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Our Blogs

An ongoing series of informational entries

The benefits of a bilingual brain

April 16, 2017

It’s obvious that knowing more than one language can make certain things easier — like travelling or watching movies without subtitles. But are there other advantages to having a bilingual (or multilingual) brain? Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.

Night court sittings ‘will force women out of law’

May 30, 2017

Women barristers are angry at a plan for night courts which they say will force them to work antisocial hours and will deter new recruits. The plan to extend court opening hours has been put forward by HM Courts & Tribunal Service to speed the progress of cases.

It is opposed by the Bar, the Law Society and groups of women lawyers who say that women would leave the law. Andrew Langdon, QC, chairman of the Bar, said: “These proposals will make it almost impossible for parents with childcare responsibilities to predict if they can make the school run or to know when they will be able to pick children up from childminders.

“Childcare responsibilities still fall disproportionately to women, many of whom do not…

Want to read more?

Statements of Truth, Translations and witnesses in other languages

September 19, 2017

The requirements of the CPR that deal with the signing of statements of truth when the witness is unable to read the document are clear and easy to follow, but it can be easy to fail in order to get it right; this is often problematic and it can be something to be relied upon in a successful application to strike-out a claim.

1. CPR 22 3A.1 states:

"Where a document containing a statement of truth is to be signed by a person who is unable to read or sign the document, it must contain a certificate made by an authorised person.”

An authorised person is specified by CPR 22 3A.2 to be a person able to administer oaths and take affidavits, but they do not need to be independent of the parties or their representatives.

2. CPR 22 3A.4 directs that the form of the certificate which must be used appears in Annex 1 to the Practice Direction:

"I certify that I [name and address of authorised person] have read over the contents of this document and the declaration of truth to the person signing the document [if there are exhibits, add ‘and explained the nature and effect of the exhibits referred to in it’] who appeared to understand (a) the document and approved its content as accurate and (b) the declaration of truth and the consequences of making a false declaration, and made his mark in my presence.”

3. The consequences of failing to verify a document with a statement of truth are set out at CPR 22 4. A statement of case remains effective, unless it is struck out, but a party may not rely on the contents of a statement of case as evidence until it has been verified by a statement of truth. 4.2 states that any party can apply to the court for an unless order specifying that the statement of case must be verified by the service of a statement of truth, failing which the statement of case will be struck out. 4.3 specifies that the usual order for the costs of an application for an unless order will be that the party who failed to verify will pay the costs.

4. Many practitioners draft witness evidence in English and, if the witness requires the assistance of a translator, add a certificate in the form of Annex 1 to CPR 22 to the witness statement. However, CPR 32.4(1) specifies that “a witness statement is a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence which that person would be allowed to give orally.” When a witness will not give their evidence orally in English, the statement should be in the language the witness will use; that statement should then be translated into English.

This article is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.


Why translation is important?

November 23, 2017

Translation is important because people prefer their native language. Not only does translation pave the way forward for global interaction, but allows nations to forge interactive relationships when it comes to making advancements in technology, politics, etc.

Rise of the Translation Industry

Today, the translation industry as we know it includes a multitude of companies providing services such as -

• Translating written material and paper-based documents

• Interpreting services and Sign-language services

• Digital documentation translation

• Software translation and website translation (localisation)

Advantage of human translator over machine

December 07, 2017

The long-running debate of machine vs human translation refuses to go away. This is partly because technology improves every year and the quality of translation it offers is constantly rising. As we know that the AI (Artificial Intelligence) have just been introduced to us and we have been told that it will make our life easier. According to the scientist it will take years to train machines to do such things. Let’s take an example of translation, Human translator ensures a highest accuracy as to Machine translator, the accuracy can be really low. The truth is, the debate over machine translation vs human translations is unnecessary distraction. 

The Translation history

December 14, 2017

The process of transferring one written or spoken language into another is called Translation. The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do) between translating (a written text) and interpreting (oral or sign-language communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

Because of the difficulty of the translation process, since the 1940s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator. More recently, the rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated "language localization".

A translator always risks unintentionally introducing source-language words, grammar, or syntax into the target-language translation. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes introduced useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of sacred texts, have helped shape the very languages into which they have translated. 


En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Translation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017].

Why English language is important?

