Akorbi Explains the Linguistic Differences Between French and Haitian Creole

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Akorbi: What Are the Differences between French and Haitian Creole?

There are so many unique and interesting languages in the world, and we believe that these fascinating languages deserve to be celebrated! One of these languages is Haitian Creole. Though derived from French, it is vastly different in many ways. Its unique origins and its distinctive evolution from the original French make Haitian Creole a very interesting language to learn more about. So, we at Akorbi have written a blog explaining the development and history of Creole as well as the way in which it is unique.

The Origins

Throughout much of modern history, France was a dominant colonial power across the world. They colonized many places around the globe, and in each of these places they imposed their language and culture on the people they encountered. One of these places was the island of Saint Domingue, which is known as Haiti today.

Haitian Creole was born as a result of the interactions between the African slaves and the French slave owners. The slaves were only taught basic French, but they took what they were taught and what they learned through listening and created their own version of the French language. In addition to French, Haitian Creole also has influences from Spanish, English, Portuguese, and West African languages. It was not declared a national language alongside French until The Constitution of 1987. Though both French and Haitian Creole are the official languages of Haiti, Haitian Creole is the only language that all Haitians hold in common with one another.

The Differences

The differences between French and Haitian Creole center mostly around the grammar of both languages. For instance, in Haitian Creole, you don’t conjugate verbs as you do in French. Tense is understood based on the presence or absence of specific tense markers that precede the verb. About ninety percent of the vocabulary is the same, but many of the cognate terms have different meanings in French and Haitian Creole.

Choose Akorbi!

At Akorbi we are incredibly proud of our fantastic interpreters and translators. We are also proud of how many languages we offer for both interpretation and translation. One of the things that makes Akorbi stand out as a company is that we have staff on our team who are able to work fluently in Haitian Creole.

Another thing that makes Akorbi such a great company to use for interpretation and translation is that all of our translators are native speakers of the language they are working with. With any language, that is important, and Haitian Creole is no exception to this rule. Though in some ways similar to French, a French speaker would not be able to translate Haitian Creole because of all of the cognate terms.

So, if you find yourself in need of translation for Haitian Creole, Akorbi is the company you want to hire. We take great pride in our staff of translators and are confident we will be able to help you! Contact us today!

The Croatian Language – Akorbi

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Things You Should Know about Croatian

We’re very passionate about languages at Akorbi! There are so many languages to celebrate in the world that have rich histories. One of those languages is Croatian. It is one of the Southern Slavic languages spoken in the Balkans. It is a rich and beautiful language with a lot of fascinating complexities. So, we’ve decided to focus one of our Akorbi blogs on a brief overview of the Croatian language.

There is so much more that we could not fit in this blog, so make sure to do some more research on your own. You don’t be disappointed. The Croatian language, its history, and the people who speak it are all vibrant and interesting. Read on to discover more!

The Alphabet

Due to the Western influences throughout history – like the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Croatian speakers now use the Latin alphabet. However, historically they employed the Glagolitic alphabet. There is a town in Croatia called Hum – which is famous for being the smallest city in the world – is home to the Glagolitic alley. It is a string of 11 monuments celebrating the Croatian languages original script. Though it is not widely used anymore, it is still a rich part of the history of the language.

The Speakers

Croatian is the official language of Croatia. The Croatian people are a very proud, warm, and passionate people. There are an estimated five million Croatian speakers in the world – not all located in Croatian itself. There are pocket communities of Croatian speakers in places like St. Louis and Chicago.

The Dialects

The Croatian language is divided up into three dialects: Čakavski, Štokavski, and Kajkavski. They are used in different areas of the country. Čakavski is spoken in the coastal regions. One of the defining characteristics of Čakavski is that “Ča” is the word for “what.” Similarly, “Kaj” and “Što” are the words for “what” in their respective regions.

