Blog

Translating: Easy Translations and Difficult Translations

English is now the global language of communication. Most people learn English at school and continue to learn after their basic education to be able to be proficient in the language. It makes jobs a lot easier. As English is a mix of other languages, having a strong Latin influence, as well as Germanic languages and French, these come quite easy to the English learner.

Translations into English are in strong supply. All these languages use the same alphabet, so it's no great strain to learn a European language.

However, when it comes to translating into different languages that use different alphabets, things are not so easy. Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Thai and other Asiatic languages. There are no easy cues that allow interpretations. Nothing that resembles European languages; no alphabet, sounds that are completely different, and then there are the cultural differences and nuances to deal with.

What's the Hardest Language to Learn? Probably not the one You Would Expect

If you have ever tried to learn a foreign language, unless you learned as a young child, it can be a very frustrating experience. Gender, tenses, expressions that have no direct translation--language learning can feel like an uphill battle.

But what about a language that features clicks? One such language is !Xóõ, which is an African language spoken by just a few thousand, mostly in Botswana. !Xóõ has five basic clicks and 17 accompanying ones. Interestingly enough, the top academic studying !Xóõ, Tony Traill, developed a lump on his throat from learning to make their sounds. Further research showed that mature !Xóõ-speakers had the same lump.