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Now the Whole World had One Language and a Common Speech

historical-nonfiction:

A fact list about language

  • The oldest known written language is Sumerian, which originated in Mesopotamia around 3,500 B.C. It was written in cuneiform script, and the symbols represent the sounds made by syllables
  • All the world’s major alphabets developed from a single alphabet invented 3,600 years ago in the Middle East, known as the North Semitic Alphabet. The only exception is Korean han’gul
  • around 900 B.C., Aramaic became the language of trade and diplomacy everywhere between Greece and the Indus valley.
  • Around half of the world’s population speaks a language that is originally derived from Indo-European, a language spoken as early as 4,000 B.C.
  • In 1855, Charles Ollier illustrated how bizarre English spelling is by pointing out that ghoti could conceivably be pronounced “fish”, if the “gh” sound in “enough”, the “o” sound in “women”, and the “ti” sound in “action” were used.
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