The Languages of Ancient India & Europe

The Languages of Ancient India & Europe

I like reading about the histories of cultures and languages, and yesterday I had the thought,

"I wonder what languages were spoken around Europe and South Asia before the current (Indo-European) ones?"

Did you know that most of the major languages spoken around Europe and South Asia, like Hindi, English, Persian, German, French, etc. are actually related?

Together, they're a part of the Indo-European language family.

These languages spread over Europe and South Asia via migrations from a group of people called Proto-Indo-Europeans

However, because most of these languages replaced the native languages over both Europe and Asia, and since this happened several millenia ago, very little is known of these older languages.

Research has been done into this, and I've gleaned some of it via Wikipedia 😅

Old European Languages

Here's an amazing list of some of the Old European languages. These include:

  • Basque (an ancient language which is still spoken today)
  • Aquitanian
  • Etruscan (who lended their alphabet to the Romans)
  • Minoan (a pre-Greek civilization)

Pre-Sanskrit Languages of India

My Indian followers would definitely be interested in this one. These are the languages of ancient India which had an impact on Sanskrit:

  • Harrappan (the lost civilization we know very little about)
  • Vedda (an endangered language which is presently spoken in Sri Lanka)
  • Burushaski (a language isolate presently spoken by the Burusho people of Northern India & Pakistan)
  • Dravidian (this language family needs no introduction 😅)
  • Munda (a language family which is actually related to Vietnamese and Khmer 🤔)

Well, this is the internet rabbit-hole which has kept me up for the past few nights. I hope it's as interesting for you as it was for me!

I've also been looking at Turko-Mongolic (Mughal) emperors, and the impact that they had on languages. Let me know if it sounds interesting 😁

Previously, I've written about Ravan and Lanka, and about the Uyghurs in China.