December 21, 2017

English is mostly used all over the world. People with a different first language can communicate with each by speaking English. Most of the people decide to study English as a second language. Many schools teach English as a second language to their children and it’s a part of their syllabus.

English is most commonly spoken language. Few people cannot speak English, but they can understand. English is the official language for 54 countries. People also say that it is the language of the internet. Most of the content on the Internet (50%-60%) is English. So, knowing English will allow us to access a huge amount of information.

Is it worth it?

Yes, it is worth it if you want to connect with different people who live in different countries or to connect with their culture and the way they think. If we are travelling abroad and we meet people from different culture, English is the language, the way we can communicate with them.


Most of the translation is done into English or from English. The courts, offices or any other organisations accept an application or letter in the English language so that is can be read by anyone or send it to anyone if necessary.

Why Translation is important for Immigrants

January 04, 2018

The process of translating words, text, paragraph into different language or one form of medium into another is Translation. Mostly people translate certificates, letter or application for office purposes. People can translate document by themselves, but there will be many mistakes which leads to the rejection of the documents. That’s why there are professional who have qualifications and skills and will take full responsibilities of the translated documents.


Migrants/Immigrants have lots of certificates, letters and applications which need to be translated into a different language (depending on the country they are moving to) before submitting the applications. They have to contact professional translation agencies, such as us, to get their documents translated. This ensures the quality of service deemed necessary to fulfil all requirements of the receiving body.

Why translated documents have to be certified?

After translating the official documents, the translator has to issue a certificate or statement of truth. It is a declaration confirming that the translation has been legitimately conducted by a professional. It also mentions the name of the person who has translated the documents and their qualifications. Some authorities will not approve/accept the translation until the person has attached the certificate or statement of truth regulated by an agency such us ourselves. This is only to avoid fraudulent and illegal applications.  

Four Main Types of Interpreters

January 19, 2018

The Interpreter is similar to the Translator, the difference is that the interpreter converts any spoken material from one language to a different language and translator converts written material.

Interpreting can occur in various places such as meetings, conference, telephone meetings, medical assessments etc.

Conference Interpreters

Usually these interprets are fluent in more than two languages. They are highly skilled and can be found in the United Nations.

Sign language Interpreters

These interpreters help communication between hard of hearing or deaf people with hearing people. Mostly we can find these interpreters in Schools, Colleges and courts.

Legal Interpreters

These interpreters can be found in the courts, law offices, trails and hearings and solicitor-client meetings. These interpreters must have good vocabulary and grammar skills and must have relevant qualifications.

Medical Interpreters

It is really important to have clearly communication between doctors, nurses and patients. The interpreter can help them to understand each other so that patients can understand their treatment plans.

“Unique obstacles must be overcome when providing medical care to patients who have an incomplete command of the English language. Serious barriers to effective communication may arise at the exact point where our health care system must succeed or fail.” (Anon, 2018) (To read full article please follow the link below)

Anon, (2018) Translation is not enough. Interpreting in a medical setting. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1011272/pdf/westjmed00085-0045.pdf [Accessed 12 Jan. 2018].

Disadvantages of Computer Translation

January 27, 2018

Machine translation cannot create an accurate translation of a document, because machine translates document word by word not the whole sentence which results in poor grammar styles and idioms. It's hard for machine to translate official documents, agreements, etc. For example; if a person wants to translate birth certificate or character certificate, machine language will not translate any of these certificates, this is the reason why companies such as National Translators Interpreters Service exist. The professional linguists working at agencies translate the documents and attach the statement of truth which clarify that they are responsible for the translation and if machine translate the document and if it’s not accurate, we can’t blame the machine.

Machine translation is only good if you want to translate a single word only. Most of the software’s are free which you can find online. If the machine cannot translate a specific word, it will just display the same word as it is.

In recent time, we can see people posting on social media using their own language not English, and there is a “See translation link” underneath it. When a person clicks on that link, it will only translate the literal language the slang words (if used) also it will find it difficult to establish differences in dialects, which is why sometimes we recognise errors with in the translations.

To do the perfect translation of the documents, machine software need lots of algorithms which can translate and the algorithms are not easy. For these reasons plus many more, people prefer manual translations due to the relatability and accuracy factor in other words, we can say human translator because you can find many qualified people who can translate source documents into different languages.


