The world tag features articles that mention any content relating to the world or international topics — subjects that involve translation and languages.

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Mount Elbrus, The Caucasus region

10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken Today

Mount Elbrus, The Caucasus region, 10 oldest languages still spoken today

Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain in the Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. A region known for its linguistic diversity / Wikipedia

10 Oldest Languages in Use Today

It is almost impossible to judge how old one language is from another. The evolution of language is virtually similar to biological evolution; like evolution, changes to a language happen minutely over the course of generations. However, there is no clearly discernible difference between one language and the next language, from which a language derived.

Despite this, each of the ten languages listed are considerably ancient yet still spoken today. Each with an intriguing history that differentiates it from a multitude of others.

Those 10 Ancient Languages

Hebrew
The Hebrew language is an interesting case on this list: it fell out of common usage circa 400 CE. Yet it remained preserved as a liturgical language for Jews around the world. The rise of Zionism in the 19th and 20th centuries revived the language until it became the official language of Israel. Hebrew speakers can fully understand the Old Testament in its original writings.
Tamil
Spoken by circa 78 million people, Tamil is officially recognized as a language of India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. This classical language has survived the ages. Dating back to the third century BCE, and still in continuous use today.
Lithuanian
Lithuanian, like most European languages, is Indo-European in origin. This group divided up c.3500 BCE. The most fascinating feature of Lithuanian is that it retained the sounds and grammar of its Proto-Indo-European ancestor, unlike that of its cousins.
Farsi
Mainly spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Farsi is actually Persian, a direct descendant of Old Persian. Modern Persian first appeared circa 800 CE. Farsi speakers could quite easily read ancient texts in Persian with relative ease, more fluently than English speakers can read Shakespeare!

Ones you wouldn’t consider ancient

Icelandic
The Scandinavian language Icelandic is an Indo-European language from the North Germanic branch. This ancient language of the Norse peoples developed quite conservatively over the centuries. Amazingly, Icelanders can read their ancient sagas as if they were written yesterday.
Macedonian
This Slavic language belongs to the same family as Russian, Polish, Czech and Croatian. The Slavic language family is relatively young as far as languages are concerned and only split from Proto-Slavic, pre-ninth century CE.
Basque
The Basque language is a linguistic mystery. Spoken in regions that stretch across both France and Spain; it’s also unrelated to the Romance language family. The only explanation to explain it thus far, is that it existed long before the Romans arrived with the Latin they had spoken that subsequently developed into French and Spanish.
Finnish
The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric family which includes Estonian, Hungarian and several languages in minority groups across Siberia. Written down in the 16th century, its history is long. Interestingly, Finnish has many loanwords still in usage from Old Germanic and Gothic (those two languages do not exist today).
Georgian
Georgian is spoken in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, originating from the Caucasus region, the frontier between Europe and Asia. It’s part of the Kartvelian language family and unlike any other in the world. Although its alphabet is thought to be adapted from Aramaic.

Last but not least

Irish Gaelic
A minority of people in Ireland speak Irish (Gaeilge) today, but its history is long and artistic. A member of the Celtic branch of Indo-European languages, it existed long before the Germanic influences of Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Frisian landed on the British Isles. Scottish Gaelic and Manx derived from Irish Gaelic through migration. With the oldest vernacular of any language in Western Europe, the ancient Irish chose to write their manuscripts in Gaelic rather than the common Latin, at that time.
Graham O'Mahony, Blogger and Web Designer
Graham
Web Designer and Blogger
The STAR Team
Follow the conversation on Twitter logo @STARTranslation

Source: The Culture Trip

China flag, typo states resignation of China president Xi Jinping

Typo States Resignation of China President

China flag, typo states resignation of China president Xi Jinping

Inadvertent Typo States Resignation, Xi Jinping

The China News Service recently published an article about their president, Xi Jinping, saying that in his “resignation” that China and Africa had a shared destiny in their histories.

Xi Jinping was attending a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, South Africa when the report was released. The typo led to the suspension of four journalists: one of whom is the news agency’s bureau chief in South Africa.

The editors of China News Service, which is state-owned, had mixed up the Mandarin words for speech (zhi ci) with resignation (ci zhi).

