The majority of the languages spoken now have been around for decades or even millennia. It’s challenging for historians to pinpoint the precise origins and dates of some languages.
For instance, the origins of the Tamil language, which may be the oldest and has roots as far back as 5000 years, are still up for contention.
Sorting out the intricacies of such things is challenging for a variety of reasons. One is obvious: technology and information preservation were far from where they are now. Another is that languages frequently do not begin at particular times. Languages instead slowly evolve as a result of factors like trade and immigration.
The origins of languages created in the previous few decades or centuries are fortunately much better known and more thoroughly documented, which is fortunate for future historians and linguists.
Let’s look at some of the newest languages in existence.
One of the newest languages in the world, Light Warlpiri is spoken by 350 individuals in Australia. Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist employed by the University of Michigan, first noted it in the 1980s. Australian English, Kriol, and Warlpiri are their ancestors. The vast majority of the speakers are under 40.
An estimated 30,000 to 180,000 people utilize Esperanto on a global scale. Esperanto is a created language, which is what makes it so exciting. In other words, it is a language that was formed deliberately and intentionally. The language was developed in 1887 by ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof with the intention that it would be used universally for intercultural dialogue. South America, Europe, and East Asia are where it is most frequently used.
Lingala is the most well-known of the languages on the list. An estimated 40 million people speak it, 15 million of whom are native speakers. When you consider that the language is just roughly 120 years old, this is very remarkable. The indigenous people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo speak it the most frequently. Around 1900, trade along the Congo River led to the language’s evolution from the Bobangi tongue.
The least widespread language on the list, Gooniyandi, is already regarded as endangered despite just being around 40 years old. About 100 residents of Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia, speak it. Kriol is taught to local children instead. Given that it is in danger of extinction, several initiatives have started to teach the language in schools to preserve it.
The 7 million South Africans who speak Afrikaans as their first language inherited it from the white Dutch, French, and German invaders who arrived in South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. We will learn about other indigenous and Malay influences on Afrikaans in the future.
Compared to other languages like English, this is different. While the English language is more than 400 years old and Old English is hundreds of years older, the contemporary form of Afrikaans is only a few decades old. In comparison to other contemporary national and official languages, Afrikaans is thus a rather young language!
Ido is a constructed language like Esperanto, following in its footsteps. Reformed Esperanto is the ancestor of Ido. Ido is one of the world’s newest languages, similar to Esperanto. Esperanto was reformatted in 1894 as a result of L. L. Zamenhof, the language’s creator, hearing objections about its many components. He created Reformed Esperanto to address them as a result.
As he had done with the prior variety, Zamenhof soon started teaching this kind of Esperanto. Reformed Esperanto started to diverge from Standard Esperanto over time. Later on, this evolved into its own language, which was given the name Ido.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list is Albanian. Unlike Ido or Esperanto, Albanian is not among the most recent languages. Since ancient times, ethnic Albanians have spoken Albanian. Naturally, this raises the question of how Albanian is one of the most recent languages. Only when Albania gained independence in 1912 did Albanian get official status as a language.
When Albania was a part of the Ottoman Empire, it held the status of a minority language, but there were severe restrictions. Under the Ottoman authority, Albanian was sometimes thought to be a Serbian (or even German!) dialect.
Sona is possibly among the most recent languages spoken today. Esperanto couldn’t be what Sona was built to be. Sona was intended to become the universal language.
Kenneth Searight created Sona in 1935. Searight created a language that, in his opinion, has the potential to replace English as the primary world language. All of the terminology and grammar in Sona was described in his book, which was published in 1935. The languages used in Sona’s construction are English, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, and Japanese.
To combat the Eurocentrism of Esperanto and Ido, which were both composed entirely of European languages, Sona was created.