European and Asian Languages Share a Common Ancestor

All Eurasian languages, from Portuguese to French, have formed a “super family” whose roots date back 15, 000 years. Scientists have discovered that billions of people are linguistic “descendants” of one language that was spoken in Southern Europe at the time of the last Ice Age.

Ancient Language Development in Europe

caveman talking on phone

It appears that English, Urdu and Japanese (among others) can be used to trace a language that was used in the region of North-Eastern Russia. The ancient language was the basis for at least seven languages that formed the old Eurasian linguistic “super family”. In the Eurasian region, everyone can trace their linguistic roots back to the group of people that inhabited southeastern Europe more than 15,000 years ago, when the glaciers began retracting.

Scientists have long maintained two opinions about the origin of the Eurasian super family of languages. The problem is that many words evolved so quickly that their exact origin cannot be determined. Most words stand 50% chance of being replaced by another term every two-three thousand years. On the other hand, there are words that weather time much better than others. Pronouns, numerals and adverbs have a proven record of surviving thousands of years.

Evolution of Word Usage

Language EvolutionThere was a study that used a computer model to register the rate of word changes. The idea was to identify words by the number of their recorded changes, thus leading to a unified “layer” of the original Eurasian language. Some of the words that have “survived” the numerous changes throughout centuries include: I, me, man and mother. However, there are also more obscure examples, such as sawdust and worm. Scientists claim that the survival of sawdust, for example, shouldn’t be considered strange at all. From prehistoric times onwards, people have used wood for different activities; sawdust, as a part of wood, was used for insulation, fire-making and the production of fibers. Therefore, the term survived millenniums.

Etymology is an interesting discipline that has allowed people to learn about language, cultural evolution and the ways in which words became extinct. In that respect, the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel can be understood and interpreted as a metaphor for the gradual diversification of languages.

Global Cultural Exchanges

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Have you ever heard a story, in most cases an urban legend, something like this, “If you sit with your foot on your knee in such-and-such country, the locals take it as an insult”? Most of us have heard similar stories by the score. How do such stories emerge and become legends? Are they just the workings of an over active imagination, or are they something else?

Sometimes they are based on truth, but more likely they are not. They are just misconceptions that have bred and fed on themselves to take a life of their own. Before you know it, these stories with little or nothing to support them become accepted as facts. Sensational reporting doesn’t help matters either. Because people don’t want boring stories, news sells only if it’s sensationalized. Through both social and print media, which may not be policed at all for truthfulness, the material we come across usually does not paint an accurate picture of a country and its culture.

Nothing Can Be Better than a First-Hand Experience

To understand a culture, first-hand experience is essential. For this purpose, countries like the USA initiate cultural exchange programs through which artists, filmmakers, musicians, poets, etc., from different countries meet one another. Cultural exchanges directly or indirectly address matters of global concern. These include tolerance, conflict resolution, awareness of human rights, importance of art and craft, freedom of creative expression, etc.

Cultural expos and other such cultural exchange programs supply a unique opportunity for nations to introduce their culture to the rest of the world.

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Reducing Misunderstandings

Of course, there are misconceptions on both sides of the global divide. But since we have no means to filter the authentic from the inauthentic, ill-conceived ideas about those who are strange multiply and persist. So what can be done about it? One solution is cultural exchange programs, such as cultural festivals and expos, etc., which could be organized to bridge gaps between countries.

As an example, DeMonfort University in Leicester, England, will hold its 13th Cultural Exchange Festival to exchange ideas and beliefs multilaterally. During one week each year, this event hosts more than 3,000 people, and the number is growing. Talks and discussions occur on formal and informal levels, as individuals from one country meet and speak with individuals from other countries.

Alliance, an American cultural exchange community, organizes cultural exchanges between residents of the US and other countries to promote and understand indigenous cultures from all over the world. Displays of art and culture in varied genres attract not only artists to such programs but also aficionados who simply appreciate art and want to add something positive to their own lives.

These are just two examples of many efforts being made multilaterally. The U.S Department of State also offers exchange programs involving students and faculty from various countries.

How Language Comes into Play

One of the biggest obstacles at such events is the language barrier. At the Leicester festival, booths of bi-lingual and multilingual volunteers help any two, three or more people converse by interpreting for them. As bi-bilingualism has become indispensable in today’s world, such events can be made more fruitful by engaging translators and interpreters for better communication between people from across the globe.

