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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

International Auxiliary Languages (IALs), Constructed languages, Alternative writing systems


  1. Acehnese, Achang, Acholi, Achuar-Shiwiar, Adi, Adyghe, Adzera, Afrikaans, Aguacateco, Aguaruna, Akan (Twi/Fante), Albanian, Aleut, Alsatian, Altay, Alyawarr, Amganad Ifugao, Amarasi, Ambrym, Amele, Amharic, Amis, Angami, Anglo-Saxon / Old English, Anuki, Ao Naga, Arabela, Arabic, Aragonese, Aramaic, Arawak, Are, Armenian, Aromanian, Ashéninka, Assamese, Asturian, Ata, Ata Manobo, Atayal, Avar, Awadhi, Awara, Aymara, Azeri

  2. Baga, Balangao, Balinese, Bambam, Bandial, Bantoanon, Barai, Bariai, Bariba, Basari, Bashkir, Basque, Bassa, Batak Angkola, Batak Karo, Batak Simalungun, Batak Toba, Bavarian, Bawm, Belarusian, Bemba, Bengali, Berom, Beti, Biete, Bikol, Bimin, Binumarien, Bislama, Biatah Bidayuh, Blagar, Boko, Bola, Bontoc, Borana, Borong, Bosnian, Breton, Bribri, Bru, Bugis, Buhutu, Bulgarian, Bulu, Bunun, Burmese, Burum-Mindik, Buryat, Busa, Bwaidoka

  3. Candoshi-Shapra, Cantonese, Car (-Nicobarese), Caribbean Javanese, Carrier, Cashibo, Catalan, Cacua, Cebuano, Central Huasteca Nahuatl, Chang, Cha'palaachi, Chayahuita, Chechen, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chichewa, Chinese (Mandarin), Chin Falam, Chin Haka, Chin Tedim, Choctaw, Ch'ol of Tila, Ch'ol of Tumbalá, Chorti, Chumburung, Chuj of Ixtatán, Church Slavonic, Chuukese, Chuvash, Classical Chinese, Cofán, Coptic, Cornish, Corsican, Crimean Tatar, Croatian, Cubeo, Cumbric, Cuyono, Czech

  4. Dadibi, Dakota, Danish, Dari, Dawan, Dawida, Desano, Dhao, Dholuo, Dungan, Dutch, Dyula

  5. East Bolivan Guaraní, Eastern Huasteca Nahuatl, Efik, Embera, Enindhilyagwa, English, Enlhet, Erzya, Estonian, Ewe, Ezaa

  6. Faiwol, Faroese, Fijian, Fijian Hindi, Finnish, Fioti, Fon, Frafra, French, Frisian, Fula(ni), Futunan

  7. Ga, Galela, Galician, Gangte, Garifuna, Garo, Gbaya (Northwest), Ge'ez, German, Gothic, Greek (Ancient), Greek (Modern), Greenlandic, Gronings, Guajajara, Guambiano, Guanano / Wanano, Guarani, Guerrero Nahuatl, Guhu-Samane, Gujarati, Gumatj, Guugu Yalandji, Gwich’in

  8. Hadiyya, Haitian Creole, Hakka, Hanga, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hawaiian Pidgin, Hebrew, Helong, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hiri Motu, Hmar, Hmong, Hrangkhol, Huambisa, Huitoto, Huli, Hungarian

  9. Iban, Icelandic, Ifugao, Igbo, Ikwo, Iloko, Indonesian, Interslavic, Inuktitut, Irish, Isnag, Italian, Itawis, Iu Mien, Ivatan, Izi

  10. Japanese, Jarai, Javanese, Jingpho

  11. Kabardian, Kadazandusun, Kagayanen, Kahua, Kakabai, Kala Lagaw Ya, Kalenjin, Kalmyk, Kam, Kamasau, Kamba, Kambaata, Kambera, Kamono, Kamula, Kanasi, Kaninuwa, Kanite, Kankanaey, Kannada, Kapampangan, Kapingamarangi, Kaqchikel, Karakalpak, Karen, Kashinawa, Kazakh, Q'eqchi', Keley-i, Kenyah, Khasi, Khmer, Khoekhoe, Khiamniungan, K’iche’, Kikuyu, Kim, Kinaray-a, Kinyarwanda, Kiribati, Kirundi, Kissi, Kokborok, Kom, Komba, Konkani, Konkomba, Konyak, Korean, Koreguaje, Kosena, Kosraean, Kosarek, Koti, Kpelle, Kriol, Kuki, Kumam, Kumyk, Kuna, Kupang, Kurdish, Kurti, Kwanyama, Kyaka, Kyrgyz

  12. Ladakhi, Ladino, Lahu, Lamba, Lango, Lao, Lashi, Lhao Vo, Latin, Latvian, Lenje, Liangmai Naga, Lingala, Lipo, Lisu, Lithuanian, Lole, Lotha, Low Saxon / Low German, Lozi, Luang, Luba-Katanga, Luganda, Lukpa, Luragooli

