We offer you a wide range of services, but our core business is translating all languages. Translation is anything but a mechanical process. Professional translations, regardless of the language in question, require not only an excellent command of the language, but also an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and a keen sensitivity for the particular material, as well as knowledge of the specific terminology used by the respective client.
The Arabic language belongs to the Southwest Semitic languages and to the Afroasiatic language family. It is used as a first language by some 250 million people worldwide and as a second language by about another 50 million. Accordingly, it is considered one of the major world languages.
Classical Arabic is the language of the Koran – it spread from the Arabian Peninsula to Central Asia, North Africa and Spain and serves as the religious and scholarly written language in all Islamic countries. In addition to a large number of sub-groups, five major dialect groups are differentiated as valid colloquial languages for all social areas and classes: Peninsular Arabic, Iraqi, Syriac-Palestinian, Egyptian-Sudanese and Maghrebi Arabic. Modern standard or written Arabic has developed from Middle Arabic and is used transnationally by Arabic-speaking mass media such as the press, television, radio and film. Arabic contains countless, mainly scientific, medical and technical loanwords from French and English, which gained greater acceptance in the language, particularly in the 20th century.
Spoken Arabic is marked by guttural sounds and has a distinctly consonantal character; the grammar is complex and facilitates rich linguistic expression. The Arabic alphabet is made up of 28 consonants that are combined from 18 characters. Vowels are differentiated by placing special characters above or below the consonants (diacritical marks). The Arabic script has evolved from Aramaic and is written from right to left.
The Aramaic language is a northwest Semitic language that belongs to the Afroasiatic language family. It is closely related to Hebrew and Arabic, has borrowed countless words from Persian and Greek and is considered to be the Semitic language with the least number of vowels. Aramaic is a historical language first and foremost, its significance stemming principally from its history. Today, so-called Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic is only a spoken vernacular – predominantly by Christians – in Syria as well as scattered throughout parts of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey. The number of speakers is estimated to be around 300,000. Written Aramaic dates back to the second millennium BC and is the third oldest surviving spoken language in the world behind Chinese and Greek. Beginning in 1000 BC, it displaced the languages of Babylon, Assyria, Syria and Palestine, spreading across the entire Orient and emerging as the lingua franca of the Middle East. It was the administrative and official language in the Persian Empire, while in Palestine it superseded Hebrew as the spoken language of the Jews. The Aramaic script, which was derived from the Phoenician consonantal writing system, was used from Asia Minor to India – parts of the Christian Bible and of rabbinic literature were written in Aramaic. The Aramaic colloquial language was displaced in the 7th century AD as the use of Arabic became more widespread. As the language of Christian communities in remote regions, it has been preserved in various dialects. Aramaic language, writing and culture are subjects of research both in the study of Middle Eastern linguistics as well as in various disciplines of historical and cultural studies.
The Armenian language is regarded as an independent branch of the Indo-Germanic language groups. It is spoken by approximately seven million people, of which about three million live in Armenia. From a historical perspective, the Armenian language developed from Old Armenian, also known as “Grabar”. It was used as a written language from the 5th–11th centuries – first for the translation of the Bible and as a scholarly language into the 19th century. The spoken language continued to evolve into Middle Armenian until the 17th century and subsequently into Modern Armenian. Two written languages developed from various dialects in the 19th century: Use of Eastern Armenian, called “Ashkharhabar”, spread mainly in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Iran and India; Western Armenian is spoken predominantly in Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and the USA. In terms of phonology, Armenian hardly has anything in common with the Indo-Germanic languages. The extensive case system with its seven cases was preserved. The language has no gender and the simplified verb forms are formed using auxiliary verbs. Word order in the sentence follows the “subject – predicate – object” rule. The vocabulary contains numerous Iranian, Syrian, Greek, Arabic, French and Turkish loanwords. Armenian is spoken with many occlusive and fricative sounds; there are 26 consonants that can be combined in different ways. Armenian is written in its own alphabet comprising 39 letters, originally devised by a monk back in the 5th century.
Azerbaijani, or “Azeri”, is the official language of Azerbaijan. It is spoken there by about seven million people, and by another 24 million in Turkey, Iran and Iraq. There are also Azerbaijani speakers in Georgia, Russia and Ukraine, as well as in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Syria. Estimates regarding the total number of people who speak Azerbaijani vary widely – some estimates are as high as 40 million. Azerbaijani is one of the southwestern Turkic languages. Its language structure is similar to Turkish, while its vocabulary is heavily influenced by Persian and Russian. North Azerbaijani, which is spoken mainly in the Caucasus and eastern Turkey, is distinguished from South Azerbaijani, which is spoken primarily in Iran. North Azerbaijani forms the basis for the present-day official language of Azerbaijan. There are also a number of dialects. Azerbaijani emerged as a literary language as far back as the 11th century – Azerbaijani literature is among the most important of the Turkic peoples. In 1923, a Latin-based script was introduced in Azerbaijan and, in 1940, Cyrillic script was adopted. Beginning in 1992, the Latin script – with the Turkish alphabet – was once again increasingly used and was officially adopted in 2001. In Iran and Iraq, Azerbaijani is still written in Arabic script, as it was in Azerbaijan prior to 1923.
The Hebrew language is a language of the Northwest Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Words similar to Hebrew feature in Egyptian and Babylonian texts as far back as the 15th century BC. Since about 1250 BC, Ancient Hebrew or Biblical Hebrew has been the language of the Old Testament and the religious Jewish faith; as a spoken language, it was displaced by Aramaic from the fifth century B.C. and was no longer spoken after 200 AD. Middle Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew, which developed around the time of the birth of Christ, became the language of Jewish literature; it developed a new vocabulary with numerous Latin and Greek loanwords and a simplified grammar. The Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century brought about a revival of Hebrew as a spoken language – the fusion of Biblical Hebrew with Mishnaic Hebrew gave rise to Modern Hebrew, referred to as “Ivrit”. Since 1948, Modern Hebrew has been the official language of Israel together with Arabic and is spoken as the national language there by around five million people. It features many newly coined, contemporary terms and numerous loanwords from the European languages. The Hebrew script is a consonant alphabet, in which dots are used to represent vowels. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. Modern Hebrew uses two genders, a definite article and three tenses. There are Sephardic, Ashkenazic and Yemenite pronunciation systems for Hebrew – for official use, the Sephardic pronunciation has been adopted, which stresses the last syllable.
The Persian language belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-Germanic languages. It is spoken in Iran (Farsi), in Afghanistan (Dari), as well as in Tajikistan, where it is also the official language. Estimates of the number of speakers vary greatly: From 37 to 40 million in Iran and five to 15 million in Afghanistan and Tajikistan – up to 70 million native speakers are cited worldwide. Persian has evolved from Old Persian (until the 2nd century BC), which bears close resemblance to Sanskrit, via Middle Persian, which was displaced by Arabic from the 7th century AD, to New Persian (from the 9th century AD). The development to New Persian was accompanied by a major simplification of the grammar. In contrast to Old Persian, which, as an inflectional language, i.e. word relationships in the sentence are expressed by inflections, had a complex grammatical structure, the gender and case endings are no longer used in modern Persian and there are only a few verbal forms; instead there are a variety of possibilities for sentence construction. The vocabulary contains numerous borrowings from Arabic. Persian is written using the Arabic alphabet, supplemented by four characters. Persian literature flourished richly from the 10th century onward, especially through poetry, prose and – in the 20th century – drama. As an overarching cultural language, it has heavily influenced both the Turkish language and Pakistani “Urdu”.