The mistake went unnoticed even before subsequently being printed. It was corrected by several other news channels online, but the edition was already in circulation. The typo ended up in other news stories before China News Service corrected the error.

Despite the suspension of the four journalists involved, it has been reported that although it was a “serious blunder”, it will not end their careers. However, the severity of their punishment is not yet clear.

Graham O'Mahony, Blogger and Web Designer
Graham
Web Designer and Blogger
The STAR Team
Follow the conversation on Twitter logo @STARTranslation

Source: The Guardian

Robot Teachers, Language Tutors

Robot Teachers, Language Tutors

Robot Teachers, Language Tutors

Children Learn Languages with Robot Teachers

Across Europe, robots are helping young immigrant children learn new language skills necessary for social integration and education. It is tough for anyone to cope with moving to a new country and different culture, which is one of the reasons a team of robotics engineers decided to test out their robot teachers.

The youngsters are learning new language skills to help them enter the school system. Only four cities are taking part in the trial phase: Tilburg and Utrecht in the Netherlands; Bielefeld in Germany; Istanbul in Turkey. Lead by a consortium of roboticists and linguists from universities across Europe, the project is called L2TOR while a French company called Aldebaran Robotics build the new teachers.

A robot called NAO watches over the children and aids them in the lessons while the work on a tablet. Before each lesson begins, NAO explains to the kids what they will learn and then assists each child if they become struck by observing their body language.

“We want to help these children improve their language skills through one-to-one interaction with a robot, to help them catch up,” — Paul Vogt (L2TOR), Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Other studies have shown that children learn best in a one-on-one environment rather than a classroom setting. But doing this with human teachers is highly prohibitive due to costs. The L2TOR project will not replace teachers rather, they will give each child a tangible three-dimensional presence to learn more effectively along a human teacher.

Infinite Patience

The NAO robots can repeat lessons over and over and take their time with each child; human teachers can become impatient and get bored. These psychological factors that affect humans cannot affect the robots.

“Sometimes the human teacher can get bored or angry by repeating things again and again,” — Amit Kumar Pandey, head of research and development at Aldebaran Robotics

But it’s not just the children that learn. On the tablets is a software system, CoWriter which helps children practice their writing skills. The robot can write on the tablet too, but if the robot makes a mistake the child can step in and teach the robot where it went wrong.

Is this the future of learning at school? Let us know what you think.

Source: New Scientist

Graham O'Mahony, Blogger and Web Designer
Graham
Web Designer and Blogger
The STAR Team
Follow the conversation on Twitter logo @STARTranslation
Speech bubbles containing names of languages

Guess that language

Speech bubbles containing names of languages, Guess that language

Guess that language!

Have you ever found yourself trying to read a piece of text to figure out what language it is?

I do this quite a lot when browsing online and when I come across unidentified words: those that aren’t English or Portuguese (the ones I know!). Or, if I’m travelling, I try to read some words in any given language despite not knowing how to pronounce them. It’s kind of fun, well, for someone who’s really interested in languages.

It’s always good to have something to base your educated guesses on; I’ve gathered some phrases from well-known languages to help you revise. You know, for testing yourself. This way, you’ll be mastering the art of guess that language!

