Which has the longest language history, China or the West?
This is a very brief essay I wrote today in Chinese and English. Some of you might find it interesting.
I was watching CCTV9 awhile ago, and I heard an old Chinese expert talk about (and I am paraphrasing a bit) how the Chinese language has the longest history out of all the languages in the world. I am not so sure about this.
I looked online to find out when Chinese started writing characters. Answer: somewhere between 14th -11th centuries BCE to ca. 1200 to ca. 1050 BCE the Chinese produced writing on the oracle bones. But of course, these were only the ancestors of today's Chinese characters. The vast majority of today's Chinese cannot even begin to read them.
Now what about the West? Most of the West uses the Latin alphabet. The Latin alphabet's oldest ancestor is the written alphabet Linear A, which was fully developed somewhere around 1900-1800 BC. As we can see, this is significantly older than the oracle bones.
PS: This was hastily thrown together, so I won't be surprised if my argument is holier than Swiss cheese. Anyway, that's my caveat. By the way, I hope to continue contrasting the development of Western and Chinese languages (very superficially) in the near future, so this probably is just the start.
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