Since we like languages and statistics so much, we decided to combine the two to make a list of the 10 most widely spoken languages worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, despite the fact that English is spoken all over the world, it is not, nor does it come close to being, the most widely spoken language. So, with the invaluable help of Postchronicle, which in turn has drawn information from the CIA’s World Factbook and Wikipedia, we have compiled a list of the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world in terms of the number of speakers.

  1. Chinese (Mandarin): no less than 1,365,000,000 people!
  2. Spanish: between 325 and 500 million speakers – it is known as Castilian. It is a Romance language that evolved from several languages and dialects in the north central region of the Iberian peninsula during the ninth century. It is spoken in 21 countries.
  3. English: Between 309 and 400 million people speak it natively, and between 500 million and 1.8 billion people speak it as a second language.
  4. Arabic: between 206 and 422 million speakers
  5. Hindi: 181 million speakers
  6. Portuguese: 178 million speakers
  7. Bengali: 173 million speakers
  8. Russian: 164 million speakers
  9. Japanese: 128 million speakers
  10. 10. German: 96 million speakers

Do any of the languages included in this list surprise you? You weren’t expecting to see some of these languages included, were you? In 20 years, which language do you think will be the most widely spoken? Which language do you think will disappear? We at SeproTec are particularly surprised that French does not appear on this list. Although, having said that, it must be taken into account that the list is based on the various languages’ number of native speakers. In this case, French has 69 million native speakers and 152.8 million non-native speakers. Place your bets…

A touch of english

Blog, a touch of english

 

David Okello, Director of the Regional Office for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the World Health Organisation (WHO), recently claimed that the key to curbing AIDS lies in raising awareness about the disease since, “if you do not know about it, you cannot gain access to medication”. He is quite right: since the existence of this terrible pandemic was discovered thirty years ago, information has been both the best weapon against the disease and the best medication for preventing it.

Nevertheless, the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections is still alarming, mainly due to the fact that this disease has reached pandemic proportions very quickly, advancing rapidly and affecting a large number of people of both sexes and of all ages and socio-economic statuses. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is not an isolated problem, since it entails negative consequences in a number of areas beyond health, such as labor issues, the fight against drugs and human rights.

For this reason, we at SeproTec are proud to do our part as a company in the struggle against this terrible disease, and we are honored that the UN has entrusted us with the translation of all new documentation regarding AIDS over the next three years.

The problem of AIDS cannot be overcome by an organization like the United Nations alone; rather, it requires cooperation between both government and non-government bodies, society as a whole and, of course, private companies, so that together we can implement projects, policies and programs aimed at combating this epidemic. And there is no better tool than information to coordinate our efforts.  For that, you can count on us.

According to a study carried out by Forrester in 2009, over 80% of consumers expect to receive service in their own language when conducting commercial transactions. Furthermore, the survey revealed that 70% of them asserted that they would feel more at ease and would make purchases over the Internet if essential elements of the website, such as technical assistance, FAQ and after-sales services were available in their language.

We are still taken aback when, with a new decade in full swing, we are confronted with such glaring linguistic barriers in a globalized world interconnected by web technology. This, however, is the reality that we must live with, and we must adapt to this situation, especially when we are carrying out commercial transactions. As the Forrester report demonstrates, people are prepared to pay a bit more if the instructions or composition of the product acquired on the Internet are in their language.

For this reason, we here at Seprotec adopt a clearly-defined stance and encourage companies to make the translation and localization (in the case of technological products) of certain goods and services an essential part of their international expansion budget. And, of course, the better the quality of the translation, the more possibilities the company will have of successfully breaking into new markets. This is because, at the end of the day, the customer wants to be able to be a customer anywhere in the world and also wants, if possible, to be pampered.

If you don’t think so, just look at consumers in China and Japan, two hot markets companies are eager to sink their teeth into at all costs. They have an even more alarming statistic: only 7% of Chinese and 5% of Japanese people feel comfortable making a purchase in a language other than their own.

So what are you waiting for? The world isn’t going to adapt to meet your needs, especially not in your own language.

 

A nosotros que nos gustan tanto los idiomas y las estadísticas nos ha dado por juntarlos a ambos y mostraros una lista con los 10 idiomas más hablados del mundo. Contrariamente a la creencia popular, a pesar de que el inglés está presente en todo el mundo, no está, ni siquiera cerca, de ser el idioma más hablado. De esta forma, con la inestimable ayuda de Postchronicle, que a su vez se ha apoyado de World Factbook de la CIA y Wikipedia, hemos recopilado una lista de los 10 idiomas más populares en el mundo de acuerdo a la población.

