Monday June 24, 2019

World’s oldest Languages: 10 spoken in world today

Over the years, languages have taken up many forms diverging from different roots. These ten languages have survived the threat of extinction and are still spoken around the world today.

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10 oldest languages
One of the 10 oldest languages: The Torah is the holy book for the Jews. It is written in Hebrew, the Jewish language. Wikimedia

June 7, 2017: 

Lingual identity is a part of community’s identity. Over the centuries of societal evolution, languages have evolved too. The languages that were born many years ago have provided the basis for some of the contemporary languages that we see today. However, these 10 of the world’s oldest languages still live today. 

Lithuanian

Lithuanian is the oldest surviving Indo-European Language. It is related to Sanskrit, Latin, and Ancient Greek. Around 4 million people in the world today speak Lithuanian. It was added to the official languages of the European Union in 2004. 

Oldest Lithuanian Book. Wikimedia

Farsi

Farsi is the name given to the Persian language in Iran and is the official language of the country. It is primarily spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. 

Farsi Alphabets. Wikimedia

Icelandic

About three and a half million people are estimated to speak the Icelandic language today. It’s spoken in Iceland and in Northern Ireland. It was named the official language of Iceland only in 2011! The language is so historically old that words had to be introduced by the language purists. Icelandic did not have the word for ‘computer’, so the people came up with one.

Extract of Icelandic language. Wikimedia

Finnish

Along with Swedish, Finnish is the official language of Finland. Around 7 million people in the world speak Finnish. The language emerged in written form only in the 16th century!

The first page of Abckiria (1543), the first book written in the Finnish language. Wikimedia

Georgian

Georgian is the biggest Kartvelian language. It is the official language of Georgia. So about 4 million people in Georgia speak the language and an additional 5 hundred thousand abroad. It is the only Caucasian language with an ancient literary tradition.

Georgian Language. Wikimedia Commons.

Basque

A mystery to the linguistics, Basque is spoken by Basque people in France and Spain. There is evidence that it existed long before the birth of romantic languages- before the Romans brought with themselves Latin to the European land. 

Location between France and Spain where Basque langue exists. Wikimedia Commons.

Hebrew

The Jewish language fell out of common usage back in 400 CE, but the Zionist movement popularized the language once again. While the Jews in Western Europe continued to speak the European language that prevailed on land, the Eastern European Jews sought a Jewish homeland in Israel and began using the Hebrew to establish Jewish solidarity. 

Tamil

There is compelling evidence that Jewish language Hebrew is in fact derived from Tamil. It was the Asura language of the Babylonians. Many African languages are derived from Tamil as well. Because of its antiquity, it is was declared a classical language by UNESCO. The official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore is spoken by 78 million people worldwide. 

Ancient Tamil Script – Tanjore Bragadeeshwara temple. Wikimedia Commons.

Macedonian

The Macedonian language dates further back than the origin of the Slavic languages. It shares the same dialectic continuum as Bulgarian. It is the official language of the Republic of Macedonia. 

Macedonian Language. Wikimedia Commons.

Irish Gaelic

Gaelic (called Gaeilge) is the official language of Ireland. It is called Irish Gaelic to differentiate it from Scottish Gaelic. It was used by the Celtics. The study of language is compulsory for school children. 

Advertisement in Irish Gaelic. Wikimedia

Though there exist many other languages that are counted amongst the oldest in the world- The two most popular and oldest being Sanskrit and Latin, from which contemporary languages have emerged, but the number of people still using this language is substantially small. Back in 2001, Sanskrit was estimated to be spoken by 15,000 people as their native language. The influence of Latin is also seen in various other languages (and fields) but as such the language is not spoken today.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

 

Next Story

Researchers Develop New App to Detect Twitter Bots in Any Language

According to the researchers, the app is light, making it possible to classify vast amounts of data quickly and relatively efficiently

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TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

Researchers have developed a new application that uses Machine Learning (ML) to detect Twitter bots in any language.

The study presented at the fourth conference of Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries shows that the application is able to detect auto-generated tweets independent of the language used.

“This enhances the quality of data and paints a more accurate picture of the reality,” said Mikko Laitinen, Professor at the University of Eastern Finland.

In recent years, big data from various social media applications have turned the web into a user-generated repository of information in the ever-increasing number of areas, said the researchers.

Twitter has become a popular source of data for investigations of a number of phenomena Because of the relatively easy access to tweets and their meta-data.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Twitter Bots are non-personal and automated accounts that post content to online social networks.

It has been estimated that around 5 to 10 per cent of all users are bots and these accounts generate about 20-25 per cent of all tweets posted.

For the study, the researchers analysed 15,000 tweets in Finnish, Swedish and English. Finnish and Swedish were mainly used for training, whereas tweets in English were used to evaluate the language independence of the application.

Also Read- Google Announces an Investment of $600 mn to Expand US Data Centre

According to the researchers, the app is light, making it possible to classify vast amounts of data quickly and relatively efficiently.

“Bots are relatively harmless, whereas trolls do harm as they spread fake news and come up with made-up stories. This is why there’s a need for increasingly advanced tools for social media monitoring”, said Laitinen. (IANS)