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Babel

The Tower of Babel

The tale of the Tower of Babel, from Genesis 11: 1-9, is an "explanation" of why there are so many different languages. You can find the story in some of those languages by following the links below. Having a single text in a variety of languages is a good way to see similarities and differences between those languages.

The Tower of Babel did in fact exist: it was a seven-stage ziggurat (stepped pyramid) with a temple to the god Marduk at the top. It was called Etemenanki, or 'the temple of the platform between heaven and earth', and was built in the city of Babylon sometime during the 6th or 7th century BC.


Index by language | Index by language family


Index by language family

Afroasiatic, Algonqian, Altaic, Arawakan, Arnhem, Austro-Asiatic, Australian, Austronesian, Aymaran, Barbacoan, Bora-Witoto, Cahuapanan, Candoshi-Chirino, Caucasian, Chibchan, Chocoan, Dravidian, Eskimo-Aleut, Finno-Ugric, Guaicuruan, Hmong-Mien, Indo-European, Iroquoian, Japonic, Jivaroan, Khoisan, Matacoan, Mayan, Misumalpan, Na-Dené, Niger-Congo, Panoan, Papuan, Nilosaharan, Quechuan, Sepik, Sino-Tibetan, Siouan, Tai-Kaidai, Trans-New Guinea, Tucanoan, Tupi-Guarani, Uralic, Uto-Aztecan, Zaparoan, Isolates, Pidgins and Creoles, International Auxiliary Languages, Alternative writing systems


Afroasiatic languages

Berber languages
Rif Tamazight, Tamasheq
Chadic languages
Azumeina, Hausa, Mafa, Massa, Musey, South Giziga
Cushitic languages
Borana, Somali
Egyptian languages
Coptic
Omotic languages
Wolaytta
Semitic languages
Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Maltese, Syriac, Tigrinya

Algonqian languages

Cheyenne, Massachusett, Míkmaq, Ojibwe

Altaic languages

Mongolic languages
Buryat, Kalmyk, Mongolian
Turkic languages
Altay, Azeri, Bashkir, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kumyk, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvan, Uyghur, Uzbek, Yakut

Arawakan languages

Arawak, Garifuna, Machiguenga, Nanti, Wayuu, Yucuna

Arnhem languages

Enindhilyagwa, Nunggubuyu

Austro-Asiatic languages

Mon-Khmer
Khasi, Khmer, Riang, Vietnamese
Munda languages
Santali
Nicobarese languages
Car
Palaungic languages
Wa

Australian languages

Pama-Nyungan
Alyawarr, Gumatj, Guugu Yalandji, Kala Lagaw Ya, Martu Wangka, Ngaanyatjarra, Warlpiri
Southern Daly
Murrinh-Patha

Austronesian languages

Formosan
Amis, Atayal, Bunun
Malayo-Polynesian
Acehnese, Adzera, Amarasi, Ambrym, Ata Manobo, Balinese, Bariai, Batak Angkola, Batak Simalungun, Batak Toba, Biatah Bidayuh, Bikol, Bola, Bugis, Caribbean Javanese, Cebuano, Chuukese, Dawan, Fijian, Futunan, Hawaiian, Helong, Hiligaynon, Hiri Motu, Iban, Ifugao, Iloko, Indonesian, Itawis, Ivatan, Kadazandusun, Kahua, Kambera, Kapampangan, Keley-i, Kinaray-a, Kiribati, Kosraean, Javanese, Luang, Madurese, Makassar, Malagasy, Malaweg, Malay, Māori, Maranao, Marshallese, Matigsalug Manobo, Mbula, Misima-Paneati, Mortlockese, Motu, Nali, Ngaju, Nias, Niuean, North Efate, Nyindrou, Paama, Pangasinan, Pangutaran Sama, Pohnpeian, Rarotongan, Rotuman, Sakao, Samoan, Saveeng Tuam, Southern Kalinga, Suau, Sundanese, Tagalog, Tagbawa, Tahitian, Tolai, Tongan, Tontemboan, Toraja-Sa'dan, Tungag, Tuvaluan, Tuwali, Ubir, Wandamen, Western Bukidnon, Yabem, Yapese

Aymaran languages

Aymara

Barbacoan languages

Cha'palaachi, Guambiano, Tsáchila / Colorado

Bora-Witoto languages

Huitoto

Candoshi-Chirino languages

Candoshi-Shapra

Cahuapanan languages

Cahuapanan languages
Chayahuita

Caucasian languages

Northeast Caucasian
Avar, Chechen
Northwest Caucasian
Adyghe, Kabardian
South Caucasian
Georgian

Chibchan languages

Bribri, Teribe

Chocoan languages

Embera

Dravidian languages

Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu

Eskimo-Aleut

Aleut, Greenlandic, Inuktitut

Guaicuruan languages

Mocoví, Pilagá, Toba Qom

Hmong-Mien languages

Iu Mien, White Hmong

Indo-European languages

Albanian
Albanian
Armenian
Armenian (Eastern and Western)
Baltic
Latvian, Lithuanian
Celtic
Breton, Cornish, Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh
Germanic
Afrikaans, Alsatian, Anglo-Saxon / Old English, Bavarian, Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Frisian, German, Gothic, Gronings, Icelandic, Low Saxon / Low German, Norwegian, Palatine German, Swabian, Swedish, Swiss German, Yiddish
Hellenic
Greek (Ancient), Greek (Modern)
Indo-Iranian
Indo-Aryan languages
Assamese, Awadhi, Bengali, Caribbean Hindustani, Fijian Hindi, Gujarati, Hindi, Konkani, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Urdu
Irainian languages
Dari, Kurdish, Persian/Farsi, Ossetian, Tajik
Romance
Aragonese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, French, Galician, Italian, Ladino, Latin, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sicilian, Spanish, Valencian
Slavic
Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Church Slavonic, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Ukrainian

