Farsi, also known as Persian, is an Iranian language from the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by approximately 110 million people throughout the Middle East. Because of ancient writings such as the Behistun Inscription, the Persian language can be dated back to the Achaemenid era sometime between 500 and 300 BCE. The language evolved through various phases including Old, Middle, and New Persian, which can then be dived into Early New, Classic, and Contemporary Persian. Many speakers of contemporary Persian can read and understand texts from the Early New Persian period because the language has evolved with little change in the past 1000 years. Today, Persian is an official language in Iran and Tajikistan, where it is known as Farsi, as well as Afghanistan, where the dialect is different and it is officially known as Dari.
Filipino is the standard dialect of Tagalog, a language from the Austronesian family. There are actually more than 100 distinct languages spoken by the Filipino people, but many of them are mutually intelligible, meaning they can be understood by speakers of a similar language.When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they created a dictionary for Tagalog. Since then, the language has been standardized in writings and, in 1937, the Philippines adopted a national language based on Tagalog. This later became known as Filipino, and is now spoken by an estimated 28 million native speakers and more than 45 million second language speakers.
Finnish, like Estonian from last week, is a language from the Uralic language family of the Ural Mountains in Western Russia, partly forming the border of Europe and Asia. The origins of Finnish can be traced back to 1500 BCE and was an oral language until the Middle-Ages. It wasn’t until the 16th century that a writing system was developed by a Finnish bishop in order to translate the Bible. The language was used primarily in religious literature until 19th century when some Finns made efforts to improve and modernize the language. Today it is an official language in Finland and a recognized minority in Sweden. Finnish is used in administration, journalism, literature, and science and spoken by more than 5 million people.
French is a language from the Indo-European family that derives from Vulgar Latin, the spoken language of the Roman Empire, and is related to Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and other Romance languages. As French evolved, it spread with colonization and in the 17th became the language of international relations. Today, French is an official language in 29 countries, including France, Canada, various countries in Europe, Africa, and some in Oceania. There are various dialects and numerous Creole languages including Haitian Creole spoken in Haiti and Cuba. French uses the Latin alphabet and is spoken by approximately 270 million people; 80 million native speakers, 70 million second language speakers and 120 million who speak it as a foreign language.
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 “G”.
(*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.)