Archives de catégorie : Language of the Week

Language of the Week: Chinese

Chinese

The Language of this Week is Chinese!

It is estimated that over 1 billion people in the world speak some form of Chinese: Other than being the most spoken language in the world, it is also one of the more difficult languages to learn.

This will forever be my excuse when asked why I never managed to master the language. Although Chinese is my first language, I am a little embarrassed to say that I am not fluent. This does not mean that I didn’t spend hours and hours after school and on weekends devoting my time and effort to the language.

So let me give you a quick introduction on the language. For starters, chinese is separated into Cantonese and Mandarin, Cantonese is written in traditional characters and usually used in Hong Kong and other parts of southern China while Mandarin is the more dominante language in China and written in simplified characters. Traditional characters tend to be more complex than simplified.

The character horse in Chinese: 

traditional: 馬

simplified: 马

The phonological system (it tells you how to pronounce the Chinese characters) is called pinyin

a e i o u    
m t f n r d q
z y p h b k l
s g j w c x  
ai ei ui ao üe    
ou iu ei ue er    
an en in un ün    
zh ch sh
ang eng ing ong      

Each letter or combination of letters in a box is called a pinyin, and every pinyin can be pronounced using 4 tones. And with the pronunciation of each tone, there are many possible characters that have are pronounced using the same tone.

For example:

pinyin
character
meaning mom numb horse to scold

However, for mă, it can also be written in a different character.

code

 

This does not only apply to this sole character, there are many characters in Chinese that are pronounced in the same tone but have different meanings. The different tones are difficult for new beginners to learn as the intonations are very close in sound and a slight change can completely change your intended meaning.

If you’re feeling brave, try this commonly used tongue twister to practice pronouncing the tones:

Sì shì sì, shí shì shí, shísì shì shísì, sìshí shì sìshí, sìshísì zhī shí shīzi shì sǐ de.

四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十,四十四只石狮子是死的。

Four is four, ten is ten, fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty. Forty four stone lions are dead.

After mastering pinyin, next comes learning how to write the Chinese characters, which when written correctly are very beautiful. Through learning the construction of the characters, you will also be able to gain insight into the Chinese mind. It is said that a person needs to memorize 2000 Chinese characters in order to be able to read a Chinese newspaper, which is far less than the 4000 english words required to read a newspaper.

As you all know, there are many lessons to be learnt from Chinese proverbs, so with this, I leave you with one that will hopefully motivate you to start your journey in whatever you choose.

千里之行,始于足下
Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

再见 (Zàijiàn) bye !

 



Who are we?

Agence de traduction AlltradisAlltradis is today a key player in translation and conference interpreting.

Since its creation in 1995, Alltradis has translated over 19,000 written projects in various language combinations, organized simultaneous interpreting for the largest international conferences and gathered a long list of loyal clients. Alltradis has truly become a fundamental part of their success. We specialize in diverse industries such as; medical/pharmaceutical translation, cosmetic/luxury product translation, technical and industrial translation, marketing/finance/HR translation, legal translation, etc.

Many world leading companies trust our expertise – what are you waiting for? For more information, visit our website: www.alltradis.us


 

Language of the Week: Hindi

 

hindi

Language of this Week : Hindi !

First, a little background information. Hindi comes from the Persian word Hind which means « Land of the Indus River » and has roots going back to nearly 5,000 BC. It became the official language of India in 1965, but is also spoken in other countries such as Mauritius; Fiji and Nepal. It is also one of the most spoken languages in the world, close to 425 million people speak Hindi as their first language.

Like in French, in Hindi, all nouns have genders and the spelling of verbs and adjectives change to agree with the noun.

If your new years resolution this year was to learn Hindi, then you might have just lucked out. It is said that Hindi is to be one of the easiest languages to learn due to the fact that it is read exactly has it is written. But then again, it also has 48 officially accepted dialects.

So, I was told that in Hindi, two characters, “Santa” and “Banta” are often used in jokes, so I did some researching and I thought they were pretty funny so here are a few to hopefully brighten your day! (In case you wanted to practice, I’ve also provided them in Hindi of course)

1.
Santa: I was hit by a bus when I was a child, you know.
Banta: Oh my god, did you die or survive?
Santa: I don’t remember, I was only four then.