We can cast a casual glance around the world and easily see conflict everywhere we look. It is obvious that we’re in trouble globally and that we must do something about it. But stopping global and local problems must begin with ending misunderstandings and false conceptions of differences. Each of us needs to step up and put a stop to misconceptions abounding worldwide. If anything can reduce or eliminate misunderstandings, it has to take place on a grassroots level with the common people, each one committed to finding truth and accepting cultural differences. Learning other languages is a necessary step to achieving global understanding.

A Brief Introduction to German Culture

Map-of-Germany-Cartoon2Germany, or Deutschland as Germans call it, is located in Central Europe, where it has a rich and distinctive history and culture. Because it shares its borders with nine countries–Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and Poland–other cultures have greatly influenced German language, culture and lifestyle into what Germany is today. Neighboring countries, particularly Austria, with which it shares the longest border, is the most similar to Germany.

A Country with a Rich History

For a tourist, there are plenty of historical sites in Germany. The Trier baths, Roman Amphitheater. Black Gate (Porta Nigra) and pillars of the Roman Bridge over the Mosel; the Weiden Roman Burial Chamber on the outskirts of Cologne, the Drusus Stone on the grounds of the Mainz citadel, and other remains date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. However, Roman ruins are common throughout Germany.

Other historical monuments are fairly new as compared to these. The Brandenburg Gate, the remains of the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany at one time, the Berliner Dom as well as castles and palaces built by dukes or Prussian emperors are major attractions for tourists.

The German Lifestyle

Germans, who are very hard working, place much value on precision and order in almost every aspect of their lives. They do not compromise on the quality of work. You will not find them frivolous. In fact, they are generally raised with a sense of responsibility ingrained in them. They are highly committed, self -disciplined, and generally reserved. This doesn’t mean they are unfriendly, but they may take a while to be communicative, especially when mingling with other cultures.

Eating Habits

The eating habits of Germans are not very different from those of other Europeans. They consume pork more than twice as much as beef or goat meat. Schweinshaxe and Saumagen, as well as pork sausages, are staples of German diet. Germans also eat bratwurst. beets, cabbage, cauliflower and other veggies as parts of their meals. Potatoes in all forms are a staple, as is brown bread. Usually German food is bland with little or no spices added.

As a large Turkish population lives in Germany, Turkish cheese and sausages, Turkish bread and doner kabab are also easily available. Beer, brandy and schnapps are the most popular alcoholic drinks in Germany.

Religion and Language

A large majority of the German population is Christian, divided almost evenly between Catholics and Protestants. Due to a large population of Turks and migrants from other Muslim countries, 5 percent of the population is Muslim. Jews are few because of the massive deportation and extermination during the Second World War.

Around 95 percent of the population speaks German, but some people close to the Rhine estuary also speak Serbian. Turks speak German, as well as Turkish and Hebrew. People living close to the Danish border speak Danish, whereas an indigenous language, Romani, is also spoken by a very few.

Apart from the Christian holidays, Oktoberfest is one of the most colorful events that Germans celebrate. It lasts a fortnight. The festival is a source of joy for adults and children alike. The actual event is centered in Munich, but similar fairs occur all over the country. It is the world’s largest party.

Doing Business with the Germans

Germans are very organized, efficient and orderly in their business. They do not like long discussions because they hate wasting time. The top executives of a company or organization conduct meetings with their counterparts, and hierarchy is given importance. Meetings are very formal, with an amazing amount of preparation and effort preceding each one. Germans tend to avoid on-the-spot and casual decisions.

German professionals make the most of their time and tend to get straight to business. Because Germans are very straightforward, their communication may seem undiplomatic and brusque to a foreigner. Their business communication is a proof of this characteristic.

The Global Dominance Of English

English language

Because English still holds supreme power in the online world, it is probably the most powerful language in the world  today. It entered the stage in the mid-twentieth century, after World War II, when it replaced French as the common language of diplomacy. English has maintained its supremacy ever since, but it may not continue to dominate forever.  Times are changing, economies are booming, new markets are emerging, and website owners should be on the lookout- you never know when the reign of English may cease. The question emerges: if you decide to localize your site, what would your second choice of language be? Who is challenging the language supremacy of English?