Arabic نحن ننتمي إلى منظمة عريقة ذات تاريخ طويل مكلل بالنجاح. بدءا من نش أتها قبل ما يزيد على 011 عام كم نع محلي للمنتجات
Chinese 我们是这家历史悠久、业绩辉煌的公司的一员。自 100 多年以前当地的一家小型金属产品制造商到如今收入
Estonian Selle autoga saate kaasa tasuta juhi 16 järjestikuseks tunniks. Sõidate professionaalse juhiga, kes tunneb kohalikke…
Filipino Kasama sa espesyal na presyong ito ang libreng proteksiyon ng Personal na Seguro para sa Aksidente.
Greek Με αυτό το αυτοκίνητο παίρνετε δωρεάν σοφέρ για 16 συνεχόμενες ώρες Θα ταξιδέψετε με επαγγελματία οδηγό που γνωρίζει
Hebrew חירה באפשרות זו תזין את הכתובת הרשומה שלך. הכתובת שתוזן אוטומטית תחליף את כתובות החיוב והמשלוח שהזנת
בעצמך
Hungarian Ehhez az autóhoz 16 órányi folyamatos sofőrszolgálat is jár. Helyismerettel rendelkező, profi sofőrrel utazhat.
Icelandic Með þessum bíl færðu flýtiafgreiðslu við innritun, sem þýðir að þú getur farið fram fyrir röðina og þannig sparað tíma.
Indonesian Kita adalah bagian dari sebuah organisasi yang memiliki sejarah panjang dan sukses. Sejak awal berdiri lebih dari
Japanese ユーザー名が既に使用中です。パスワードの確認入力がパスワードと一致しません。ユーザーの追加
Korean 사용자 이름이 이미 사용되고 있습니다. 암호가 필요합니다. 최소한 하나의 시스템 계정이 필요합니다.
Latvian šo automašīnu jūs saņemsit ātrās registrēšanās pakalpojumu — jums nebūs jāstāv rindā un varēsit būt starp
Lithuanian Su šiuo automobiliu nemokamai galėsite naudotis vairuotojo paslaugomis. Keliausite su profesionaliu vairuotoju…
Malay Maklumat berkenaan topik seperti:etika, keselamatan, kerahsiaan, diskriminasi, budaya syarikat dan
Mongolian Ялангуяа GPХ цувралын илрүүлэгч төхөөрөмж олборлолтын БҮХ нөхцөлд бусад ЯМАР ч илрүүлэгчээс илүү гүнд алтыг олдог
Polish To oznacza szczere postępowanie, zgodne z przepisami prawa oraz zasadami CLARCOR Zgłaszaj wszelkie podejrzenia złamania zasad
Russian При заказе этого автомобиля Вы бесплатно получаете дополнительную подушку сиденья
Tagalog
Parts of Indonesia
Estratehiya at Teknolohiya – Pangmatagalang Kaunlaran
Ukrainian При замовленні цього автомобіля Ви безкоштовно отримуєте дитяче крісло (для дітей від 9 місяців до

Graham,
The STAR Team

Smart Business Show, Supporting National Export Campaign

RDS building, National Export Campaign

The RDS in Dublin where the Smart Business Show took place.

Last week saw STAR support the National Export Campaign by taking part in the SMART Business Show in the RDS. Our team where present showcasing our translation services for exporters into as many as 70 languages. At the show we introduced our new translation plugin for WordPress Websites.

Before the show started, there were a number of presentations by Brian Corish, the head of digital at Vodafone Ireland; Dara Murphy TD, Minister for European Affairs and Christy Burke, Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Dara Murphy TD, National Export Campaign

Dara Murphy TD giving the opening speech to kick off the Smart Business Show in association with Vodafone Ireland

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke, National Export Campaign

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke with Damian Scattergood of STAR Translation. And Minister for European Affairs & Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD (left)

For our professional sales team it was a busy two days of customer focused engagement and, of course, a little fun  as well.

Damian, Bryan and Eoin at the company's stand for the event, National Export Campaign

Left to right: Damian, Bryan and Eoin at the company’s stand for the event at the RDS in Dublin

Smart Business Show Stands, National Export Campaign

An early morning start for us and many others at the Smart Business Show, The RDS, Dublin

Many thanks to Innov8 Office Interiors for the supply of coffee on that early morning start!

STAR Partner Profile: AboutFrance: The French Trade Solution

We met up with some of our partners and discuss how we can help exporters together. If you’re developing your business in France you could benefit from our partner About France. Charlotte Jehanno, owner of About France, advises companies in Ireland looking to expand their horizons and stretch their legs in France. We have been actively engaged with About France as a business partner for many years now.

About France provides hands on business solutions in:

  • Researching commercial partners
  • Sales outsourcing
  • Exhibiting at trade fairs
  • Managing events and clients’ visits
  • Translating websites and legal material
  • Communicating with the media

Considering exporting / importing to or from France? Call About France on +353 (0)1 442 9093

The STAR Team

International Day of La Francophonie

International Organisation of the Francophonie, International Day of La Francophonie

International Organisation of the Francophonie

Celebrate the International Day of la Francophonie (Journée internationale de la Francophonie) with us! Our office in Dublin employs skilled native French project managers among other nationalities. Therefore, in honour of the French language and culture and to appreciate our French team in-house, we would like to give you a little background information on this day.

