Eli5 How are dead languages translated to something understandable when found out in the beggining

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Eli5 How are dead languages translated to something understandable when found out in the beggining

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By finding it also written in non dead languages.

The Rosetta Stone is a famous example. It was a decree written in multiple languages. I think 2 of them were still known and so it was used to decipher the ancient Egyptian. It though was still a lot of painstaking work as languages don’t normally translate one for one, with the same grammar, etc.

Find something written in the dead language where you can guess what it says based on context – maybe because it’s also written in other languages, maybe because of where you found it, or where you find other copies of the same thing. The more you find, the more your confidence you can have. And if you can figure out even just a few words based on another find, you can use that to make better guesses about the rest of the words around it.

It’s a puzzle you put together piece by piece, getting slowly more confident in your solution.

You can just look up how people do it. Do a Google search.

Or, this is not a joke, look up a college university close to you with a linguistics department, and literally call them on the phone and the linguistics people.

People do what you’re asking about everyday. It’s called Historical Linguistics. So there’s a wealth of info about there about how it’s done.

In my opinion this sub shouldn’t be a crutch for people who don’t want to research questions that are easily researched.