Facts about the Afrikaan Language

Afrikaans is the third most spoken and understood tongue in South Africa? Until late 19th Century, Afrikaans was considered a Dutch dialect, when it was recognized and gained status with eleven other official languages including English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu!

Ninety percent of Afrikaans vocabulary derives from Dutch origin. There is a mutual fluency between the two languages especially in the writing form. It is easier for Dutch speakers to understand Afrikaans than the other way around.

Several Afrikaans-speakers groups live in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Lesotho, Malawi, New Zeeland, The United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe and there are over 100,000 Afrikaans speakers in the United Kingdom.

Facts about the Arabic Language

The Arabic Language is the primary language of most countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It is an international language and according to al-bab.com, it is the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world and been impacted by other languages throughout history. It is spoken as language by almost a third of a billion people and as a second language by a quarter-billion more.

The Arabic Language had a considerable influence on the vocabulary of many other languages including Urdu, Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese. Several common English words including “sugar” and “alcohol” are taken from Arabic. The Arabic Language is used both practically and artistically in its written from. Arabic calligraphy is a complex and painstaking art that requires years of study to master.

Arabic spoken in United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Yemen and many other countries as a minority language.

The Arabic language predates Islamic civilization, although it would not have risen to prominence without the rise of Islam. The first classical Arabic inscription was found near Damascus and written in the Aramaic script.

Arabic is distributed around North Africa and the Middle East as an official or co-official language. In places where it is not an official or first language, it may be important for international relations because it is the language of the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an.


Facts about the Armenian Language-Eastern

Eastern Armenian language is one of the two standardized form of modern Armenian (a former republic of the Soviet Union) the other is Western Armenian. These two forms form a “pluricentric language” which means a language with several versions both spoken and written.

Armenian was historically split into two dialects, Eastern Armenian the form spoken in modern-day Armenia, and Western Armenian spoken only by those belonging to the diaspora after the Armenian Genocide.

Eastern Armenian is spoken mostly through out the Caucasus Mountains as well as the Armenian community in Iran. While the Republic of Armenia does not legally distinguish between the two forms in declaring “Armenian” to be its official language, as all scopes of life in the country (including government, education, and the media) use almost exclusively, Eastern Armenian.


Facts about the Armenian Language-Western

Western Armenian language is one of the two standardized form of modern Armenian (a former republic of the Soviet Union) the other is Eastern Armenian. These two forms form a “pluricentric language” which means a language with several versions both spoken and written. Due to historical reasons, Western Armenian is used outside the Republic of Armenia while Eastern Armenian is used both, inside and outside of it.

The Armenian alphabet has its own script and is on interest to linguists for it is distinctive phonological developments within Indo European language.

For the last 100 years, Western Armenianis widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora, namely by the Armenians whose survived the Armenian Genocide. As a diasporic language, and as a language that is not an official language of any state, Western Armenian faces extinction as its native speakers is loosing fluency in the language. Less than one million are fluent speakers, and it is defined as a definitely endangered language.


Facts about the Assyrian Language

Assyrian is a Neo-Aramaic dialect dating back to the medieval era developing out of Aramaic dialects? Today there are approximately 220,000 Assyrian people from the North Western Iran and South Eastern Turkey. About 80,000 speakers resides in the Assyrian homeland in the Middle East, while the majority of speakers live abroad, most of them residing in the United States and Europe.

The Assyrian language is quite ancient, originally in cuneiform script, meaning written on clay tables, the earliest writing system, using wedge-shaped signs pressed in wet clay, by a people called the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, which today corresponds to Iraq, Northern Eastern Syria, South Eastern Turkey and South Western Iran.

Today, scholars still practice the writing style of the Assyrian alphabet because of its rich history and linkage to biblical language.


Facts about the Bari Language

Bari is a language from the Nile region of Africa around Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania but particular South Sudan? The appropriate name “Bari of the Nile Valley” refers to the people from South Sudan, which are distinguished from other ethnic groups in Ethiopia and Somalia in which no information exits as to their mutual language relationship.

The many different tribes that speak the Bari language have their own dialect and harmony. Around 1930s a Bari dictionary was created and published. However, today is very difficult to find.

Bari from the Nile region of Africa is not to be confused with a South American language, also called Bari, spoken by 3000 people in Colombia and Western Venezuela.


Facts about the Bengali Language

Bengali is often known as the second most beautiful language in the world…French being first? It is also the fifth most spoken language in the world by 230 million people in Bangladesh, India, United Kingdom, Middle East and the United States.

More people speak Bengali than Portuguese, French or German…! Due to its rich history and development Bengali is a fun and exciting language to learn.   It is also known as Bangla, Banga-Bhasa, and Bangala…! It is the state language of Bangladesh and one of the 23 official languages in the Republic of India. Bengali is a branch of the Indo-European languages.


