Language facts: Arabic

Arabic belongs to the Afroasiatic language family and is a Semitic language of the Arabo-Canaanite subgroup – therefore closely related to Hebrew or Phoenician. 

With approximately 290 million speakers (of Modern Standard Arabic), it ranks in sixth place among the world’s major languages. In today's form, Modern Standard Arabic happens to be an official language of 27 states. Only English and French score higher. As the Arabic world is very large, it is not surprising that a large number of Arabic dialects have developed – counting all these, the number of Arabic speakers rises to an estimated 420 million. Arabic is the language of the Holy Quran, poetry and literature as well as an official UN language. As a liturgical language of Islam, it is used by an astonishing 1.6 billion Muslims.

Complicated language of complicated society

Arabic is a so-called sociolinguistic language, which means that from a purely linguistic view it's actually a group of familiar languages. For cultural (e.g. religious) or socioeconomic reasons it is considered as one language, though, despite that there are branches of Arabic that are mutually unintelligible. Arabic can be sub-classified as follows: Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. Obviously there's also a large number of dialects.

Classical Arabic (or Quranic Arabic) is used as the language of prayer and recitation throughout the Islamic world. Modern Standard Arabic, a constituted version of the language, is, though intelligible, much distinct from the spoken variants of Arabic dialects (with no observable boundaries or rules). The official constituted form of Arabic actually co-exist in common usage with various Arabic dialects while covering different social situations.

The language of culture

Because of Muslim expansion in the past, Arabic has influenced a lot of the world's languages, including Indian languages such as Urdu (which is in fact a Muslim influenced version of Hindi – that was actually also previously influenced by Arabic), Punjabi or Bengali. Also Roman languages, mainly Spanish, Catalan or Portuguese, borrowed many expressions from Arabic in the middle ages, when the Muslim world represented the cultural and scientific drive in then decimated Europe.

Alphabet

The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight (28) letters. Arabic differs from Latin languages in that it is written right to left, but sequences of digits, such as telephone numbers, read from left to right.

أ ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي

Language facts: Hindi

Standard Hindi, also known as Modern Hindi, is mutually intelligible with Urdu, another Indian language. Hindi is the official language in India and has borrowed its vocabulary heavily from Sanskrit. Hindi has close to 500 million speakers including Hindi dialects (41% of the population in India) which makes it the 4th largest language of the world, after Chinese, Spanish, and English.

Language as a political tool

Standard Hindi is based on Khariboli, a dialect of Delhi and surrounding regions. In the 17th century, this dialect acquired linguistic prestige and became generally known as Hindustani or Urdu. After India became independent, a language reform led to Standard Hindi with a modern grammar and orthographic standards. While many Hindi and Urdu speakers claim these are two different languages, this is largely due to religious nationalism and communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims. It is in a fact hard to tell the colloquial languages from each other. In the Indian constitution from 1950, Hindi was declared the principal national language of India, instead of Urdu. This "settled" the dispute politically (also with a contribution of Mahatma Gandhi who criticized the division), although certain resistance persists until today. 

One country, 22 languages

It may be worthwhile to note that English is the secondary national language due to historical and cultural development of India. Fluency in English is considered a social advantage. English is India's lingua franca and is widely used in higher society, politics as well as in business. Apart from official Hindu and English, there is over 20 officially recognized languages in India, including Urdu, Assamese, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Nepali, Kannada, Gujarati and others.

Alphabet

The main script of Standard Hindi is Devanagari, it is also the most commonly used alphabet for writing Sanskrit.

अ ब भ क च छ ड/द ध/ढ़ इ फ ग घ ह ई ज क ख ल म न/ण ऑ प फ क्यू र स श ट/त ठ/थ उ व व क्ष य झ

Language facts: German

German is the official language of Germany and Austria and one of the official languages of Switzerland and Belgium, as well as an official language of the European Union and the European Commission. It is used by more than 100 million speakers and belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic languages. Apart from Standard German of Germany spoken by 88 million, Austrian German (Österreichisches Deutsch) it has 8 million speakers, while Swiss German (Schweizerdeutsch) has 5 million speakers. Moreover, there are about 80 million non-native speakers.
FACT: German is also the second most used scientific language.

