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Language and AVALON: a very intense and special affair
Language – by definition the systematic method of human communication, either spoken or written, using words in a structured and conventional way (Oxford Dictionaries). Each human language is a complex of knowledge and abilities enabling speakers of the language to communicate with each other, and it involves numerous cognitive processes to produce and understand language.
As humans, we assume that we have certain inherent objectives, and we use language as a kind of abstract tool with which to fulfil these objectives. Our behaviour and language coalesce in such a way that the patterns of our language are what dictate the nature of our experience. The very way in that we interact with, and react to, the world and each other on an immediate and intuitive level is completely dependent upon the meaning, usage, structure, and grammar of the language in which we think and communicate. In other words, meaning virtually is an activity, and our language in point of fact is our world. This is why there can never be such a thing as ‘objective’ meaning because meaning cannot be abstracted from a given context.
Languages differ from each other by their sounds, grammar, vocabulary, and patterns of discourse. All languages are highly elaborate entities. They vary in the number of their vowel and consonant sounds, from less than a dozen to over a hundred. European languages tend to have inventories in the middle range, from around 25 such sounds (e.g. Spanish) to over 60 (e.g. Irish). Alphabets reflect these sounds with varying degrees of accuracy: some alphabets (e.g. Welsh) are very regular in the way they symbolise sounds; others (e.g. English) are very irregular. Within grammar, each language comprises several thousand points of word formation and sentence construction. Each language has a huge vocabulary available to meet the needs of its users. In the case of European languages, where scientific and technical vocabulary is very large, this reaches several hundred thousand words and phrases. Individual speakers know and use only a fraction of a language’s total vocabulary. The words educated people use – their active vocabulary – can reach some 50,000 words, while the words they know but do not use – their passive vocabulary – is somewhat larger. In everyday conversation, people often make use of a small number of words only, however with great frequency.
The language industry is the sector of activity dedicated to facilitating multilingual communication, in both oral and written format. Globalisation and the rise of the Internet have fostered a worldwide market for outsourced professional language services.
We are here to competently assist you in Writing and Translating what you wish to say, getting your message across effectively. The Editing and Proofreading process enhances and assures highest accuracy and quality of the texts, so you can then with full confidence get these out far and wide to pursue your intention and success.
“The greatest obstacle to international understanding is the barrier of language.” (Christopher Dawson)
With our native language support in German, English, French, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian (please see the following paragraph ‘Our languages‘), you can break this barrier as we have you covered for the most important languages used in the world, whatever your context and purpose. We put the power of language and effective polyglot communication in your hands.
Language is a central feature of being a human. Our planet has over 7 billion people who speak between 6,000 to 7,000 different languages. A few languages are spoken by hundreds of millions of speakers, such as English and Chinese. Language and culture, i.e. the values and norms that define a society, are closely intertwined and important to the perceptual process, wherein it is determined if some “truth” is of relevance, as well as the ability to communicate it across differing views.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, as they say, however mostly words are needed which do speak more than pictures, definitely. In this, you can confidently rely on us because all project works are done employing in-house expertise of our own team of linguist creatives. We believe that each writer and translator not only needs to possess sound knowledge of the respective languages yet also broad general knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Hence all team members are native speakers of their respective languages and bring solid education and relevant experience to their work.
“We think in language. The quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as our language.” (George Carlin)
Let AVALON find the right words for you!
Our main languages
Preface: The birthplace of our languages
The world’s major languages and dialects including Germanic, Romance, and Slavic languages are thought to have originated on the Eurasian grasslands, namely the steppes of Ukraine and Russia, 5,000–6,000 years ago, when the domestication of horses and the invention of wheeled transport would have allowed herders there to rapidly expand their range. All the languages that AVALON serve today belong to this major Indo-European language family.
All of our languages are spoken differently in multiple countries. Just think of the differences in the use of certain words, spelling, the use of tense and grammar, for example, between UK English, US English, and Australian English. Through globalisation and localisation techniques our expert linguists take into account cultural differences and regional expectations to ensure your texts will be accurate and appropriate for effective use in the targeted country.
