We offer you a wide range of services, but our core business is translating all languages. Translation is anything but a mechanical process. Professional translations, regardless of the language in question, require not only an excellent command of the language, but also an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and a keen sensitivity for the particular material, as well as knowledge of the specific terminology used by the respective client.
It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 individual languages on the Indian subcontinent. These include 15 main regional languages, each with over 20 million speakers. In the multi-ethnic nation of India, Hindi is the official language alongside English – the Indian constitution also recognizes another 21 languages that can serve as official languages on a regional basis. The official language of Pakistan – besides English – is Urdu, while in Bangladesh it is Bengali and Sinhala in Sri Lanka. The Indian languages can be classified into four language families: The most commonly spoken are Indo-Aryan languages, which belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-Germanic language groups. Speakers of these languages are estimated to number over 400 million. The second largest language group are Dravidian languages, which are spoken by approximately 150 million people; they constitute a separate language family comprising some 25 languages. A multitude of dialects can be classified as belonging to the Austroasiatic language family (Munda and Mon-Khmer languages, around six million speakers) and the Sino-Tibetan language family (Tibetan-Burmese languages, a few hundred thousand speakers). The Indo-Aryan languages have a long-standing literary tradition; of particular importance in this context are ancient Indian Sanskrit and Vedic, the oldest Indo-Aryan language (around 1500 BC). The numerous different Indian scripts all evolved from the Brahmi script; they are all “Abugidas” – a hybrid combination of syllabary and alphabetic script – written from left to right.
The Indonesian language, “Bahasa Indonesia”, is the official language of the island state of Indonesia and is spoken there by around 162 million people. It is a form of the Malay language, “Bahasa Melayu”, which is the official language of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and is spoken by about 12 million people on the Malay Peninsula. There is very little difference between the two languages, even though they are now considered to be separate languages. They feature Arabic and Indian (Sanskrit) influences as well as European, in particular Dutch, influences. Both Indonesian and Malay are easy to learn and differ significantly from other Asian languages. They are not tonal languages, and have simple pronunciation rules; both languages are written using the Latin alphabet. The grammar has neither cases nor complicated tenses. Nouns, personal pronouns and verbs are not inflected. In Indonesia alone there are more than 300 different peoples, mainly of Malay, but also of Melanesian and Polynesian origin; there is also a Chinese minority living primarily in Java. The languages spoken in the Malay Archipelago are accordingly diverse, some of them displaying major differences. The term “Indonesian languages” is no longer used today. Apart from the dialects of East Indonesia and Taiwan, these languages are now known as Western Malayo-Polynesian languages, which include Malagasy, Bahasa Indonesia, Malay and Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Balinese, Cham and Tagalog, Palau in the Palau Islands and Chamorro in the Mariana Islands. The Malayo-Polynesian languages, in turn, belong to the Austronesian language family, which extends from Madagascar, the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea to Easter Island and from Formosa (Taiwan) to New Zealand and includes well over 700 languages.
Japanese is the official language of Japan, where it is spoken by around 121 million people. There are also Japanese speakers in the USA, Brazil and the Palau Islands; the total number of speakers is estimated at 127 million. The linguistic classification of the Japanese language is a matter of some dispute: Since it is grammatically similar to Korean, it could be an Altaic language – on the other hand, it is more likely to be phonetically classified as an Austronesian and Austroasiatic language. It is so closely related to the language of the Ryukyu Islands that some researchers consider this language to be a Japanese dialect. Yet the language of the Ryukyu Islands is just as unclassifiable as Japanese and both are called “Japanese languages”. Japanese is an agglutinative language in which word relationships are expressed using appended syllables (suffixes). “Sociative causation” is a grammatical feature that indicates differences in gender, rank and status – at the same time, there are numerous words to indicate reverence and courtesy. Syllables are usually spoken openly and accentuated by different pitches; however, Japanese is not a “tonal language”. It has five vowels and 19 consonants. The vocabulary features numerous Chinese loanwords and, since 1945, an increasing number of English and European loanwords. The Japanese script has evolved from the Chinese characters to its own syllabic script with some 2,000 characters and is written in vertical lines from right to left. To some extent, a Latin, left-to-right script with horizontal lines is also used.
The Korean language is spoken by about 70 million people in North and South Korea and by another eight million people in China, Japan and the USA. Korean is the official language in North and South Korea as well as in Yanbian, an autonomous prefecture of China. The linguistic classification is not entirely clear; research tends to classify Korean among the Altaic languages. Although grammatically and in terms of intonation it is very close to the Japanese language, a relationship between the two is heavily disputed. Korean is an agglutinative language in which word relationships are expressed using appended syllables (suffixes). There is no gender, number or article in the grammar, and no inflection of cases, which lends Korean an isolating character. Like Japanese, a distinctive feature of Korean is that it has “sociative causation”, which indicates differences in gender, rank and status, and a variety of words that indicate courtesy and reverence. There are ten vowels and 19 consonants, syllables are pronounced open and closed. The vocabulary is rich in Chinese borrowings and more recently English loanwords have also been adopted. There has been a specific Korean script since the 15th century, but Chinese continued to be used as the written language until the 19th century. Today, Korean is written using both the Korean alphabet and Chinese characters; there is also an official Latin transcription.
The Vietnamese language is the official language of Vietnam. It is spoken there by approximately 66 million people and it has about 68 million speakers worldwide. The question of whether it originates from the Austroasiatic or the Sino-Tibetan language group has long been disputed; more recent research classifies it most closely to the Mon-Khmer languages and thus to the Austroasiatic language family. Vietnamese is a so-called isolating language: Vietnamese words are not inflected. It is also monosyllabic – that is, each syllable has its own meaning and new words are created by combining individual syllables. Phonetically identical syllables are additionally distinguished by six syllable tones and thus each have a different meaning: The Vietnamese language – like Thai and Chinese – is consequently a “tonal language”. There is a northern, a central and a southern dialect. The uniform national language has evolved from the northern dialect, which is centered around the capital Hanoi. Vietnamese is strongly influenced by Chinese: Until the beginning of the 20th century, both languages were used equally in Vietnam – Chinese, however, was predominantly used as a written and administrative language. The previously used Chinese characters were replaced by a Latin alphabet in 1910, which uses special characters to reproduce the sounds in the written script. In addition to numerous Chinese loanwords, modern Vietnamese also contains English and – as a result of the colonial period – a large number of French loanwords.