Štokavsko is used in the inland parts of the country, while Čakavski is used in parts of the country that are closer to Bosnia and Serbia. Štokavski is the dialect that the Standard Croatian is built on. It is the most widely used and official dialect of the language. It is what is spoken in the capital, Zagreb, and the surrounding areas.

Contact Akorbi Today!

At Akorbi, we are very excited about languages! Akorbi offers expert translators and interpreters who are native speakers of the language they work with. Croatian is one of the languages that we have translators and interpreters for at Akorbi. So, if you find yourself in need of translation or interpretation in Croatian, make sure to contact Akorbi to find out more about what we can do for you!

What Is Required of a UN Interpreter? – Akorbi

A row of headphones and microphones for translation during a meeting
What it takes To Be An Interpreter For The UN

If you’re a gifted linguist and you’re wondering what kind of professional avenue to pursue, you might consider becoming an interpreter. There are many different places you can work as an interpreter, but perhaps the most exciting is the United Nations. The job of an interpreter is usually fast-paced, high stakes, and demanding – this is especially true if you’re working for the United Nations. It’s also exciting work!

If you’re looking for a career that keeps you on your toes, this might just be the job for you. We’ve detailed some of the requirements of a UN interpreter so you can decide if this sounds like something you might want to pursue!

You Must Be a Native Speaker of an Official UN Language

This is of the utmost importance. In order to even be considered for the position, you’re required to be a native speaker in either English, French, Russian, Arabic, or Chinese. Unfortunately, if one of these is not your native language you won’t have much luck finding a position within the UN.

Now, it is important that we clarify that you must truly be a native speaker of one of these languages – not just proficient. This is because as your native language – also known as your A language – this will be the language you work the most in. It is important that you are fully fluent in this language. There are very few people who can truly claim to have more than one native language.

You Must Have Command of At Least One Other Official Language

In addition to being a native speaker of one of the official UN languages, you must have command of at least one other. Having a command of a language means more than understanding the words that are spoken. So much of language is wrapped of in cultural context and as an interpreter you have to be able to interpret culture as well as words. You also need to be able to adapt to a variety of accents. This is why the language requirements for this kind of position are so rigorous. A lot is riding on your correct interpretation of accent, culture, and the words spoken.

You Must Have A Wide Range of Knowledge

As an interpreter for the UN, you need to have a wide range of knowledge. This means you’ll need to have a good understanding of current events, politics, economics, UN processes, etc. You’ll also be required to know the technical terms within all of these fields to ensure that your interpretation is as accurate as possible.

Become An Interpreter for Akorbi

If you’re not sure you’re ready for being an interpreter for the United Nations but you are a gifted linguist, you should consider applying to work for Akorbi. Our interpreters are native speakers of the language they work with so they have a full understanding of both the language and the culture. So contact us today to find out more about Akorbi!

Celebrity Polyglots Part 2 – Akorbi

The red carpet
Hollywood’s Brightest Polyglots

In our last Akorbi blog, we discussed several very impressive celebrity polyglots. It was impossible to fit them all into one blog, and it’ll be just impossible to fit all of them in two! However, we want to highlight a few more celebrities who have taken the time to learn other languages, because at Akorbi we value bilingualism! So read on for part two of the Akorbi celebrity polyglot blog series.

Audrey Hepburn

There is so much more to celebrate about Audrey Hepburn than just her timeless beauty. The iconic Hollywood star was also an incredibly generous philanthropist and a gifted linguist. Born in Belgium to a mother of Dutch descent, she eventually moved to Holland and learned to speak Dutch. She also spoke Italian, German, and Spanish.

Shakira

On top of churning out some very catchy hits, Shakira has also spent a lot of time learning languages. In addition to Spanish and English, she also speaks Italian, French, and Portuguese. You can see her do interviews in the various languages that she speaks. It is very impressive!  

