It all started waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back to biblical days
Babel is mentioned in Genesis 10:10 as the home city of Nimrod.
 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.  Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,  And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. (KJV)
According to Genesis 11:1-9, mankind, after the deluge, travelled from the mountain of the East, where the ark had rested, and settled in 'a plain in the land of Shinar' (or Sennar). Here, they attempted to build a city and a tower whose top might reach unto Heaven, the Tower of Babel.
The Origin of Languages
The all-wise Creator, Jehovah God, has employed language in the heavenly angelic realm. (Job 1:6-12; 1 Corinthians 13:1) When he created humans, he implanted in them a vocabulary and the ability to expand it. There is no evidence of any primitive human language consisting of grunts and growls. On the contrary, consider what the Encyclopædia Britannica explains about Sumerian, the oldest known written language: "The Sumerian verb, with its . . .various prefixes, infixes, and suffixes, presents a very complicated picture."
At Babel, God confused the language
of rebellious humans
About the 20th century B.C.E., contrary to God's command to spread out and "fill the earth," humans made an effort to control all society at the Plains of Shinar, in Mesopotamia, and began building the religious Tower of Babel. Language diversity originated when God confused their common language, thwarting their dangerous and hurtful plans.—Genesis 1:28; 11:1-9.
The Bible record does not say that all languages descended from the original one. At Shinar, God introduced many new vocabularies and thought patterns, resulting in a variety of languages. Thus, efforts to trace a parent language from which all others developed have been in vain.
Language is a divine gift. (Exodus 4:11) The fascinating process of change in language shows how flexible this gift is. We may also learn from language that no one group of people is superior to another, for there is no such thing as an inferior language. Just as with other divine gifts, language is equally available to all people, no matter what their culture or the place where they live. Since the very beginning, languages of all peoples have been complete enough to serve their purpose. Each one of them is worthy of respect, regardless of how many people use it.
Historical and Social Factors
The gregarious nature of mankind is reflected in language. Thus, when there is contact between cultures—a common occurrence—the languages of those cultures retain evidence of such contact for generations.
For instance, through its many words of Arabic origin, Spanish, considered a modified version of Latin, retains a record of the eighth-century Muslim conquest of Spanish territory. The influence of Greek, French, English, and other languages on Spanish can also be traced. Moreover, in the Spanish spoken in America, traces remain of the ancient inhabitants of the continent. For example, Spanish there contains many words from the Nahuatl language of Aztec Central America.
Just as a mother tongue identifies individuals with a certain nation and even with a region, language usage can identify people with a group, such as a profession, a trade, cultural and sports groups, or even criminal organizations. The list is practically endless. Linguists call these special variations jargon or slang or sometimes even a dialect.
However, when there are animosities between nations and ethnic or cultural groups, language ceases to be a bridge. It can become a wall that adds to the divisions between people.
The Future of Languages
Communication is a complex matter. On one hand, the modern tendency is toward breaking down linguistic walls, primarily on account of mass media. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, English is now spoken as a primary or a secondary language by 1 person in 7. Thus, it is the most widely used lingua franca in the world. People's use of it has allowed for wider communication and the exchange of beneficial information.
On the other hand, linguistic walls have contributed to division, hatred, and war. The World Book Encyclopedia states: "If all peoples spoke the same tongue, . . .goodwill would increase between countries." Of course, such goodwill would require a much more profound change than the mere use of a lingua franca. Only the wise Creator of language could cause all people to speak one language.
The Bible, God's main means of communication with humans, clearly shows that soon God will eliminate this present wicked system of things and replace it with a government ruling from heaven—his Kingdom. (Daniel 2:44) That government will unite all mankind in a peaceful, righteous new system of things here on earth.—Matthew 6:9, 10; 2 Peter 3:10-13.
Even now, a pure spiritual language—the truth about Jehovah God and his purposes—is uniting millions of people from all languages, nationalities, and former religions. (Zephaniah 3:9) Thus, it would seem logical that in his new world, God would further unite mankind by providing all peoples with one common language, reversing what he did at Babel.
Answered By: DAVE - 5/8/2006