Long, long ago, in a place far away, there was a big plain called Shinar. All the people who lived there spoke the same language. They could easily understand each other, just like you and your best friend do!
One day, the people had an idea. They said to one another, “Let’s make bricks and bake them until they’re hard.”
They used these bricks instead of stones and sticky tar instead of mortar.
With these materials, they began building. “Let’s build a city!” they exclaimed, “with a tower that reaches to the sky!
This will make us famous and keep us all together so we don’t get scattered all over the world.”
But while the people were busy building, God looked down and saw what they were doing. He said, “They are all one people, and they all speak the same language. If they can do this, they will be able to do anything they put their minds to.”
God wanted the people to spread out and fill the earth, not just stay in one place. So, He came up with a plan.
God said, “I will confuse their language so they won’t understand each other anymore.” And that’s exactly what He did!
The next day, when the workers tried to talk to each other, it was all mixed up! One man asked for a brick, but the other handed him a bucket. Another tried to ask for water but got a hammer instead. It was chaos!
Frustrated and unable to understand each other, the people decided to move away. They spread out, going in all different directions, starting new communities where they spoke their new languages.
And the tall tower they were building? It was never finished. People began to call it “Babel,” which means “confused,” because it was there that God mixed up their language and scattered them all over the earth.
And that, dear children, is the story of how we have so many different languages in the world!