Too many dialects

German is an interesting language also because a vast number of flavors and dialects, some of which are so distant and even mutually non-interchangeable with Standard German, so they are considered separate languages (such as Swiss German for instance). Even though Standard German existed in written form, the pronunciation was (and in fact still remains) very different in every region and dialect. The Standard German pronunciation was influenced by North German (although, strange enough, it was learnt as a foreign language in Northern Germany itself) as well as the stage form of German used in theaters. 

The standardization of written German in fact did not occur until the beginning of the 20th century. It's worthy to note that the most comprehensive German dictionary was created by the famous German authors, The Grimm Brothers. Another important role in German standardization was also played with the publication of Martin Luther's Bible. 

Interesting fact: there is one German dialect (considered a separate language today) that is not written in Latin, but in Hebrew script and it is Yiddish – the old German dialect of Ashkenazi Jews, originated in Central Europe around 9th century.

West vs. East German

Although it might seem that 40 years of division between East and West Germany caused also variation in language, it had just a little influence given a too short development period. There are certain words that are culturally different in today's western and eastern Deutschland due to Russian influence (e.g. astronaut (West) vs. kosmonaut (East), or Gartenhaus vs. Datsche (Russian expression for garden house). Also brands influenced certain terms, e.g. tissue – Kleenex in the US – is termed "Tempo" in the West, after the major tissue producer in Germany, but only a general expression "Papiertaschentuch" is used in the East.

Alphabet

The German alphabet is basically the same as the English one, exept for the addition of the special characters Ä, Ö, Ü / ä, ö, ü, ß (so called sharp S – originally scharfen S or "Eszett", sometimes replaced in writing with a double "s" (common in Switzerland). The Eszett character is rather interesting, because it doesn't have an upper case form). When sorting, these extra letters are treated like their base characters, as if the dots (umlauts) were not present. 

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 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 z

Language facts: Russian

Russian is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, and the largest native language in Europe. It belongs to the family of Indo-European languages.  Russian is the native language of around 165 million people and second language of an additional 110 million people.  Startling fact: Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. Nowadays, Russian is spoken primarily in Russia and Belarus, partly Ukraine and is also one of six official languages of the United Nations as well as official EU language.

To foreigner's ears, most of other Slavic languages sound similar to Russian, although the languages are far from being interchangeable (in fact it is even less mutually similar than Romance languages are).

Language of the red Empire

Due to the status of the former Soviet Union as a superpower, Russian had great political importance in the 20th century and was in fact forced as a second language to all countries under Soviet influence, including central European countries and East Germany. Russian was a mandatory subject in school, even a mandatory part of school leaving exams. After the Soviet union collapsed, public attitude towards Russian language in satellite countries went to the opposite extreme, neglecting and suppressing the language out of general education while swiftly replacing it with English due to new political trends. Until today, a lot of 50+ people in post-communist countries still read the Cyrillic script (Azbuka) and have a general understanding and basic knowledge of Russian.

Alphabet

Russian uses the Cyrillic script, which is originally derived from the Greek script, but adjusted and supplemented by some letters from so called Glagolitic alphabet, developed by the brothers Cyril and Methodius, in order to comply with Old Church Slavonic sounds. Old Church Slavonic was, at that time, considered 4th liturgical language for a brief period beside Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Although a dead speech now, its still being used in the Orthodox church.

А Б В Г Д Е Ё Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я

idioma ranked in Asia TOP 30 by CSA Research!

Growing while helping others to expand on new markets with our translation and localization services. Our simple philosophy, 35 years of experience, high quality standards as well as internal research and development that ensured the most innovative and efficient processes move us and our clients forward. 

Satisfied clientele is the highest form of credit to us, but being recognized by independent world-renowned research company feels, well, rather nice as well :) 

Today we feel just that way, as idioma (with headquarters in Tokyo) scored #18 in rankings of the biggest language service providers in Asia (and #4 in Japan) in terms of revenue, issued by renowned Common Sense Advisory(CSA research).

"This is indeed an honor, but behind this recognition there is also a lot of hard work. We have our clients to thank of course, but a lot of credit should go to the people who have helped us reach this far; this is of course our staff, all our translators and other suppliers, and not the least our programmers. We are currently working on new solutions and additional services, so I am confident that we'll stay in this race and hopefully achieve an even higher ranking in coming years," says managing director of idioma's Prague production and R&D center, Steen Carlsson.

With our new internal benchmark, we already work hard on going up the ladder in 2016!

