On Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 1:47:45 PM UTC+13, Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
World's 10 oldest languages
How can the age of a language be measured? How old are English and French?
Good questions. Never even raised in this silly video.
A lot of the factual details are correct enough
Sanskrit is the literary language of the Sikhs? Of the Jains?
And how the hell did Tamil get to be No.1?
(You might have noticed that they think Sanskrit is derived from Tamil.)
The rankings don't appear to have any actual correlation either
with what the narrator says or with reality. Armenian is older
And the origins of some of the other "beginning" dates -- like
600 BC for Korean -- are very unclear.
I spent a fair amount of time a few months ago studying Korean
archaeology. My laptop was then stolen, so I'm to a certain
extent talking out of my hat here, but anyway, 600 B.C. is before
several important *prehistoric* events. Gina Barnes's
<Archaeology of East Asia>, 2015 edition, cites a paper that
claims Korean didn't even appear in the peninsula until the
previous inhabitants left to become the Yayoi of Japan. That
problematic claim aside, I didn't find anyone claiming we had
evidence of the Korean language - as opposed to written evidence
of circumstances in Korea - much before A.D. 300, when the
inscriptions kick in.
For a reasonably current view of Korean archaeology see
<http://muse.jhu.edu/issue/32860>, or if that doesn't work for
you, volume 54, number 1 of <Asian Perspectives>, a journal out of
The widespread claim that Korean civilisation is 5000 years old
refers to a legend first written down in the 13th century A.D.
(We think.) This legend is very hard to reconcile with the
archaeology, unsurprising since the putative founder's parents
were a god and a bear. But not even those who promote this legend
claim to have written evidence of Korean older than the
inscriptions, or at most a few brief poems claimed to date back to
the 1st century A.D.
There's even debate over whether the people of Koguryo (roughly,
North Korea) spoke Korean or something else, and if so, what that
something else was.
The video claims to come from "Factdesk Media". Well, they
probably have desks, and evidently do media, but I'm not sure they
could spot a fact at ten inches.
Joe Bernstein, writer <***@gmail.com>