Macedonian is one of the Slavic languages from the Indo-European family that came to the region of Macedonia in the 6th and 7th centuries CE. Here, the Greeks developed a writing system for the Slavonic languages in the 9th century. The Ottoman Empire took over the area but did not have a great impact on the language, other than to separate the spoken dialects, into what are today considered Macedonian and Bulgarian. The languages are closely related and have a high degree of mutual intelligibility. Today, Macedonian is spoken by close to 2 million people, and is an official language in Macedonia. It is a recognized minority language in Albania, Romania, and Serbia, and spoken commonly in Bulgaria and Greece, although not recognized with official status.
Malay is a language from the Austronesian language family that is believed to date back to 1000 BCE. After Proto-Malay, the language can be divided into five stages. Old Malay was influenced by Sanskrit then evolved during the transitional period as it spread across Maritime Southeast Asia. In the 1400s, the language developed, infusing Arabic, Hindi and other languages through Islamic literature, forming what is known as Classic Malay. Today Malay is spoken by over 250 million speakers throughout the islands of Southeast Asia. The language is official in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, and is a recognized minority in Indonesia.
Malayalam, although it looks similar to the last language, is actually a descendant from the Dravidian language family. Malayalam comes from the Tamil languages and originated around the 6th century. Malayalam was heavily influenced by Sanskrit, with Sanskrit words comprising almost 80% of the vocabulary. They also used the Sanskrit grammar, and the Grantha script, which evolved into the Malayalam script used today. The language is one of the many official languages of India, in the southwestern state of Kerala and the territories Lakshadweep and Puducherry. It is spoken by approximately 38 million people in these regions as well as neighboring areas.
Marathi is a language from the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by the people of Maharashtra and gained popularity during the Maratha Empire in the 1600s. In the 18th century, Marathi poetry also helped spread the language throughout parts of India. Christian missionaries helped to standardize the language during the British colonial period in the 1800s, translating books and creating Marathi-English dictionaries. Marathi is an official language in India in the regions of Maharashtra, Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Although it holds no official status, it is spoken in many other states in India and is also a significant minority in Israel and Mauritius. It is spoken by more than 70 million people.
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 “N”.
(*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.)