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Gujarati

  • 02/08/2018
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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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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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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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Vandu at the World Cup

  • 03/07/2018
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We’re now into the knockout stages of what has been a pretty wonderful World Cup in Russia. We’ve lost Spain, Germany, Argentina and Portugal already, and some big names didn’t even make the flight to Russia at all (sorry Italy, Holland and the Côte d’Ivoire). We’ll leave the analysis of all the late goals, incidents and VAR penalty drama to the likes of BBC Football and Sky Sports, but we can tell you a thing or two about the languages of the world cup and other bits of trivia!

  • As you’d imagine, there are a lot of different languages at the world cup – 16 in total. The most common first language is Spanish, with a total of 8 countries using it, and in joint 2nd place is French and Arabic, with 4 a-piece. Though there’s no real way of measuring it, English is most likely the dominant language on the pitch, with its status as the world’s lingua franca it is probably the only common language between the two sets of players, the referees and assistants (whom have arrived from 46 different countries), and even some of the foreign managers.
  • 3.2 Billion people tuned in to watch the 2014 edition of the World Cup, just under half the planets population. The final itself peaked at 1 billion!
  • Portuguese-speaking Brazil are the only team to have played in every edition of the World Cup and have won it 5 times (25%), once more than either Italy or Germany.
  • Mexico has the most World Cup losses (25), though they do also have 14 wins and 14 draws.
  • The first world cup was held in Uruguay in 1930 and was thought up and organised by the then FIFA president and French national Jules Rimet, who named the original cup after himself before the design we are more familiar with made its first appearance in 1974.

And with all that, you ought to be pretty clued-up on your World Cup facts and figures, ready to ‘impress’ you friends at the next game. If you require interpreting or translation for any of the languages mentioned in the blog above, please call us on 01273 473986 or email info@vlslanguages.com for more information!

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Tigrinya and Amharic

  • 19/06/2018
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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.

Tigrinya and Amharic

Amharic and Tigrinya are the main languages spoken by the Ethiopians and Eritreans, of Eastern Africa. The reason we’ve grouped these two languages together is that they are strongly intertwined, both deriving from the same ancestor and both sharing characters in their alphabet. Though there are many different ethnicities and relating languages in the region, Eritrea’s the main language is Tigrinya and it is widely spoken throughout the country, but particularly in its central and southern areas. It is thought that there are just under 7 million speakers of Tigrinya. Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia and has around 22 million speakers; (interestingly, Oromo has a slightly higher number of speakers).

Amharic is a descendant of the Ge’ez script, which is thought to date back to the 9th Century BC – the link is easily recognisable when looking at the Amharic alphabet which share many characters with the Ge’ez script. While Ge’ez and Tigrinya also share many alphabetical characters, the link between the two is not so clear; many historians and linguists believe that Tigrinya is as old as Ge’ez, however the earliest evidence of written Tigrinya is from the 13th century, more than a few centuries after the earliest evidence of Ge’ez.

Whilst Amharic and Tigrinya are considered sister languages, unfortunately the relationship between the two nations is not nearly as close. The Eastern Africans suffered a long war for Eritrean independence from 1961 to 1991, which was then followed by a two-year border conflict in 1998. There has been a “No war, no peace” policy ever since, which has been detrimental to both countries’ economies and their general world-standing.

Having said that, there is much to be said for the futures of these two countries. Both the economies enjoyed considerable growth between 2000 and 2015, and both countries enjoy incredibly varied ecological regions, boasting mountainous regions, desert-like environments, dense forest/jungle areas, should the two countries look to seriously invest in its tourism industries. Eritrea also has an incredibly low crime-rate and is rich in its natural resources, while Ethiopia is investing in its light manufacturing industry. The president of Ethiopia recently announced that they would accept Eritrea’s ownership of the town of Badme, which has been a longstanding problem for the two nations, this step in the right direction makes you wonder what these two countries could accomplish were they on better terms.

Do you require interpreting for Amharic or Tigrinya? They're two 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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