Polish is a language that comes from the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Around the 10th century, when a few similar tribes merged and formed a Polish state, the language began to evolve from the Salvic languages. In the 966, these groups adopted Christianity along with the Latin alphabet, making it possible to write their previously oral language. Polish evolved and spread and was the common language of large parts of Central and Western Europe during the 1500-1700s. Today, the language is spoken by about 40 million people, mainly in Poland, where Polish is an official status. It is also recognized as a minority language in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Portuguese is one of the West-Iberian variants of the romance languages from the Indo-European family. In the 200s BCE, Roman settlers arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, (the area now comprised of Spain and Portugal) continuing to spread the Latin language that had already taken over most of Western Europe. The language began to change as the area was conquered by Germanic people and then by Arabic people. By medieval times, Portuguese began to evolve, and “Proto-Portuguese” writings were recorded as early as the 9th century. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the language was transported by explorers and settlers to parts of Africa, Asia and South America, where they are still spoken today. Over 250 million people speak Portuguese world-wide, and it is an official language in 9 countries, including Portuguese, Brazil, Angola, and Mozabique, to name a few.
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language from the Indo-European family that can be traced back to Shauraseni, a language of northern India in Medieval times. Punjabi became a distinct language around the 11th century, and became spoken mainly by followers of the Sikh religion, with its emergence in the 15th century. Punjabi is typically written in the Shahmukhī script or Gurumukhī, but can also be written using Devanagari or Latin scripts. Today, the language is spoken by more than 130 million people, making it the 10th most widely spoken language in the world. It is an official language in Pakistan, where it is the most widely spoken language, as well as in India.
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 “R”.
(*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.)