संताःपता है बचपन में मुझे एक बस ने धक्का मार दिया था.
बंताःबाप रे, तू मर गया कि बचा?
संताःयादनहीं, मैं तब केवल चार साल का था.
[Santa: Patahai, bachpan mein mujhe ek bus ne dhakka maar diya tha.
Banta: Baap re, tu mar gaya kibacha?
Santa: Yaad nahi. main tab chaar saal ka tha.

2.

Santa: How much is a banana?
Grocer: 1 rupee.
Santa: Would you sell it for 60 paise?
Grocer: You could only get the skin of the fruit for that price.
Santa: Take 40 paise, just give me the banana, (and keep the skin).

संताःकेला कितने में?
फलवालाःएक रूपए.
संताः 60 पैसे में दोगे?
फलवालाःइतने में तो बस छिलका मिलेगा.
संताःये लो 40 पैसे, मुझे बस केला चाहिए.
[Santa: Kelaa kitne mein?
Falwala: 1 rupaye.
Santa: 60 paise mein doge?
Falwala: Itne me to sirf kele kaa chhilkaa milegaa.
Santa: Ye lo 40 paise, mujhe bas kelaa chahiye.]

Also popular are Teacher-student jokes, here’s one:

Teacher: Write an essay on a cricket match.
All pupils started writing except one.
Teacher: Why are you sitting?
Student: I’ve finished the essay.
Teacher: What did you write?
Student: « Due to rain, no match.”

टीचरः क्रिकेट मैच पर लेख लिखो.
सब लिख रहे थे. मगर एक छात्र बैठा था.
टीचरः क्यों बैठे हो?
छात्रः लिख लिया.
टीचरः क्या?
छात्रः बारिश हो गई, मैच रद्द.
[Teacher: Cricket match par lekh likho.
Sab likh rahe the, magar ek student baitha tha
Teacher: Kyon baithe ho?
Chhatr: Likh liya.
Teacher: Kya?
Chhatr: Barish ho gayee, match radd.]

Hope you had a good laugh!

बाय(Baya : Bye!)

 



Who are we?

Agence de traduction AlltradisAlltradis is today a key player in translation and conference interpreting.

Since its creation in 1995, Alltradis has translated over 19,000 written projects in various language combinations, organized simultaneous interpreting for the largest international conferences and gathered a long list of loyal clients. Alltradis has truly become a fundamental part of their success. We specialize in diverse industries such as; medical/pharmaceutical translation, cosmetic/luxury product translation, technical and industrial translation, marketing/finance/HR translation, legal translation, etc.

Many world leading companies trust our expertise – what are you waiting for? For more information, visit our website: www.alltradis.us


Language of the Week: Arabic

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Starting from today, we will be introducing a new language to you every week as a part of our new Language of the Week Series.

This week, we will be highlighting Arabic!

arabic

I have to admit, I first took an interest in Arabic due to my love of kebabs and falafel. However, today, I am very proud to say that I can now introduce myself fluently in Arabic (Ma-ha-le-bar, ana-e-s-mi Yuejia: Hello, my name is Yuejia 🙂 )

A little introduction on Arabic, it is one of the oldest languages in the world. It has been used for the past 2000 years and is one of the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world; in fact, it is spoken by over 250 million people in the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabic is divided into two versions:

  1. Colloquial Arabic (dialects): mostly spoken in everyday life
  2. Modern Standard Arabic is the official written form of the language and the only the only way for you to learn Arabic in an academic environment. It is therefore used in written context in newspapers and books such as the Quran.

The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters and words are written from right to left.

If you are interested in learning Arabic, here’s a few phrases to get you started!

English Arabic Pronounciation
Do you speak English? هل تتكلم بالإنجليزية؟ [hal tatakallam al ingliziya?]
Please   من فضلك [min fadlak]
Thank you شكرا [shukran]

 

If you would like to request a language for us to highlight, don’t hesitate, we welcome you’re suggestions!

سلام (salaam : bye!)

 


Who are we?

Agence de traduction AlltradisAlltradis is today a key player in translation and conference interpreting.

Since its creation in 1995, Alltradis has translated over 19,000 written projects in various language combinations, organized simultaneous interpreting for the largest international conferences and gathered a long list of loyal clients. Alltradis has truly become a fundamental part of their success. We specialize in diverse industries such as medical/pharmaceutical translation, cosmetic/luxury product translation, technical and industrial translation, marketing/finance/HR translation, legal translation, etc.

Many world leading companies trust our expertise – what are you waiting for? For more information, visit our website: www.alltradis.us