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Language facts: French

French is a Romance language spoken by 65 to 80 million people around the world as a native language, and by an additional 200 million or so people as a second or third language. Most native speakers of the language live in France, while most of the rest live in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Francophone Africa, Luxembourg and Monaco. French originates from the Latin language of the Roman Empire. Today, it is an official language in 29 countries, especially in many African countries, most of them former French or Belgian colonies. French is the official EU language, as well as one of the three working languages of the European Commission.

Language of artists, diplomats and chefs

Dollarphotoclub 79094140Around 17th century, French became a widespread lingua franca (in fact replacingItalian that enjoyed such popularity during the Renaissance period), similar to today's status of English. It has been much used in science, diplomacy, even arts for several centuries – in fact, until World War II. (The first signs of French being pushed back by English emerged after World War I., e.g. when the Treaty of Versailles was written in both French and English, despite former diplomatic convention). The truth is that English has been widely influenced by French and many English words related to law, government, military, and, of course, cuisine and cooking, are derived from French vocabulary (lieutenant (same), attorney/atourné, treaty/traité, finance/finer, fee/fie, jail/jaiole, etc). In case of French cuisine-related words (picnic/piquenique, spice/espice, soup/soupe, sausage/saussiche, juice/jus, beef/boef, etc), some of them are used in English even with original French spelling (grape, menu, bacon, omelette and so forth).

French in translation

It is important to note that in translation, documents destined for France can usually be used as they are in Belgium, Switzerland, etc. There are no major differences. In Belgium, to give an example, they have their own word for ninety "nonante", but the French equivalent "quatre-vingt-dix" is generally understood. However when documents are intended for Canada, they should be translated into Canadian French since there are significant differences between standard French and Canadian French. Canada for example has taken in many loan words from its US neighbor, and the language at times tends to be more formal than European French. And when working with translation memories, it is important to separate the two by their correct languages codes. Use "fr-ca" for Canadian French.

Alphabet

French uses the standard English alphabet with added ligatures (œ and æ) and also frequent use of acute accent ( ´ ), grave accent ( ` ), circumflex ( ˆ ), diaeresis ( ¨ ), and the cedilla ( ¸ ). Diacritics have no impact on the primary alphabetical order. 

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 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 z

Italian is a member of the Romance group of languages. It is the official language of Italy, San Marino and Vatican City, and one of the official languages of Switzerland. Italian is spoken by about 58 million people in Italy, 30,000 in San Marino, and 840,000 in Switzerland. Italian is regarded as the 4th or 5th most studied language in the world and is also an official EU language. It is also one of the most visited countries in the world – close to 40 million people go there every year – which could explain the interest in studying Italian.

Medieval lingua franca

Italian is descendant of Latin, or better said Vulgar (common) Latin, and shares or resembles Latin in terms of vocabulary more than other Romance languages. From late medieval to Renaissance (mainly due to the cultural and trade impact and dominance of Italy) Italian had a function of so called lingua franca – universal language in trade and international relations in Europe, similar to today's English. Italian is profound with its number of mutually incompatible dialects and it is said (with a little overstatement) that two neighboring villages don't understand each other when speaking in their own regional dialect. 

Well-known Italian words

While it is common for many languages to have borrowed words from English and French, Italian is also a language from which many tongues have picked up a few terms. The most well-known are perhaps 'Pizza' (a word understood almost all over the word), 'Bank', 'Alarm' and 'Ghetto'. Other borrowed words that spring to mind come from the world of music and performance, e.g. 'Piano', 'Violin' and 'Opera'. In the world of science, look no further than 'Volt', which is an electric unit named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the world's first battery in 1779. 

Alphabet

Italian uses the same letters as in the English alphabet, with acute, grave and circumflex accents on vowels. Some letters (j, k, w, x, y) are excluded from the standard Italian though, used only in loan words.

 

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 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 z

FRESH - INTERACTIVE - EFFECTIVE. 

newstream finalOn June 1st, we released our new website and brand new idioma WORLD™ platform to enhance your possibilities in the translation universe. 

Apart from new services such as Translation Memory creation, Glossary Creation and our unique Stream Translation API, all current services, including Stream (for instant online estimates of translation price and delivery term) and Ask (systematized language queries) have been completely redesigned including a full overhaul of the functionality to make everything more user-friendly. 

The new idioma WORLD™ replaces our former TC platform and stuns users with a fresh, intuitive design. Moreover, it was designed to meet the new Web 3.0 standards and fully complies with mobile device requirements.

newstream final2idioma WORLD™ controls all aspects of every project we handle. The system is closely interlinked with iQube, our web-based translation platform, which all translators and verifiers work against online. idioma WORLD™ has been developed in-house to manage localization projects the way we want. The system keeps track of all project details, including individual project steps. 