Iroquoian languages

Cherokee, Mohawk

Japonic / Japanese-Ryukyuan languages

Japanese, Okinawan

Jivaroan languages

Achuar-Shiwiar, Aguaruna, Huambisa

Khoisan languages

Khoekhoe

Matacoan languages

Wichí Lhamtés Vejoz

Mayan languages

Aguacateco, Ch'ol of Tila, Ch'ol of Tumbalá, Chuj, Kaqchikel, K’iche’, Northern Mam, Poqomchi', Q'anjob'al, Q'eqchi', Quetzaltenango Mam, Southern Mam, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Yucatec Maya

Misumalpan languages

Miskito, Sumo

Na-Dené languages

Carrier, Gwich’in, Navajo, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib)

Niger-Congo languages

Bantu languages
Bemba, Beti, Bulu, Chichewa, Dawida, Kamba, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kwanyama, Lamba, Lingala, Lozi, Luba-Katanga, Luganda, Luragooli, Mbunda, Mpongwe, Ndebele, Ndonga, Northern Sotho, Sango, Sena, Shona, Southern Sotho, Swahili, Swati, Tetela, Tonga, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Benue-Congo languages
Efik, Lenje
Gbaya languages
Northwest Gbaya
Gur languages
Bariba, Frafra, Konkomba, Moba, Mossi, Tammari, Tampulma
Kru languages
Bassa
Kwa languages
Akan (Twi/Fante), Chumburung, Ga
Mande languages
Boko, Kpelle, Yalunka
Mbum languages
Kim, Mundang, Tupuri
Mel languages
Kissi
Senegambian languages
Fula(ni), Wolof
Volta-Niger languages
Ewe, Fon, Igbo, Yoruba

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Dholuo, Kalenjin, Lango, Mbay, Ngambay, Nuer, Sar, Teso, Uduk, Zarma

Panoan languages

Cashibo, Sharanahua, Yaminahua

Papuan languages

Galela

Quechuan languages

Ayacucho Quechua, Cusco Quechua, Kichwa, Quechua del Huallaga, South Bolivian Quechua

Sepik languages

Namia

Sino-Tibetan languages

Sinitic
Cantonese, Classical Chinese, Dungan, Hakka, Mandarin, Min (Eastern), Min (Southern), Taiwanese
Tibeto-Burman
Achang, Angami, Ao Naga, Burmese, Chang, Chin Falam, Chin Haka, Chin Tedim, Gangte, Hrangkhol, Jingpho, Karbi, Karen, Konyak, Kuki, Lahu, Lashi, Lhao Vo, Lisu, Lotha, Garo, Hmar, Mara Chin, Mizo, Paite Chin, Phom (Naga), Poumei (Naga), Sangtam (Naga), Siyin, Sunuwar, Tangkhul, Tibetan, Vaiphei, Wancho (Naga), Yimchungrü, Zeme

Siouan languages

Dakota, Winnebago

Tai-Kadai languages

Kam, Lao, Thai

Trans-New Guinea languages

Amele, Awara, Barai, Bimin, Binumarien, Borong, Burum-Mindik, Dadibi, Faiwol, Guhu-Samane, Huli, Kamasau, Kamula, Kanite, Komba, Kosena, Kyaka, Maia, Maring, Narak, Ngaing, Numanggang, Samberigi, Siroi, Tairora, Tuma-Irumu, Waris, Waskia, Yipma, Yongkom

Tucanoan languages

Cubeo, Guanano / Wanano, Koreguaje, Orejón

Uralic languages

Erzya, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Moksha, Sami, Võro

Uto-Aztecan languages

Eastern Huasteca Nahuatl

Zaparoan languages

Arabela

Isolates

Ata, Basque, Cofán, Tïcuna

Pidgins and Creoles

Bislama, Haitian Creole, Hawaiian Pidgin, Kupang, Kriol, Papiamentu, Pijin, Seychelles Creole, Sranan Tongo, Tetun Dili, Tok Pisin, Torres Strait Creole

International Auxiliary Languages (IALS)

Esperanto, Folkspraak, Ido, Interglossa, Interlingua, Interlingue/Occidental, Lingua Franca Nova, Lojban

Constructed languages/alphabets

Avorentas HGV, Bel'Arian, Cujoltha, Fishscales, Gyorsrovás, Klingon, Nassian, Oxidilogi, Quenya, Quikscript, Sabethir, Toki Pona, Üqoi, Viozian, Venedic

Alternative writing systems

Gregg Shorthand, Pitman Shorthand, The 1847 Alphabet

Index by language | Index by language family


Sources of the Tower of Babel translations

Details of the background to the tale of the Tower of Babel
http://www.ldolphin.org/babel.html

Multilingual pages

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