  13. Maale, Macedonian, Machiguenga, Madurese, Mafa, Maia, Makassar, Malagasy, Malaweg, Malay, Malayalam, Maldivian, Maltese, Mam (Northern / Huehuetenango), Mam (Quetzaltenango), Mam (Southern), Maninka, Mankanya, Manx, Māori, Mara Chin, Maranao, Marathi, Marba, Maring, Marshallese, Martu Wangka, Massa, Massachusett, Matigsalug Manobo, Mbay, Mbyá Guaraní, Mbula, Mbunda, Míkmaq, Min (Eastern), Min (Southern), Misima-Paneati, Miskito, Mixifore, Mizo, Moba, Mocoví, Mohawk, Moksha, Mongolian, Mortlockese, Mossi, Motu, Mpongwe, Mundang, Murrinh-Patha, Musey

  14. Nahuatl (Central Huasteca), Nahuatl (Eastern Huasteca), Nali, Namia, Nanti, Narak, Navajo, Ndebele (Northern), Ndebele (Southern), Ndonga, Nepali, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngaing, Ngaju, Ngambay, Nkore, Nias, Niuean, Nivaclé, Nogai, North Efate, Norwegian, Northern Sotho, Northwest Gbaya, Nuer, Numanggang, Nunggubuyu, Nyakyusa, Nyindrou

  15. Ojibwe, Okinawan, Old Church Slavonic, Orejón, Oriya, Ossetian

  16. Paama, Paite Chin, Palatine German, Palawano, Pangasinan, Pangutaran Sama, Papiamentu, Pashto, Pennsylvania German, Pijin, Persian (Farsi), Phom (Naga), Pilagá, Pochuri, Pohnpeian, Polish, Poqomchi', Portuguese, Poumei (Naga), Psikye, Punjabi

  17. Q'anjob'al, Quechua (Ayacucho), Quechua (Cañar Highland), Quechua (Cusco), Quechua del Huallaga, Quechua (Imbabura Highland), Quechua (South Bolivian), Quichua del Chimborazo

  18. Rade, Rarotongan, Riang, Rifian, Ringgou, Rotuman, Romanian, Romániço, Romansh, Rukai, Russian, (Old) Ruthenian

  19. Sakao, Samberigi, Sami, Samoan, Sango, Sangtam, Sanskrit, Santali, Sar, Sarangani Blaan, Sarangani Manobo, Sarnámi Hindustani, Saveeng Tuam, Scottish Gaelic, Sena, Serbian, Seychelles Creole, Southern Sotho, Shan, Sharanahua, Shipibo, Shona, Sicilian, Sinhala, Siroi, Siyin, Slovak, Slovenian, Soga, Somali, Soninke, Sorbian, South Giziga, Southern Kalinga, Spanish, Sranan Tongo, Suau, Sukuma, Sumo/Mayangna, Sundanese, Sunuwar, Supyire, Susu, Swahili, Swabian, Swati, Swedish, Swiss German, Sylheti, Syriac

  20. Tagabawà, Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Tahitian, Tairora, Taiwanese, Tajik, Tamasheq, Tamil, Tammari, Tampulma, Tangkhul, Tangsa, Tatar, Telugu, Teribe, Teso, Tetela, Tetum, Tetun Dili, Thai, Tibetan, Tïcuna, Tigrinya, Tii, Timugon Murut, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib), Toba Qom, Tok Pisin, Tolai, Toma, Tonga, Tongan, Tontemboan, Toraja-Sa'dan, Torres Strait Creole, Tsáchila / Colorado, Tsonga, Tswana, Tulu, Tuma-Irumu, Tumbuka, Tungag, Tupuri, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvaluan, Tuvan, Tuwali, Twi, Tzeltal, Tzotzil

  21. Ubir, Uduk, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek

  22. Vaiphei, Valencian, Värmlandic, Venda, Vietnamese, Võro

  23. Wa, Wali, Wancho (Naga), Wandamen, Waray-Waray, Waris, Warlpiri, Waskia, Wayuu, Welsh, Western Bukidnon, Western Huasteca Nahuatl, Western Rote, Wichí Lhamtés Vejoz, Winnebago, Wolaytta, Wolof

  24. Xhosa

  25. Yabem, Yakut, Yalunka, Yaminhua, Yao, Yapese, Yiddish, Yimchungrü, Yipma, Yongkom, Yoruba, Yucatec Maya, Yucuna, Yup'ik

  26. Zarma, Zeme, Zou, Zulu

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International Auxiliary Languages (IALs)

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

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Constructed languages/alphabets

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

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Alternative writing systems

Gregg Shorthand, Pitman Shorthand, Shavian, The 1847 Alphabet

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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

Tower of Babel in constructed languages
http://cals.conlang.org/translation/the-tower-of-babel/
http://www.reddit.com/r/conlangs/comments/1l9tcb/translation_challenge_the_tower_of_babel/

Multilingual pages

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