As a client, you can track on-going projects, who is the translator and reviewer, and easily see the progress on translation projects as percent ready. This can be highly useful for your planning and to assure you that delivery will be on time, especially when deadlines are tight. Obviously, as an intranet solution, idioma WORLD™ has built in https encryption/decryption with SSL certificates to ensure your data is safe and cannot be sniffed or hacked.

However, it's not just our clients, who will benefit from new idioma WORLD™ platform. The redesign included, inter alia, also supplier pages, adding motivational statistics and analysis of translator performance (including translation and verification speed and quality indicators). Thanks to this, as well as a comprehensive booking and availability tracking system, we take translation quality and speedy turnaround  to even higher levels. 

IWmyaccountCLIENTDon't have your idioma WORLD™ account yet? Register now at www.idioma.com and enjoy a whole new experience in ordering and managing translation projects! 

Language facts: Chinese

First of all, it's important to mention that there's not only one universal written Chinese language. There are two dominating written systems of Chinese – Simplified used in mainland China and also an official writing system in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and other overseas Chinese diasporas. Then is traditional Chinese used largely in Taiwan and still in Hong Kong and Macau. Interestingly, spoken Chinese is not recognized as simple vs. traditional, but as Mandarin (mainland) and Cantonese (Hong Kong) dialects.

Simplified Chinese

Chinese is the most important language among Sino-Tibetan tongues. Simplified Chinese is the official language spoken by the world's largest population, namely in the People's Republic of China, and the basic communication tool of today's most buoyant economy. This language system, consisting of several thousands of characters with each having unique meanings, is dramatically different from the western languages in terms of its wording, syntax and methods of expression. Simplified Chinese characters were promoted  mainly in the 1950s and 1960s by the governments of the People's Republic of China in attempt to increase literacy. If you are seeking business opportunities or planning to explore markets in China or Singapore, it's definitely a winning strategy to send over your messages in Simplified Chinese!

Traditional Chinese

Standard Chinese has developed gradually from the Mandarin dialect in the north of China over several hundred years, with the Peking tone as its standard tone. Traditional Chinese is the official language of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The writing system is also referred to as ‘standard', ‘orthodox’ and ‘complex characters’. Chinese is currently the language used by most people in the world as nearly one fifth of the world's population, or about 1.3 billion people, speak Chinese as their native  language.

One of the most ancient languages in the world, with a history of 6,000 years today is also one of the working languages of the U.N. both in traditional and simplified forms.

Alphabet

Using special hieroglyphs, Chinese has a character as its minimum unit. Characters are meaning-representative  syllabic characters, with the special characteristics of integration of vision, voice and meaning. Syllables can be divided into three parts, namely initial consonant, compound vowel and tune. 

Alphabet samples:

欢迎您采用我们的翻译服务

20x30 PRAA1422Every May since 1995, there has been a big runners' event going on in Prague – the Prague International Marathon, celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. The Prague Marathon has risen in popularity and has become one of the most prestigious city marathons in the world, hosting up to ten thousand runners from many different countries. The Prague Marathon even gained  IAFF Gold Label status in 2010, an award that only 17 city marathons has won world-wide so far. 
Of course, as the  Prague office of idioma includes a number of serious sportsmen of all kind, we had our representatives in a peloton of the major marathon event this year in the Czech Republic. READY - SET - GO!

Finish line of heroes

photoThe first idioma runner, Tomas – one of our IT and TM guys, has already participated in various half-marathons, but this time he decided to go all the way and apply for his first full marathon in life.

"I had a feeling that (compared to half-marathons) the crowd in the audience was more appreciative and grateful towards the runners who actually passed the finish line. It didn't matter whether someone made it in 4 or 6 hours, everyone was cheered and applauded rapturously. A lot of little kids were standing by the track with their hands extended, eagerly asking for high-fives and having a wonderfully joyful time when they collected some." 

Although probably gripping for foreigners and out-of-Prague participants, the marathon circuit starting and ending at the famous Old Town Square, runs through Prague's old town and along the Vltava riverbanks. Still these were unsatisfactory vistas for Tomas, who's been living in Prague for years. "The track is indeed long, but to me also a bit boring – after the 10th km had passed, I contemplated how to (except for the running) entertain myself for the next 3 hours", he said. As marathon is both physically and psychically exhausting, it's definitely a discipline for winner-oriented minds. "At  the 32nd kilometer I got struck by a terrible pain in my knee, so I alternately ran and limped the last 10 kilometers. But I told myself I just had to make it through the finish line."

