Overcoming Linguistic Barriers With Nepali Translation Services

Nepal and its Languages

Nepal is a long, but narrow country that is sandwiched between the plains of northern India to the South and the Himalayas. To the East lie the Himalayan territories of Sikkim, effectively a part of India, and independent Bhutan. Nepali is the most common language spoken in modern Nepal but is not the only national language. In fact, there are more than 100 different languages and dialects spoken across Nepal as first languages. The two main language groups are the Indo-European languages used on the plains and hill country, like Nepali, and the very different Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in the mountains and remote valleys.

Why Does Your Business Need a Nepali Translation Service?

Regardless of the variety of languages spoken in Nepal, the official language of government, education, and commerce are Nepali. The Nepali language has a lot in common with Hindi so in many cases, Indian nationals find it easy to communicate with Nepali speakers. Nepali is also spoken to some extent in Sikkim and Bhutan. Because of the size of the population that can and do speak and use Nepali, it is important that when doing business in Nepal or when doing business with a Nepali firm, you use a professional Nepali translation service.

Interesting Facts About the Nepali Language

  • Nepali is one of 22 ‘national languages’ recognized by the Nepal government.
  • The script used for Nepali is called Devanagari (नेपाली).
  • Devanagari is a variation of the script used in writing Hindi and is related to Sanskrit.
  • Nepali is spoken beyond the borders of modern Nepal in parts of India, such as Himachal Pradesh and Assam. It has official dual status in Sadar, Darjeeling, parts of West Bengal, and Sikkim as well as in Bhutan.
  • Before the term Nepali was adopted, the language was known as Khas Kura, spoken by Khas people, and Ghorkali spoke by Ghorka people.
  • 45% of Nepal’s population, around 12,300,000 people, speak Nepali or a dialect of it, as their first language. Most other Nepalis speak the language as a second or third language because of its adoption as an official language.

Professional Nepali Translation Services

Nepali translators who speak Nepali as a native language are to be preferred in any Nepali language translation as they will understand the language and the culture of modern-day Nepal better than translators whose first language is not Nepali. Because Nepal is a melting pot of many languages, religions, and cultures, a Nepali translation service is not just important between Nepal and other countries but is of vital importance within the borders of Nepal itself. Nepal is in a strategic geopolitical location, sandwiched between India and China. Until Covid-19 arrived in the country, many tens of thousands of foreign tourists came to the country to enjoy the magnificence of the Himalayas, explore wildlife and the wonders of Hindi and Buddhist architecture. This made Nepali translation services important for what was a growing tourist industry.

 

What’s the Difference Between Language and Dialect?

Introduction

Once upon a time, people rarely traveled, or at least never traveled as much as they do today (speaking of pre-Covid times of course!) Communities were separated from other communities for much of the time and over long periods of time the way they spoke to each other, their language, changed slowly. The longer communities were separated from each other, the more their languages evolved into different dialects, and perhaps over longer periods of time, different languages.

What is a language?

People communicate using a common language, which is a specific vocabulary arranged in a structured grammatical sequence. Language can be verbal or converted to text. There are many thousands of different languages used around the world. Some are spoken by hundreds of millions of people as their main native language, and then there are other languages that are only spoken by very few people. Some languages are growing in importance while others are dying or retained with difficulty.

Languages don’t stay the same. They change gradually over long periods of time. A bit like the branches of a tree, different languages may be closely or more remotely related to other languages. Linguists (the experts who study languages) recognize broad families of languages like the Semitic languages or Germanic languages. The fact that some languages are related to others reflects the way people have migrated in the past. As a group of people moves away from one part of the planet to another place altogether, they take their language with them. Over time, the language changes, but may still be similar in many ways to the language of the people they left behind. A good example is the group of Germanic languages: German, Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. These are distinctly different languages, but there are as many similarities between them as there are differences which reflects the way a common group of people migrated into northwestern Europe from the East many hundreds of years ago. It’s easy to recognize the similarities between Italian and Spanish or Portuguese, to use another example just as it is easy to recognize the huge differences between these Romance languages of Europe and the East Asiatic languages of China and Japan.

What is a dialect?

Dialects are variations of a single language spoken by people who have lived in different regions. Dialects can become so distinctively different that it can be hard to recognize that they are actually the same language. This is especially the case with the way the dialects are spoken. For example, a person brought up in Glasgow, Scotland may be hard to understand by an Australian from Sydney, but they still speak the same language, albeit in different languages. If the Glaswegian writes down what he or she is saying, it would be hardly any different from how the Sydneysider would write down the same thing that was spoken. In other words, the written form of a language tends to be much more uniform, while the colloquial or verbal variations of a language can be quite different although the speakers will still recognize that they are speaking the same language.