  1. Chino (mandarín): 1.365.000.000 de personas, ¡nada más y nada menos!
  2. Español: de 325 a 500 millones –Lo llaman castellano. Es un idioma romance que evolucionó de varios idiomas y dialectos en el centro norte de la península ibérica durante el siglo nueve. Se habla en 21 países.
  3. Inglés: de 309 a 400 de nativo y de 500 millones a 1.800 millones de personas lo tienen como segunda lengua.
  4. Árabe: de 206 a 422 millones de personas
  5. Hindi: 181 millones de personas
  6. Portugués: 178 millones de personas
  7. Bengalí: 173 millones de personas
  8. Ruso: 164 millones de personas
  9. Japonés: 128 millones de personas
  10. 10. Alemán: 96 millones de personas

¿Alguno te ha sorprendido? ¿A que no esperabas esta sorpresa? ¿Qué idioma crees tú que se hablará más dentro de 20 años? ¿Qué idioma crees que no se hablará? En SeproTec, particularmente, nos ha sorprendido que el francés no aparezca en esta lista. Aunque la referencia que toma este listado es de hablantes nativos. En este caso el francés tiene 69 millones de francófonos nativos y 152,8 millones más que no son nativos. Se admiten apuestas…

SeproTec is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring the largest conference for global business know-how in the translation and localization industry: Localization World Conference 2011. This year the event will be taking place in the lovely city of Barcelona, Spain from June 14th through the 16th at the Gran Hotel Princesa Sofia. SeproTec is the 2011 Platinum Sponsor and will have a large booth located at stand number 312.

This event maintains a unique structure that benefits both the experienced professional as well as newcomers to the industry and offers dynamic tracks on best business practices. Being this the case, there was no doubt that SeproTec would be supporting this event and participating in it to the fullest. Executive Director, Juan Julián León Ibáñez, will be giving the welcoming speech on the opening day.

This year’s program will cover a wide range of issues in the world of translation and localization and will focus on the theme “Innovation”. Our very own Maria Azqueta Arizcun, Head of the Translation Department, will be leading two presentations pertinent to this topic. The morning of June 16th at 10:30 together with Marta Bonet, from Grupo Santillana, they will be presenting “When the Localization Goes on the Roads Less Traveled.”  The same afternoon at 15:30 she will be imparting a presentation entitled “A Translation Services Survival Study: How to produce and Edit a Source Document While Simultaneously Translating it into 21 Languages” along with the Executive Director of Applica, Loredana Sementini and Cécile Hulet from the European Commission.

International Business Development Manager, Rocío Cava, will also be heading up a panel discussion on the first day of the conference, Wednesday the 15th “Bridging the Gap Between the Client and Language Service Providers,” where clients and LSPs who do not currently work together will be openly discussing the issues that arise within this delicate working relationship. This hot-topic panel will be one to see!

SeproTec will be carrying out engaging events and activities at our stand to add to the educational and entertainment value of this conference throughout the entire week.

 

Cada tres años la UE publica un informe sobre la cohesión económica, social y territorial, en el que se especifican los avances en estos ámbitos y cuál ha sido la contribución de la UE y de los gobiernos nacionales y regionales. El quinto informe sobre la cohesión acaba de ser publicado y nos gustaría hablar de algunas de las conclusiones a las que ha llegado, no sólo porque SeproTec ha intervenido en la traducción de este importantísimo análisis desde el inglés a 19 idiomas de la unión europea, sino porque creemos interesante compartir dos de esas conclusiones que nos han llamado mucho la atención:

  1. Las disparidades entre las regiones de la UE se están reduciendo (las diferencias de PIB per cápita han disminuido considerablemente).
  2. El bienestar y la satisfacción personal están estrechamente vinculados a un elevado nivel de ingresos en las zonas menos desarrolladas de la UE, pero no en las regiones más desarrolladas.

La primera de las conclusiones nos llena de satisfacción, porque muchas veces tenemos la impresión de que países como España se alejan considerablemente de aquellos que llamamos los “motores de la UE”, y tal y como ha desvelado este análisis, esto no es cierto del todo. En este sentido, cabe destacar el reconocimiento que recibimos junto a otras dos compañías españolas (Privalia y Typsa), que nos posicionaba entre las 50 firmas europeas que más han crecido entre 2006 y 2009. Son estos los esfuerzos que ayudan a corroborar este dato.

Por otro lado, nos parece muy curiosa la segunda conclusión que hemos destacado. Nunca, en el mundo desarrollado, las personas y los Estados han tenido tanto y es ahora cuando se empieza a pensar de qué forma está relacionado el tener tanto para perder bienestar. No en vano, líderes tan influyentes como Nicolas Sarkozy y David Cameron empiezan a admitir que medir el éxito de los países y de sus políticas únicamente por el crecimiento del PIB no es suficiente.

Es por ello que nos gustaría saber cuál es tu opinión sobre este tema y saber si es hora de que los organismos que se encargan de analizar con detalle cuál es el estado de los países a través de su PIB, empiecen a pensar en incluir un dato como es el de medir el bienestar o la felicidad de los habitantes e incluirla en un índice tan importante como es el del PIB.