Quick info by language:
English Language Facts
English is a language of West Germanic origin and was first spoken in medieval England in the 14th century. About 360 million people speak English as their mother tongue today which makes it the third most common native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. As much as 600 million people already speak English as their second language, and it’s the most widely learned second language. Experts estimate that 2 billion people will be learning the language by 2020. Almost 1 in 5 people on earth speak English either as a first or a second language.
English is official language in 67 countries and 27 non-sovereign countries such as Hong Kong, of the United Nations, the European Union, and many other world and regional international organisations. English has become by far the most important language of international and business communication, politics and diplomacy. Also, the world of the Internet is primarily built and conducted in English, with 80% of the world’s information in computers being stored in the English language, and it is the most widely used language online. It is also the dominant language of science: half the scientific publications and journals are in English. Since 2001, English has been the official language of all international air travel, regardless of the nationality of the pilots.
English has the richest and widest-ranging vocabulary out of all languages. The Oxford English Dictionary numbers more than 500,000 words, and it keeps growing as about 4,000 words are officially added to dictionaries each year.
English is described as the first global ‘lingua franca’ (a term which means a ‘bridge language’, being used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect). Its history and growth, as well as its simplicity with little secrets, all make up a magnificent structure that explains the immense worldwide prevalence of English and its legacy throughout the world. Modern English is regarded as the first ‘world language’.
German Language Facts
German belongs to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, like English and Dutch. The recorded history of Germanic languages begins with their speakers’ first contact with the Romans, in the 1st century BC. Old German “Hochdeutsch” dates back to the 8th century.
Today German is spoken by over 100 million people worldwide as a first language, making it the 11th-most-spoken language globally. In Europe, German is the Number 1 most common mother tongue, spoken by 16% of the European population. The German language is in great demand abroad too as it is the third-most commonly taught language worldwide, after English and French; it is believed that about 16 to 18 million people are learning German.
German is official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, and Liechtenstein, as well as in parts of Italy and Belgium. It is a key language within the European Union, being the world’s largest economy and most successful trading block.
With Europe’s largest population, largest national economy and with the fifth-largest global economy, German’s status as a major business language needs little further explanation or justification. The German language also is among the top five languages used on the Internet, and it is the second-most commonly used scientific language. German has a long-standing history as a noteworthy language of culture, philosophy and theology in Europe and overseas, often being referred to as the language of the writers and thinkers. The Gutenberg Bible was in 1454 the first book printed by way of movable type, which spawned the age of industrial printing.
The German language is very descriptive, considered difficult to study with its long and winding words, and while the grammar is quite logical, there are many exceptions to the rules.
After English, German is the second-most important language worldwide for business, tourism, and diplomacy.
French Language Facts
French is a Romance language descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. There are currently over 220 million French speakers worldwide, including 80 million native speakers. French is one of the very few languages spoken all over the world, ranked the sixth-most-widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese (over a billion speakers), English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic. French is the only language, together with English, which is taught in every country of the world, with 100 million students and 2 million teachers. The latest projection is that the number of French speakers is expected to reach 750 million by 2050, mostly in Africa, and studies suggest by that time French could be the most-spoken language in the world, ahead of English and even Mandarin.
French is an official language in 29 countries, such as France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and more than 15 African countries. It is spoken on every continent and is the European Union’s fourth-most widely spoken mother tongue. Many further international institutions have French as one of their official languages, and also it is the sixth-most common language on the Internet.
During the 17th century, French became the lingua franca of Europe and spread worldwide as France expanded its colonial empire, influencing many other European languages on the same occasion. Until the 19th century, French was then pre-eminent as an international language, though it has been eclipsed by English in the 20th. About 45% of today’s modern English words are of French origin.
French is one of the world’s great and influential languages, rivalled only by English and German as the language of international business, society, and in the diplomatic world. And last but not least, as for linguistic aesthetics, French is considered the most beautiful spoken language of the world, “pure silk on the tongue and in the ear”.
Spanish Language Facts
Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and has Latin origins. The earliest Spanish texts were written over 1000 years ago, in 964.
Today Spanish is the mother tongue of over 400 million people, making it the world’s second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese. Spanish enjoys official language status in 21 countries across Europe, Africa, Central, South, and North America.