The differences between a language and a dialect

So, what is the difference between language and dialect? By definition, dialects of a language belong to the same language. The differences between the two dialects reflect how long the people who speak the same language have been separated from each other and by what significant geographical boundaries. These days, new dialects of the same language are much harder to form because of the amount of traveling that is done and the ubiquity of communication over the radio, TV, films, and the Internet. To give an example of how dialects are harder to form these days, compare the native English used by Australians and the same language used in Great Britain. There are hardly any notable differences between the English used by those who are brought up in Perth and those who were brought up in Brisbane, yet the distance between them is huge. People who are brought up in Perth, Scotland, though, speak with a much more recognizable dialect than anyone brought up in Southampton on the South coast of England.

Translation services used for languages and dialects

Generally, when a chunk of text is translated into another language, dialect tends to be disregarded unless there is a particular advantage in adapting the target language used to take into account a regional dialect. Commercial translation services, especially those used to translate marketing material, certainly do need to take into account different dialects as they are translating material that needs to be understood as widely as possible. This means that both language translation and dialect translation are needed.

When translation takes dialect use and colloquialisms into account, it is usually referred to as localization. Some translators specialize in localization. Translation services for things like manuals and medical journals or instructions are most likely to use the standard language without converting it into a specific dialect.

Summary

People use language to communicate and over the tens of thousands of years that humanity has lived on Earth, there have developed many hundreds of different languages. Some languages are very similar to others as they belong in the same family while may be totally different from other languages.

Dialects are different variations of a single language and develop because people have taken a single language and moved to different places. Because of separation, their use of the same language has changed but not enough to call it a different language.

Why Academic Translation is Becoming Important in Many Countries

What is academic translation?

The academic translation is the translation of course material for use in school or college curricula. The translation may be used in formal classes, as supplementary material, or online. The academic translation is commonly used in countries that have more than one official language and where what is translated is material that is regarded as the standard for all students irrespective of their ethnic group or native language.

The importance of academic translation

To give an example of where academic translation has been used for a long time is a country like Switzerland. There are three (four with Romansch) official languages in use, with the most commonly used language dependent on geography. Swiss students follow established Swiss curricula, although different cantons can change details, such as starting age. Academic translators ensure that similar educational material is available for both teachers and students whatever the language of tuition.

Similar countries with multiple languages requiring academic translation to meet common curricular requirements are Malaysia (Malay, Chinese, Tamil), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese, Tamil), Fiji (Fijian, Hindi, English) just to name a few. Some countries with multiple native languages dispense with the need for academic translation by insisting on a single educational language. This may be the original colonizers’ language where the country has emerged from colonization in the past. In Kenya for example, there are many indigenous languages, but only two official languages: Kiswahili and English. While translation is required for government publications, English is the primary language used in education.

Using academic translation to boost bilingualism

Bilingualism and multilingualism are increasingly seen as a valuable asset for individuals and communities. For some countries, bilingualism is essential to be able to communicate with the outside world, and learning a second or third language is an integral part of education. Even where learning a second language isn’t absolutely necessary, encouraging bilingualism may still be regarded as an empowering strategy. In some places, students may learn their traditional school subjects in more than one language. This may be a strategy used by a particular school offering bilingual education, or a strategy employed by the educational authority. Whatever the reasons for a bilingual approach, it means that the same educational material needs to be translated by academic translators so that students can use either language at any one time.

Online academic translation

Online education and learning have become an important part of formal and informal courses. This has accelerated during the course of the coronavirus pandemic as schools, colleges and universities have often been closed in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus. The need for home-based schooling and tuition has meant that traditional educational material has had to be adapted to online users through the internet or through TV channels. Where academic translation may have been standard practice pre-Covid, it would have to be adapted for online use.

Online education, of course, isn’t restricted to children, adolescents, or young adults. Many older people learn new subjects or brush up on subjects they have forgotten about through the internet. This applies to huge amounts of information made available through the internet which is accessed in a more informal manner. How many times have you turned to a Google search to find out about something? It is certain that if you have turned to online research, many others around the world would have done exactly the same. Rigorous academic translation ensures that whatever the language you prefer to use, you have access to the same information professionally and accurately translated from its source.

French Translation Must Take Into Account French Dialects

French is a truly international language. At one time its importance rivaled that of English, but as time has worn on, its status has declined to a certain extent, although it is still spoken as a first or second language right around the world.