Don't dive and run

20x30 PRAA5384Another story is our Prague office manager Jan, an experienced marathon wolf running already his 2nd full marathon. Being a passionate long-distance and cross-country runner, Jan rarely misses events and opportunities for a good run. But, as Jan remarked, "life is too short to enjoy all we wish to do and sometimes we need to pick just one". But this wasn't the case this time, as the choice was really impossible.

"Last weekend, two events of my favorite activities took place at the same time – two days of deep technical diving in beautiful lakes in Austria, followed by participating in  the Prague International Marathon on Sunday, with only one short night in between", Jan said. "All was just beautiful and great, however, it made me  realize one deep truth: man can do just one activity with top results, or can enjoy several activities, but on lower level only. The price I had to pay for the great weekend combining my two obsessions was a lot of pain and personal overwhelming, for just a very average marathon result – 4:15, more than 30 minutes behind my best time". 

Despite Jan's little disappointment over his 2015 Prague Marathon result, the truth is that there's not many people who would even run a full marathon, but instead walk the full  distance. Therefore we congratulate all the Prague Marathon participants...but mostly Tomas and Jan!20x30 PRAG0871

iqube bigMultilingual documentation has become increasingly challenging over the years – quality in translation must be maintained while we match clients’ detailed specifications accompanied with short deadlines. One translator can only produce so much in a day, and splitting projects on multiple translators usually affects the overall style and draw negative feedback from clients. As we accept clients’ requests with increasingly shorter delivery terms, it is unrealistic to make translators remember each and every instruction and use reference material that overwhelm rather than help. We have taken this issue into serious consideration to be able to handle volume projects in short time frames without this affecting the quality. So, through extensive development and testing, we have developed an innovative translation platform called “iQube”.

TM engines – friends or foes?

iQube™ is a smart Translation Memory (TM) solution developed in-house at idioma. It represents a 3-dimensional service: Quality, Quantity, and Quickness. Many TM tools exist in the translation industry today, each with different advantages. We have tried to implement most of these in iQube while we have kept an extremely simple interface. From experience we know that the majority of translators struggle in a TM environment, many are lost in all the available settings and almost everyone complain that tags in existing TM systems make actual translation difficult and post-checking even more so. Style, being another issue, is difficult to unify as every translator has different writing styles. As such iQube was designed as an intelligent TM platform, where emphasis was on a clean work environment for the translator to make it easier to concentrate on the translation task and subsequent verification of translated documents.

4 reasons 4 iQube™ 

iQube™ accentuates Quality, Quantity, and Quickness in translation in the following ways:

  1. Integrated QA! idioma’s CrossCheck® QA application is completely integrated in iQube – each and every segment that is translated and verified is subject to mandatory QA checking to make sure Quality is not compromised.
  2. Highly customizable! iQube™ can be adapted to match client specifications – it notifies translators working on projects about client preferences, even checking to make sure writing rules are respected.
  3. Team work! If you have a tight deadline and are in a hurry, we can divide your project among multiple translators who will work in real time together against the iQube™ platform so translators can check and reuse each others’ work. This common way of working ensures unification of style in translated content.
  4. Process automation! As translation projects become increasingly complex with unification and detailed specifications constituting core issues, iQube™ systematizes glossary use, automates QA checks, and style sheet loading, this way contributing to Quickness.

1 more reason – it is Free!

A fifth reason should also be mentioned. iQube™ is offered for free use to all idioma suppliers. There is no need to invest 50, 100 or even 1,000 Euro in an expensive commercial solution that you don´t know will be useful or even used again. The iQube™ software solution also undergoes continuous change to make sure it is always up-to-date, making it an ideal work tool for translators and reviewers.

The better TM engine, the better translation?