Christopher Lee

Not only did he portray the great wizard Saruman and the menacing Count Dooku, Sir Christopher Lee was also a master of language acquisition. As well as his native English he was also fluent in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Though not fluent, he was also proficient in Swedish, Greek, and Russian. He did several dubs of movies in other languages and was even knighted for his many accomplishments! It is fair to say he was an incredible individual. He was a phenomenal actor and a great linguist!

Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz portrayed a polyglot in the famous Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. His character, an Austrian SS officer, is able to move back and forth seamlessly between Italian, German, French, and English throughout the film. Though Christoph Waltz is nothing like the horrible monster he portrays in the film, the one thing they have in common is the penchant for learning language. Waltz is able to speak English, German, and French fluently. In fact, he is so fluent in French that he dubs his own films into French. Now, that’s truly impressive!

Hire Akorbi For Any Translation Needs!

If you yourself are not a linguist, but find yourself in need of one for translation or interpretation services, then make sure you talk to Akorbi. At Akorbi we have translators and interpreters who know both the language and culture that they are working with. This ensures that they will provide the most accurate translation or interpretation for you. At Akorbi, we value language. So, if you have translation or interpretation needs make sure to contact us to learn more about what Akorbi can do for you!

Celebrity Polyglots – Akorbi

Photographers taking pictures of a celebrity
Hollywood’s Most Impressive Linguists

Mastering one language is difficult enough, but there are some people who are so linguistically inclined that they pick up proficiency in multiple languages. Some are even fully fluent in multiple languages. Among this impressive list of polyglots, there are several famous men and women you might recognize from their work in Hollywood who fit the bill. These actors may be known for their success on the big screen, but they are also all gifted linguists. Read on for part one of our two part Akorbi series on the most gifted linguists in Hollywood.

Natalie Portman

Not only is Natalie Portman a gifted actress – known for roles in films like Black Swan, V for Vendetta, and Star Wars – she is also a gifted academic and linguist. She studied Psychology at Harvard University and has also mastered several different languages. Among the languages she speaks are Spanish, German, and Japanese. In addition, she is a native speaker of both Hebrew and English. Being proficient in more than one language is impressive, but being able to claim true multilingualism is remarkable.

Viggo Mortensen

In addition to helping Frodo successfully destroy the One Ring as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen is also a master of several languages. Holding an American-Danish dual citizenship, Mortensen speaks Danish, English, Spanish, French, and is able to get by in Italian as well as understanding a good deal of Swedish and Norwegian. No wonder he seemed so comfortable speaking Elvish in Lord of the Rings!

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster owes her fluency in French to the fact that she attended the Lycée Français de Los Angeles – which is a French-speaking school. She has given many interviews in French and speaks it like a native. Her fluency has also allowed her to dub her own films as well as act in a couple of French films. In addition to being fluent in French, Foster is also able to speak some German, Italian, and Spanish as well.

Hire Akorbi For Your Translation Needs!

If you aren’t a linguist yourself and find yourself in need of an interpreter or translator, make sure to talk to Akorbi. At Akorbi we have phenomenal translators who are experts in the language they are translating as well as the culture surrounding the language. This means that Akorbi translators and interpreters will provide the absolute best translation and interpretation because so much of a language’s meaning is tied up in cultural context. Make sure to contact Akorbi today to learn more!

The Best Jobs for Bilinguals – Akorbi

Woman standing in front of wall of newspaper clippingsWhat Jobs Are Good for Bilinguals?

Here at Akorbi, we believe being bilingual or multilingual is a true gift. It makes you a more well rounded and open minded person. If you’re a gifted linguist you may be wondering what careers you should be pursuing. You might even be concerned that there aren’t that many opportunities for you to use your language skills. However, this could not be farther from the truth. Being bilingual opens up a lot of opportunities for you.

We’ve taken the time to compile a list of some of the career paths you might take if you’ve mastered a second language (or maybe more). Keep in mind that these are just some of the things you can do with your language skills. It would be nearly impossible to list all of the ways you can use your gift!