The reason for the wide geographical use of French, like English and to a lesser extent Spanish and Portuguese, is that France was an important colonial power. France colonized parts of North America, North and West Africa, the Caribbean, South East Asia, and the Pacific. French colonists who occupied many of these colonies eventually went back to France or their influence waned as the colonies one by one got their independence. However, French often became an important official language or was relegated to second language status in many ex-French colonies.

In places like Canada, the French overseas territories in the Caribbean, and the Pacific which still have large numbers of native French-speaking inhabitants, French is the most important language spoken and used. In Europe, French is the official language of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, and Luxembourg and is spoken as a first or second language in other neighboring countries like Italy.

One of the challenges of being a French translator is to adapt the French that is translated to the dialect and peculiarities of the geographical community where the translation is destined for. The huge geographical spread of French usage and the accompanying evolutionary changes in vocabulary means that there is an incredibly large number of different French dialects.

Of course, the need to take note of dialect depends on the nature of the text to be translated. A translation of a scientific document into French generally would not need to acknowledge dialect as the scientific language used should be relatively uniform. The need to take into account dialects is most important for business and marketing translation.

Websites and marketing material designed to be used in the Francophone countries of West or North Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Mauretania, Algeria, etc.) must be adapted for differences in dialect. These can be surprisingly non-uniform as in many ex-French colonies, there has been a growth in vocabulary and phrases which are often unique to a specific location or have been developed as a combination of French and a local language.

Even in Canada, where a whole province is Francophone, French Canadians have long developed their own unique words, phrases, and intonation. They have also had a long acquaintance with North American English, which has had a substantial effect on the evolution of Canadian French.

Who should you use to translate French?

If you are a business that has or is likely to have, much trade with a francophone community, you are likely to have the need for a French translator for your translation needs. The best advice is to search for a professional French translator who is based in the main target country you have business with. This way, if there is a need for localization, i.e. adapting the French to be translated to take account of a local dialect, colloquialisms, etc., then the French that is translated will sound a lot more natural to the intended market.

 

The Spanish Language Should be a Prime Target for Translators

It’s rare to be given a complete choice of languages when contemplating a career in translation. Usually, you would already have a good working knowledge of one or more languages other than your own native one and want to take it further. Of course, location is an important factor. If you are based in the southwestern Pacific, for example, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian are all sensible choices for budding translators. If you are based in Europe, there is a much wider choice, depending on whether you want to choose one of the more commonly spoken European languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German or Russian or branch out into something more challenging, but potentially lucrative, like Arabic.
If you are based in Canada, the logical choice would be French (or English if you are Francophone). In the U.S. there is a huge demand for Spanish language translators simply because of the rapid growth of the Spanish speaking population in North America.
Geographical location, of course, is no prerequisite for twenty-first-century translation. You could almost as easily specialize in Spanish translation for business in South America while based in the U.K. or Australia as you could if you were based in the U.S.

Spanish is a good choice for translators right now

Spanish, of course, should actually be a prime target for translators looking for an entry into the industry. There are many reasons for this. The Spanish language is the official language of 21 different countries, most of course in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The language is spoken by over 400 million worldwide, making it the second most widely spoken native language in the world after Chinese. Did you think English was more important? In a way, you are right. Spanish is not such an important international language as English, but it certainly beats English as a first language!
Business Spanish should certainly be a prime target for Spanish speaking translators simply because many of the countries where Spanish is the first language are rapidly growing economies in their own right. This is where many businesses will be looking to expand over the next couple of decades and that means Spanish and English translators will be in demand.
In addition to the countries south of the Rio Grande, over 40 million people who have made the U.S. their home speak Spanish as their first language and there are now another 11 million in the U.S. who speak Spanish as a second language.
Much demand for Spanish translators is for website translation and marketing translation generally. Particularly in the U.S., many consumer choices are occurring as a result of access to and use of the Internet and online shopping. Most companies who want each of these huge numbers of Spanish speakers must use professional translators to convert their messaging into Spanish.
Spanish speakers are also frequently consumers of education and tourism. Not that long ago, it would be more likely to encounter Spanish speakers in their own country. Now, you will find Spanish speakers from mainland Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and even Colombia outside of their own country savoring the delights of foreign travel or attending universities.
While the current number of Spanish speakers is a large number in itself, there are a number of students learning the language as we speak. In American universities, 50% of higher education students pick Spanish as their language elective making it the most studied language in the country and the third worldwide. Social media is an important medium for all these educated and mobile Spanish speakers and again this represents a huge potential for Spanish and English translators helping to allow people to connect in cyberspace.

 

Businesses Should Benefit From Multilingual Content Writing

Writing pages for a website that are filled with written content wasn’t expected to last that long. It seems that the reverse has happened and content writing has increased in importance and helps to increase the ranking of websites on search engines. Furthermore, if you want your business to succeed internationally, your written content has to be translated and used online in many different languages.

