- Latin is a dead classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
- Latin was originally spoken in Latium, in the Italian Peninsula. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire.
- Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Italian, and French have contributed many words to the English language.
- Old Latin refers to the Latin language in the period before 75BC.
- Today Latin is taught in higher education courses and still endures.
- The Armenian language occupies an independent branch of the Indo-European language tree. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.
- It has historically been spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands and today is widely spoken in the Armenian diaspora.
- Armenian is written using the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.
- The Korean language is the official and national language of both Koreas: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory.
- It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of the People’s Republic of China.
- Approximately 80 million people worldwide speak Korean.
- The Korean Language dates back to 600BC.
- Hebrew is a language native to Israel, spoken by over 9 million people worldwide, of whom over 5 million are in Israel.
- It is over 3000 years old, originating around 1000BC.
- It is an ancient Semitic language and the official language of the State of Israel. Hebrew was a written language mostly for sacred texts thereby given the name of “holy language”.
- Today it is both spoken and written language that ties the Jewish community together.
- Aramaic is a Middle Eastern language or group of languages belonging to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic language family. The Aramaic alphabet was widely adopted for other languages and is ancestral to the Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic alphabets.
- During its approximately 3100 years of written history, Aramaic has served variously as a language of administration of empires and as a language of divine worship, as well as the spoken tongue of a number of Semitic peoples from the Near East.
- Modern Aramaic, in its various dialects, is spoken in modern-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and the various western countries to which the native speakers have emigrated, including Russia, Europe, Australia and the USA.
- Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases mutually unintelligible, language varieties, forming a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
- Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many other ethnic groups in China. Nearly 1.2 billion people (around 16% of the world’s population) speak some form of Chinese as their first language.
- The first written record of Chinese language dated back to 3000 years to 1200BC.
- Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean.
- It has the longest documented history of any living language, spanning 34 centuries of written records.
- The earliest scriptures of Greek language date back to 1450BC.
- The Egyptian language was spoken in ancient Egypt and was a branch of the Afroasiatic languages. Its earliest known complete written sentence has been dated to about 2690 BCE, which makes it one of the oldest recorded languages known.
- The national language of modern Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, which gradually replaced Coptic as the vernacular language in the centuries after the Muslim conquest of Egypt.
- Coptic is still used as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and has several hundred fluent speakers today.
- Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism; a philosophical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism; and a literary language and lingua franca (bridge language or trade language or common language) of ancient and medieval South Asia.
- Sanskrit is a standardized dialect of Old Indo-Aryan, having originated in the 2nd millennium BCE as Vedic Sanskrit and tracing its linguistic ancestry back to Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European.
- As one of the oldest Indo-European languages for which substantial written documentation exists, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.
- In India, Sanskrit is among the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. The state of Uttarakhand in India has ruled Sanskrit as its second official language.
- Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and also by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Burghers, Douglas, and Chindians.
- Tamil is an official language of two countries, Sri Lanka and Singapore. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry.
- It is also used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay, and Mandarin. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.
- A recorded Tamil literature has been documented for over 2000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from ca. 300 BC – AD 300. It has the oldest extant literature among other Dravidian languages. The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and hero stones date from around the 3rd century BC.