Tagalog is a language of the people of the Philippines that originated from the Austronesian language family. The language dates back to at least 900CE, when the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was written. This document showed influences from Sanskrit, Malay, and Javanese. In the 16th century, the Spanish colonized the region and over the next three centuries, they compiled dictionaries for Tagalog as well as translating some biblical texts. In 1897, Tagalog was declared the official language of the Philippines, but more than half of which did not speak Tagalog as their native language, and disagreement arose. In the 1930s, Spanish and English were made official languages, and a new constitution designated that a common national language be created. At this time, Tagalog was spoken natively by a quarter of the people and as a lingua franca across the nation. They elected Tagalog as a basis for the national language, which formed the language now known as Filipino. Tagalog does not hold official status in any country (except in the form of Filipino) but is spoken by 28 million native speakers and another 45 million as a second language.
Tamil is a language that is a direct descendant of the Dravidian language. It is one of the longest surviving classical languages and can be traced back to the 3rd century BCE. Inscriptions in caves and pottery, and poetry and grammar have been found from the late BCE centuries and the early CE centuries. This language known as Old Tamil transitioned to Middle Tamil around the 8th century, which came with the emergence of a present tense, and then shifted again to Modern Tamil around the 13th century. There was some influence from European languages, and in the 16th century Tamil was the first Indian language to be published and printed. Today more than 78 million people speak Tamil. It is an official language in Sri Lanka, Singapore, and three Indian states. Tamil is a recognized minority language in Canada, Malaysia, and various small Island countries in South Asia.
Telugu is another language from the Dravidian language family native to southern India. The language can be dated back to the first millennium BCE, with writings found from between 400-100BCE. During the early centuries of the new millennium, the language spread to surrounding regions and gained influence from Sanskrit. In the middle ages, a writing system was established and literature and language spread along with the Vijayanagara Empire. Today, Telugu is spoken by approximately 80 million people and is an official language in India, mainly spoken in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Yanam, and some neighboring communities.
If you need anything translated into one of these languages, come on over toLionbridge onDemand. Stay tuned for our next A-Z blog where we’ll tell you about the next set of Lionbridge languages that begin with “T”.
(*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.)