Mandarin Chinese Challenge

It is assumed that Mandarin Chinese is one of the most prominent languages in the world today. According to an estimate that dates back a few years, Mandarin is the mother tongue of nearly 950 million people, which is double the number of native English speakers. Mandarin is spoken by people in China, Singapore and Taiwan, but it has also overtaken English as the most widely used second language in Hong Kong. If we include dialects and local variants, it is clear that Mandarin is a strong language with an enormous base. It is still far from being the most powerful language on the Internet, but it is here to stay, and its importance will probably only increase in the years to come.

Spanish as a Global Force

In addition to Mandarin Chinese, there is Spanish. The importance of Spanish should not be underestimated: it is a language spoken by around 400 million people in Spain, South America (excluding the Portuguese-speaking Brazil), Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara. In the United States, Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language and is recognized as the native language of 37 million people, which is around 10% of the country’s population. Due to a massive influx of immigrants from Latin America, Spanish has grown so rapidly in the U.S. that there is a strong demand for professional Spanish tranlation services.  With the global economy changing, it is quite obvious that Spanish will rank high as one of the most in-demand languages for website localization.

Other European Languages

However, Mandarin and Spanish are not alone in the race against English. Strong, highly developed countries are striving towards having websites in their native languages. Germany, France and Russia are such countries. The stronger a country, the greater its need for expressing independence. Although German, French and Russian have fewer native speakers than English, they are still globally recognized and taught around the world as second languages. There are other languages, such as Hindi and Arabic, which have a multitude of native speakers, yet somehow they are not currently getting picked up by the online community.

We live in a world dominated by English, but it doesn’t mean that it is the final lingua franca of civilization. Latin and Greek both served as a lingua franca for centuries, but they are now dead languages.  There are more than 1 billion people speaking English, but only one third of them speak it as their native language. Technological advancements and nationalistic aspirations might easily change the balance of linguistic power in the future.

The Global Strategy of Starbucks

While Starbucks began in the U.S., the actual concept was derived in Italy.  According to company literature, the founder and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, saw how popular coffee shops were during a business trip to Milan, Italy in 1983.  Schultz observed that the success of Italian coffee shops was based on their ability to serve as a place to socialize.  As a result, Schultz returned to the United States with a plan to create a coffee culture in the United States.

Starbucks grew rapidly in the United States and in 1987, the first international location opened in British Columbia.  Today, Starbucks operates more than 5,500 coffeehouses in over 50 countries.  Starbucks globalization strategy offers the company to maintain its rapid growth base even when the U.S. domestic market is reaching complete saturation.  Starbucks learned that they must be sensitive to local customs and preferences.  For instance, in certain parts of the world, Starbucks failed because they weren’t seen as being corporately owned outsiders and not a part of the community.  Starbucks redesigned their stores to make each one closely fit into their local setting.  Starbucks also faced barriers when it entered China.  Originally perceived as un-Chinese, the company hired a Chinese translation and localization firm to help it reinvented its Chinese strategy with a menu that included more Chinese-inspired food products and coffee-free beverages.  Starbucks also opened a coffee farm and processing operations. The company knows that its expansion plans must be sensitive to Chinese values.  Today, Starbucks operates more than 550 stores in China.

Developing Marketing Strategies For Entering Foreign Markets

Businesses that decided to enter foreign markets often discover that their products and strategies require a certain degree of customization. Changes to the products and promotional strategies are often needed to address a wide variety of issues that that are present in foreign markets and that might not be present in domestic markets. Therefore, a winning strategy requires careful research and planning to ensure that the needs of the market will be addressed from the offset. Upfront planning can help ensure success and avert costly cross cultural, political, legal and regulatory, and competitive mishaps.

Sociocultural Forces

Certified translators frequently hear stories about companies that made the mistake of ignoring cultural, social and linguistic differences when entering foreign markets. An essential requirement of an effective global marketing strategy is the ability to accurately define and identify significant sociocultural and sociolinguistic deviations. In Hong Kong, for example, McDonald’s offers a number of items that appeal to local tastes such as the Green Tea & Red Bean Ice Cream Sundae. In Thailand, McDonald’s offers the Samurai Pork Burger, which happens to be marketed as the Shogun Burger in China. In India, McDonald’s caters to local tastes with a menu that is spicier and includes chicken instead of beef.

