Genesis 11:8 (ESV)

8 So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.

The result of this intervention is that the people cease to continue living together in one place. They seek out those speaking the same language and proceed to live and work in different places on the earth. Here it is important to note that the Lord does not act arbitrarily in terms of directing the language development of people. He ensures that all the families constituting a specific nation speak the same language. They can stay together. When the text is understood in connection with Genesis 10:1–32 it becomes evident that nations indeed only arose after the confusion of tongues, but from families that had already existed before the confusion of tongues. The members of the families constituting such a nation speak the same language.