The use of Spanish online has risen by as much as 800% in recent years, and this means it is the third most popular language on the Internet, not far behind Mandarin and English. An estimated 18 million students are currently studying Spanish as a foreign language. Forecasts indicate that, in just a few generations from now, 10% of the world’s population will understand Spanish.
Spanish is a very important global language that’s clearly on the rise. Also, it is a beautiful poetic and expressive language with a wide global influence on business and culture.
Russian Language Facts
Russian is derived from the Old East Slavic, and as such it shares strong similarities with Belarusian and Ukrainian. With the adoption of Christianity, a new alphabet was developed – the Cyrillic alphabet.
The Russian language is the mother tongue for 147 million people, and another 113 million speak it as a second language. It’s the fifth-most native-spoken language in the world (after Chinese, Spanish, English, and Arabic). Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as well as being widely used elsewhere throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. It was the de-facto language throughout the Soviet Union for 70 years before its dissolution on 25 December 1991. During that time, 14 republics, including Ukraine, had used Russian as their main state language and since then each turned to their own. Russian now has the status of a regional language in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. This makes Russian the most widespread language over Eurasia, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Russian is using Cyrillic script, yet the alphabet is actually rather similar to the Latin alphabet. Also, about 10% of Russian words bear resemblance to English ones. Nevertheless, it is rather difficult for outsiders to learn Russian. After all, Russian is considered one of the richest and most complex languages in the world.
Ukrainian Language Facts
Ukrainian belongs to the East Slavic subgroup of Slavic languages. Ukrainian is one of the most widespread languages in the world, taking the 26th place ranked by the number of its speakers. It is also the second most widespread among the Slavic languages, second only to Russian.
The Ukrainian language is native to around 37 million people, additionally, it’s the second language for another 15 million. It serves as the official state language of Ukraine and is the first of two principal languages of Ukrainians. There is a huge dispute over the language spoken in Ukraine. About half of the nation speaks Russian and the other half speaks Ukrainian. This is the result of the communist influence during the times of the Soviet Union and long years of Ukrainian discrimination. Today it is the western part of the country where the Ukrainian language is particularly popular. Russian is the language of choice for the urban population residing in central and north Ukraine, while Russian alone is popular in the eastern and southern areas. Linguistic experts forecast an increase in the usage of the Ukrainian language.
Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script. The grammar has a very rich structure, and its vocabulary has similarities with languages such as Belarusian (to which it is closest), the Polish, Slovak, and Czech languages, as well as Russian, from which 38% of the Ukrainian vocabulary is different though.
The Ukrainian language was in linguistic contests officially recognised as the second most melodic language in the world, after Italian, and the third most beautiful (after French and Persian) based on such criteria as vocabulary, phonetics, phraseology and sentence structure.
Living languages and cultures both are dynamic and constantly evolving. People influence each other in the way they speak and write. New media, such as the Internet, give languages fresh opportunities to grow. Languages are always in contact with each other and affect each other in many ways, especially by “borrowing” words. English for instance borrowed over the centuries from over 350 languages, and in this day and age European languages are all acquiring lots of words from English.
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.“ (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
Going beyond the language limits for you in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and the other tongues that we serve. Remember: The language in which we think and communicate actually is our world. The more effectively we employ language, and the more multilinguality we can avail of, the less limited our world will be, and the wider our horizon. AVALON is your gateway to international success.
The services and languages that we offer are what we actually provide. You will never see any ridiculous claims about how we can operate services in any and every language on the planet – there are multiple thousands of them – and how many thousands of people we have working for us. This is best left to those market players who revel in stretching the agency model to its limits, without having much to show for it. In contrast, we do provide in the most integrative way fully comprehensive Writing, Translation, Editing, and Proofreading services for six of the world’s major languages with our own teams of expert linguists in-house, plus for a number of relevant further languages in collaboration with a network of professional associates and partners. No more, and no less. We don’t try to be everything to everyone. Our concept is rather about distinguishing ourselves in a crowded marketplace by offering specialised top services in our segment, recognising that “less is more” in this regard. This sophisticated boutique company style makes us different to so many others, and as this is all that we do, you can be sure we do it right. This is what we expertly know about and what brought us some of our proudest moments in business.
“AVALON: the all-in-one language support“