The benefits of knowing more than one language

February 04, 2018

It’s a method of human communication with each other, either spoken or written. Language consists of words, that can be used in conventional manner. There are more than 6000 languages in the world, different countries have their own languages.

Knowing more than one language can help us in many ways, such as giving instructions; expressing feelings; or general communication; are few of many benefits.

Build your self-confidence

As we know our confidence enhances when we attain new skills and learning a new language is no different. Any new skill can contribute to increase in confidence and provide ease with dealing with certain situations, this same principal applies to communication whether by spoken, written words or sign language.

Good for travelling

If people know more than one language, and we all know travelling to many regions of the world becomes easier and more importantly enjoyable. We have all been to places, whether it a different country or even a restaurant at our local shopping district, able to speak to others in the relevant language makes you appreciate the surroundings much more.

You can become an Interpreter or a Translator

A Translator is a person who converts one written material form (source language) to another (target language). These materials can be court letters, certificates, applications etc. Most of the translators are self-employed. They usually work from home and enjoy the flexible hours.

Becoming an Interpreter enables you to work in various environments and can be challenging role at certain times. Many interpreters appreciate working with different people and at different venues each day and sometimes on the same day.

Types of interpreters and translators is covered in a different blog.

New social opportunities

Knowing more than one language also means opportunities meeting new people from different places and cultures. Meeting people with the different culture can open doors for developing interests and hobbies. Therefore a language has a large effect on social attributes.

Improve your memory

As we know more brain is best when it is continuously challenged, so learning something new can just be that challenge. Learning languages is, in laymen terms, memorising or getting familiar with the words and rules of that language.


Difference between Interpreting and Translating 

February 08, 2018

Interpreting is a word to word translation of a spoken language. This has to be done face to face or via phone, whereas translating is a word to word translation of a written language.

Interpreters work on projects which is live like conferences, appointments, sign language, meeting, courts etc.

Translators work on information in written like documents, websites, video subtitles etc.

These are few distinctions that differentiate between interpreter and translator.


Interpreters have to know both source language and target language fluently because they translate in both directions instantly.

Translators are relaxed because they can use a third party to help them with the translation like a computer, or a person who knows the source language. They usually work in one direction, which is translating source language into their mother tongue.


Interpreters have limited time for translation, because they translate on the spot, whereas translators have much longer to translate the documents.


Grammar mistakes within a spoken phrase can be accepted in certain circumstances where the meaning of the stated phrase is not affected. This could be due to time limits, venue or situation. Whereas translators have to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes, use the correct form of vocabulary and the grammar.

Are they any similarities?

Of course, they are, both interpreters and translators work with a source language and a target language.

Both professions only work into their mother tongue.

Both require professional qualifications and/or accreditation.


What is Court Interpreting?

February 16, 2018

An interpreter who is able to translate information from a different language to English for the court organisation. The work closely with lawyers of witnesses. These interpreters must be fluent in both languages, source, and target. Sometimes a university degree can be beneficial to obtain regular work and must have good skills in speaking and writing both languages. keeping to exact translation can be a challenge because we as humans, have the habit of making assumptions and so this habit has to be strictly ignored.

Police and immigration and another authority use the interpreter as well when they are struggling to understand. Crimes happen frequently at any time, so the interpreters have to be ready and many freelance interpreters make themselves available 24 hours a day. They can be booked by calling agencies or most of the authorities have their own interpreters. Most of them get booked at least 2-3 days in advance so that they can study the case. Interpreter booked in emergency have to prepare themselves in few hours and that can bring extra charges.

Court interpreters assist individuals who can’t effectively communicate orally in English, translating back and forth within the courtroom in spoken or signed language.Travel might be required, and this profession may sometimes become stressful when communicators continue to speak rapidly during interpretation. [ Study.com 2018]

Most court interpreting is concurrent interpreting, where the interpreter wears earphones with a mic and translate via a wireless connection to the client, who is also wearing earphones. Consecutive interpreting is when the interpreter waits until the speaker has completed a sentence before interpreting the speech. Consecutive interpreters sometimes write notes to help them recall exactly what was said. Interpreters have to not only accurately translate everything, but also carry the style and tone of the speaker. [Clayton Brown, 2018]

Court interpreter is also being asked to sight read, which means that they have to read the documents loud in a different language. This requires lots of concentration and focus.


