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

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:

  • Basque (Spain)

  • Bengali (India) 

  • Bosnian Cyrillic & Latin (Bosnia & Herzegovina) 

  • Bulgarian (Bulgaria) 

  • Burmese (Burma) 




Basque is the language spoken by the Basque people in Basque Country (within Spain) and the greater Basque region, expanding into France. The Basque language is considered a “language isolate,” meaning it has no determinable genealogy or relationship to another language. It is considered an original language that can be dated back to before Indo-European languages came to the area.  Although it is only spoken by an estimated 550,000-720,000 people, it does have official status in some territories within the Basque Autonomous Community.  Basque is written using Latin script and has adopted vocabulary from Latin, Spanish, Gascon and more.

Bengali is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language spoken by 250 million speakers across Bangladesh and India. It is also spoken by an estimated 20 million second language speakers in communities within the Middle East, Japan, United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Maldives, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is the national and official language of Bangladesh and an official language of the Republic of India. Bengali is written using the Bengali alphabet and is the eleventh most spoken language worldwide by total number of speakers.

In the late 1940s the Dominion of Pakistan was formed in the area and ordained Urdu as the sole official language.  This led to an uproar from the Bengali people and, in 1952, several students and political activists were killed in a protest at the University of Dhaka.  However it wasn’t until 1956 that the government granted Bengali official status.

Bosnian, sometimes referred to as Bosniak, is an official language of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country known more commonly as simply Bosnia. The language uses the Latin alphabet in everyday use, but also uses the Cyrillic alphabet.  Bosnian comes from the Indo-European family and a long line of languages, including various Slavic languages such as: Servo-Croatian, Shtokavian, and more.  The language is very similar to both Serbian and Croatian and has an estimated 2.5 million speakers.

Bulgarian is a language from the Slavic branch of the Indo-European family and is spoken by an estimated 9-10 million people.  Although Bulgarian only has official status in Bulgaria, the language is also spoken in Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, and various communities throughout the world.  Bulgarian can be dated back as far as the 9th century (known then as Old Church Slavic) when religious disciples used it to translate the bible from Greek to Slavic.  The language uses the Cyrillic alphabet and is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Burmese is the official language of Myanmar, where it is actually recognized as the Myanmar language. It is spoken by an estimated 43 million people, including first and second language speakers. Burmese is from the Sino-Tibetan family and was the fifth (out of 400) Sino-Tibetan languages to develop a writing system. The language uses the Burmese alphabet, which was derived from the Mon Script, and does not require spaces between words.

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 “C”.

(*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.)