The most unusual dead languages

Human civilization is unthinkable without the exchange of information. Initially, people learned to do this in an oral way. However, it quickly turned out that it was simply impossible to explain complex concepts in words and gestures. So there was a written language. At first they were just pictures on the walls of caves, but then numerous languages ​​were formed.

Throughout history, the peoples left and emerged new, circumstances changed. As a result, some written languages ​​lost all meaning, becoming dead. In practice, no one uses them today, only a trace in history remains. The most unusual dead languages ​​will be discussed below.


This dialect, scientifically called Jewish-Provencal, has many other names (Chouhadite, Chouhadit, Chouadite or Chouadit). Historians find it difficult to say when exactly the Shuadite appeared. For a long time in France, religious freedom was in great doubt. This forced some believers to discriminate and rally, forming separate small settlements. This is exactly what happened to the Jews expelled from southern France in 1498. Only in the county of Comte-Vaessen, which was under the control of the Pope, Jews were allowed to live legally. A separate group used its own language – the Shuadite. It is built on the basis of Hebrew and Aramaic, not Provençal, as it may seem. After the French Revolution, Jews were allowed to live legally throughout the country, giving them all the rights. As a result, the communities quickly disbanded, and the Shuadite carriers simply left. As a result, the language began to die quickly. The last known carrier of the Shuadite died in 1977.


Based on the name, it is already clear that this language has to do with Asia. The Azeri was widespread in the territory of modern Azerbaijan. Once upon a time the ancient local people spoke in this language, but from the 11th century the number of carriers began to decline. Scientists suggest that Azeri was not even a single language, but a whole group of dialects of peoples living here. The new Turkish-Azerbaijani language began to gain ground, but until Tabriz became the power of Persia, Azeris used it extensively. When the region began to obey the Persians, the administration moved to Tehran, which led to the loss of its dominant language. Some scientists still suggest that the modern variety of Azeri can be found in some villages of southern Azerbaijan. Although the official theory of the language died out in the XVII century.

The Fraternity of Frisian.

For many centuries Frisian language competed in prevalence with Germanic. As a result, this struggle was lost, the adverb of Frisians gradually disappeared from official use. And this language was born in the 1100s. A strong blow to him was the change in church boundaries. As a result, German-speaking Catholics were given the opportunity to create a family with Protestants speaking Friesian. This enabled the German language to rapidly progress and spread. So he was able to quickly take the place of the old Friesian language, almost making him dead. Today, the speakers of this language are only a couple of thousand, they live in the German city of Zaterland, in Lower Saxony. At the same time, the official status of the language is not, it is simply used in the home by a few adherents.

Sign Language of Martas-Vinyard Island.

The name of this island is literally translated as “vineyard of Martha”. Almost two centuries, almost all people who inhabited it suffered from deafness. The cause of this phenomenon was incest – on the island, marriages between close relatives have become commonplace. To adapt to such difficult conditions of life, people here came up with their own language Wynyard, which was based on the basis of gestures. By the end of the nineteenth century, a successful system emerged even beyond the island itself, beginning to encroach on American sign language. Only about a hundred years ago deafness among the islanders began to occur less and less often.Obviously, the residents realized that blood marriages are harmful. And maybe on the island there were more residents from the mainland, who diluted the spoiled gene pool. With the decrease in the number of deaf people and sign language has become less relevant. By 1980, only a small group of people used it.

New language from Bernard Shaw.

Famous English playwright Bernard Shaw went down in history not only as a writer, but also as an ardent supporter of changing English writing. The writer did everything he could to introduce the phonetic alphabet created by himself from forty letters. Even after his death, Shaw fought for language changes – in the will mentioned the amount of 10 thousand pounds for someone who can introduce a new system into use and make it popular. One of the fans of creativity Bernard Shaw even decided to publish a book written on the basis of a new alphabet. This work was even released, but it did not become successful. Those who read Bernard Shaw are used to his language, being afraid to buy the publication in an incomprehensible dialect. In addition, before reading, the language still had to be understood and mastered. As a result, the only book was not able to change the English language. However, for the sake of honesty, it should be noted that the alphabet invented by Bernard Shaw in several schools was still used in the form of an experiment. However, this program was deemed unsuccessful. Only some teachers noted that the new system has positive moments, while others thought that such an innovation would only confuse the students.