Facts about the Burmese Language

Burmese is the name recognized by most even though Myanmar is the official name of the language spoken in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar also called Burma?

During the colonial period when England ruled Burma, English became the official language. This period lasted from 1824 to 1948, however Burmese continued as the primary language in all settings. Both English and Burmese were required subjects in schools and colleges. Burmese, Chinese, and Hindi were the languages of commerce.

Burmese (Myanmar) is spoken by 32 million as a first language and as a second language by 10 million, particularly ethnic minorities in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and those in neighboring countries.


Facts about the Chinese Language-Cantonese

Cantonese is spoken by approximately 65 million people in the southern China provinces, Hong Kong and Macau as well as other South East Asian countries like Singapore and in the other large Chinese communities around the world. Cantonese is one of the five major languages in China and is the principal language in Chinese communities abroad owing to the fact that most Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong. Cantonese is the language predominantly used for business around Southeast Asia. It is a Chinese language that is quite different from Mandarin, the language spoken by most Chinese, especially in the north.

Cantonese spoken in China, Hong Kong, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


Facts about the Chinese Language-Mandarin

Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world?

There are approximately 885,000,000 people in China that speaks Mandarin Chinese. It is one of the four official languages of Singapore, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations under the name ���Chinese”?

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the People’s Republic of China, Republic of China-Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is also widely used in the many Chinese communities (Chinatowns) around the globe.

There are two different kinds of Chinese characters: traditional and simplified. Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities use traditional characters. China uses simplified characters.


Facts about the Czech Language

Czech was knows as Bohemian until the late 19th century? It is a West Slavic language spoken by 12 million citizens in the Czech Republic and worldwide.

Since May 2004, Czech is one of the 23 official languages in the European Union, which encompasses 27 countries member of the state.

Czech is divided into four dialects corresponding to geographic areas within the country. Common Czech is the most widely used. Followed by eastern Moravian dialect, Silesian dialect, influenced by Czech and German and Cieszyn Silesian dialect spoken by Polish minority.


Facts about the Finnish Language

In Finland, Finnish is the first language spoken by 93% of the country’s 5 million inhabitants and Swedish is the second official language spoken by 6%? The remaining population speaks Sami living mainly in the north of Finland.

Finnish, unlike Scandinavian languages, is not Germanic but in a class of its own. It is related to Hungarian but in practice the two are not mutually comprehensible.

Finnish is divided into two distinct groups, the Western and the Eastern dialects. The dialects are almost entirely mutually intelligible and distinguished from each other by only minor changes in vowels, diphthongs and rhythm. For the most part, the dialects operate on the same phonology, grammar and vocabulary.

There are also notable Finnish-speaking minorities in Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.


Facts about the Hebrew Language

Hebrew is one of the 3 ancient languages written in the Bible, Aramaic and Greek being the other two?

From biblical to modern Hebrew the language has undergone many changes in the past three millennia, and has developed several different layers through out it its long history. A modern version of ancient Hebrew is the national language of today’s Jewish population of Israel and spoken by approximately nine million people.

The most common  Ancient Hebrew names and words that have survived  and commonly known throughout the world are: Jacob, Joseph, Sarah, and Mary, Amen, Hallelujah, Hosanna, Sabbath and Messiah.

According to the encyclopedia Hebrew is of the Semitic family of languages which had its decline and survived into the medieval period in the Jewish literature. In the 19th century it was totally revived and is mostly

study today by Jews and students of Judaism, archaeologist and linguists studying the early civilization of the Middle East as well as theologians in Christian seminaries.


Facts about the Japanese Language

Japanese is the official language of Japan, which has a population of over 125 million. There are also around 2.5 million people of Japanese origin, many of whom speak Japanese as their first language, living in Brazil and the rest of the Americas, particularly the United States, London, New York and Paris.

Japanese is not directly related to any other language. It is one of the major languages, which still puzzle historical linguists.  Japanese and neighboring Korean are similar in grammar. It is measured as a segregate language and relatively easy for Korean to learn.

Japanese spoken in Japan, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, Taiwan


Facts about the Khmer Language

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia often referred as “Cambodian” and is the second most spoken language in South Asia following Vietnamese? It is the earliest recorded written language of the Mon-Khmer family, which is a group of languages from Southeast Asia.

In Cambodia, today approximately 7 million people speak Khmer, including the government administration, education and the media. Provincial differences are slightly dissimilar but mutually intelligible.

The Khmer language has influenced such languages as Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and Cham, due to the closeness, both geographical and cultural, becoming a crossroads of idioms that have become similar, also known as “Sprachbund”. Also, due to years of French colonial rule, numerous French words have been incorporated into the language.


Facts about the Korean Language

Approximately 78 million people living on the Korean peninsula speak Korean. The entire population of North and South Korea speaks this language, while there are certainly differences between the Korean dialect spoken in the north and the one spoken in the south, the dialects are mutually understandable.