Social Services

As a social worker, you would be working with people from diverse backgrounds. It’s important for you to be able to connect with and understand the people that you are trying to help. As someone who will most likely be working with children in crisis situations, it would be helpful to be able to communicate with them effectively. Being understood is a very soothing and comforting thing for a child in the midst of a very strenuous situation.

Teacher

Being a teacher with bilingual capabilities opens up so many doors. There is always the opportunity to teach the second language you’ve acquired in a school setting. It is a privilege to get to pass on your love of languages to another generation.

There would also be an opportunity for you to go abroad and teach English. Being able to travel broadens your horizons, and you can continue to develop your own language skills as you teach your students.

Flight Attendant

As a flight attendant, you will come into contact with people from all over the world. Being bilingual will help you communicate with customers who might not be able to speak English very well. It will also help them feel more comfortable while they travel. Traveling can be stressful enough, but traveling and not being understood only adds to the discomfort. Customers will be very thankful for your ability to communicate with them!

Journalism

Being bilingual in the field of journalism is definitely something that will set you apart from your colleagues. It will also open up a lot of opportunities for you. You’ll have the opportunity to work and live abroad or simply travel frequently to cover stories in countries where you can speak the language.  

Translator/Interpreter

If none of these other options crossed your mind, we’re sure this did. It’s probably the most commonly thought of career option for bilinguals. Of course, at Akorbi we’re big fans of this option. As a translator, you would be working with clients on translating documents. As an interpreter, you’d be doing a lot more face to face work with clients. Both of these are exciting options that will allow you to work a lot with languages!

Become a Translator or Interpreter for Akorbi

At Akorbi, we’re very proud of our team of translators and interpreters. Our Akorbi translators and interpreters are all native speakers in the language they are working with. We believe this is important because it gives them an intimate knowledge of not only the language but also the surrounding culture. At Akorbi, we know that cultural context is a very important part of interpretation and translation. If you’re bilingual or if you need translation and interpretation services, make sure to contact us at Akorbi to find out more about our services!

Slavic languages – Akorbi

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Akorbi: The Slavic Languages Explained

At Akorbi, we’re very passionate about languages. Among the many beautiful and intriguing groups of languages around the world are the Slavic languages. The Slavic (or Slavonic) languages are the Indo-European languages spoken by Slavic people. When people think of Slavic languages they typically think of Russian. This is just one of about 20 languages that are considered Slavic languages.

The regions where these languages are spoken are the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and Central Europe. Slavic languages in these areas are divided into three subgroups which are Eastern, Southern, and Western Slavic languages. We’ve written an Akorbi blog to explore these three different subgroups of the Slavic language. Read on to find out more!

Eastern Slavic Languages

These are the languages most people think of when they think of Slavic. Eastern Slavic languages include Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian. The people who speak these languages are located in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus mountains, and Northern Asia.

Something that all of these languages have in common is that they all use Cyrillic. This differentiates them from most of the other Slavic languages (other than Serbian) which use the Latin alphabet.

Southern Slavic Languages

Southern Slavic languages are the languages spoken in the Balkans. It is separated from the other two subgroups of Slavic languages by Germany, Hungary, and Romania. This subgroup can be further broken down into East and West. They are a part of a dialect continuum. Simply put, that means that these Eastern and Western varieties of the South Slavic languages are very similar to one another, however, the more geographically removed the languages are the more they differ.  Neighboring countries have almost unintelligible differences between their languages, while distant countries may speak the same language in very different ways.

The Eastern languages are Old Church Slavonic, Macedonian, and Bulgarian. The Western languages are made up of Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin.

Western Slavic Languages

Like with the Southern Slavic languages, Western Slavic languages are divided into subgroups based on how similar they are to one another. Some of the Western Slavic languages are Czech, Polish, Slovak, Kashubian. Upper and Lower Sorbian, Silesian.

Contact Akorbi Today!