The Organisation

The International Organisation of the Francophonie (IOF) is an organisation responsible for the promotion of not just the French language and culture, but humanist values: democracy and human rights, throughout the world. Its head office is based in Paris and it has four permanent representations in:

  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (the African Union and at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa)
  • Brussels, Belgium (the EU)
  • New York, USA
  • Geneva, Switzerland (the UN)

Also, the IOF has three regional offices located in West Africa; Central Africa and Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific). Each office is located in Lomé (Togo), Libreville (Gabon) and Hanoi (Vietnam), respectively. And with an additional two regional antennas in Bucharest, Romania and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The French Speaking World

Observed annually on the 20th of March, the International Organisation of La Francophonie was created in 1970.

Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 80 member states and governments (57 members and 23 observers)

Their website aims at enabling its users to:

  • Discover the extent of the IOF’s vitality and wealth, its diverse cultures, accents and partner languages
  • Inform of the IOF’s latest political activities and to promote peace, democracy and human rights worldwide
  • Learn about the cooperative measures to promote the French language, cultural diversity, sustainable development, education and training
  • Surf the Web more easily using RSS feeds and to discover all the French language resources available online
  • Access a database comprising thousands of photos, videos and audio content

Visit the International Organisation of La Francophonie for all the latest information.

Francophonie in Ireland!

The French Embassy in Ireland has a page dedicated to the IOF. There, you can discover events happening around the country involving the French language and culture.

Interested in the French language? Then why not leave us a comment in French!

You can also engage with others on Twitter using #francophonie.

The STAR Team

STAR Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women's Day, the women of STAR Translation

The Women of STAR Translation, Dublin. Left to right: Serena, Ana, Fabienne, Lucie, Justyna, Imelda, Uriell & Elise

On the 8th of March, businesses and governments will celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s a day set in place to respect the contributions and achievements women workers have made in the past and in the modern world today.

Many countries celebrate and appreciate the various economic, political and social achievements all women have made to society.

The Women of STAR Translation

In honour of International Women’s Day, STAR Translation wants to promote the awareness of how important it is to have women in the workplace. The majority of our team of project managers are professional, skilled women. They work with our customers and translators to deliver quality translation services everyday. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #MakeItHappen. Show your support for Women and equality in the workplace!

The History

Although the day itself has many varying beginnings, the first ever recorded occurrence of a Women’s Day took place on the 28th of February 1909 in New York City. It was organised by the Socialist Party of America, and was primarily in remembrance to a similar strike a year earlier in 1908 by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. All other marches, protests, conferences and strikes that followed the precursor of 1909 were never held on the 8th of March.

On the lead up to 1914, not one Women’s Day celebration happened on the 8th of March. However, in 1914, International Women’s Day was held on the 8th of March, possibly because that day happened to be a Sunday.

All Western countries mark the 8th of March as International Women’s Day. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women’s right to vote, which the German women did not win until 1918. During the early 20th century, many women fought hard for their rights as equal citizens. At STAR, we want to show our support for women in the workforce.

Women’s Rights

The United Nations has a dedicated website on Women’s Rights, its history and what’s happening now. You can also get involved in Women’s Rights through the official International Women’s Day website.

Graham,
The STAR Team

How Big is a Global Company?

How big is a global company?

How big is a big company?

Global Companies

There are many interesting facts we come across in our business dealings with global companies.

An interesting question is what exactly does it mean to be a global company? STAR Translation has 44 offices on 5 continents and employs some 900 people. Are we a big company?

For fun, we had a look at one of the largest brands in the world, that is, “McDonald’s”. McDonald’s has an astonishing 36,302 stores in 119 countries. That’s truly global! In fact, it’s hard to find a country without one: McDonald’s-less nations!

The company employs some 1,924,035 people. Imagine trying to manage that! Taking into consideration that each country has its own laws, cultures etc. It’s certainly amazing how they keep their brand consistent throughout the world. If you go to a McDonald’s in France, the experience is virtually the same as a McDonald’s branch in the USA. Their management systems are commendable — they serve some 60 million customers every day.

Aside from McDonald’s, who else has the largest number of employees in the world?

