently, there are over seven thousand of these dialects, and there could be more in the future.

Linguists discover a new language when it is used in writing. This means that if a word is spoken only, it may be impossible to tell about its existence. However, in this contemporary era, a number of online translation tools are available, offering valuable help to us to understand the meanings of the words as well as sentences of such languages that we absolutely don’t know.

Longest Time Spoken and Written Languages

It is of importance to know some of the languages that have been in existent for the longest time. These dialects have shaped how people communicate from the past to present times.


Latin has been in use since 75BC when the Roman empire used it as an official language. The dialect helped the Italians to win many of the wars that they participated in. It bore other words that include Catalan, Spanish, Romanian, and French. Poland and the Vatican still use Latin as their official language.

Higher education institutions also teach it to students from around the world. Others use professional translation services online to learn how to write and speak the language.


Korean may be said to be the oldest language. It has also had numerous advances. The oldest forms of it were known as Old and Proto Korean. They then advanced into middle Korean and finally to Modern Korean. Due to China’s influence in Korea, this language adopted some of the characters that Chinese uses. Just like Latin, Korean is still in use, people in Russia, North Korea, South Korea, China, and Uzbekistan speak it.


Historical facts indicate that Koreans came into being in 450 BC. It is mainly spoken in European countries such as Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Iran. Around 5 million individuals living in these states use the language.


Historians discovered this language in 10 BC. The Aramaic states used it to document their diplomatic agreements. Although it is not common today, Aramaic has contributed to the development of languages spoken in Israel, Lebanon, and Iraq. Most of the Arabic and Hebrew words have been borrowed from the old Aramaic dialect.


Hebrew is necessary worldwide because it is believed to be a divine language because it has always been used in writing holy books. Linguists discovered it in 1000 BC, and they think that it has been in use for over three thousand years. Israel uses it nationally, and it is the first language among all Jewish.


Chinese has developed to become the most spoken language in the world. Over 1.24 billion individuals in at least 37 countries speak Chinese and other forms of the word. It is older than Hebrew because linguists discovered that the first Chinese text in 1250 BC.

The Chinese language has various characteristics that include:

  • It developed from Old Chinese: Individuals spoke this version of Chinese during the Zhou Dynasty in the period between the 7th and 11thcenturies.
  • Artists have used it widely: Poets inscribed bronze artefacts using Old Chinese in the Classic of poetry also known as Shijing, Classic of Changes that is also referred to as Yijing, and in the Shujing, which is the Classic of History. These are Chinese texts with collections of poetry from various authors.
  • It has over ten forms: There are at least ten forms of the Chinese language. Among these, Cantonese and Mandarin are the most popular. Individuals around the world learn Mandarin because of its vast use in China, Hong Kong, and neighboring states.

Greek has many special characteristics. It is an Indo-European dialect and may be among the oldest dialects among Europeans. There are over thirteen centuries of texts that are written in Greek, and linguists first recognized it in 1450 BC.

Writers have used Greek to contribute to various subjects such as poetry, philosophy, and religion. Plato, Aristotle, and Odyssey are some of the major writers whose works are in Greek. The new testament section of the Bible is also said to have been first written in Greek before being translated into English. It is still the primary language in Greece. Some communities in Italy and Turkey also use this dialect.

The fact that the European Union recognizes Greek as one of the leading EU languages shows the importance of this dialect.


There is controversy about the age of Sanskrit. Some individuals believe that it is four thousand years old, while others argue that it has been in existence for over six thousand years. The language is supposed to have been first used in Tamil and Classic India. In India, it is still in use, although the usage has declined because people do not speak it daily.

Sanskrit is mainly used in meditation as it is believed to be a language of the gods. Hindus use it mostly in temples where they combine the vibrations of sound with forty-nine letters to pass messages.


Tamil is over five thousand years. It is the official dialect of Sri Lanka, and Singapore and some communities living in over 34 territories in India also speak the language. In India, Tamil has been in use for the longest among other classical languages such as Sanskrit. The purpose of the dialect has also been consistent meaning that it has been an essential language among various generations of the Indians.

Some daily newspapers in India publish their content using Tamil because of its vast use. The language even has a dictionary known as Tamil Lexicon, which is among the first texts to be published in this dialect.


It is the oldest language among the people of Egypt. Egyptians mainly used the word to write autobiographies on tombs since 2000 BC. Most of the individuals learning Arabic as their second language choose Egyptian. This occurs because Egyptian is the most common Arabic language used in music and Cinema.

Although these languages may have been in existence longer than others, it does not mean that those not listed above are not important. All words are essential, whether they are old or contemporary. If you are interested in learning any of these, you can easily do this by using apps to translate words from the dialect you to speak to the one you want to learn.

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