What do you think was the first language?

Ever curious about what the first language was spoken by man?

I read that one time they performed an experiment on babies. Once the babies were born, they were kept away from their parents. The nurses were only allowed to change them and feed them. They couldn't cuddle them, sing to them, talk to them or make any sounds around. The person in charge of the experiment believed that when the babies uttered their first word, it would undoubtedly have to be the words of the first language ever spoken by humans.

Because if this idiot's experiment all of the babies died. All of them. It was tragic. And the question still remains.

What was the first language ever spoken by humankind?

In the Bible, it says that at one time the earth was all one language. But a king tried to build a tower to reach heaven. This act displeased God and He confused the languages so that the work could not get finished.

Whether or not you believe the Bible story of Babel, are you curious about what the first language was spoken by humans?

What do you think was the first language?

Poll Options

  One of the languages that we speak as of today (say which in the comments) Vote
13.04% voted this
  One of the dead languages that was once spoken but is spoken no longer Vote
13.04% voted this
  A language completely lost to us because its history was not preserved Vote
73.91% voted this
Total Votes: 23


JB Fernandez
I think the first language has been completely lost to us. It only explains why a lot of scriptures and books can no longer be read by today.
Posted by JB Fernandez on 02-27-2018
when we talk about the first language. what are we talking about: a spoken language, with little verbal communicative expressions that did not have a script or a language that was fully developed with a script and grammar usage? If we are talking about the second option, think Sanskrit is the oldest language. The earliest Sanskrit book dates back to 5000 BCE.
Posted by vinaya on 04-19-2018
And so do I. I think our first language was super primitive and it got lost.
Posted by ballyhara on 09-18-2018
I would also agree that our first language is lost to us, and it probably consisted of a phonically simple language of grunts or other mono-syllabic sounds. That being said, I think that the oldest conventional, so to speak, languages were either cuneiform or possibly Sanskrit. I would have to do some real research on this topic to find out, but I do know that the "Epic of Gilgamesh" was written over two thousand yeas ago. Of course, that is a written language, and there were definitely oral traditions and languages thousands of years before that, I would imagine.
Posted by JoeMilford on 02-27-2018
I think the oldest written book is Arthava Veda. It was composed around 5000 BCE by the Hindus. It was written in Sanskrit language. Arthava veda is an oral tradition, however, when the ancient Hindus learned how to write, the first book they wrote was the complination of verses as Arthava Veda. I have no idea about Epic of Gilgamesh.
Posted by vinaya on 04-19-2018
You can imagine the ape men who grunt and use hand signals. Maybe that was the first language that can be considered for them because language is learned for a long time and it is developed for a longer time. Given a group of people with no language to speak will take several centuries to develop their own because language is more of a usage than studying. When the people use the language then it becomes the de facto language.
Posted by Corzhens on 12-13-2018
No one knows and I guess we may never know since it would seem impossible for any information regarding this to have been passed down from the early days. Chances are, that the first language would just sound like animalistic grunts and shouting to us. It may also be just communicating through drawings considering a lot of drawings on cave walls have still been preserved.
Posted by kingcool52 on 02-27-2018
Well the people of paradise would speak Arabic as a whole. Adam before coming to the earth used to speak Arabic. As Prophet Adam was the first man on the earth. So it comes clear to us that Arabic was the first ever language.
Posted by muaaz.93 on 02-27-2018
I think it's not completely lost. Some of the native tribe around the world still using their own language, and it might be one of them is part of the first civilization. We don't just recognize it and because of lack of studying. There're are some native Mayan who still using their language and able to read some tablets from the Mayan artifacts.
Posted by ion on 02-27-2018
The thing is that the past has been a long time to really say that one language is the first than the other and that's the reason I shouldn't say that English or French is the first language in the sense that those that speak Chinese can also say that it is the first language that existed as well.

So, there is this belief that the first language must have existed long time ago and not in existence at the moment. So, let everyone value his or her language and be proud of it.
Posted by Barida on 02-27-2018
Aside from the sign language as the first communication method used by the early homo sapiens, what I think of the very first language is a one-syllable communications. Of course, it is before pre-history era that no one had the knowledge to pass it on to the next generation. And that first language improved to 2 syllables that later on they had invented words to describe what they see, what they feel and what they hear.
Posted by Corzhens on 02-27-2018
The first language men spoke of, according to long-respected intellectuals, emerged in the famous week of October of the year 3,761 BC, when the Creator made the world in six days from Sunday to Friday. On Sabbath, before resting, He had given a tongue to Adam and Eve. And this had been the Hebrew.