The end result to clients is of course shortened delivery terms with enhanced consistency in their documentation. iQube™ has positively changed the translators’ work experience. Translators now receive maximum assistance and can focus on producing premium quality translation. As iQube™ manages the translators’ work environment, we recommend generation of custom glossaries, style sheet creation, and to specify project parameters prior to starting projects. We are determined to make your translation perfect. By combining iQube™ with our QA services, we can guarantee a completely different quality dimension on your translation projects even when working with large volumes and short deadlines. To get to know more about iQube™, please contact us (either via email or just call our office for further assistance), or visit www.idioma.com

Language facts: Spanish

Spanish (español) or Castilian (castellano) is an Indo-European, Romance language that originated in northern Spain and gradually spread in the Kingdom of Castile eventually evolving into the principal language of government and trade (mainly thanks to King Alfonso, who standardized the language for official use already in 13th century). It was taken to Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the time of Columbus exploring the New world, Spanish reached the point where it would be understandable even today. The authority in terms of standard Spanish is The Royal Spanish Academy, that has been producing grammar guides and dictionaries since 18th century.

Lucrative language

Spanish is the official language of more than twenty countries, mainly in the Americas besides Spain, but it is generally spoken on all five continents. It's also one of the EU languages as well as one of six official languages of the United Nations. Interestingly, after Chinese Mandarin, is Spanish language most spoken around the world by the number of speakers who has it as a mother language. Spanish language is spoken as the first and second language by between 450 and 500 million persons. Spanish is said to be quite easy to learn, also due to being one of the most phonetic languages in the world.

From Latin to Arabic

The Spanish, as other Romance languages, is a modern extension of spoken Latin (also called Vulgar Latin) from around the 3rd century A.D. However, the evolution of Spanish language was heavily influenced by Arabic and later also English. The resemblance between English and Spanish is quite visible, while the two languages share a large volume of common words and expressions. 

Alphabet:

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

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

English is spoken as a native language by around 375 million people (250 million people in the USA, 180 million in India, 58 million in the UK, 18 million in Canada, and 16 million in Australia) and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. English is the official language in 53 countries and enjoys special status in at least twenty plus more countries with a total population reach of over two billion. As for now, we can surely say Modern English stands its ground as the most popular and dominant language in international communications, probably even more so than Latin in former days. This is due to global historical development and possibly also the simplicity of English grammar compared to other world languages in addition to its significantly rich, extensive vocabulary (although it is said you only need to learn 2,000 basic words to start communicating in English). English is an official EU language and actual one of the "procedural", i.e. working, languages at the institution. English is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Dialects and foreigners' nightmare...or nitemare?

Every language obviously generates various dialects through its use. And since English is the world's most popular language, the differences of speech in various regions are much more pronounced. Most of English learners can distinguish between British, American, or Australian English after only several lessons, the more experienced have no problem identifying  dialects by sub-region (a New Yorker would definitely not pass as Texan, and Irish and Yorkshire dialect speakers wouldn't fool anyone they are from Devon). Typically as a foreign learner of Oxford or Cambridge English, in your first encounter with native British speakers you could be in for a rather shocking experience. Maybe even making you doubt the legitimacy of all that time and money spent on countless English lessons, as you feel like being spoken to in Klingon. Once the shock has faded though, endless English dialects and differences are actually something to be even enjoyed. Not so much in case of writing. Color vs. Colour, Center vs. Centre, and Neighbour vs. Neighbor. Interestingly, there was no standard for English spelling until the early 18th century and it was basically established with the publishing of the dictionaries of Samuel Johnson (Dictionary of the English Language, 1755) followed by the current British English and of Noah Webster (An American Dictionary of The English Language, 1828). It is worth noticing that the first attempts of spelling standardization followed soon after the printing press invention arrived in England in the 15th century. Nowadays, the difference between BrE and AmE emerges also in the world of computers, where PC keyboard layout differs.

English translation specifics

When we translate into English, it is important to know for which market documents are intended. Everyone knows that Queen’s English differs from US English in spelling. The examples above are well-known, others are more subtle differences such as use of past tense of verbs where UK English uses “-lled”, while US English uses “-led”. And which variant uses a period in “Mr”? Even simple things such as a writing the date differ.

As a result, sometimes it is worth contemplating whether texts should be published in different English language variants. In car manuals, for example, the British put their travelling bag in the boot and head for the motorway. An American would put his travelingbag in the trunk and get on the highway. And when it rains in London, children put on their wellingtons…

Alphabet:

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 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 z

Aftercare. That magic something that distinguishes good and bad service providers in general. The more intense the client-provider relationship is, the more relevant data are generated, and this in turn helps the service provider improve and customize the client experience. In the translation business, though, where the translation process itself is being slowly taken over by machines, human support and aftercare services still is a core issue that makes a difference. 