North Korean typically refers to the Korean language as Chos nmal although it is also called urimal. The standard of North Korea is based on the way it is spoken in the capital P’yngyang while in the south the standard is the way it is spoken in Seoul. The differences between these two forms of the Korean language does not make it impossible for speakers of either group to communicate with each other since the variances are more or less comparable to the Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Latin America.

Immigrants living in the former Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, United States, Brazil, Japan, United Kingdom, as well as the Philippines.


Facts about the Lithuanian Language

Lithuanian is the official state language spoken in Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union? There are about 2.9 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 300,000 abroad. Lithuania gain independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they are not mutually intelligible. It is written in an adapted version of the Roman script. The Lithuanian language is the oldest and the most conservative living Indo-European language, retaining many features of Proto Indo European or also called Indo-Germanic (a family of languages consisting of most of the languages of Europe as well as those of Iran, the Indian subcontinent, and other parts of Asia).

Lithuanian is also spoken by ethnic Lithuanians living in today’s Belarus, Latvia, Poland, and Russia as well by sizable emigrant communities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Uruguay, Spain, United Kingdom, and The United States.


Facts about the Mongolian Language

Mongolian language is commonly confused with Chinese, largely due to Inner Mongolia being a part of China and that there is barely any link between the two languages?

Mongolian was officially established and became the National language in 1924 on basis of the Khalkha dialect, the traditional script of Mongolian. Several dialects are spoken in different parts of Mongolia. It is estimated to have 5 million speakers around the world. The most recognized dialect is Mongolian Khalkha, which is spoken in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar and most part of the country.

Mongolia is the 6th largest country in Asia and the 18th largest country in the world. The Gobi Desert of Mongolia is the place where fossilized dinosaur remains were found in 1920s, along with the first dinosaur eggs!


Facts about the Nepali Language

Nepali or Nepalese is the official language of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and Myanmar?  In India, it is one of the country’s 23 official languages and is related to the Indian language, Hindi.

Almost two-third of the population of Nepal speaks Nepali. In 2011, it was estimated that 25 million speaks Nepali as their mother tongue and as a second language by millions more.

The Nepal flag is the only nation with non-quadrilateral flag. The two triangles symbolize the Himalaya Mountains and represent the two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Nepal is sandwiched between both India and China. In the early 1950s its borders were opened to the world and in 2011 recognized as Nepal Tourism Year!


Facts about the Persian Language

Persian language is incorrectly referred to as “Farsi” a derivative from the word “Parsi” which refers to a member of the larger of the two Zoroastrian communities (a religion and philosophy) in South Asia (India) and Iran?

An interesting fact…Persian was the only oriental language known to have been used by Marco Polo through his journeys when introducing Europeans to Central Asia and China!

Persian is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, with 110 million native speakers. In Iran languages are known from four distinct periods, Old era being the period from before Achaemenids or “First Persian Empire”, the Middle era or “Sasanian Empire”, the New era is the next period to the present times and the Classic Persian which represent the classical writings and poems. Persian is very much appreciated as a literary and prestigious language among the educated elite, especially in the music world.

There are three modern varieties of standard Persian: Western Persian spoken in Iran, Eastern Persian spoken in Afghanistan and Tajik Persian spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


Facts about the Portuguese Language

Portuguese is spoken in approximately 250 million people in Portugal, Brazil, and other former Portuguese colonies. It is the eighth most spoken language and the third most spoken European language in the world. It is one of the five Romance languages, besides Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian. The difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese is far wide, including variations in phonology, verb conjugation, and syntax.

Portuguese spoken in Angola, Andorra, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Luxembourg, Macau (China), Mozambique, Namibia, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and other countries


Facts about the Russian Language

Russia is the largest country in the world, constituting one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones? These expansive areas allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders. Here you can find the oldest mountains in the world, the Urals, and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal.

Russian is the most important of the Slavic languages; one of the official languages of the United Nations and one of the five most spoke languages in the world.

Over 160 million people speak Russian as first language. Latest figures show about 250,000 Russian speakers in the United States and about 40,000 in Canada.


Facts about the Samoan Language

Even though Samoan is the official language of the Samoa Islands’ most people speak both Samoan and English? American Samoans have a rich language that remains the main language of the people.

Samoan is closely related to other languages of Polynesia, particularly to Tongan. The language is notable for the phonological differences between formal and informal speech as well as a ceremonial form used in Samoan oratory.

Samoan speakers worldwide are estimated at 370,000. The greatest concentration is in New Zealand. Samoan is the 4th most commonly spoken language in New Zealand after English, Maori, and Chinese. There are also speakers of Samoan in Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, Australia and the United States.