This language appeared in France in the 19th century. Its singularity lies in the fact that it is musical. The system was able to transmit information not only with the help of oral speech and writing, but also with the help of gestures, painting, singing and even flags. A new language was intended for deaf French children. However, in practice the language turned out to be in demand for less than a hundred years. At the end of the XIX century, an unusual linguistic tool was found to be ineffective, and children began to be taught using conventional sign language. After Solresol no longer needed to be deaf, he gradually disappeared from everyday life.

English Benjamin Franklin.

In the 18th century, relations between the English colonies in North America and the metropolis became very complicated. The settlers wanted freedom and independence. In this case, it concerned even the alphabet. To feel fully independent of Britain’s famous statesman Benjamin Franklin decided to create a new alphabet. He thought of removing from the traditional letters such as c, j, q, w, x, and y. They seemed to Franklin superfluous. Instead they were supposed to place combinations of two vowels, for example, ch, which transmits the sound “h”. The new idea was received with curiosity, and several schools even tried to introduce a new system. Assess the results prevented the rioting in the country’s Revolution. The country just did not get to the reformation in the language. Over time, the new Franklin alphabet was lost and the project was abandoned. Humanity has learned of its existence in general only a century later.

Carnegie’s simplified orthography.

Reforming the native language with the aim of improving it worried many minds. In 1906, a large American-Scottish industrialist Andrew Carnegie decided to introduce a simplified system of orthography of English. Support for him in this expressed himself President Theodore Roosevelt. Like other reformers, Carnegie thought that the English language is quite heavy and needs to be simplified. For example, it was supposed to change some words. So, “kissed” and “bureau” were to turn into laconic “kist” and “buro”. The reform also affected the words with a combination of two vowels. For example, “cheque” should have been replaced by a much simpler “check”. The idea was moving so aggressively that it was accepted even in some schools. But over time, the new spelling caused a lot of complaints.It even went to the Supreme Court, which finally decided that Carnegie’s plans for language changes would not come true. Since 1920, the system is not officially used. However, echoes of it can be found in everyday English today. For example, the dropping of the letter “u” is noted, except for the words “color” and “parlour”.


After the expulsion of the Mormons, they are also representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from Ohio, Illinois and New York, these believers went to Utah. After the new territories were inhabited, the believers decided to create an entire Order with their own laws. Naturally, there was a need for a new system of writing. Such a system was created, it was called Deseret. New letters have become a substitute for the familiar Latin alphabet. It was supposed that with the help of this language it would be possible to set out any other language with the same symbols. The novelty was quickly introduced – Deseret began to study in schools, books were published on it. Even in official documents and coins were new symbols. It’s good or bad, but the system suddenly collapsed for a very trivial reason – lack of money. It turned out that providing each Mormon with new books on Deseret would require all the means available to the community. Reproduction of the literature would require more than a million dollars. The leadership of the Church decided not to risk a new language, abandoning it in favor of traditional English.


This language has been in use among the people of Southern Indonesia for over a thousand years. Language lost its functions literally overnight. In 1815, the eruption of the volcano Tambor, it became the largest in the history of mankind. The raging element destroyed almost all the local population. Only more than 92 thousand people died. Together with them, the Tamboran language went into oblivion. Even the Europeans suffered from the eruption, who had to survive the consequences of the volcanic winter. The year 1816 in Europe passed virtually without summer, the crop failure led to famine. Prices for grain soared 10 times. And the language itself became dead not gradually, but literally right away, because of the natural cataclysm.

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