Our care starts before your order

Having 35 years of experience in translation and localization still give us an edge when it comes to the size of useful translation memories (TM) and glossary resources, especially since we focus on technical translation. With a significant part of Clients’ source texts already pre-processed within past projects, proper application of these well-maintained translation memories and associated glossaries significantly shortens the time and reduces the cost of translation projects. This is one reason why our care starts even before your order – always ensuring that you can benefit from our state-of-the-art expertise. idioma’s aftercare and extensive support also includes maintenance of your TM resources and ensuring it is error-free, and we strive to inform you via unique reports about text segment issues, such as inconsistencies, just to give an example.

Another feature of our Premium Aftercare is Last Minute Additions, enabling you to use our express translation service to translate small projects, such as text additions and amendments within 4 working hours (CET). And we don’t charge an arm and a leg for this help – if you need 5 words translated, you only pay for these 5 words, no minimums, no start-up fees or other hidden charges.

Ask! for premium aftercare

Ask! - Premium Aftercare service by idioma

Ask! is a service concept we offer to clients to place questions and other issues related to translations and localization in a convenient, organized way. It is available online, runs 24/7, and it can be used by anyone. You don't even need to have had your project translated by us to be able to benefit from Ask! And guess what… It's FREE! Use the service to question and comment content in your translated documents, or to simply request additions and amendments in a completed delivery, without drowning in e-mails and inevitably loosing track of the job flow.

Eventually, there are real human beings behind every single process we execute. And despite of the increasing use of machines in the translation process, here atidioma, we go beyond the algorithms to also emphasize the craftsmanship and care you take for given when e.g. visiting your hairdresser.

To learn more about our aftercare, please visit www.idioma.com

Language facts: Swedish

Swedish (or Svenska) is the mother tongue of idioma's top management and one of the Scandinavian languages, a branch of the Germanic languages - North Germanic, or East Scandinavian in particular. 

Viking heritage and God bless Guttenberg

Swedish is the official language of Sweden and due to six centuries of Swedish supremacy also one of the two (and equal) official languages of Finland. Until World War II, it was also spoken in parts of Estonia and Latvia. Swedish is an official EU as well as a Nordic Council language, spoken by approximately 9 million people in Sweden and by around 300,000 people in Finland. 

Similar to e.g. Czech and Slovak, Swedish is mutually intelligible with Danish as well as Norwegian, but only to some extent. This is actually a Viking period heritage, as these languages have a common predecessor, the Old Norse, generally spoken in Scandinavia by Germanic tribes. New classifications in fact label Swedish together with Norwegian and Danish as one branch of Continental Scandinavian languages. It was not until the invention of printing and the Reformation movement for what is now known as modern Swedish that the language emerged. King of Sweden Gustav Vasa wanted to have the Bible translated into his native language, and indeed, in 1541 the Gustav Vasa Bible was introduced, representing the first full Swedish Bible translation, common in use for almost four centuries, until 1917.

Swedish language influence and translation specifics

Dollarphotoclub 68212871
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte became
 King of Sweden as Karl XIV Johan
in 1818  and reigned till 1846.
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Over the years, Swedish language has taken over many loan words from other languages. A number of French expressions were introduced in the early 19th century when the Royal House of Sweden took in a French marshal, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, from the Napoleon reign. He took over the throne in 1818, but never managed to learn proper Swedish during his 26-year reigh, instead communicating in  the international French language.
Now, in more modern times with the influx of computers and the digital age, the vocabulary has expanded with many English words – often replacing or anglicizing old-style traditional Swedish words for better or worse.

In translation, documents in Swedish tend to address the reader directly and in the informal style instead of the more common passive voice as used in English language, or the polite "Sie" form in German.

Alphabet: 

Swedish uses the Latin alphabet and has in addition to English three extra letters … X Y Z Å Ä Ö. Interesting to note is that sorting follows this order, and e.g. the "Ö" entries are not included under "O", nor the "Å" and "Ä" under "A" as one does in e.g. German.

The vowel "Ö" is often perceived as very typical for Swedish by non-Scandinavians, mainly those familiar with distinctive patterns of product names in IKEA catalogues :) Other companies have elected to drop the distinctive letters, for example SKANSKA, by converting the "Å" in "Skånska" to a standard "A" in their internationalization efforts.Interestingly, the consonant "Z" is used in foreign words only.

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 Z Å Ä Ö 

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 z å ä ö



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