Devasya Mhatre

10 Years

Omkar International ICSE School


Death of a language| Opinion by Devasya,10, Dombivli

Have you heard of dead languages? 10-year-old Devasya from Dombivli writes an important piece about our beautiful languages that could soon go extinct if we do not promote them. 

dead language kids opinion blog

A dead language is not a language that is dead. A language that has been forgotten and has no speakers is called an extinct language. A dead language is one that is no longer the native language of a community even if it still has some use. In that sense, Sanskrit is considered a dead language. 


How does a language get lost? 


The answer to this is – natives start to learn urban languages to seek better job opportunities. By doing this, people stop speaking in their native languages and lose them. 


Some of the dead languages in the world are 

Latin, Coptic, Sanskrit, Norse, Prakrit, Pali, Biblical Hebrew etc. As you can see, some of these are the root words for many other languages and continue to be studied academically however they are not a community’s native tongue. 


Did you know that Coptic is an Upper Egyptian language that was first spoken in the 2nd Century CE?  ‘Upper Egypt’ refers to the part from where the River Nile originates. It is an Afro-Asiatic language. It has six dialects which are Fayyumic, Bashmūric, Bohairic, Sahidic, and Akhmimic. Four dialects of Coptic were spoken in Upper Egypt and two in Lower Egypt. 


The Norse language originated from the Scandinavian part of Europe. Scandinavia refers to the European countries surrounding the Arctic. It is a North Germanic language and was spoken by the Vikings. 


Here are the five reasons why a dead language needs revival:


  1. Chances of losing information about the culture or civilization – When a language dies, the information about the relevant culture or civilization gets lost as there is no reference to trace the history. 


  1. Helps in learning other languages – Since ancient languages serve as the base for modern languages, it becomes easy to learn new ones. 


  1. Better IQ  – Learning languages help in better cognitive functioning of the brain as it boosts a person’s IQ level. 


  1. Adds uniqueness – Learning different languages helps one develop a richer personality. 


  1. Enjoying ancient books- If any person is well-versed in an ancient language, they can read the ancient scriptures, texts, and books as well as most of these age-old books are written in ancient languages. 


How can we revive dead languages? 


  1. Adding to the curriculum – When a dead language is added to the school curriculum, the students can learn it and speak in it, and as a result, the language does not die. 


  1. Creating awareness – If anyone conducts a seminar on the dead languages, people understand its significance. 


  1. Practicing and speaking these languages – Practicing and speaking in dead languages is necessary for its revival. When everyone interacts in these languages, it can be prevented from dying. 


To conclude, with effort, our ancient languages can be revived and we can continue to enjoy these treasures in the future. 



  2. Book – National Geographic Answer Book Updated Edition – Page 228-229

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