The 5 most important dead languages in the world

Published on 24/11/2020

Taking an interest in extinct languages helps you to learn modern languages.

Dead languages are often not really dead. Only they have been transformed and have given rise to other forms of contemporary languages. Dead language translations are mainlyused in scientific fields.

Índice de contenidos

Index of contents

Index du contenu


  1. Latin
  2. Ancient Greek
  3. Sumerian
  4. Ancient Egyptian
  5. Phoenician

1. Latin


Latin, the language par excellence of antiquity, has also long been the language of fields such as botany, medicine and religion. Archaic Latin probably originated around the 10th century BC. The oldest text found dates back to the 7th century BC.

The Babbel website explains a little about why the fact that it is a dead language should be qualified. It also stresses the importance of learning this extinct language, which is still taught in many schools around the world.

Competent translation agencies still have translators in their database who can translate from Latin.

2. Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek

Mycenaean Greek is one of the oldest written languages in the world. It is the oldest known form of Greek.

Ancient Greek was spoken in the Eastern Mediterranean from the 9th century BC. Ancient Greek is an important dead language because it has left a wealth of literature in fields such as philosophy, theology and mathematics.

3. Sumerian


In many ways this language, still unknown before the 19th century, is remarkable.

Sumerian is an important dead language as it is the oldest written language discovered to date. Archaeological excavations have led to the discovery of clay tablets that have provided evidence of the existence of Sumerian, which originated in ancient Mesopotamia.

Sumerian dates back to at least 3500 BC. This makes it an even more ancient language than Egyptian. Their writing consists of cuneiform signs. Sumerian is also intriguing because, despite the best efforts of researchers, it is an isolated language that cannot be related to any language family.

4. Ancient Egyptian

Ancient Egyptian

Egyptian is one of the most important languages in archaeology. Dates from the 3rd millennium BC.

The Egyptian civilisation has been of paramount importance for millennia and has influenced our societies to this day in art, architecture, mathematics, etc.

5. Phoenician


Phoenician is a Semitic language from the "Land of Canaan" (present-day Lebanon) whose origins date back to the 10th century BC.

The Phoenician language is of considerable linguistic importance. In fact, its alphabet, created more than 3,000 years ago, is present at the origin of practically all current alphabetic systems.

The Phoenicians were great travellers and traders, and therefore exported their alphabet and culture far and wide. The Phoenician alphabet gave rise to the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, etc. alphabets.

Dead languages continue to have a great impact in our times, and quality translations are required for use in many academic publications in English, French, Spanish, Italian or German. The translators of such dead languages are usually the scholars who study them themselves.

 To help you in this field, there are translation agencies such as AbroadLink Translations that have specialised translators who are fluent in the most important dead languages.

In this way you can benefit from high quality scientific translations.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

Add new comment