Study.com. (2018). Be a Court Interpreter | Education and Career Roadmap. [online] Available at: https://study.com/be_a_court_interpreter.html [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

Clayton Brown (2018). Roles and Duties of Court Interpreters. [online] Available at: http://work.chron.com/roles-duties-court-interpreters-13215.html [Accessed 15 Feb, 2018]


Daily Status

February 21, 2018

"An obstacle is something you see when you take your eyes off the goal"


Daily Status

February 22, 2018

"When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, Show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile."


Daily Status

February 22, 2018

"You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one "


Daily Status

February 26, 2018

“Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny."


Daily Status

February 27, 2018

 “Your life is a result of your choices. If you don’t like your life, it’s time to make some better choices."


Daily Status

February 28, 2018

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win."


Daily Status

March 1, 2018

“If you’re searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror"


Daily Status

March 2, 2018

“When you feel like stopping, think about why you started."


Daily Status

March 2, 2018

“When you feel like stopping, think about why you started."



How to learn languages effectively in 7 points?

23 November 2018

1. You have to know why you want to do it

You have to have some motivation for learning or some target which you want to achieve because when you do not have motivation learning becomes harder.

2. Find a partner

When you have someone with whom you can study with, it becomes easier for you because you can share your experiences with the other person and he or she can help you stay motivated.

3. Talk to yourself

Repetition is mother of wisdom. Some languages require certain movement of the mouth to pronounce the phrases or words correctly, hence standing in front of the mirror and practicing can be an advantage.

4. Don’t forget about practice

Theory isn’t enough for learning, you have to practice dialogues with people. But not everyone can travel so often but you can go for example to a restaurant where they speak a desired language and try to speak with their personnel. By just ordering food can be the countering action that will overcome the slight hesitation we have initially.

5. Listen

Every language has got its specifics for example accent, tempo, pronunciation and sometimes we can have problems pronouncing particular words or phrases, but when we will listen to some audiobooks, music or native speakers our pronunciation will improve vastly.

6. Don’t study just from your textbook

It is better to use as many sources of materials, for example audio clips - for listening to the language, writing our own notes, referring to another source when we don’t understand the explanation from one source which we are using. It is known that some people have learnt languages by watching foreign movies or movies dubbed in other languages.

7. Use memory games

Mnemonic devices also known as memory aid, are methods for remembering pieces of information using a simple association of common words. You can use play with letters for example for the word GEOGRAPHY: George's Elderly Old Grandfather Rode A Pig Home Yesterday.

This has been written by UKLST - UK Legal Services Translation Ltd and it is purely for blogging purposes, the views represented in this blog and entirely our own opinion and nothing more.eel like stopping, think about why you started."


Top 10 Spoken Languages in The World

20 February 2019

Why are we more aware of our neighbouring nation and their cultures now than about 1000 years ago or even let’s say 100 years ago?

Some say the Earth is getting smaller, therefore the distance is getting less, and some say our capabilities are getting enhanced, so we are able to invent such gadgets which allows us to relate with each other much easily and efficiently. Although I am with latter explanation, I shall let you make your own mind up.

In our day to day engagements, we encounter many cultures and many diverse people from around the globe and with this we encounter many languages and dialects. We as humans have become more adaptive of the idea that speaking more than one language is becoming the norm and more so desirable. We, at UKLST, believe strongly in effective communication is a vital part of any dialogue between two more parties. When it comes to understanding languages, UKLST is at the forefront of providing interpreters and translators to ensure professional services are acquired by those who require best results.

Here as some of the most spoken languages in the world.

1. Mandarin – With china being the most populated country in the world, this language has 1030 Million speakers.

2. English – It is spoken in nearly every country in the world English is spoken by nearly 890 million people around the world.

3. Arabic – it is the one the oldest languages in the world, it was declared as the sixth official UN language in 1974. It has an estimated 560 Million speakers.

4. Spanish – other than being the language of Spain, Spanish is spoken nearly in all central and south American countries. It has nearly 420 million speakers.

5. Hindi – even though India has many other languages spoken and English being spoken widely, Hindi has 380 Million speakers.

