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Earliest Written Languages

posted Dec 19, 2008, 11:30 AM by John Kavanagh
As I was writing a product specific for multilingual enhancements to a web content management system, I came across this interesting List of languages by first written account in Wikipedia. The earliest are in Mesopotamia (3100BC), then Egypt (2700BC) and a millenia and a half later, in ancient China (1400BC). Also related is a Genealogy of written language.

Here are select ones I found interesting...
  • c. 3100 BC     Sumerian
  • c. 2700 BC     Egyptian
  • c. 1500 BC     Canaanite
  • c. 1300 BC     Greek
  • c. 1400 BC     Old Chinese
  • c. 950 BC    Aramaic
  • c. 950 BC    Hebrew
  • c. 700 BC    Etruscan
  • c. 500 BC    Latin   
  • c. 550 AD    Old English
  • c. 1066 AD    Middle English
  • c. 1470 AD    Early Modern English