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Diversification of Languages and Their Dialects

Language is the most crucial aspect of the process of localization. After all, the entire process revolves around translating text, audio-video and graphical content from one language to the other. Let us discuss some interesting aspects of languages and dialects in this article.

What is a Language
Language is defined as a method of human communication in written as well as spoken formats. Language comprises using words within the frameworks of a structure and convention. Simply put language is the means of communication within specific communities and groups.

What is Dialect
Dialect is the way a language sounds or is pronounced within a specific geographic location. Apart from pronunciation, dialect also focuses on vocabulary and grammar. It is believed that the dialect of languages changes after every few kilometers. Thus, the dialect of a particular language is bound to change as is traverses through from one place to the other. No wonder same language is spoken in a variety of ways across different territorial zones. When say XYZ speakers who belong to different geographical locations exhibit categorical fluctuations in their speech and tone, it is said that these groups speak the same language but in different dialects. On a lighter vein, people who speak a commonly-spoken language in a peculiar manner, they are said to carry forward their mother tongue influence! Various factors including social and geographical restraints are responsible for causing variations and diversity in dialects.

Diversification of Languages

Interesting Language Facts

1. 7000 world languages exist.

2. 12.44% of world population speaks Mandarin.

3.  2,200 languages exist in Asia.

4.  13 ways to spell “O” in French.

5.  2,400 endangered languages.

6.   231 languages are now extinct.

7.   One language dies every 14 days.

8.   Bible is available in 2454 languages.

9.   South Africa has 11 official languages.

10.  1/ 4th world population speaks English.

11.  United States has no official language.

12.  UN has 6 official languages.

13.  830 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea.

14.  Indian man recorded a song in 125 languages in 2009.

15.  Cryptophasia, private language developed between twins.

16.  Polyglot, a person who can speak and write different languages.

Origin of Localization
Translation, a predominant part of localization process is a combination of art and science of translating content from one language to the other. It intends at translating such that the translated content is creative, meaningful and is strictly in line with the local culture and traditional flavors. The origins of translation or localization is dated back to the Jewish culture when Jewish scriptures are believed to be translated into Koine Greek. Back the however, translation was possible only on materials including clothes, dried leaves, wooden barks or any such readily available material. With the passage of time, this art pick up pace and soon translation became a method of cross-communication between geographically and culturally distant regions/communities.

Cultural Diversity
There are several languages spoken all over the world. Each language used in a particular geographic zone is prone to catch the local cultural flavors. So much so that the dialect of a language changes as and when it travels a few kilometers into the next location. The language adapts the local colors pretty easily. Hence, a particular language is sure to be culturally diverse or different within a geographic zone all thanks to it’s easy adaptability and accommodating nature.

Use of Different Terminologies
Jargon literally means specific phrases or words synonym to a particular language. The whole idea of using jargons is to disguise the hidden meaning, which of course, is commonly understood by a community or residents of a geographical location. Jargons are used to convey the message in a stern but subtle way! Localization specialists should study the local language and its jargons well before putting them to use. They have to be cautious about using jargons judiciously lest they should end up hurting the sentiments of local people.

Thus, localization team should always study the language and all important aspects related to a particular language in depth before proceeding with their localization and translation responsibilities.