Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe



Nordic Translation services languages
This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe.


This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe.

The size of each circle represents the number of speakers for that language. Circles of the same color belong to the same language group. All the groups except for Finno-Ugric (in yellow) are in turn members of the Indo-European language family.

English is a member of the Germanic group (blue) within the Indo-European family. But thanks to 1066, William of Normandy, and all that, about 75% of the modern English vocabulary comes from French and Latin (ie the Romance languages, in orange) rather than Germanic sources. As a result, English (a Germanic language) and French (a Romance language) are actually closer to each other in lexical terms than Romanian (a Romance language) and French.

So why is English still considered a Germanic language? 
Two reasons. First, the most frequently used 80% of English words come from Germanic sources, not Latinate sources. Those famous Anglo-Saxon monosyllables live on! Second, the syntax of English, although much simplified from its Old English origins, remains recognizably Germanic. The Norman conquest added French vocabulary to the language, and through pidginization, it arguably stripped out some Germanic grammar, but it did not ADD French grammar.

The original research data for the chart comes from K. Tyshchenko (1999), Metatheory of Linguistics. (Published in Ukrainian.)



Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Finnish (Suomi) is a Finnic Language Spoken by About 5 Million People

translate in to Finnish language
Credit: Baltic Media


Finns often run into questions like “Is Finnish like Swedish?” or “Does everyone in Finland speak Russian?” A simple answer to both questions is no. 
Both Swedish (one of the two official languages of Finland) and Russian belong to the Indo-European group of languages, while Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language. The latter group also includes Hungarian, Estonian, Sámi (spoken by the indigenous people of northern Finland, Sweden and Norway and northwestern Russia) and several lesser-known languages spoken in areas of Russia. 
The Finno-Ugric languages share enough common lexical and grammatical features to prove a common origin. Although these languages have developed separately for thousands of years, it can be seen that common features include:
1) absence of gender (the same Finnish pronoun, “hän,” denotes both “he” and “she”)
2) absence of articles (a and the in English)3) long words due to the structure of the language4) numerous grammatical cases5) personal possession expressed with suffixes6) postpositions in addition to prepositions7) no equivalent of the verb “to have”

There are various speculative theories about the time and place of the origin of the so-called Proto-Finno-Ugrian language. According to the most common theory, Hungarian and Finnish are separated by a mere 6,000 years of separate development.
How long Finnish-speakers have populated Finland is a question that has always interested Finnish scholars. Nowadays it is thought that speakers of a Finno-Ugric language have been living in the area of present-day Finland since at least 3000 BC. 
During the following millennia, contacts proliferated between the speakers of the Finno-Ugric language and speakers of neighbouring Indo-European languages (e.g. Baltic, Germanic and Slavic dialects). Numerous loan words borrowed by Finnish, Estonian and the other Baltic Finnic languages (Karelian, Lude, Vepsian, Vote and Livonian) demonstrate the existence of contacts between the people speaking Finnic languages and people speaking Indo-European languages. 
Not only vocabulary has been borrowed, but also many grammatical features. 
Most loans in present-day Finnish have come from the Germanic and Scandinavian languages, especially from Swedish.

 Read more: This is Finland 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Digitalisation in the Nordic Region—The European and Global Contexts



The Nordic countries are often positioned as digital front-runners in both the European and global contexts. In the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index, Denmark, Sweden Finland and the Netherlands (in that order) top the list in terms of the overall ranking, as well as performing well on individual indicators (see Figure 1).
Digitalisation in the Nordic Region—The European and Global Contexts
Figure 1

Norway also performs well on the indicators, despite not being formally included in the ranking.
 The ranking is based on five aspects:
1) connectivity (fixed broadband, mobile broadband, speed and affordability);
2) human capital (digital skills);
3) use of the Internet (content, communication and transactions);
4) integration of digital technology (business digitisation and e-commerce); and
5) digital public services (e-government) (European Commission, 2017c).

We find that Nordic countries also rank highest in the tables for each of these aspects. Finland leads the way on human capital and digital public services, Denmark on integration of digital technology and Norway on Internet use.

Alongside the agenda at the European scale, work has also occurred to map the state of play with respect to digitalisation in the Nordic–Baltic Region (Wernberg and Andersson, 2016). To date, two reports have been released that map indicators across the Nordic–Baltic states, with the most recent having a particular focus on cities (see Baltic Wernberg and Andersson, 2016).

