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Krishna Janmashtami

  • 30/08/2018
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  • Admin

Otherwise known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, Krishna Janmastami celebrates the birth of Krishna the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Krishna. As the Hindu God of compassion, tenderness and love Krishna is one of the most revered deity’s in Hinduism’s assembly – the festival is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu Calendar, which is August/September in our Western calendar. 

It’s said that Krishna was born in a time of anarchy, where religious persecution was rife, and freedoms were supressed under Krishna’s uncle King Kamsa. Of course, Krishna eventually defeats King Kamsa relieving the Indian people of his tyranny and sealing his own greatness. To celebrate the birth of Krishna, the Hindu people keep fast, perform enactments of Krishna’s life recounted in the Bhagavata Purana, one of Hinduisms ‘Great Histories’ that promotes devotion to Krisha and is 18,000 verses long! Once midnight passes (the time that Krishna is believed to have been born), any statues of baby Krishna are washed, clothed and then placed in a cradle. Following that, Hindus break their fast by sharing food and sweets.

The Janmashtami is celebrated a little more wildly in the areas of Mathura and Vrindavan where it’s believed Krishna spent his life - the temples and homes of the two areas are colourfully decorated, night long prayers and religious mantras are offered in the local temples.  These northern regions of India are thought to be the birth place of Vaishnavism, a tradition within Hinduism that places greater reverence on Vishnu and subsequently Krishna, being his most popular avatar.

So, from all of us at Vandu, happy Krishna Janmastami!

Do you require interpreting or translation in Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Urdu or Gujarati? Please call us on 01273 473986 or email info@vlslanguages.com for more information!

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Why do you need the Level 3 Community Interpreting qualification?

  • 09/08/2018
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  • Admin

As it is with all professional interpreting agencies in the UK, to become an interpreter here at Vandu requires the Level 3 Community Interpreting Qualification (which we’ll refer to as Level 3 CI from here on) to join our active interpreters list. One might balk at the idea of enrolling on a course to become an interpreter – “I speak two languages perfectly well, why do I need a separate qualification for interpreting?” but the fact of the matter is that it requires much more than speaking two languages to become a professional interpreter. In this blog post, we’ll have a look at the requirements you may not have considered for interpreting, as well the benefits you’ll receive from the Level 3 CI course.

 

The first thing that many people don’t consider is who you’ll be interpreting for. Though it varies from agency to agency, the majority of work comes from the public sector; a professional might be needed to interpret for a young man coming from a war-torn country, another needed for an elderly lady at a GP appointment. Would you know your roles and responsibilities in these situations? Perhaps the social worker is not quite up to date on the current affairs or cultural norms of the young man’s home country – what and when is the correct way to appropriately explain or intervene? In the case of the elderly lady at the GP the cultural norms issue could be applicable, but what if you notice the GP staff discriminating against her, would you know the process at that point? While it may be unusual, unfortunately it's not unheard of. All these skills and more are what you’d learn on our Level 3 CI course.

As for the benefits, there are several. As mentioned, the course is the base level required to become a professional interpreter here in England and means you’ll be able to sign up with agencies up and down the country. We also look at your strengths and weaknesses on the course so that you can review and improve upon them, making yourself a better professional which makes you more likely to be requested to provide interpreting. You’ll develop a better understanding of your local community and social services and be a great help to both.

If you’re interested in applying or learning more about our Level 3 Community Interpreting Course, please call us on:

01273 473986

or email:

 admin@vlslanguages.com

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Gujarati

  • 02/08/2018
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  • Admin

Rare Languages we provide

Here at Vandu, we pride ourselves on being able to provide interpreting for the rarer languages needed by our customers. In this blog series, we’ll have a look at these wonderful languages and the unique people that speak them.

Gujarati

Gujarati is thought to be around 700 years old and is spoken by roughly 55 million people and is the 6th most popular language in India – not a bad standing, considering that there are between 22 and 30 major languages in India, or even more(!) depending on who you ask. Gujarati is the official language of the state of Gujarat, the westernmost region of India and is the mother tongue of some of India’s most famous men, such as Mahatma Ghandi and the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Gujarati derives from Old Gujarati, which in turn branched from Sanskrit - India’s most ancient language, which is likely to be over 3,500 years old. Both Gujarati and Old Gujarati have 3 genders which are narajaati (masculine), naarijaati (feminine) and neuter (naanyatar). Modern Gujarati now has three main dialects: Standard Gujarati, which can be heard across the education system, government and the news; Gamadia, which is spoken in the city of Ahmedabad and its surrounding areas and finally the Kathiawari dialect, spoken in a peninsula in Gujarat that sits next to the two gulfs of Kuchchh and Khambhat. There are further dialects and variants, but these are thought to be the main three.

