AI has brought back 15 languages people haven’t heard for centuries. Here’s what they sound like.
Given that language evolves so rapidly, it’s hard to imagine what people sounded like 200 years ago, let alone 500 or a thousand. Even when we watch movies about ancient civilizations, the characters usually speak in a language similar to the audience, giving us a false sense of what people in those times were like.
The folks at Equator AI are giving people a realistic idea of what people in ancient civilizations sounded like by recreating the languages of 15 languages that haven’t been heard in centuries. In the video, the languages are spoken by computer-generated recreations of people who lived in that era.
The Equator channel on YouTube has numerous videos that recreate historical figures to make them relatable to people of today. Equator “strives to preserve and revive the past of mankind, making it closer and more understandable for people of our era.”
One of the most interesting parts of the video is the young man speaking 5th-century Old English. It sounds a bit like a mix of English spoken by a modern-day Scotsman with a dash of Latin rhythms and a lot of R-rolling. English has changed so much over the past 1500-plus years that it bears little resemblance to the language spoken today.
“Old English is mind-blowing! How could it sound so different?” TechnoGlowStick commented.
“They really loved rolling the ‘r’s, don’t they,” Huai Wei Edmund Teo added.
The video is a wonderful way to visit the past while also a reminder that our language will continue to evolve. And one day, in the not-so-distant future, people will dig up old footage of people speaking English in 2023 and have no idea what they’re saying.
Here’s a list of all the languages in the video:
0:01 Old Norse
1:29 Middle Chinese
1:57 Old English
2:28 Old Japanese
2:57 Old Church Slavonic
3:26 Proto-Celtic language
3:56 Middle Egyptian
4:26 Ryukyuan language
4:56 Ancient Greek
5:30 Phoenician language
5:53 Hittite language
6:53 Akkadian language
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