Simply put, language is the method of communication used by a group of people. It is the primary way for human communication and consists of words that are conveyed by speech, writing, or gesture.
Whether spoken or written, the arrangement of the words through grammatical structure is what makes a language understandable and concise. Some languages are widely spoken globally, with the top languages spoken being English, Mandarin and Hindi. This is reflected in the projects we receive at Speak Your Language, with the most common document translations we do daily being Mandarin, Hindi, English, and Spanish.
Some other languages are spoken by only a small group of people, which makes the translation of these languages extremely hard due to the lack of professional translators speaking those languages such as Tanema, Taushiro and Njerep. Also, many languages are gaining more popularity while others are diminishing.
All languages evolve for various reasons and professional translators must always keep up to ensure they maintain the quality of any translated documents provided. All languages change over time, and evolve into different languages, which usually follows how people have migrated in the past from a region to another. As they move and speak their original languages in new areas, the language slowly changes over time. A perfect example is the group of Germanic languages which produced a range of languages including German, Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian which are different yet have many similarities due to their common origin.
What About the Dialect?
One language can be spoken in different ways, which linguistics refer to as ‘dialects’ that usually evolve due to geographic boundaries. Many dialects are easy to understand if the person speaks the same language, while others are extremely different in that the language cannot be distinguished even by a native speaker. This is true for those who move from Scotland to Australia, while they will not need to translate any of their migration documents, they will find it hard to be understood by native Australians although they speak the same language – English. This is not usually the case for the written form which usually does not change much and tends to be more standardised for the language.
In a nutshell, language refers to the way people communicate in writing, speaking or through signs. Dialects refer to how a group of people can speak the language in a different way to another group of the same language.
Nowadays we see fewer dialects evolving since people have access to movies, the internet, radio, and most of all travel. In the past, English used by Australians evolved to be different from that spoken in Great Britain; while distances between Sydney and Perth would barely result in any differences or dialect by either group.
Translation Companies in Australia
For translation companies, dialects should not make any difference, or at least enough difference to require the professional translator to speak the same dialect of the source language. NAATI translators can freely disregard the dialect and complete the job without issue. Interpreters however need to fully understand the dialect to be able to interpret it correctly into another language. Whether you are looking for translation on interpreting services in Australia, contact the team at Speak Your Language, providing affordable translation services promptly for over 120 languages.