The Nordic countries perform well in the Nordic–Baltic context. Again, however, there is substantial variation in performance based on different indicators. For example, there are quite large gaps between the countries when it comes to the use of e-procurement in firms or private R&D expenditure in science and technology, whereas rather small gaps exist when it comes to fixed broadband penetration and startups in ICT across the Nordic–Baltic countries (Wernberg and Andersson, 2016).

Another report based on the Boston Consulting Group’s E-Intensity Index4 includes Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden among nine European ‘digital front-runners’5 (Alm et al., 2016).6 The report highlights the higher share of e-GDP 7 in these countries (8% on average) compared with what it terms the ‘EU Big 5’8 (where e-GDP is 5.1% on average). Accordingly, the research suggests that these countries stand to make the greatest gains from further digital advancement, particularly full realisation of the European digital single market and further digitalisation in emerging fields (e.g., IoT, advanced robotics, big data analysis and augmented/virtual reality). At the same time, the authors argue that these countries have more to lose if Europe fails to keep up with the rest of the world. They are highly critical of European action on digitalisation, suggesting that ‘the window of opportunity is closing fast’ for Europe to position itself as a global leader in this space (Alm et al., 2016: 19).

The report estimates that, based on the current pace of development, even the front-runner nations in Europe will be behind China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan by 2025 (Alm et al., 2016). It suggests that the front-runners should work together to share good practice (all are strong in different areas) and take a leadership role. This includes both ideological leadership—to address the concerns of more pessimistic nations—and practical leadership to target the currently broad EU strategy (Alm et al., 2016).
Nordic cities are also front-runners when it comes to various smart technology solutions, including the management of urban systems and environments. Nordic cities have been early adopters of ICT infrastructure in cities, and of knowledge expansion through the implementation of 'smart city' solutions. This builds on a long tradition of developing infrastructure to support the digitalisation of public services. For example, Finland was the first country to declare that broadband access was a legal right for every citizen and Sweden ranks fourth in the world in the percentage of fixed broadband subscriptions on fibre-optic networks (Borges et al., 2017).

Sweden is among the most successful countries in developing community based broadband initiatives, so-called “local fibre networks. The Swedish Local Fibre Alliance has supported local governments and communities to plan and launch municipally owned and managed networks (ENRD, 2017). The Swedish government is committed to providing expanded high-speed Internet to rural areas and Stockholm is expected to be the first city in the world with a 5G network in 2020 (Borges et al., 2017; NyTeknik, 2018).

In terms of the provision of public services, recent research found that the Nordic cities were the most digitally advanced in Europe, independent of city size (ESPON, 2017). The study also showed that there is a generally high confidence level regarding the readiness of cities to respond to digital transition and seize the opportunities of digitalisation.

Read full report here norden.org  

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Translation and Global Marketing Missteps: Don’t let Global Content Missteps Trip You Up


By Rebecca Ray*




Companies still learn the hard way that almost all the content they publish – or that is created by their customers and prospects – is global.

Whether or not content is translated or intended for a specific audience, all viewers have access to it and make their opinions heard at the global level – especially if they have negative feelings. 
As content plays a larger strategic role in business success, organizations are looking for ways to do a better job to world-proof the words, images, and audio that project their brand. 
In this article, we describe the challenge of global content missteps, provide examples, and offer advice on how to avoid becoming a bad localization meme.
  
Firms generally recognize that content has value in supporting their brand worldwide and attracting and retaining customers. However, executives tend to over-invest in the creation of the original material while scrimping on the localized versions upon which they often depend for a hefty portion of their revenue. 

This disproportionate spending frequently results in a lack of oversight during the design phase, which can lead to embarrassing, if not disastrous, results in terms of PR. Worse yet, the missteps can cause a reduction in overall brand value and market cap numbers over the short term, as well as adversely impact the career path for C-level executives.
All organizations want to avoid being the poster child of global marketing missteps. Yet, examples unfortunately appear all too often:  

H&M’s catalog miscalculation

Regardless of one’s opinion of its appropriateness, you have to wonder how the original product and accompanying marketing content for a T-shirt ad in January 2018 survived internal review at fast-fashion retailer H&M. 
Even if its home base in Sweden was not offended by the product, H&M only had to ask personnel in top markets such as the United States, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom what they thought before proceeding with the design idea. 
As a result, H&M lost clothing line collaborators such as Weeknd and faced a high level of backlash from U.S. customers.


