Lionbridge onDemand Languages from A-Z: Spotlight on "A"

This blog is part of a series covering all of the languages* that we translate here at Lionbridge onDemand. For more blogs like this, follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook or Instagram where we’ll put up a new letter every week!


This week:

  • Afrikaans (South Africa)
  • Amharic (Ethiopia)
  • Arabic (United Arab Emirates) 
  • Azerbaijani (Republic of Azerbaijan) 

Afrikaans is mainly spoken in South Africa, and is one of the official languages of the country.  It is also spoken in areas of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.  It is a West Germanic language that evolved from

Dutch, the language spoken by settlers in the 18th century.  The language evolved, and mixed with the languages that the native African people were speaking, and became a mixed languageknown as Afrikaans-Hollands, meaning African Dutch.  It further evolved into what we know now today as Afrikaans.
Today, there are about 7 million people native speakers in South Africa. The country has the second largest economy in Africa and is considered a newly industrialized country.  This makes South Africa an important place to market your product and services. At Lionbridge onDemand, we can translate all your material into Afrikaans for you. 

Amharic (አማርኛ) is spoken mainly in Ethiopia and is the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and several states with the federal system. Amharic is a Semitic language, meaning it derived from the Afro-asiatic language originating in the Middle East. It is written left to right using Amharic Fidel (letters or characters) and is spoken by an estimated 22 million people in Ethiopia and another 2.7 million emigrants.

Arabic (العَرَبِية‎) is probably the most easily recognizable language of the Afro-asiatic family. Classical Arabic has been around since the 6th century and is the language of the Quran and early Islamic literature.  Modern Standard Arabic is a derivative of Classical Arabic and is spoken by more than 400 million people.  It is an official language of 27 countries, spoken in many more, and has influenced language and vocabulary in numerous other languages.  Arabic is taught in schools across northern Africa and is written from right to left, like Amharic above.  It is one of the six most spoken languages in the world.

Of course, with a language this large and ancient, there are going to be variances and dialects.  Although it is impossible to identify all of the varieties, they are typically grouped into Maghrebi, Sudanese, Egyptian, Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamian, Levantine, and Andalusian Arabic.  Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is taught in schools throughout the region, and most speakers understand the Egyptian Arabic dialect (as it is typically used in movies and TV shows.

Azerbaijani is a language spoken by 26 million people in the Middle East. It is the official language in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Dagestan and is widely spoken in Iran.  It is also spoken in Georgia, Iraq, and Turkey to a lesser degree. This language comes from the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages.  Azerbaijani is sometimes broken into North Azerbaijani and South Azerbaijani, the North spoken officially in Azerbaijan and Dagestan, and the South, mainly in Iran. Until 1929 the language was written using the Perso-Arabi script, when a Latin alphabet was introduced, only to be replaces by the Cyrillic script ten years later.  Since 1991, they have been slowly transitioning back to the current Latin alphabet.

If you need anything translated into one of these languages, come on over to Lionbridge onDemand.  Stay tuned for our next A-Z blog where we’ll tell you about the Lionbridge languages that begin with “B”.

(*These are the languages for which we have translators on staff and ready to go.  If there is a language that you do not see on this list, you can put in a request and we can find and source a linguist for you.)