At Akorbi, we’re very passionate about languages. We think that learning about new languages and cultures expands your horizons and opens up a multitude of opportunities. This is why we hire translators and interpreters at Akorbi that are fully fluent in both the culture and language that they are working with. If you find yourself in need of translation or interpretation services, make sure to contact Akorbi today!

How to Learn a New Language Faster – Akorbi

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Tips For Language Acquisition

How long does it take to learn a new language? Well, that is a question with a complex answer. There are so many variables involved in learning a language. Some of that is dependent upon what level of proficiency you are hoping to obtain, how you are at learning languages to begin with, and whether or not you speak other languages – the list goes on.

At Akorbi, we believe that no matter your skill level when it comes to learning languages there are things you can do to achieve proficiency more quickly. Read this Akorbi blog find out more about strategies for acquiring languages quickly!

Immerse Yourself in the Language

Nothing helps you absorb a language quite like immersion. First and foremost, it is a great way to learn phrasing. The more you listen to the language spoken by native speakers the more you’ll pick up on vocabulary, phrases, etc. At first it may sound like gibberish, but slowly you’ll start picking up on patterns which will help build your proficiency. It also ensures that the language you learn is the language native speakers speak instead of rigid textbook linguistics.

It also forces you to use the language. If you’re completely immersed in the language, you’ll be forced out of your comfort zone. In a classroom, there is a mixture of the use of your native language and the target language. When you’re immersed you have no choice but to sink or swim.

Speak the Language at Every Opportunity

When you’re beginning to learn a language it can be hard to feel ready to start speaking it. You need to though! Even if you’re speaking in broken sentences, the more you say things out loud the easier it will get. You need to use the knowledge you’re acquiring or your skills will never develop. Try to find a native speaker who would be willing to speak with you for a couple hours a week.

Listen To And Read In The Target Language Frequently

Listening to and reading a language can help you pick up the patterns of a language as well as vocabulary. Read out loud as much as possible. Choose to listen to music, the news, podcasts in the language you’re trying to learn. Watching your favorite movies in another language is also a great way to practice. Turn the subtitles on if you need to at first, but eventually try to watch without any and just listen for linguistic patterns.

Be Willing to Be Uncomfortable

When you’re learning a new language, you’re bound to make mistakes. It’s not easy to get outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. It’s frustrating to be an adult and only be able to speak at the level of a toddler. However, this is all part of the learning process. Just get out there and start speaking. Eventually, you’ll become better and it’ll be less uncomfortable!

Hire Akorbi for Your Translation Needs!

At Akorbi we believe that learning a second language is a valuable thing. However, if you haven’t quite mastered that second language yet and need some translation help, make sure to look into using one of our phenomenal translators at Akorbi. Our Akorbi translators are all native speakers of the language they’re translating, so they are experts in both the language and the culture. This helps them translate as accurately as possible. Contact us at Akorbi today to get the translation help you need!

Myths about Translation and Interpretation – Akorbi

Headphones used for simultaneous translation sitting on a table
Common Misconceptions about Translation and Interpretation

Translation and interpretation are a mystery to many. If you don’t live outside of your country of origin and you don’t have international business dealings, you probably haven’t run into many situations requiring a translator or interpreter. For this reason, there tend to be a lot of misconceptions about translation and interpretation. We’ve written down some of the most common myths and have done our best to set the record straight. Read on to discover more!

Myth #1: Translators and Interpreters Do The Same Thing

This could not be farther from the truth. Though these two professions do require similar skills and fluency of language, they require numerous different skill-sets.

Interpreters are with clients face to face. This means that they have to think quickly on their feet in another language. Their fluency needs to be far greater than that of a translator, who would have time to search for words they might have forgotten or look up cultural meanings of different phrases. With interpreters, there is a smaller margin for error. They need to be able to weave seamlessly through both cultural and linguistic demands.

Translators are working with documents, meaning they have time to study and perfect the language. They aren’t required to think in a second language quite as quickly as an interpreter. Translation offers more time to consider the audience and marketplace where the material will be used. This means that they can craft subtle and distinctive translations that are truly authentic to the culture.