6. Bengali – it is the language of Bangladesh spoken by over 210 million people.

7. Portuguese – this language is popular in countries such as Brazil, Mozambique, Macau, Angola and Venezuela. With an estimate of nearly over 200 million speakers.

8. Russian - It is one of the six official languages of the UN and it has more than 170 million speakers at present.

9. French – other than being the official language of France it is spoken in many other countries around the word, such as Canada, Belgium, Cameroon, Haiti and Rwanda. An estimate of 160 million speakers.

10. Urdu – is the official language of Pakistan, as well as being spoken by 160 million people around the world.

UKLST is looking to start language courses, if you would be willing to consider the courses, please show your interest and also to gain more information by calling our offices.


English Language Facts

29 March  2019

The English language has been around for quite some time now and its widely spoken across the globe, it’s the second most spoken language in the world with nearly 890 million speakers around the world.

The language originates from what is now known as North West Germany, it was brought to Britain in the mid - 5th to 7th centuries AD by Anglo – Saxon Settlers. British English is the standard dialect; however, dialects and accents vary across the four countries of the United Kingdom as well as within the countries.

English may seem simple but that’s because it’s made up of misinterpretations, mistakes, strange and needless words.

Here at UKLST We have teamed up with Academia Training Facilities to provide English language courses follow their page for more information.

These are some interesting facts we have put together about the English language that you may not have known about. Let us know about any facts that you know, and we may not have added.

1. The shortest complete sentence in the English language is ‘I am’

2. A sentence that contains every letter in the alphabet is called a pangram for example ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ is a pangram sentence.

3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious this word means fantastic and became popular because of the movie Mary Poppins. It is surprisingly not the longest word in English.

4. Words that are repeated in a sentence such as ‘like,’ ‘basically’, ‘actually’, and ‘um’ are called crutch words. Crutch words slip in to a sentence to give the speaker more time to think, they eventually become verbal tics, but they don’t add meaning to a statement.

5. English is a language of the sky; all pilots must identify themselves is English during flights and air traffic controllers at airports have to communicate with pilots in English.

You can visit Academia Training Facilities - ATF, https://atf-training.business.site/ for more information about the English courses they may be running.


A Multicultural Society means Translation 

 19 April 2019

A multicultural society means translation. This is especially true in the UK.

More than other countries, the UK has always been a multicultural society. Already before World War II, Great Britain accounted for more than 15 different ethnic groups and languages spoken in its territory. After 1945, these figures have kept growing and only in the past ten years foreign-born population has almost doubled.

While London is famously the most cosmopolitan area with the largest number of migrants (3.4 million foreign-born people in 2017), researchers have re-named Greater Manchester as “Britain’s city of languages“ thanks to its highest rate of language diversity per square meter, counting as many as 200 languages spoken.

People come to the UK for the most different reasons: work, love, or to escape wars and dictatorships in their home country; in many cases, the UK is chosen as a home over other countries thanks to its various commercial links and trading relationship established worldwide.

Of course, to date English is still the global lingua franca, being the most studied and spoken worldwide, so people moving to the UK already speak some English and keep on studying English here anyway.

However, when it comes to legal matters, lawyers are often not enough to protect your rights. Be it personal injuries or car accidents, divorces or property transactions, major medical appointments or criminal offences, you need to make sure your language barriers are totally overcome, so that your legal rights are 100% guaranteed.

That is why you also need interpreters and translators. And good ones.

For this reason, the UK is also amongst the countries with the highest percentage of professional translators worldwide, i.e. people who have chosen translation and interpreting as their main profession. They hold official qualifications such as the Diploma in Public Services Interpreting (DPSI) and Master’s Degrees in Translation and Interpreting for example.

Here at UK Legal Services Translation we provide translation and interpreting services nationwide in over 350 languages and dialects, working with over 3500 qualified and professional linguists. We take pride in offering high quality translations and in being a highly dependable and responsive company.

We mainly specialise in legal matters: our interpreters work with both public and private sectors, for example assisting at courts and tribunals, medical consultations, business meetings and police stations to name but a few. We also deliver written and verbal translations of documents, such as personal injury statements, marriage and birth certificates, wills and probates. We can also be instructed under legal aid rates.

Some of our interpreters have over 30 years of experience, especially those working for recorded Interviews, criminal and civil proceedings, verbal translation, immigration and personal injury cases. All our written and verbal translations are supported by either statement of truths or affidavits on request.

