Languages are a crucial part of a human being’s life. Speaking in a particular language defines the identity, culture and status of the person. Language are strong forms of identity as it is one of the main ways people get aware of infer your religion and the section of people you belong to in the society. It is one thing which differentiates people from others in a large extent, but also is responsible for the bringing together of multi lingual sections of the society. A person fluent in his mother tongue or language has the ability to pick up other alien and foreign language and thus establish a channel of communication with people who are outside his country or religion. Language is a way of bringing people together, as well as being a clearly defined form of a person’s identity. The history of languages can never be traced as there have been innumerous languages formed and spoken, some of which have altered and modified themselves into the modern languages we know, and others couldn’t sustain themselves in this dynamic society of ours. There are languages which are now considered dead and are not spoken by anyone around the world, basically meaning that some languages have just lost their essence and have gone lost somewhere in the pages of history. Here are the top 10 languages lost to time which are not in practical use today, but were used by us human beings way back in time.
The Huns never really bothered about preserving their language in the form of scripts or texts, but what is known about this language is that a lot of words in the Hunnic language has been taken from Roman scholars, yet due to the very few inscriptions and evidence of this language left, experts are still trying to reconstruct words and alphabets in Hunnic. The popular belief is that Huns were related to the modern Hungarians, and some link the Huns to the Xiongnu nomads, the neighbours of the Han Chinese.
The Dacian language which is known to have been extinct since the 6th or 7th century, it was spoken by people living in Dacia, the modern day Romania. Only one inscription in the Dacian language survives, thus making it difficult for experts to decipher and translate the language, the Dacian is said to have its links with Indo-European languages, and is considered to be a dead branch in languages.
The Eteocretan language is considered a Linear A language developed by the Minoans of Crete, an island in present day Greece. This language along with being Linear A is also written by the people having the knowledge of the Cretan hieroglyphics. Till date, no experts have been able to trace this language or decipher anything related to this language, which leave Eteocretan as a mysterious and dead language.
The Harappan language of spoken by the people living during the modern Indus Valley Civilization, but no one really knows the origins and when this language came about to die in the world. Many people and experts have linked the Harappan language to Indo-European and Dravidian language, but no one is really sure of which one of them is Harappan closely related to. Just as the Indus Valley civilization died after leaving their modern culture, Harappan left traces back without any definite answers for its cease to existence.
Meroitic, also known as Kushitic, was spoken by the people of the old Nubian civilization which exists in modern day Sudan. This language was influenced by the Egyptian culture but not completely taken or picked up from the Egyptian language as the Kushites developed and created their own script, different from hieroglyphics or Demotic. The script was deciphered in 1911, but no one really could translate the scripts written in this language, some also linking it to the modern Sudanese languages.
Maypure was spoken by a tribe in the Orinoco Basin, present day Venezuela. Alexander von Humboldt saved the language from dying out completely by picking up some words and phrases of Maypure from a Maco native. A rumour soon spread like wild fire that the Maypure language was actually dead and that now it was just spoken by parrots of the dead natives and descendants of that tribe. Conceptual artist Rachel Berwick also went to the extent of testing out this rumour and tried to teach this language to the parrots.
The Etruscan language was spoken widely in central Italy, and the last person known to have spoken this language as Caesar Claudius, who had also written and compiled the history of Etruscans. Not many scripts have been written in this language, but the Etruscans developed their own alphabet using Eubean Greek as their base and using their strong literary tradition, thus giving birth to Etruscan. When the Etrucsan rules over Latin, the word which comes from this language and which we still use today is Rome.
The Hattic language was spoken by the Hattians who resided in the Anatolian plateau, present day Turkey. When Indo-European invaded Anatolia, the Hattians assimilated with them and their culture and thus the Hattic language was lost forever. Many experts link the Hattic language to other Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz and Georgian. There have been very few texts written in the Hattic language, and thus this language doesn’t have a strong evidence to support its sustainability,
The Iberian Peninsula, which is the modern day Spain and Portugal lands have a vague and unclear history of the Iberian language, which is said to have not been written in just one alphabet but had three variants of a Phoenician derived script. When the Romans took over the country, the Iberian language gradually died, yet some place names and words are still found similar in the Spanish language.
10. Proto-indo Europen
The Proto-Indo Europen or the PIE language is a very ancient language; a lot of phonemes are which still couldn’t be pronounced by language experts around the world. This language predates writing and the influence of this ancient language is seen in many European languages today. Surprisingly, an Indian language is also said to have got influenced by the PIE language, which is the Bengali language, among many others such as Farsi, Russian, Albanian and Kurdish.