The term cuneiform refers to “wedge-shaped" writing (from the Latin cuneus for wedge), used for many ancient Near Eastern languages. The earliest surviving records of writing are composed of ideograms in the form of drawings or symbols. The drawings were later simplified and transformed into an assembly of strokes, the wedges, as it was easier to press them into the clay using a sharpened reed pen. Cuneiform writing evolved over time. The Sumerians invented this writing system and the Akkadians borrowed it to record their own language. Various languages, Semitic and Indo-European, have been written in cuneiform including Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Hurrian, Elamite and Persian.