According to Wikipedia, the largest employer in the world is the US Department of Defence, or “defense”, as an American would spell it, with approximately 3.2 million members of staff. If we just look at commercial companies however, Walmart wins hands down with 2.2 million employees. It’s interesting that Walmart is similar in size to the US Army.

And outside the US, the two largest employers in the UK are Tesco (597,784) and the private security company, G4S with 620,000.

How does your business stack up?

Some interesting facts:

  • Fun McDonald’s facts
  • McDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers every second
  • If you’re a production manager consider this: “Americans alone consume one billion pounds of beef at McDonald’s in a year — five and a half million head of cattle.”

The STAR Team

Source: Business Insider

The Migratory Language Welsh

Flag of Wales; migratory languages welsh

Flag of Wales

Migratory Language Welsh lands in Argentina

Over 150 years ago,  some 150 Welsh migrants took to the seas seeking a new way of life in the new world.

They gave themselves three places to choose from as their new home: Vancouver Island, Palestine or Argentina. Ultimately they chose Argentina to settle and establish a new colony as their home — a valley named Chubut in the region of Patagonia. The reason for their decision to settle in that part of South America was one of isolation. At the time, there were no other European settlements in the region, only indigenous tribes.

There was a lot of political radicalism in Wales during the 19th century and a growing sense of Welsh national consciousness engulfed many rural communities. They wanted to retain their national identity without the possibility of a passive English language invasion.

Politics and Religion

One man named Michael D. Jones, a radical, a religious man and nonconformist, was tired of the political and religious influences the English had over the Welsh population. Jones was a believer in the preservation of the Welsh language and traditions. It was he who became the leader of this like-minded community of travellers and partly his decision to travel to Argentina.

Jones had a single objective: to build a new Welsh colony overseas. One that is self-governing, democratic and nonconformist.

New Hope: Argentina

As all new beginnings bring hardships and struggle, the new Welsh colony had to overcome many difficult obstacles. When they arrived in 1865, they lived in caves along the coastline. But as the years went by, they experienced a golden age, a period of good fortune and prosperity: a time of economic and cultural growth swept through the settlement. They spoke only Welsh and preserved many national traditional such as the Eisteddfod (a traditional ceremony called “the chairing of the bard”).

Changing Times

Decades later, the Argentine government stepped in and enforced all community settlements in Argentina to learn and speak only Spanish. This meant that Spanish could only be taught at schools.  There wasn’t much the Welsh community could do but slowly adapt as the Spanish language took hold and Welsh eventually lost the battle. However, some families kept the language in the house. Old world Welsh traditions didn’t die out either and are still practiced to this day.

Centenary Celebrations & Revival

One hundred years on, 1965, there was a growth in interest in all things Welsh. Welsh culture and language began to reassert itself into the settlement. The small village in Chubut was finally connecting to Wales and there was a sense of appreciation among the villagers of the pioneering role the first settlers played.

Michael D. Jones migrated from Wales to save Welsh national identity and establish it elsewhere. But what he failed to realise was, that with immigration comes assimilation: the new country creates its own, new identity. However, the Welsh-Argentine community of Chubut will always remain proud of its roots.

The STAR Team

Source: BBC Magazine

Black Friday, Explained

What is Black Friday?

What is Black Friday?

Just what is Black Friday?

To understand it, we need to look at the American national holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November and marks the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S.

First Coined

The term “Black Friday” was first coined in Philadelphia by the State Police Department there and was used to originally describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday had been used before the 1960s and its use spread throughout the U.S. around 1975 and onward.

Another Explanation

It had been seen as busy shopping day during the 1960s and stretching into the 2000s. Thus, over the years, another explanation was offered: retailers operated at a financial loss from January through November or “in the red” as it was known. And “Black Friday” indicated when they turned a profit or “in the black”. A term that started off with a negative connotation eventually went on to become a positive. This is the “Black Friday” we’ve come to hear about as we browse online stores.

Shopping Craze

Many retailers in the States were commonly known to open as early as 06:00 in the morning. But since 2011, stores such as Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Bealls went even further by opening as early as 05;00, even 04:00! Offering deals and promotions to early shoppers hoping to grab bargains for Christmastime has become something of a tradition in America. Even UK and Irish retailers, both on the streets and online have adopted this shopping experience craze.

Have you been affected by “Black Friday”? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

Graham,
The STAR Team