Facts about the Spanish Language

Spanish is the most widely spoken of the Romance languages, both in terms of number of speakers and the number of countries in which it is the dominant language. It is the mother tongue of some 320 million people scattered throughout the world – in the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, in parts of Morocco and the west coast of Africa.

Naturally the Spanish spoken in all these places appears in many varieties. In fact the differences between Castilian Spanish and Latin American Spanish are equivalent to those between British English and American English.

Spanish spoken in Spain, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, all the South American
Republics except Brazil and Guyana


Facts about the Swahili Language

Swahili is spoken by different ethnic groups in the Mozambique Channel situated between Madagascar and southeast Africa in the Indian Ocean? Only 5 million people speak Swahili as their mother tongue and approximately 60 million as a lingua franca, which is a language used between people as a bridge of communication.

Swahili is the official language to five nations, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the Comoros and the Republic of the Congo. It is one of the two most widely spoken African languages.

Due to centuries of connection between the eastern coast of Africa and the Arabic traders, the Arabic language has been a major contribution to the Swahili language.


Facts about the Tagalog Language

Filipino-speakers who are not of the Tagalog group of peoples consider Filipino the proper term. Technically, Filipino is considered a variant of the native Tagalog language of the Philippines. Practically speaking, however, Filipino and Tagalog are essentially the same language. The Filipino language derived and previously referred to as Filipino and was not declared the official language of the Philippines until 1987.

There are between 120 and 175 languages/dialects in the Philippines! Four languages no longer have any known speaker. Filipino(Tagalog) and English are the official languages while Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray-Waray are considered auxiliary.

Filipino (Tagalog) spoken in: The Philippines


Facts about the Thai Language

Thai is the official language of Thailand spoken by more than 56 million people? Scholars believe that Thai is a form of Chinese brought to the area between the 7th and 13th century.

Thai is composed of several different registers for different social settings. For example, street or common Thai is informal and used between close relatives and friends. Elegant or formal Thai is official and includes respectful terms of address. Rhetorical Thai is used for public speaking. Religious Thai is used when Buddhism is discussed or monks are addressed. Royal Thai is used when addressing members of the royal family or describing their activities.

Thailand formerly knows as Siam means “Land of the Free” is the only country in Southeast Asia never colonized by a European power and is also the 51st largest country.

Over 300,000 Thai have settled in North America with the largest communities along the West Coast in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Today, over 10,000 Americans live in Thailand.


Facts about the Tzotzil Language

Tzotzil is a Mayan language spoken by approximately 300,000 people in central Chiapas Southeastern Mexico by a group of Mayan Indians? The word “Tzotzil” originally meant “people of the bat” or mammals.

Tzotzil is the 6th most spoken indigenous language in Mexico. Most speakers are bilingual in Spanish as a second language. There are five or six Tzotzil dialects depending on how they are grouped. Some of these dialects are quite different, for example, one is a tone language while the others are not, and for this reason some linguists consider them distinct languages.


Facts about the Urdu Language

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan influenced and derived from Persian, Arabic and Turkic languages?

In the 11 century, the Shah of Persia (Iran) invaded India setting up his camp in what is now modern Pakistan. The Hindi speaking Indians and the Persian dialect Parsi speaking Persians (Iranians) mingled together and a third language, Urdu was born. Urdu means, “camp” in the Persian language; therefore, the Urdu language was the “language of the camp”.

There are between 60 and 70 million speakers of Urdu in Pakistan, Indian, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States and Bangladesh. Hindi-Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, and Spanish.

Facts about the Vietnamese Language

Vietnamese was first written using modified Chinese characters when Vietnam was a province of China?

In the mid-seventeenth century, Catholic missionaries introduced the Roman script and by the end of the nineteenth century as a byproduct of French colonial, the language displays influence from French and writing system is use today as an adapted version of the Latin alphabet.

Vietnamese is also spoken in overseas Vietnamese communities but most particularly in the United States with more than one million speakers, which ranks as a seventh most spoken language (3rd in Texas, 4th in Louisiana and Arkansas and 5th most spoken in California). It is also spoken of about three million overseas Vietnamese communities in Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, France, The Philippines, Germany, Laos, Norway, Taiwan, Thailand and United Kingdom.


Teochew – A language or a dialect?

Linguists do not agreed on whether Teochew is a language or a dialect and is considered one of the oldest Chinese idioms.  Most agree it should be a language since it is unintelligible with other dialect groups of China. Teochew migrants have settled and can be found almost anywhere in the world including the United States.
America Translating Services has in many occasions provided interpreters for Teochew language/dialect speakers in different areas of the US.  It is without saying the challenge this presents and the research involved in order to locate an interpreter that meets the qualifications required for an effective communication.Teochew is not a certified or a registered language. However, many Cantonese & Taiwanese interpreters are proficient in Teochew and capable to interpret in a legal and medical setting.