Myth #2: Machines Will Replace Human Translators

Machines will never replace human translators. While machines are cheaper and quicker than using a human translator, they cannot anticipate human emotion or cultural nuances like a human can. Understanding and interpreting cultural nuances is almost as important as knowing the language itself.

Myth #3: Anyone Who Is Bilingual Can Translate and Interpret

Being able to speak a language fluently does not mean that you can interpret and translate. Many people who can speak two languages fluently are incapable of translating from one to the other effectively. Most people involved in translation and interpretation professionally have certification or specific education in fields like linguistics that help them navigate the tricky waters of translating meaning from one language to another.

Myth #4: A Translator Can Translate Anything

Every translator has their specialty. Just like in medicine or academia, translators have an area that they work in. Some translate legal documents while other might be working on translating literature. You cannot expect one person to be able to work in every field. You wouldn’t expect a surgeon to be able to perform every type of surgery imaginable? Well, you can’t expect that from translators either! That’s why Akorbi employs a wide variety of translators with unique and specialized proficiencies.

Hire Akorbi For Your Translation and Interpretation Needs!

If you find yourself in need of translation and interpretation services then make sure to contact us at Akorbi! We have highly trained and specialized translators and interpreters who work with our clients. They are all native speakers of the language they are translating so they are familiar with not only the language but also the accompanying cultural nuances. Reach out to Akorbi today for help with your translation and interpretation needs!

Benefits of Bilingualism – Akorbi

Woman standing in front of blackboard with words written on it in different languages
Akorbi: 4 Reasons to Learn Another Language

Learning a language is a huge investment of time. It takes a long time to truly master a second language. Sometimes it might seem like it isn’t worth it. If you aren’t moving to another country why learn another language? Well, at Akorbi we think learning another language is a worthwhile investment! There are many benefits to being bilingual, whether you’re moving to another country or living in the United States. Below, we’ve compiled a list of reasons that bilingualism is a huge asset to anyone.

1. Bilingualism Can Advance Your Career

You are a far more valuable individual on the job market if you are bilingual. In industries like tourism, journalism, business, and more, being able to speak more than one language is a highly sought after talent. Lots of businesses have international branches and so they have an interest in employees who are familiar with other cultures and languages.

2. Bilingualism Has Health Benefits

This may come as a shock but it is true! Being bilingual can affect your health. According to research, speaking another language can slow down the effects of old age on your mind. Due to the fact that speaking another language requires a great amount of cognitive flexibility, the fact that you’re using your brain in this way can prevent dementia and mental degradation.

Unfortunately, bilingualism has not been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s, but it can slow the disease down significantly. Learning a new language will keep your brain young and healthy!

3. Bilingualism Broadens Your Horizons

When you learn a new language, you not only learn the language itself but you also learn the culture. Being exposed to new cultures and ideas broadens your horizons and makes a more well rounded individual. Sometimes bilinguals feel like they have two different personalities. Oftentimes, people feel different when they speak different languages.

Bilinguals are also more adaptive to change. They are used to being exposed to different cultures and ideas. They are more willing to try new things that require new ways of thinking.

4. Bilingualism Makes You A Better Problem Solver

When you speak a second language, you’re constantly employing your problem solving abilities. Most likely, sentence structure and phrasing are very different from your first to your second language. So when you’re switching between the two languages you’re having to make quick decisions about sentence structure and grammar that require skilled problem solving.

Work With Akorbi’s Interpreters and Translators!

At Akorbi we value bilingualism! Our translators and interpreters at Akorbi are all bilingual. They are native speakers of the languages they translate. At Akorbi, we believe this is important because it means that they have a full grasp of not only the language but the accompanying culture as well. Culture has a huge impact on translation and interpretation, so we believe it is important for our translators and interpreters to be native speakers. Contact us today for any interpretation or translation needs you may have!