Multilingual content writing

Both translation and content writing may assist a business to achieve its goal in international markets as long as it is translated into the targeted countries’ languages. Trying to market your product overseas in your own language is not as effective as translating it into many languages.

Why multilingual content writing works so well

For a business that intends to form connections with potential customers globally, multilingual content writing does in fact work extremely well. Businesses can provide their content writers with key topics and themes relevant to their business operations and then get them to craft the articles so they best fit the targeted customers in overseas markets. If the content involves blog posts for say the German market the German content writer or translator needs to ensure the content matches the cultural preferences of the German market.
Even a mention of German cities or regions could be enough for the German audience to feel comfortable with the content. Content writers could also create relevant posts suitable for social media which can be shared across language platforms through translations. Content writing in multiple languages for a brand means the audience won’t feel awkward when sourcing the information in the article or post.

A picture can speak a thousand words

Content writing in multiple languages with correct cultural references can do well on its own, but adding a relevant image may allow the writing to score an even better result with the targeted audience. It doesn’t mean the same image can be used with every piece of translated content but the writer needs to source an image that fits the culture of each targeted audience. It has to have the right colors and slogans that don’t cause offense.

Use local experts to revise the content

Once you have translated your content into different languages you can access local experts to advise you on the impact the content is likely to have on the targeted market. The aim is to get the customers to show an interest in the product and then purchase it. A local expert can assess the potential of the content and adapt it as required. If the targeted audiences don’t differ much in culture then it may be possible to use the same content and images with the likely same effects. However, the challenge arises when customers with different languages and different cultures are being approached. Trying to use the same content and message even when it has been translated may not have quite the right effect. Local experts can make suggestions regarding theme and language use so that the effect is maximized for the local audience.

Choosing content writers

There are many translation companies and writing agencies which can provide content writers who specialize in a variety of themes. It is simply a matter of finding one or more writers and translators who fit your requirements. You may need to test out one or two before finding the one(s) who just fits the bill. In no time at all, you will be reaping the benefits of multilingual content loaded onto your websites which will attract customers from throughout the world. You will be the envy of your competitors.

How Attempts at Translation Have Changed Language

The demand for translation and good translators is probably at an all-time high today, but the need for translation has been around ever since the first people left home and encountered others who spoke another language. These days, languages have become standardised and translation has become a lot easier. It hasn’t always been like that. Imagine what it was like when the first Vikings arrived on the shores of North America and had to communicate with native Americans who spoke a number of very different languages. 

Attempts at translation have often led to the evolution of a new language, which may become a lingua franca, a language of convenience that allows those whose original languages are mutually unintelligible to converse.

This is often why many languages have absorbed words from other languages. The evolution of the English language, for example, demonstrates past attempts at translation which have resulted in a more diverse linguistic combination. It’s easy to see why there are so many words of French origin in the English language (and vice versa) as England and France are so close together and yet separated linguistically and geographically. The evolution of the English language demonstrates past colonial arrangements, too. The two words “bungalow” and “pajama” have become part of the English language but originally were Hindi words. A cup of “char” most probably comes from “chai”, the Hindi word for tea. “Safari” is a Kiswahili word. “Taboo” comes from a Polynesian word for “forbidden” or “sacred”.

Completely new languages may develop from past attempts at translation. These are pidgin languages like Papua New Guinea’s Tok Pisin or Vanuatu’s Bislama. They may be mainly English words in origin, but have also evolved from the original languages of the people who use them, as well as any other colonial influences. Tok Pisin, for example, has words from several different New Guinea languages as well as a few German words and even a few Portuguese ones!

Generally, pidgin languages are only second languages and their speakers still speak their own native language amongst themselves. The evolution of pidginised languages may sometimes develop further, so that a genuinely new language, a Creole language, becomes the language learned from birth. An example would be Papamiento, a language with Spanish, Dutch and West African origins now spoken by the inhabitants of the ABC islands in the Caribbean.

5 Important Things You Should Know About Māori Translation

Lots of people have heard of Māori often in relation to the rugby team known as the All Blacks. In New Zealand, Māori have a vibrant culture and there is eagerness to keep the Maori language alive. The haka is a well know welcoming ceremony used throughout New Zealand when events of various types take place. Māori culture has often been included in New Zealand movies like “Whale Rider” and “Boy”.

Apart from the more superficial aspects of Māori and despite strong western influences, the indigenous people of New Zealand still have a firm relationship with their land and are key landowners. In fact, they have words to describe their relationship with the land. They call themselves “tangata whenua”, which when translated by Māori translation services means people of the land.