Image 1: H&M advertises a product without thinking through its global implications
Source: H&M online offering in the United Kingdom

United Airlines’ damage control goes awry

Asia has always been a strategic market for United – long before the rise of China – so one would expect that its corporate behavior is followed closely. However, the company’s crisis response team failed to take that into account when news broke about an outsourced security team dragging a passenger off one of its planes under rather violent circumstances. It turned into an international incident as hundreds of millions (not thousands) of people commented on Weibo, with some even cutting up their United frequent flyer cards. Calls for boycotts spread throughout Asia – especially worrying since China is the second-largest market in the world for aviation and still growing. The company briefly lost almost US$1 billion due to the incident.

Yelp’s obliviousness in the face of Turkish history

When the review forum Yelp announced via Twitter last year that it was entering the Turkish market, it rather oddly chose the image of a church for a country that is overwhelmingly Muslim – comparable to using a mosque graphic for an announcement targeted at North Americans. That being said, the church image didn’t match what most Turks see in their country, as the construction of Christian Orthodox churches doesn’t resemble the humble wood building depicted in the image. But even more bothersome to many Turks was the mention of the Trojan Horse used to hide Greek soldiers for an ambush during the war for Troy.


Image 2: Yelp selects a tone-deaf image to enter the Turkish market
Source: Yelp.com


Global content requires governance beyond translation sign-off

The companies in the examples cited are certainly not the only global brands that have stumbled over global messaging and content. Yet it’s impossible for even the most global-savvy person or team to recognize all possible cross-cultural reactions to a particular message, image, or video. So, what is a company to do?

Read more: TCWorld  

*Rebecca Ray is a senior analyst at market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research). 



Sunday, 30 December 2018

Summer School of Latvian Language and Baltic Culture 2019

Latvian language summer school. Latvian Language and more 2019 Summer School of Latvian Language and Baltic Culture | Baltic Media Language Training Centre in cooperation with Liepāja University in Latvia
Latvian language summer school. Photo Baltic Media

Latvian Language and more 2019

Summer School of Latvian Language and Baltic Culture | Baltic Media Language Training Centre in cooperation with Liepāja University in Latvia

Travel and study together with your family or friends, invest in your self-development and spend a fabulous time with your beloved ones.


August 16 – August 25, 2019

The leading Nordic-Baltic language service company Baltic Media, in cooperation with the University of Liepāja, offers an intensive Latvian language and culture program in the mesmerizing city of Liepāja, located on Latvia’s beautiful Baltic Sea coast.

Liepāja is a fantastic place to learn Latvian as it has everything from a beautiful seaside to market stalls offering fresh local produce to the Great Amber Concert Hall, a new architectural landmark of the city: www.latvia.travel/en/city/liepaja-8


Latvian language summer school. Latvian Language and more 2019 Summer School of Latvian Language and Baltic Culture | Baltic Media Language Training Centre in cooperation with Liepāja University in Latvia

This intensive Latvian language and culture program provides:
  • ·       solid instruction in learning the Latvian language (24 academic hours) at two levels – beginners (A1) and pre-intermediate (B1);
  • ·       specially designed course materials;
  • ·       cultural activities, including tours of the city and movie séances at an outdoor cinema featuring Latvian movies;
  • ·       1 day trip to a B&B with amber hunting along the sea coast and yoga on the beach.

Cost:
·       450 EUR includes tuition, course materials, coffee and snacks, cultural activities, tours, and 1 day stay at a B&B (yoga instruction included).
·       199 EUR for person for those who want to participate only in the cultural activities (without tuition costs).
·       430 EUR early bird special price if you enroll by May 30.

For more information, please e-mail us at kursi@balticmedia.com.

Ten Amazing Days

We encourage you to pack your travel bag, bring along your friends, and spend 10 amazing days discovering the beauty of the Latvian language as well as the unique culture and nature of Latvia’s beautiful sea coast.
It will be your best summer ever.

Accommodation is not included in the rate. Please book your hotel or guest house yourself. Liepāja has a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets.

Hotels and Guest Houses in Liepāja

How to get to Liepāja


Latvian language summer school.
Windsurfing Liepāja beach 2018. Photo: Baltic Media
Latvian language summer school.
Coffeeshop Boulangerie in Liepāja. Photo: Baltic Media

August 16 - August 25, 2019 Liepāja, Latvia
Latvian Language and more 2019
More information coming soon.