The Bible says that all of humanity spoke a single language until the episode of the Tower of Babel, built where today is Iraq, 80 km from Baghdad. Babel means confusion in Hebrew. Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians called ziggurat to this monument, and designated it by Marduk and Etemenanki. Archeology attests that it was built by Hamurabi, the first law code, and reinforced by Nebuchadnezzar.
Posted by hermessantos on 02-28-2018
I would have to agree with the "A language completely lost to us because its history was not preserved" choice. I believe it's said that the first language in recorded history was Sumerian, but that's recorded history. Just because they were the first to record their language on tablets doesn't mean that people didn't communicate verbally beforehand. It's only obvious that the first spoken language was lost in time and will most likely never be known.
Posted by Denis_P on 03-02-2018
I think it was an African language, because the remains of the first men have been found in Africa, around Lake Turkana in Kenya and also somewhere in Ethiopia. If i had to take another guess I would say it's Roman. From the little I know of history, the bible was written in Roman and translated to other languages. They had a large empire, which could indicate they were progressive and intelligent. They also had to have been communicating with each other to build it. I would make the same argument for Egyptians who have amazing ancient infrastructure like the pyramids and buildings.
Posted by jaymish on 03-02-2018
The first language must have been a simple language without S-V-A, tenses, gender, or conjugations. Prehistoric people must have used a combination of sign language and one or two-syllable words to express themselves. I don't think they need a broad vocabulary to describe what is happening around them. Whatever it was, I believe that it is completely lost to us at this point.
Posted by chatbox on 03-02-2018
The first language is most definitely lost to us or has evolved so much it's barely recognizable as anything resembling that of the original language.
Posted by treecko142 on 03-06-2018
The first language could've been one that had been spoken between only a couple of people so most likely they didn't leave any information behind, because of different circumstances, so you can say that there is no way we could figure out what the first language had been.
Posted by manmad on 03-07-2018
I would say the first spoken language was Babylonian, but not sure about that. I guess you could do a google search and see what the experts have to say about this. It may just be a theory about what the first language is or was. It may be debated as to what it was. I am not certain about this. Pictographs were probably a language as well.
Posted by kgord on 03-07-2018
Very good question .because I used to wonder same and even with others things that keeps bugging my mind for some answers. I will like to believe we might speaking that first language unknowingly because no.body knows .How would we conclude it has been lost without even knowing the language name or how it was spoken .I think it still been spoken but we can't know since it wasn't documented.
Posted by lovely on 03-10-2018
According to history books, the Summerian civilization predates all other civilizations, therefore we can logically conclude that the first known language was Sumer, which was spoken by summeians who lived between the Tigris and Euphrates river during the start of the world's oldest civilation.

The summerian civilization started circa 5000 and lasted until 1750 BC. So unless someone discovers a much older civilization than this, I'll go with Sumer language as my answer.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 03-12-2018
It's hard to say which is the first language of the civilization. You can see that civilization over the period of time had it's set of the changes in the sign language. And so the language used to communicate must have been developed with trial and error. We can surely say that there used to be lot of language changes that happened over a period of time.
Posted by overcast on 03-15-2018
I think it is a language completely lost to us. Since technology advances while people looked for a more common language or a way to teach people so that people from various parts of the world can communicate with ease. It is obvious the first language will remain unknown
Posted by mildredtabitha on 04-01-2018
I am a Hindu. These days Hindus speak different languages. However, their entire scriptures are in the Sanskrit language. The earliest scripture from Hinduism dates back to 5000 BC. I believe Sanskrit is the most ancient language.
Posted by vinaya on 04-15-2018
When I look at the animal kingdom I see that although they don't have a language like us, that they do still have a language. I have two dogs who both bark differently for different things. I have lived with them for so long that I know what they are saying with each bark. Going by this, I think that cave man would have known which grunt meant what. I think it is amazing that the Ancient Egyptians had an in depth vocabulary.
Posted by JMS on 04-20-2018
In my opinion, it might be just sounds and body language. When it comes to prehistoric language, i think of chimps and gorillas. They maybe the key to our prehistoric language, they can communicate efficiently with just noise and gestures.
Posted by fishbate on 04-24-2018
I think the very first language is not traceable because it was spoken in the times that no one has the idea of documentation or creating such record of their existence or people in most ancient times is focusing on survival to live and not on documentation of their lives. I really believe that there are numerous kind of people exist but not traced by today's technology or no record have been found to prove their existence.
Posted by albino on 05-29-2018
I think the first language that human beings ever spoke is lost to us now and I don't think there's a way to find out anything about it. And with so many languages spoken today, I think it'll be hard to trace it back, even if we study every single language spoken today, I don't think they can tell us anything about it. And because history was not recorded back then, we should just lose hope by now.
Posted by clairmatin on 07-02-2018
I also think about that sometimes. Here in the Philippines, there are lot of languages that we use. And I think there are thousands of spoken language in the world. I hope there will be a research study about the first language in the world. But I think it will be hard to prove what that is.
Posted by RhealaineS on 07-11-2018
I think English is the first language. Wherever we go English is the common tongue and first language using even they have limited knowledge about it. English known for universal language world wide.
Posted by mark86 on 08-16-2018
Well, we can never can tell what it is. The first ever language was lost in the world because of the Babel's Tower incidnet if I'm not mistaken. It is written in the bible.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 09-05-2018
Definitely English is the universal language. It was official language in trading and communicating overseas.
Posted by mark86 on 09-10-2018
I think the first language is Hebrew. Its because they are one of the ancient civilization of the world. The Old Testament of the Bible is also written in Hebrew. During the confusion in the tower of Babel, I believe that the language is still there.
Posted by jeffreyjose48 on 09-15-2018
Languages evolve as is humanity. The English we speak now is not the same that was spoken earlier. New words have developed. There are languages that are extinct now. If a certain language is not spoken for some time, it dies.

