Thai, also known as Siamese, is a language that derives from the Tai-Kadai language family of Southeast Asia. The origins of Thai people and their language are unknown and debated in many academic circles. It is believe that the people from the borders of China and Vietnam migrated south, bringing their Chinese-influenced language and combining it with traits from Mon, Khmer, and Sanskrit. In the 13th century, King Ramkamhaeng introduced a writing system for the Thai language, which has changed very little since. Even today, Thai people can read the ancient scripts. There are more than 20 million native speakers of Thai today, mainly in Thailand, where it is the national and official language. Another 40 million people speak it as a second language.
Tigrinya is a Semitic language from the Afro-Asiatic language family. The language uses the Ge’ez script, a classical language that is closely related, although it seems to differ greatly. Not much is known about the origins of this language, but the earliest written texts date back to the 13th century. In the 1940s, under British administration, there was a weekly newspaper published in Tigrinya, and for a short time in the 50s, Tigrinya had co-official status with Arabic in Ethiopia. Today, it is a working language in Eritrea and widely spoken in Ethiopia. There are close to 7 million people who speak Tigrinya today.
Turkish is a language from the Oghuz languages of the Turkic family. Although Turkic people have been established since the 6th century BCE, the language didn’t show up in writing until the Orkhon inscriptions from the early 730s CE. The Turkic people spread across Central Asia and during the time of the Ottoman Empire, the language adopted terminology from Arabic and Persian. This dialect, known as Ottoman Turkish, was the official language until the 1930s, when the Turkish Language Association was established and sought for language reform and replacing these foreign loanwords. Their efforts were successful, modern speakers born after the 1940s use considerably less foreign words and some older speeches even need to be translated for the newer audiences. Today, Turkish is spoken by between 80 and 90 million people, mainly in Turkey and surrounding regions. It is an official language of Turkey, Northern Cyprus, and Cyprus, and is a recognized minority language in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Iraq, Macedonia, and Romania.
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 “U & V”.
(*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.)