Language facts: Dutch

Dutch is a West Germanic language primarily used in the Benelux region and an official EU language. It is closely related to other West Germanic languages (e.g., English, West Frisian and German) and somewhat more remotely to the North Germanic languages. Because of former ownership of colonies on the African continent, Dutch has considerably influenced Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Africa and the most widely understood language in Namibia. 

Nowadays the language is spoken by 24 million people around the world, primarily in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, where Dutch is one of the official languages, next to French and German. The Belgian version of Dutch is often referred to as Flemish (Vlaams), which covers a group of Dutch dialects with slight differences from standard Dutch. But what are the differences exactly?

Difference between Dutch and Flemish

Flemish, or Vlaams in Dutch, is the standard Dutch variant spoken in the Belgian region of Flanders, with approximately 6.1 million speakers. It includes several dialects, all of which are interrelated with the southwestern dialects of Dutch. The main differences are in pronunciation and frequency of certain words. Because certain words (around 3-4,000) are more frequent in Belgian Dutch, many refer to the language as Flemish, however the words are indeed part of standard Dutch. These different Flemish-preferred expressions are often considered as "old-fashioned" in Dutch. A slightly more old-fashioned sense of Flemish in comparison with Dutch is underlined also by a more formal tone of communication among speakers of Flemish. While Dutch people tend to switch from formal to informal tone rather quickly, Flemish speakers use more formal expressions (for which they are sometimes considered cold or unpleasant). However, there are no spelling differences between the Dutch language used in Belgium and the Dutch one used in the Netherlands. 

Alphabet

In addition to the standard English alphabet, Dutch ends with (…) X Y IJ Z. The alphabet is shared also with the Flemish dialects.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y IJ Z

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y ij z

Apply your company language: Build a glossary

In the translation industry, a glossary is basically a list of specific terminology that helps to ensure consistency in translation. Every language, every industry and even your very own company use specific expressions that need to be addressed and used properly in order to give your translated documents the right meaning. Additionally, glossary creation together with translation memory creation help you to significantly lower your future translation cost.

Why is a glossary such a big deal?

It's because working with glossaries in your organization creates unified expressions and ensures everyone understand each other. The same applies to translation: to assure we use your preferred terminology in documents we translate for you, it is important to have access to your glossaries. Especially  in technical documents, ambiguous terms and use of inaccurate or different expressions for the same term creates confusion and can in the worst case lead to safety issues.

The reason of having a well-maintained glossary is to prevent such risks. And while some companies have developed internal glossaries, we know based on experience that many still lack them. 

How to create a glossary in translation?

As proposals we can either help you to:

  • Expand an existing glossary with more terms and more languages, or 
  • Build new glossaries from scratch based on your existing multilingual documents. 

If source expressions do not exist, we usually begin by extracting typical terms and expressions from your existing source files. After this, the corresponding terms from matching target documents are added to create bilingual glossaries. This can be done for one language or many. It is possible to build glossaries from basically any kind of document type, including the PDF file format.

At idioma, we use an in-developed application, Term Grabber, to make this work straight-forward and highly efficient. And later in real translation projects, we then apply glossary checking to make sure your glossary terms have been correctly used.

To create a glossary or to update and maintain your existing one, feel free to contact our project managers.

Language facts: Tamil

Tamil is spoken in southern India, Sri Lanka and Singapore and by many migrant groups in Malaysia, South Africa, and even Canada, USA and parts of West Europe. It is the official language in Sri Lanka, the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Puducherry, with around 85 million native speakers. It is also one of the official languages of Singapore.

Tamil is based on the Dravidian vocabulary and has received strong impact from Sanskrit, however, the pure Tamil movement in the 20th century has sought to remove this influence, and there is now a movement to build expressions and words on Tamil roots, while in this process also replacing many loan words from English and other languages. 

One of the longest surviving languages

In India, Tamil is one of the 22 scheduled languages and as such, like the other languages, the tongue is subject to official measures to further develop the language. Tamil has existed for more than 2,000 years and can be traced back to the 3rd century B.C. It is regarded as one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world, and as such offers a wealth of classical traditions. There is a huge variety of literature written in Tamil script, moreover the earliest manuscripts found in India were in Tamil. Thanks to Christian missionaries, who published a book of Tamil prayers, it has become also the first Indian language to be printed. Modern Tamil was also influenced by contacts with European culture (e.g. use of European-style punctuation or consonant clusters, or a more rigid word order, which resembles the syntax of English – due to understandable historical reasons). 

Alphabet

Vowels:

அ ஆ இ ஈ உ ஊ எ ஏ ஐ ஒ ஓ ஔ

 

Consonants:

க் ங் ச் ஞ் ட் ண் த் ந் ப் ம் ய் ர் ல் வ் ழ் ள் ற் ன்

 

Tamil numerals (0 to 10)

௦ ௧ ௨ ௩ ௪ ௫ ௬ ௭ ௮ ௯ ௰

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