Galician is a language from the west-Iberian branch of the Romance
languages of the Indo-European family. The language is spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community (like Basque and Catalan) in the northwest corner of Spain, above Portugal. As you know from previous blogs, Romance languages derived from Vulgar Latin. This particular language is most closely related to Portuguese, so much so that there are some people who believe that Galician is just another dialect of Portuguese, like Brazilian Portuguese of African Portuguese. Galician is spoken by about 2.4 million people, mostly in Galicia, and holds co-official status with Spain. It is taught in many schools and is the main language in rural areas, and there is also a Galician television station.
German is from the West-Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. It is an official language in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and various entities, mainly in central Europe.
Germanic languages can be traced back to the 3rd century when the German consonant shift began, separating this branch from Old Saxon. The texts of Old German can be traced back to the 8th and 9th centuries. Because of the many texts and authors of German, there was a push from writers to standardize a language so that vast audiences could read and understand their literature. In the 1500s, Martin Luther translated the bible into an eastern dialect of German, with glosses and translated words for other regions and dialects. The language continued to evolve and in the 19th century began to spread across Europe, primarily spoken by townspeople. Standard German was established in the early 1900s, and today is spoken and written by over 90 million native speakers. It is also spoken as a second language by 15 million people and as a foreign language by almost 100 million.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages that has been spoken since the 3rd millennium (that’s about 5000 years ago). Greek is the one of the most well-documented languages in history, with texts such as the Iliad, Odyssey, and the philosophical works of Plato and Aristotle. Greek has its own alphabet and its vocabulary has been borrowed into many languages, especially into English. The language is spoken by about 13 million native speakers, mainly located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greek is an official language in Greece and Cyprus, and a recognized minority language in 9 countries, including Albania, Italy, Turkey, and the United States.
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-European family spoken in Gujarat, a state on the Western border of India, south of Pakistan. The language evolved from Sanskrit into Old Gujarati, which can be traced back as far as 1100 CE. Much of the vocabulary of Gujarati is almost identical to that of Sanskrit, but many words come from the Persian language from the centuries that India was ruled by Persian speaking Muslims. The language is written in the Gujarati script, but can be written in Arabic or Persian scripts. Today, Gujarati is the native language to approximately 50 million people, mostly in Gujarat, with small populations in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Pakistan.
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 “H”.
(*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.)