Cultural and linguistic difference and preferences can be difficult to identify and integrate into strategies. As many Portuguese translators are aware, while Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Brazil and Angola, there are significant differences and advertising and other promotional content must be translated into other languages. Therefore, a proper localization strategy requires the use of translators who are fluent in the local dialect. Localization must also account for any logos, symbols or trademarks that could have a cultural meaning. Gerber made the mistake of selling its baby food in low literacy countries. In the countries, products packaging includes a picture of the food item. However, Gerber products include a picture of a baby which confused illiterate consumers. It was widely reported that some shoppers thought that Gerber was selling baby meat.

Planning To Make A Documentary In A Foreign Territory? Have You Arranged For An Interpreter?

We like to sit and watch documentaries in the comfort of our lounge, sipping coffee and munching on snacks. But nobody would have really given a thought to the effort a documentary filmmaker puts in, to make a documentary interesting! As a documentary filmmaker who is going to make a documentary on a foreign culture, interaction with the locals is extremely important. For better interaction with the locals, a documentary filmmaker will have to engage a good interpreter.

Why the need of an interpreter?

It is obvious that you will need to inquire about a lot many things from the local people. Even if your documentary is not about the culture itself, but about animals or the historical places etc. of that country, most of the information you will gather will be from the local population. Therefore, you will need to engage a very experienced interpreter for this purpose. Once established, that you will need the help of an interpreter, the next step is to determine how to hire one.

Which translation service to choose?

From among countless translation service companies, it is definitely an ordeal to pick one. Though many translation companies can arrange an interpreter for you, it is difficult to come across an interpreter who will be competent enough to meet the kind of challenges he/she will face, working with a documentary filmmaker.

What attributes your interpreter should have?

He/she needs to be dynamic, vibrant and exuberant at the same time. He/she also needs to be adventurous enough to embark on such a trip. So where to find an interpreter who will have all these attributes? Do not take it upon yourself to find such a dynamic professional interpreter. Why not come to a responsible translation company like The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company?

Yes!! Come to us and we will arrange the rest for you! We bet that being a documentary filmmaker, you will have a lot on your mind. Therefore, leave it upon us to choose the best candidate for this job.

The job of an interpreter

Spontaneity and caution are two things which go hand in hand with interpretation services. You cannot afford to be given any wrong information by your interpreter, especially when you have to include it in your documentary. Therefore, one needs to be very particular in the choice of an interpreter. Arranging for an interpreter is as important as looking for a source of funding for your documentary.

We will like to help you in your search as we have highly professional interpreters for every language. You may contact us through our website www.themarketinganalysts.com

How To Translate Poetry?

Translating any document or transcript requires some skill and expertise but you can easily find any translation services which will do this job for you in your desired budget. But for literary translations, you will have to make a very intelligent choice regarding your translation vendor.

Have you got a collection of poems you want to be translated into any foreign language? Are you tired of looking for a Spanish or French translator who can understand the metaphorical meaning of your poetic verses? Have you been disappointed so far in your search? Well, come to The Marketing Analysts Translation Service Company as we have solutions for all your problems concerning translation of literary material!

Translation of poetry—an art

There are a number of things which need to be taken care of, while translating a piece of poetry. As everyone knows, poetry is entirely different from any other type of document and even from a literary piece in prose. Every poem has a literal meaning and a symbolic significance to it. To keep both intact in the translated version requires extreme skill and experience. The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company has a number of translators of different languages, who have been carrying out poetic translations for the past many years. These translators have mastered the literature of the target language, having professional degrees in it.

Theme and subject matter

Every poem has a theme which should not undergo any change in the translated version. Our translators will make sure that there is no discrepancy in the theme and subject matter of the original and translated version.

Rhyme and rhythm

Every poem has a rhyme scheme and follows a rhythmic pattern, also known as stress and intonation. According to a Russian translator working for the Chicago Russian Translation services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Service Company, a skilled linguist will translate the poem in such a way that the translated version also has a rhyme scheme. Intonation, which is the rise and fall of speech, is another important characteristic of a poem. During translation, it is important for the linguist to know what is the original tone of the poem to follow the same when translating.

Avoiding colloquial, mundane expression

Our linguists know that poetry cannot be translated into a colloquial, mundane expression. Whether written in rhyme or free verse, a poem has to be translated using poetic expression. The vocabulary used should also be selected carefully. An experienced linguist chooses the best option that fits into the verse, out of the many synonyms any particular word has.

