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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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In my humble opinion, the most "important" language would be that which is best understood across culture barriers with language differences. I heard a Native American say that long ago tribes of different languages would communicate by using what he termed the oldest of all languages which was sign language.

Greek was widely in use for centuries due to Hellenization following Alexander's expansive conquests.

I think Latin was important for being universally understood while the scientific revolution was unfolding it was the standard language used to identify so many lifeforms and all their parts so that scientists around the world can be clear about what exactly is being referred to in notes and journals.

I went through a phase of being fascinated by the Hebrew language. It seems the the importance of this language was merely a personal one for me because the bit of it I grasped opened whole new interpretations of scripture which were very exciting to me at the time. Some would argue that sort of illumination inherent in the letters of the language would make it most important but really any language used well could probably do that.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #12

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Originally Posted by the mighty pen View Post
Afroasiatic
Sino-Tibetan
Turkic
Indo-European

You should look at these languages. They spawned most of today's languages, including the ones you mention
Those are language groups.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #13

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I would say Greek and Latin, without second thought. Why? Because there are tons of things written on it, used by many people, for the longest period of time. Their importance is crucial for our knowledge of our past. Second, would be Chinese. The only "flaw" of Chinese is that it was not as universal as Greek and Latin.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #14

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I cannot believe no one mentioned Aramaic.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #15

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I cannot believe no one mentioned Aramaic.
What is historically important about Arabic, apart from its association with Islam?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #16
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Those are language groups.
i see
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:24 AM   #17
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Going to find a thread today yet where someone isn't looking for 'the most important' something.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #18

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Latin and Greek because this is what we were all trained to believe.
Maybe that's what you're trained to believe.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:23 AM   #19

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What is historically important about Arabic, apart from its association with Islam?
ARAMAIC although very close to ARABIC is quite distinct. It was the language of Assyrians and gradually became the lingua franca throughout the whole Middle East. It was the language of such important people such as the Assyrians and Syriacs themselves, the administrative language of the Persian Empire, the language of the Nostarian Christians, and the language of Roman provinces of Mesopotamia and of course the language of Jesus himself (apparent in phrases such as "Yushi'ana!" or "Eloi Eloi, lema shabaghtani?"). The language was in use from 700 BC until 700 AD, and remained in use among the Christians of Mesopotamia.

And yes, Arabic is a very important language too.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #20

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ARAMAIC although very close to ARABIC is quite distinct.
Oops, I misread your post. Yes, I know what Aramaic is. I still don't think it's as historically important as Latin and Greek. Jesus most likely spoke Greek and Aramaic.

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And yes, Arabic is a very important language too.
No, not really.
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