how do ancient civilizations communicate? Since if an empire is rly big then would different areas have different languages? And how do people translate if they can’t learn another language since they don’t understand each other?

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how do ancient civilizations communicate? Since if an empire is rly big then would different areas have different languages? And how do people translate if they can’t learn another language since they don’t understand each other?

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The way of communication was mostly couriers. Riding in some parts, running where horses weren’t available.

The languages are less of an issue. Travelling traders always existed, and they learned the language of distant lands from immersion (point thing, they say the word, you memorize)

By the time large empires formed there already was a whole trader tradition that could teach languages to potential messangers/diplomats.

And yes, this inefficient and slow form of communication made direct control of large empires very hard. You needed loyal people to oversee a region in your absense.

>how do ancient civilizations communicate?

By talking or writing. Why do you think it’s any different than today? The only difference is that written messages or messengers who memorized messages had to physically be sent to their destinations, which took time.

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>Since if an empire is rly big then would different areas have different languages?

Certainly, yes. In the Roman Empire, Latin was the official language, but there were many regional languages such as Greek, Coptic, and Aramaic, among others.

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>And how do people translate if they can’t learn another language since they don’t understand each other?

Why wouldn’t they be able to learn new languages? How do you think people learn new languages exactly?

Unifying language is what states and empires do.

when independent tribes and city states and small fiefdoms get merged into larger states and kingdoms and empires one of the things that usually happens is that the language gets unified. Either by having one language be used for administration while the common people keep their own or by forcibly making everyone sue the common language.

Papua New Guinea which until a few generations ago was inhabited by a number of independent tribes, has over 850 spoken languages because of that lack of empire unifying them until recently.

There is a claim that as recently as 1789 less than 50$ the people in France spoke French and only a fraction of those spoke it well with many rural areas having their own related but mutually incomprehensible dialects like Occitan or langue d’oc.

Italy before its unification was home to a large number of very different version of Italian.

On the other hand the Roman empire and the catholic church spread Latin throughout the world and kept it alive as a language of the faith.

Colonialism spread European languages like English and French throughout the world.

In the US and Canada until quite recently the government had been involved in a campaign to exterminate the languages spoken by the natives.

Spreading their languages is what empires do.

Another mechanisms to spread language is trade.

People find ways to do business with one another and spread languages commonly used by traders that way.

Even in places like Papua where every tribe had their own languages someone always speaks enough of the language of the neighboring tribes to exchange goods and often wives.

If you are an empire conquering a bunch of independent tribes like that, you may end up having a chain of translators who each know the language of the next guy. This sort of thing happened during the conquest of the Americas a lot.

If you are in charge of an empire you likely have people who speak the languages of the groups around you and who your merchants trade with and so will any other empire you want to send messages to.