Please contact us:

Riga Office

World Trade Center
Elizabetes iela 2
LV-1010, Riga, Latvija
+371 67 224 395
+371 26 404 054
371 67 224 982
kursi@balticmedia.com

Visit our homepage: http://www.valodukursi.lv/en 


About Liepāja University


Liepāja University is one of the oldest higher educational establishments in Kurzeme region (Latvia) with large experience and academic traditions. It is located in the heart of Liepaja city - a city with long and diverse history, unique architecture and atmosphere, and mostly - the wonderful sea and the beach.
  • Liepaja University is an accredited state higher educational establishment, which implements study programmes at all three study levels: basic studies, Master and Doctorate studies.
  • Every year about 30 study programmes are implemented.
  • Full-time and part-time studies.
  • The number of elected teaching staff members - 74, among them more than 64,8% - Doctors of Sciences; 35,1 % professors and associate professors.
  • About 2000 students.
  • LiepU has its own anthem, coat of arms, logo and a banner.
  • More than 20 thousand graduates

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Swedish Lucia for Dummies


Swedish Lucia – the origins

The Lucia tradition can be traced back both to the martyr St Lucia of Syracuse (died in 304) and to the Swedish legend of Lucia as Adam’s first wife. It is said that she consorted with the Devil and that her children were invisible infernals. The name may be associated with both lux (light) and Lucifer (Satan), and its origins are difficult to determine. The present custom appears to be a blend of traditions.
In the old almanac, Lucia Night was the longest of the year. It was a dangerous night when supernatural beings were abroad and all animals could speak. By morning, the livestock needed extra feed. People, too, needed extra nourishment and were urged to eat seven or nine hearty breakfasts. The last person to rise that morning was nicknamed ‘Lusse the Louse’ and often given a playful beating round the legs with birch twigs. In agrarian Sweden, young people used to dress up as Lucia figures (lussegubbar) that night and wander from house to house singing songs and scrounging for food and schnapps.
The first recorded appearance of a white-clad Lucia in Sweden was in a country house in 1764. The custom did not become universally popular in Swedish society until the 1900s, when schools and local associations in particular began promoting it. The old lussegubbar custom virtually disappeared with urban migration, and white-clad Lucias with their singing processions were considered a more acceptable, controlled form of celebration than the youthful carousals of the past. Stockholm proclaimed its first Lucia in 1927. The custom whereby Lucia serves coffee and buns (lussekatter) dates back to the 1880s.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Nordic Entrepreneurial Environment

The Nordics. Credit: Twitter
By Tine Thygesen, The Entrepreneur Europe

For a small place tucked away in the furthermost corner of Europe, with only 25 million inhabitants, the Nordic region is punching above its weight when it comes to entrepreneurship. In the last few months alone, Spotify has IPOed with a market cap of $26 billion, iZettle has been sold to PayPal for $2.2 billion and Tradeshift has achieved unicorn status.

Other notable Nordic successes include Skype, King, Rovio, Unity, Just Eat, Endomondo, Bluetooth, Lego, Klarna, Trustpilot, Kiloo (Subway Surfers), Too Good To Go and Bang & Olufsen.
A recent analysis shows that Nordic businesses raised just over $1 billion in venture capital during the first half of 2017, with Sweden receiving the lion's share of the funds in the amount of $634.2 million.

The mere 25 million people in the Nordics are split into five countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland) with five separate languages, forcing its citizens to be highly versed in English and foreign languages to make themselves understood broadly. Practically all citizens speak two languages, and many speak several. It also forces young companies to be "born-global" as their home markets are insufficient for major success. As such, many companies (also from outside the region) use these small countries with their homogeneous populations as a learning lab, a place to test new products and concepts relatively inexpensively, before the most promising ones are rolled out onto larger markets, typically the U.K., U.S., and Germany.

The region enjoys a (relative to other countries) high level of equality that ensures taking advantage of the 50-plus percent of the population that is female, homosexual etc., whose talents are underutilized in countries with high inequality.

In the future, one of the region's major opportunities may very well lie in its intrinsic concern for the environment, as the planet will need more and more solutions to combat climate change as global warming continues to worsen.

In recent years, the region has topped in global happiness ratings done by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (in 2018 the top four were Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland), which frees the population up from worrying about basic human conditions (health care is free and unemployment benefits available) enabling them to turn their energy into more fruitful labors, such as building companies and being productive at work.

All things combined, the Nordic region is a testament to the fact that many economic models, not just the ultra-capitalistic, can spur innovation and high-growth companies.

At first glance, one could be forgiven for thinking that the economic social democratic model of the Nordic countries, where tax rates are high and the state provides for citizens in need, would discourage entrepreneurship as a risky venture. After all, the need for personal financial success is less in a society with a solid economic safety net. In that way, the Nordic region refutes the myth that necessity is the mother of invention.

