Lionbridge onDemand Languages from A-Z: Spotlight on “K”

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 Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram where we’ll put up a new letter every week!

This week:

Kannada is one of the many languages spoken in India, and derives from the Dravidian language family native to southern India.  Kannada can be traced back to the 3rd century CE, and was used widely during the Ganga dynasty in the 6th century and again with the Rashtrakuta Dynasty in the 9th century.  The language uses the Kannada script, a writing system that evolved from the Kadamba script in the 5th century.  Kannada has been influenced by grammar and vocabulary from both Sanskrit and Prakrit.  Today, the language is spoken by more than 50 million speakers, about 40 million who are native speakers known as Kannadigans.  Kannada is an official language in India, mainly spoken in the state of Katnataka, as well as Goa and bordering communities.

Kazakh is a language you may have heard through the Borat movie, but movies are rarely an accurate depiction of reality.  The Kazakh language descends from the Turkic language family and the first writing appeared in the 19th century in the Arabic script.  From 1927 to 1940, the Latin alphabet was used as the Arabic script was banned at the time, today the Cyrillic script has taken its place.   Kazakh is an official language in Kazakhstan, but has approximately 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan, China, and Russia, as well as small communities in Afghanistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Iran, and various other countries.

Khmer is an Austroasiatic language spoken in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.  It dates back to the 9th century Khmer Empire, where it was widely spoken until the 13th century.  After the fall of the empire, the language experienced significant change including grammar, sounds and vocabulary—so much so that most modern Khmer speakers cannot understand the old version of their language. The French colonized Cambodia shortly after this major change, which actually led to a resistance and resurgence of the language.  A group of monks led the “Khmerization” movement and translated Buddhist literature into the language that is still spoken today.  Khmer is an official language in Cambodia and is spoken by about 16 million people throughout Southeast Asia.

Korean is considered a language isolate, meaning it cannot be traced to any common language family, therefore it has its own family, known as Koreanic.  Although the origins have yet to be discovered, Proto-Korean is thought to have been around since before the 1st century CE.  The language can be broken into Proto, Old, Middle, and Modern Korean, with Modern Korean sometimes divided into North Korean and South Korean dialects.  The writing system used today is called Hungul, which was developed in the 15th century after centuries of using Chinese characters. Today, Korean is an official language in North and South Korea, as well as a recognized minority language in China.  It is spoken by almost 80 million people worldwide.  

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 “L”.

 (*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.)