Language at 5000 BCE

What did English sound like 7000 years ago? It's amazing but linguists are able to reconstruct the sounds and grammar of the language with fairly good approximation. They call this ancestral language "Proto-Indo-European." It's also the ancestor to German, Latin, Greek, Hittite, Hindi, Farsi, Albanian, and Armenian.

So what did Proto-Indo-European sound like? It's a fascinating question. The reconstructed language is one of the most important languages in human pre-history and we are able to hear what it sounded like with some accuracy roughly 7000 years later! Historical linguistics enables us to hear with our ears the language of a world 5000 years before Jesus and Caesar, 4500 years before Confucius, 2700 years before Ramesses I, and 1900 years before writing first appears in the Fertile Crescent.

Happily, linguist Andrew Byrd has made several audio readings of fables in Proto-Indo-European (PIE). Take a listen to this exciting glimpse into yesteryear.