Love of Languages

Love of Languages
February 12, 2015

Love of languages is why we love what we do; we are so lucky to work with over 200 languages on any given day and we love working with people all over the wold. The diversity of working in multilingual communications with translation, interpreting and global marketing projects across the globe is thrilling. This Valentine’s Day we wanted to learn a little more about the word “love” and how the world around us relates to love.

Sanskrit has 96 words for love; ancient Persian has 80, Greek three, and English only one. This is indicative of the poverty of awareness or emphasis that we give to that tremendously important realm of feeling. Eskimos have 30 words for snow, because it is a life-and-death matter to them to have exact information about the element they live with so intimately. If we had a vocabulary of 30 words for love … we would immediately be richer and more intelligent in this human element so close to our heart. An Eskimo probably would die of clumsiness if he had only one word for snow; we are close to dying of loneliness because we have only one word for love. Of all the Western languages, English may be the most lacking when it comes to feeling.” – Robert Johnson, “The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden

Robert Johnson perfectly sums up what we do every day; translation is not about replacing love with love, or replacing any other word with the same word. Translation is about taking the meaning of a message, sometimes a word, sometimes a whole paragraph, and making it make sense in another language. This is not merely the art of translation, but the art of localization. The art of localization is truly an art, a craft. It requires the translator to dive deeply into the content to truly understand the nuances, the depth and richness of the message and translate that for the reader. Imagine the translator is translating a love poem into Sanskrit — which one of the 96 words will she choose? That decision lies in the heart of the artist.

Interested in learning more about our multilingual communications team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota for your translation, interpreting and global marketing in 200+ languages across the globe? Get in touch with us now!