Deaf people are also dumb because they never heard a word. I doubt when you say the experimental children died. Such children will never speak but make awkward sounds.
Posted by stbrians on 09-18-2018
I think the first language that the human ever used might just contain of grunts or guttural noises. It could also be accompanied with a lot of hand gestures for them to communicate well. The very first language would be just very simple just enough for them to communicate. There would be no grammatical structures or any parts of speech like we used now. There might be few words that might just be used in naming things.
Posted by Aeolos on 09-25-2018
I think if you are speaking about the written or spoken language then I think that the oldest language in the world and definitely the contender to be the first language has to be Sanskrit.

It is said that Sanskrit being the oldest language is the mother of all the languages that are spoken today. It has a very scientific base and was used by the Scholars centuries ago. It is not totally a dead language. Some institutions and organizations around the world are still trying there best to keep the language alive .
Posted by jpk0007 on 10-10-2018
Nobody knows, there may be a department of linguistics known as ancient linguistics that explores the links among languages to theorise approximately what ancestor languages might have appeared like. We've got the Grimm brothers of fairy story reputation to thank for this. They observed correlations and styles in Germanic languages that different european languages did not have.
Posted by jetselle on 10-17-2018
I think that the early humans used a language that only them can understand. For example, a group of humans decided to make their own language and ,of course, only them would be able to understand. Other groups from other places have developed their own language as well. If you are familiar with Pidgin then it may probably have the same concept with it. However, it is most likely that everyone from that group already died long ago and the language was not transferred to their kins.
Posted by hstinscdln on 10-31-2018
That experiment was really cruel!! I can't believe how the people could do that to babies. I think it's really cruel not to cuddle and talk to the babies, and it's even worse to know they all died.

I never thought about how the first language came about, but I also read the story mentioned in bible which there was only one language and only a certain group of people still managed to understand the first language and the other languages were all different. I believe the language is completely lost now .
Posted by kaka135 on 11-02-2018
We don’t know. We probably can’t know.Many or most linguists believe there was one original language (Proto-Human language, also called Proto-World), but we don’t have any direct evidence for that. We don’t even know how old human language is (somewhere between 40,000 and 2 million years is a ‘good’ estimate!).Doing any sort of linguistic reconstruction that far back is almost certainly impossible, because languages have been in contact so much and borrowed so many words there just isn’t any real information left at that great a time depth
Posted by csk81 on 11-06-2018
I would say the first language traces back to the when we were cavemen/cavewomen when we didn't necessarily form solid words and complex sentence structures like we do now but instead, when we used body language and different forms of grunts/yelling to get a point across. And I would even argue that these languages still exist; they aren't as obvious as a primary language. But, they are still there if you pay attention to it.
Posted by EffectSix on 11-06-2018
This writer believes she presents evidence that the first language was Hebrew. Interesting quote extracted from the article titled “The Universal Language of Light”: “Modern research confirms the most ancient form of Hebrew to be a natural language; the alphabetic forms emerging from the phosphate flare patterns of the brain.” https://hubpages.com/r...iversal-Language-of-Light
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 11-06-2018
What do you think is the first language: For me the first language is called "Latin", In not sure with it but when i read this question the first thing in my ming is Latin. In our place, the eldest always has a story share to the young one about the history. And I heard some topic regarding latin that it was the powerful language and only few individual as of now know and understang the true meaning. It is kinda creepy.
Posted by mhingnhormz on 11-16-2018
I think that the first ever language is a language that is not spoken anymore. I think it is highly impossible to keep the same language since language together with humans evolve. And since there was no efficient means of preserving data back then, the first ever language is already lost. And if you think about it, humans came to be in different areas of the world at the same time. There may have been several languages for every tribe back then. But still all of them are already lost.
Posted by emiaj55 on 12-08-2018
I think the first language was still exist but it already contains different languages since there were colonials from those times but I believe that it is not use anymore but only use in written form. I don't have any idea for this but it is just my opinion .
Posted by nekonieden on 12-16-2018