Current distribution of Human Language Families


the BNC (1994)


publish on demand



Lojban (1987)


Neuro-linguistic programming (1973)



Gestuno (1973)


the Brown corpus (1967)



Hindi (January 26, 1965) became the official language of India, although English and 21 other

 languages are recognised as official languages by the Constitution of India. The language evolved

from the Middle Indo-Aryan prakrit languages of the Middle Ages, and indirectly, from Sanskrit



the People's Republic of China (1956) issued official character

simplifications in two phases, one in 1956 and the second in 1964


Interlingua (1951)


Naa Badda mi


Rastafarian (1930)


Novial (1928)



Turkish (1928) has been spoken at least since the 5th century. Kemal Atatrk

decreed that the Arabic script be replaced by a modified Latin alphabet in 1928


Zhuyin Zimu (1918)


Ro (1904)


Hiragana (1900)



the International Phonetic Alphabet (1888)


Esperanto estas planlingvo proponita kiel internacia dua lingvo


Esperanto (1887) is the most widely spoken constructed international language


Grimm's law (1806)



Braille (1800)


Pennsylvania Dutch (1775)



the first written Bangla grammar (1734) Vocabolario em idioma Bengalla, e Portuguez dividido

em duas partes, was written by Manoel da Assumpcam, a Portugese missionary



a standardized sign language (1600s) began to be used in Italy



Modern English (1500-present)



Johann Gutenberg (re)invented the printing press (1455)


Hangul (1443)



Mandarin (1100)


Middle English (1066-1500)


ltima flor do Lcio


Portuguese (900)



the Glagolitic alphabet (863) is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It was created by Saint

Cyril around 862-863 in order to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages


Kana (9th century)



les Serments de Strasbourg (14 fvrier 824) marquent la naissance de la langue franaise


all figures according to: ethnologue


Spanish (800) is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world today


Yiddish (800)


L'italiano utilizza 21 lettere dell'alfabeto latino. In effetti k, j, w, x, y esistono

solo in parole d'origine straniera o come varianti grafiche di scrittura


Italian (800)


the Orkhon script (8th century) is the earliest known Turkic alphabet


Kanji (6th century)



Arabic (500)


God cw him us t


Old English (450-1150)


Ik gihorta dat seggen,
dat sih urhettun non muotin,
Hiltibrant enti Hadubrant untar heriun tuem.


German (400)


Langue d'oc ()


Langue d'ol ()


Vulgar Latin (461-800) gave rise to the modern Romance languages


Telugu ()


Javanese ()



the Runic alphabets (200)


Cai Lun (105) invented paper


Vietnamese ()


Punjabi ()



the Rosetta stone (196 bc)



the Tolkaappiyam (200 bc)


Koine Greek (323 bc - 330 ad)


Japanese (400 bc)



the Duenos inscription (500 bc) shows the earliest known forms of the Old Latin alphabet


the Behistun Inscription (515 bc)



Pāli (600 bc)


the Cumae alphabet (7th century bc)


Proto-Celtic (800 bc)


Proto-Slavic (1000bc) is the parent language of East Slavic (including Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and

Rusyn), West Slavic (Czech, Slovak and Sorbian) and South Slavic (Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian)


Non in legendo sed in intelligendo legis consistunt


Latin (1000 bc - 461 ad)



the earliest Aramaic alphabet (1100 bc) was based on the Phoenician script. In time, Aramaic developed

its distinctive 'square' style. The ancient Israelites and other peoples of Canaan adopted this alphabet for

writing their own languages. Thus, it is better known as the Hebrew alphabet today. This is the writing

system used in Biblical Aramaic and other Jewish writing in Aramaic



Old Chinese (1100 bc) refers to the Chinese spoken during the Zhou Dynasty. Since

Old Chinese was the language spoken by Chinese when classical works such as the Analects

of Confucius, the Mencius, and the Tao Te Ching were written, Old Chinese was preserved

for the next two millennia in the form of Classical Chinese, a style of written Chinese that

emulates the grammar and vocabulary of Old Chinese as presented in those works



Classical Hebrew (1200 bc) is further divided into the so called 'Golden Age'

Hebrew (1200 bc to 500 bc) and 'Silver Age' Hebrew (500 bc to 60 bc)



the Phoenician alphabet (1200 bc) is the predecessor of several other alphabets:

Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin (via the Old Italic alphabet), and Cyrillic



Italic languages (1400 bc)


Proto-Dravidian (1500 bc)


Uralic languages (1??? bc) include Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian



Vedic Sanskrit (1600 bc) is the language of the Vedas, the earliest sacred texts of India



Mycenaean (1600-1100 bc) is the most ancient known form of the Greek language, spoken on the Greek mainland and on Crete



Wadi el-Ħl (1800 bc)


Altaic languages (? bc)


Proto-Greek (2600 bc) is the common ancestor of the Greek dialects, including the Mycenean language


Hieratic (around 2800 bc)


cuneiform script (late 4th millennium bc)


hieroglyphs (3200 bc)


Proto-Semitic (4th millennium bc)


Proto-Indo-European (4500 bc)



Australian Aboriginal languages (40,000 bc)



Cave paintings (40,000 bc)



Proto-World language (200,000 bc)


the origin of spoken language


nonverbal communication