The Māori language presence shows how the language is used to represent aspects of Māori culture including the words kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga. The former means guardianship and the later hospitality. The essence of kaitiakitanga is acting as guardians of the land and its natural environment. Climbing Mt. Tarawera, which is sacred to Māori, gives visitors the chance to come close to Māori culture.

There are certain customs that still prevail today, including the hangi, which is an oven used in a hole in the earth on a base of rocks. The area is heated by a fire and the uncooked food which in early days was wrapped in leaves and buried in the ground in the area where the fire was. Today other material like wire baskets are used to put the food in.  The hole is filled in while letting the food cook in the residual heat left behind from the fire. Once cooked, the food is uncovered and shared amongst family and friends.

Māori is a National Language in New Zealand

There are 3 national languages in New Zealand, Māori or Te Reo (literally, “the tongue”, English and sign language. As well as the Māori language thriving through place names it’s also taught in schools even though it is not compulsory to learn it. It can be heard spoken on Māori radio and in Māori immersion schools where the language is emphasised throughout the curriculum and Māori translation services are used to translate Māori into other languages including Māori document translation.  Kiaora the key greeting in Māori is heard in many different contexts and is not just used by Māori and is also translated in a Māori document translation.

It’s an Advantage to Employ Multilinguists

The world is changing, whether people like it or not. The politically explosive changes in Britain and the U.S. last year and the polarisation of politics in Europe that is ongoing reveals that there is certainly disquiet about the effects of globalisation, but it is hard to see how migration trends are going to be reversed, let alone the interconnectedness of the present world economy. The world has become multinational and multilingual. This means that there is a growing need for translation for multiple languages. This is the case even in large organisations that have international links. It’s become an advantage to employ multilinguists even if their ability to understand more than one language is not the only criterion used to select them.

One of the most important factors in the selection of new employees is their ability to communicate well. This is just as true in somewhere like a hospital as it is in a travel agency, airline or hotel, where there is an obvious need to communicate with foreign tourists. Migration and immigration have meant that many countries today are increasingly diverse. Even if most countries insist on everyone being able to communicate in the official language of that country to the point where visas and citizenship may only be considered if a language test is passed, it doesn’t negate the need for multilingualism.

The advantages of employing multilinguists may not be obvious at first if there seems to be no particular need to communicate in any other language than the usual one. But the chances are that because of that very diversity alluded to in the last paragraph that opportunities for full understanding may be lost if a business or organization remains committed to monolingualism. This is most obvious in Europe where employees are often chosen because of their ability to speak more than just French, Spanish, German, or whatever the national language is. Europe is a multilingual entity and the need for effective translation for multiple languages across language barriers is a strong one.

This is increasingly the case in the U.S. now, as the number of Spanish-speaking people has grown over the last two decades of strong immigration. ‘Se habla español’ (Spanish is spoken here) signs are often displayed in reception centers, offices, government departments, and on websites in the U.S. The advantages of at least having one bilingual Spanish / English employee in every place open to the public are certainly not lost on U.S. employers.

Why Bother Having a Multi Language Website?

There is a growing demand for multiple language translation for websites that are designed to offer business services to more than one language group or to government and non-governmental agencies that deal with more than one language group.

There are few countries in the modern world that are now only monolingual. The growth in migration has created multilingual communities within many countries, particularly the more affluent ones. While many new migrants are fluent in the language of their new host country, they still often feel more comfortable with their own native language when using the Internet. The need for multi language websites for government services is certainly a strong one. Government websites should preferably use certified translators to ensure that notices and information made available to different language users is translated accurately.

Some nations are naturally multilingual. Switzerland and Finland in Europe, Canada in North America, India and Malaysia in Asia and most African countries are multilingual, even if there is an official language. Whether websites used in these countries are for commercial purposes or by non commercial organisations, there is certainly a need for multiple language translation.

In addition to these multilingual realities that occur within nation states, globalisation of the world’s economy has meant that more and more businesses have seized the opportunity to market their goods overseas. Online shopping has become commonplace on an international basis. Amazon, eBay and Alibaba, just to mention a few international online stores, cannot exist without multi language websites.

There may be a temptation to think that a website can use English as it is considered an ‘international’ language, but this would inevitably cut down the potential market for any newly expanding business. In fact, many businesses learn the hard way that creating multi language websites is not as straightforward as they first might have thought. Not only should fluent and professional translators be hired to translate all the important pages within a commercial website. The translators or translation agency should be selected on the basis that it is experienced in localising web pages. That means adapting the language so that it has cultural relevance to the target community. This is much more important for marketing websites than selecting certified translators, which is more relevant for government information sites.