We use it every day almost unthinkingly, but language is one of the most complex communication tools that humankind has ever invented. Each language has its own grammar, syntax, lexis, alphabet and nuances to contend with, which is precisely why proper intercultural communication is practically impossible without language specialists – translators.
Here at Magna Carta Translation, we have a solid team of 1,450 professional linguists who are all experts in the various fields of translation. We’re fascinated by languages and their translations, and so today we thought we’d bring you five of the most interesting facts about the subject to get you thinking.
What Is the World’s Most Translated Book?
The single most translated text in history is the Bible, available in 531 languages. That’s for the full text – but, even more astonishingly, some individual books of the Bible are translated into as many as 2,932 languages.
How Many Living Languages Are There?
It’s actually quite difficult to give an accurate number of living languages. Many linguists disagree as to what constitutes as a distinct language in and of itself, and what are dialects of the same language. As such, the total number of languages is estimated to be somewhere between three- and eight-thousand.
However, the Ethnologue catalogue of world languages – one of the very best linguistic resources in the world – lists 7,099. The top three are Chinese, Spanish and English.
What Are the World’s Most Translated Languages?
The top five most translated languages in the world are English, French, German, Russian and Italian.
What Is the Longest Sentence that Can Be Written Using Only One Word?
In English, the longest grammatically correct sentence that uses only one word is eight words long. The word is “buffalo”, and the sentence reads like this: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”
That genuinely makes sense. “Buffalo”, with a capital “B”, refers to the city of Buffalo in the state of New York; “buffalo”, with a lower-case “b”, can either be a verb meaning “bully” or “intimidate”, or a noun meaning “bison”.
Here’s a “translation” of the sentence: “Buffalo bison, which other Buffalo bison bully, also bully Buffalo bison.”
How Much Is the Translation Industry Worth?
There are an estimated 300,000 professional translators employed around the world today. This, according to GALA (Globalization & Localization Association), makes the global language industry worth $40 billion – and it’s estimated to reach $45 billion by 2020. The five most common target languages are German, French, Spanish, English and Japanese.
At Magna Carta Translation, we have decades of experience offering translation services to legal and financial firms all over the globe.
If you need to make sure your message is translated with absolute accuracy, get in touch with us today.