Literal and metaphorical meaning

An inexperienced translator who has never translated a poem before will only translate it in its literal meaning. Only erudite people know that the actual meaning of a poem is its metaphorical or symbolic meaning which the translated version must convey. The translation also must convey any message that the poet has for the readers.

If you have a collection of poems which you want to be translated into any language, contact The Marketing Analysts Translation Service Company. (www.themarketinganalysts.com)

Aspiring To Build An Internationally Recognized Brand?

Are you aspiring to make a name for your brand internationally? Then you must have considered localizing your website in various languages. As important as website localization and translation of your material is, you might have noticed that most of your company’s material is translated from English to other languages and vice versa. For example, how often do you need Portuguese to German translation as compared to German to English translation and English to Portuguese translation? This proves our point that English has become a global language.

As a global company, how much importance do you give to the English language and its correct usage?  Do you differentiate between the different dialects of English when posting content on your website? If not, it might be a good idea to differentiate between your English speaking audiences. Your American audience will prefer a more direct and straight forward sentence but your British audience will appreciate a flowery, high-flown expression. Using a flowery expression for your American audience will not work and might put off your clients. On the other hand, a simple expression might be termed as banal by your British audience.

One Raleigh translation services company maintained that it is very important to differ between the various dialects of English for the benefit of your international customers. You do not want to offend or confuse your Scottish, Irish, Welsh, American, Australian or Canadian audiences. To entertain your clientele in the best possible way, you need to engage the natives of these countries for the localization of your content for your respective customers. Only natives will be aware of the nuances of their dialects. The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company based in Louisville believes in the separate identity of each dialect of the English language. Often other translation service companies overlook this fact and translate or localize content in American English, assuming it will also cater the audiences from other English speaking countries.

This is indeed a very wrong approach. If you are aspiring to become a thriving international enterprise, you must give English its due importance as a global language. Having an experience of two decades in the translation industry, The Marketing Analysts Translation Service Company will advise you to hire only those translation service companies which can provide you with the natives speakers of certain dialects of English language for website localization or content translation. You don’t have to look far as our company has the best language translators and linguists any translation company can offer. For any queries, visit our website (www.themarketinganalysts.com) or leave a message and we will get right back to you!

A Cultural Understanding Of Your Target Market Can Make A Huge Difference

When you are going global with your business, a cultural understanding of your target audience can do wonders. If you know how to approach your target audience and how to effectively advertize your product in the target market, your sales can increase to a considerable level. Whether opting for website localization or the translation of your company’s brochures in another language, cultural understanding can go a long way. Sociologists have classified different cultures into three groups according to the variations in their ways of communication.

The cultures which base their communication on logic were named as the linear-active cultures. Scandinavians, Germans and Austrians come into this category. A German translator working for the Austin translation services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Service Company confirmed this study. He remarked that Germans think logically and give more credence to written than verbal confirmation. These people like to be direct and are emotionally detached in their communications. While you are localizing your website or manuals etc for these countries, you need to be very direct in your marketing campaign. While designing advertisements or localizing them for these countries, try to be convincing in your approach. Try not to deviate from the original subject as these cultures place a high value in time and do not like unnecessary ravings.

Contrary to these less interactive cultures, there are multi-active cultures. People belonging to these cultures are more emotional in their interactions with others. These people are sentimental, talkative and have a more intimate way of communicating with others. They place high value in spoken words and their emotions have an upper hand in most of their decisions. Italians, Spanish and Latin Americans fall into this category.

If you want your content localized or translated for any of these countries, you ought to modify it in a way which appeals your target audience. Be more vocal about your product. Instead of being strictly market-oriented in your approach, you will need to add color and feelings to your advertisements. Instead of using formal expression, try to use informal and colloquial expression to convey your message. A Spanish translator working for the Houston translation services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Services confirmed this study. He said that Spanish and Mexican people prefer to stay away from formalities in their public dealings. Your marketing strategy for these countries must focus on creating a homey atmosphere to attract your audience.

Then there are the reactive cultures which also place a high value in good communication. These people are passive and calm by temperament and also very sociable. Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese all qualify as reactive cultures. These people also give credence to a verbal promise and do not always conduct business formally. Even if they hold a different opinion from others, they will respect the contradictory viewpoint and will refrain from openly negating it. These cultures are consumer-based and marketing your products effectively in these countries can be very beneficial for your company.

A psychological insight into the cultural variations of your target audience is going to uplift your marketing campaign.