(source : The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, The University of Manchester).


Benefits of a Multilingual Classroom 

3 May  2019

With the means of transport and communication becoming more and more affordable and efficient, people’s mobility has been constantly increasing. People move to a new country for the most different reasons – love, work, or to have more religious or personal freedom. Multiculturalism has therefore become a reality in more and more societies: however, while in most urbanised areas it is by now accepted as normal, in certain remote and rural areas people who sound and look different are still looked at with some suspicion. This can happen especially at school, where parents feel even more strongly that they need to protect their children’s rights.

Let’s now see some of the most common misconceptions about multilingual classrooms:

1) Schoolchildren whose first language is not the official national one will slow down the learning process of native schoolchildren: false.

Children’s brain is extremely flexible, and they learn languages in a rather different way than adults. Foreign schoolchildren will learn the national language more quickly than you think. Moreover, the host country’s schoolchildren will become more open-minded and flexible, by directly experiencing diversity. In the best case scenarios, teachers should make the most of this opportunity to enhance their pupils’ knowledge about different cultures and languages in the world. Teachers could invite at school bilingual assistants and cultural speakers of the same language(s) as the new pupils: these professionals could work with the teachers and organise school assemblies and workshops about their cultural traditions and festivals.

2) Foreign schoolchildren will require special assistance from bilingual teaching assistants, and this is an extra cost for our society: false.

That of bilingual teaching assistants is a job like many others - as such, it helps to keep the economy going. Also, as said just above, children learn languages very fast, so bilingual assistants will be needed just for the few initial months.

3) Bilingual assistant will disturb the teacher and pupils with their continuous “whispered interpreting”: false.

“Whispered interpreting” (also known as “chuchotage”, a lexical borrowing from French) is only partly used by bilingual assistants in the classroom. Also, bilingual assistants often use “chuchotage” more as a “consecutive interpreting”, i.e. they wait that the teacher stops speaking and then s/he orally translates. This happens when the teacher writes on the whiteboard or waits for the other pupils to answer a question. Most times however, the bilingual assistant will silently help the new foreign pupil to do the written activities required by the teacher, often writing in both languages and using body language and facial expressions.

4) Foreign schoolchildren will get confused and will mix their native language with the national one, ultimately learning two languages bad: false.

It has been proved that children that grow bilingual actually learn two languages at the very same time, and that they are able to do so because they emotionally link each language to different people/situations (e.g. they naturally speak their native language with the family, but the host country’s language at school).

[ picture taken from external website: please contact us for more information ]


Benefits of a Multilingual Classroom 

7 June 2019

African Languages: 10 Things to Know

Nigeria has one of the highest rates of languages per square meter worldwide, and totals more than five-hundred languages in its territory;

• Around all Africa, something like one hundred languages are widely used for inter-ethnic communication. The most used ones are the following: Arabic, Amharic, Berber, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Manding, Oromo, Yoruba, Somali, Swahili;

• African languages include consonant sounds that are very rare or non-existent in other parts of the world, namely the so-called “pure implosives” (/ɓa/), “clicks” and the “labiodental flap” (/ǂa/, /ᵑǃa/);

“Prenasalized” consonants, like /mpa/and /ŋɡa/, are widespread in Africa but rather unusual in other parts of the world;

• On the other hand, “front rounded” vowels like [œ] in the French word "bœuf" [bullock] are rather uncommon;

• Also diphthongs like [ei] in the English word "rain" are uncommon in African languages;

• African languages make wide use of adjectival verbs;

• The same term is typically used for both animal and meat. This is different from English and some other languages, where for example the term “bullock” indicates the animal, while “beef” indicates its meat.

• The majority of African languages are tonal, similarly to Chinese, Punjabi and many others in Asia. What does it mean? In short, that the same word and word sound can have completely different meanings when pronounced with a different voice tone (e.g. rising, falling or flat). This is certainly not the case in English and Indo-European languages.

• Finally, there are various sign languages used in Africa. Much research has yet to be done on African languages.

Discover more about African languages here at UKLST! 

Our expert interpreters and translators from Africa will ensure smooth communication for you and your business. 

Sources: [SIL Ethnologue]

Image source: free picture by Pixabay