What about the people of Gujarat? Throughout history, the Gujarati people where seen as the premier merchants of India; perhaps the proximity to the Arabian Sea and the subsequent trade it would have brought contributed to this title. The Gujarat area played host to many different religions and social castes due to the healthy economy in the area – its thought that this community cohesion and religious tolerance has become a staple in today’s Gujarati society.

  Do you require interpreting or translation in Gujarati? It's one of the many rare languages we provide for here at Vandu. Call 01273 473986 or email info@vlslanguages.com for more information!  

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Swahili

  • 19/07/2018
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  • Admin

Rare Languages we provide

Here at Vandu, we pride ourselves on being able to provide interpreting for the rarer languages needed by our customers. In this blog series, we’ll have a look at these wonderful languages and the unique people that speak them.

Swahili

Swahili is probably the most famous of all African languages but is comparatively rare in Sussex and the surrounding areas; it is spoken by a number of sub-Saharan countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There’s no consensus for the amount of Swahili speakers around the world or in Africa, but its generally thought to be between 50 and 100 million speakers.

The language originates from the widely-spread Bantu people of sub-Sahara Africa, and of these peoples (of which there are hundreds of different languages/dialects) Swahili is though to have originated from East Africa, and the name of the language is thought to come from the Arabic word for “coast”; indeed, Arabic has had an major influence on Swahili which you can see in Swahili’s use of many Arabic words such as the numbers 6, 7 and 9 or "sita", “saba” and “tisa”, its previous use of Arabic as its script and the fact that many Swahili speakers are Muslim, though there is not enough influence for it to be considered a mixed language. The reason that Arabic is prevalent in Swahili is the trade between the two regions – only the narrow red sea separates eastern Africa with the Middle-East, and the proliferation of the language is likely thanks to Christian missionaries; those that landed there learnt the language and used it to communicate with everyone else they came across in Africa…Swahili is now considered the lingua franca of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Swahili is now prominent on the world scene, and apart from Arabic, the most prevalent African language. Its actually a lot more pervasive than you may think – there is a BBC Swahili radio station, its commonly seen in African art and indeed non-African art such as a Michael Jackson song, and the famous Disney movie Lion King (simba means lion, hakuna matata really does mean no worries!)

Do you require interpreting for Swahili? It's one of the many rare languages we provide for here at Vandu. Call 01273 473986 or email info@vlslanguages.com for more information!

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Vietnamese

  • 13/07/2018
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  • Admin

Rare Languages we provide

Here at Vandu, we pride ourselves on being able to provide interpreting for the rarer languages needed by our customers. In this blog series, we’ll have a look at these wonderful languages and the unique people that speak them.

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Vietnamese

Vietnam sits just below China on our world map, with Laos, Cambodia and the South China Sea for next-door neighbours. The country has a long and storied history and has been home to some of the earliest civilisations and societies; for a long time was an independent state, until it was eventually conquered by the Chinese Dynasties. As is the case with almost all imperial regimes there was a huge loss of native culture and national identity, but it did also birth the Vietnamese language as we know it today.

Vietnamese initially started out as something called Viet-Muong, when the two peoples of the Mon-Khmer and Tay communities came together and developed a language. As things moved along two dialects became apparent, the “City” dialect and “Highlanders” dialect; but the biggest change occurred when the Chinese turned up and took control of the Tonkin Delta – where modern day Hanoi sits. 1000 years of Chinese imperial rule has left its mark on the Vietnamese language, with around 60% of the language derived from Chinese. A lot of these “loan” words came over during the Han dynasty, though it has been so long that few would recognise them as they’ve been “Vietnamized”. Examples* include Tien (money), Hàng (goods/merchandise), cho (market), and Mùa (season).

Since the well-documented Vietnam War, where the people of this small country stood up to the worlds biggest superpower (at great cost), Vietnam is doing well. Its tourism industry is well known round the world due to the country’s rich culture, history and beautiful setting, and the industry is a major component of the healthy -and growing- Vietnamese economy.

Do you require interpreting for Vietnamese? It's one of the many rare languages we provide for here at Vandu. Call 01273 473986 or email info@vlslanguages.com for more information!

 

*unfortunately, our article system doesnt allow for vietnamese-specific diacritical marks!

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