Vanished Voices – The Indo-European Phrase Book App

How did people speak thousands of years ago? How did their language sound? This app is as close to time travel as you can get.

In 2020, the Leiden Indo-European department created an app about the Indo-European language family, in order to demonstrate to non-linguists how these languages are related to each other by using eleven sentences in several stages of Indo-European languages.

In the app you can scroll between modern languages, historical languages and reconstructed stages of these languages and see in what way the languages changed over time.

Audio files have been added to give an impression how speakers of these ancient languages might have pronounced these sentences.

For each word short pieces of information have been given about what happened between the historical stages of the languages.  

The app ‘Vanished Voices’ takes fully into account the Indo-Anatolian model, according to which the Anatolian branch was a sister language of Proto-Indo-European rather than a daughter language, both going back to an even earlier proto-language called Proto-Indo-Anatolian.

The app can be downloaded for free:

The app is part of the research project ‘Splitting the Mother Tongue’ (2015 – 2020).