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

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 each week! 

This week:

  • Catalan (Spain)

  • Chinese (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) 

  • Croatian (Croatia) 

  • Czech (Czech Republic) 

 

 

Catalan is a Romance language derived from the Indo-European family.  It is spoken in Spain, Andorra, France, and Italy by more than 9 million speakers (approximately 4.1 million native speakers and 5.1 million second language speakers).  It is the only official language of Andorra, also holding official status in parts of Spain, and it is a recognized minority language in France, Italy, and Spain. Catalan can be traced back to the 9th century where it evolved from Vulgar Latin, but had its peak in the early middle ages when it was used all over the Mediterranean.  It began to decline in the late 14th century and was banned for a time in the 18th century.  In the 19th century, the language was revived and today it is the primary language in Andorra and the second-most spoken language (after Spanish) in Catalonia.

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Chinese can actually be broken into numerous sub-languages, similar to the romance languages, but with even more variety.  Here, we will focus on the most common dialect understood by the vast majority of Chinese speakers.  Standard Chinese, sometimes referred to as Mandarin, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken across most of Asia, including China, Taiwan, and Singapore.  It is difficult to determine how many people speak Chinese because of the vast amount of dialects and the growing population of speakers, but it is estimated that at least 850 million people speak Standard Chinese and more than 1 billion speak some form of Chinese.  Chinese is easily the most spoken language in the world, with Spanish and English combined still having less than 800 million.

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Chinese uses traditional or simplified Chinese characters and can be written top to bottom (read right to left) or horizontally (read left to right).  All Chinese languages can be traces back more than 3,000 years, the first examples found on bones from the Shang dynasty in 1250 BCE.  The language continued to evolve and divided into numerous languages until the mid-20th century when officials felt their needed to be a common language.  In the 1930s a standard national language using the Beijing dialect was adopted.  This standard language is used today in education, media, and formal situations between countries.

Croatian is one of the three main languages spoken in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.  Last week we told you about Bosnian, but you’ll have to wait a while for Serbian.  Croatian has official status in all three countries and is also a recognized minority language in Montenegro, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Romania.  Croatian is a Slavic language from the Indo-European family and dates back to the late medieval period.  Today, the language uses the Latin alphabet and is taught in all universities in Croatia. There are approximately 5.6 million native speakers and 1.25 million second language speakers of Croatian.

Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic, descendant from the west Slavic branch of the Indo-European family.  It is spoken by an estimated 10.6 million people, primarily in Czech Republic with a small population in neighboring Slovakia, and a small population in the USA. Legend tells that the Czech people came from a tribe of Slavs led by a hero named Čech.  In the ninth century Christian missionaries brought the Glagolitic alphabet to the Czechs, allowing them to write and record their language for the first time. This language, known as Proto-Czech, evolved into Old Czech until the Thirty Years’ War, when the Germans took power and suppressed the language.  In the 18th century, the Czech language was revived along with pride in Czech culture and history.  Czech uses the Latin alphabet and has changed little since the revival. 

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 “D.”

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 “D.”

(*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.)