I often asked myself the same questions: why do we speak French in France and why not another language close to Russian, Turkish or Greek for example? How old is the French language anyway? Where does it come from and how did it survive the invasions in the past? Why do we have so many languages in the world? How many are they?
Not long ago I would not have been able to answer, but thanks to a fellow translator colleague Jonathan Goldberg (co-author of the blog Le mot juste en anglais), I am a bit more enlightened on the subject.
Indeed, French is an Italic language, like Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Romanian. While English is a Germanic language, as well as German, Swedish and Danish. As for Scottish and Irish, those are Celtic languages, Polish and Russian are Balto-Slavic. I shall not forget to mention Greek for instance, which stands alone in the Hellenic sub-category and the last but not the least, the Indo-Iranian sub-category, assembling among others Sanskrit, Bengali, Urdu, Hindu, Farsi and Kurdish. I cannot make heads or tails of it. What do those languages have in common, you might ask? Well, apparently, they all come from Anatolia, and would be what we call today Indo-European languages.
In short, the cradle of Indo-European languages would be found in modern Turkey. English, Russian, Spanish, French and German all sound very different, but the etymology of Indo-European languages corresponds with the agricultural expansion from Anatolia some 8 or 9 thousand years ago.
At Copypanthers, we are all children of etymology. Here at our headquarters in Istanbul, your team of project managers gather the Indo-European languages and many others. For an Indo-European translation (or anything else), don’t hesitate to contact us!
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