Actually, corporate tax rates in the Nordics are comparable to the rest of Europe, and some of the countries, such as Denmark, have a liberal labor market where it's easy to lay off staff. That is not to say that the region's entrepreneurs are not challenged by the legislative environment that taxes warrants and capital gains highly, but perhaps this is partially offset by the region is among the least corrupt in the world, with effective structures of governance including a highly digitized public sector. In addition, the region enjoys a high overall digital literacy across the population. In 2010, Finland was the first country in the world to declare broadband a legal right.

Without a doubt, much of the region's ability to create (for which the Scandinavians even have a special word, "skaberkraft," meaning "the power to create) stems from the high level of education. Education is not only free, but residents are paid a grant while undergoing higher education. The free education leads to a general education level that is among the highest in the world, providing entrepreneurs with an abundance of qualified labor in most fields.

Read more: Entrepreneur  

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Facts About Sweden - the Largest Country in the Nordic Region


Credit: Baltic Media

The largest country in the Nordic Region is also the one with the biggest population. For many, Sweden is synonymous with the production of high-quality cars, iron, and steel.
Inland lakes and large rivers cover almost 10% of Sweden's land mass. Despite the country's enormous coniferous forests, it still has 27,000 km2 of arable land.
Sweden is also the Nordic Region's most populous country, with around 9.1 million inhabitants, almost two million of whom live in the Stockholm area. The northern parts of the country are sparsely populated.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy. King Carl XVI Gustaf has no real political power, and the parliament, Riksdagen, is the country's highest authority.
Sweden is a member of the EU but has retained the crown as its currency. The country is not a member of NATO.
Sweden is a major exporter of goods and services. The biggest exports are electronics, engineering, cars, paper, iron and steel.
Per capita GDP is € 28,200 (2006).
Total area (1): 447,420 km2
Lakes and streams: 40,080 km2
Arable land and gardens: 26,080 km2
Forests and plantations: 282,760 km2
Largest lake: Vänern 5,648 km2
Highest point: Kebnekaise 2,106 m
Coast line mainland: 11,530 km
National borders: 2,205 km (border to Finland: 586 km, to Norway 1,619 km)
Icecap and glaciers: 283 km2
Population February 2017: 10 014 873 inh.
Population density 01.01.14: 23.7 pop./km2
Population, capital 2016: 2 163 042 inh Stockholm (municipality) (2)
National day: 6th June (Swedish Flag's Day)
Form of government: Constitutional monarchy
Parliament: Riksdag (349 seats)
Membership of the EU: From 01.01.95
Membership of NATO: No
Head of State (as of September 2009): Kong Carl XVI Gustaf
Head of government (as of October 2014): Prime Minister [Stefan Löfven]
Currency: Swedish crown (SEK)
Official website: www.sweden.se
1) Incl. the largest lakes, but excl. the area from the coastline to the territorial boundary, 81,502 km2
2) Stockholm, Upplands Väsby, Vallentuna, Österåker, Värmdö, Järfälla, Ekerö, Huddinge, Botkyrka, Salem, Haninge, Tyresö, Upplands-Bro, Nykvarn, Täby, Danderyd, Sollentuna, Södertälje, Nacka, Sundbyberg, Solna, Lidingö, Vaxholm, Norrtälje, Sigtuna and Nynäshamn
Source: Norden

Saturday, 1 September 2018

We can help you capture new Nordic and Baltic markets. Here is a piece of advice on how to start

Website translation services for ecommerce
Credit: StoryBlocks. Norway

Website translations
Exports of products and services to other countries is what both you and your country need. If you want to capture new markets, having your website or online store only in English is not enough.

According to market research, an online store or website in client's native language has a significant impact on buyer's choice. Roughly 75% online store customers give preference to the seller who provides product and service description in customer's native language.
So if you want to expand your product or service market, start with website localization in the language used on your potential market. However, do not forget to ensure customer service in their native language.
Saves money
  
We have over 25 years of experience in website localization in Nordic and Baltic languages. Our clients will also save money as we use CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools that create a translation memory and terminology database so you will not pay twice for phrases that repeat 100% and will pay less for those somewhat similar to the translated ones. Terminology database will also ensure terminology consistency and search engine optimization.
Our translators are human beings instead of machines as machine translation such as Google cannot understand the context, idioms, jokes and other nuances, therefore, nothing has been able to beat professional translators so far. The leading global and local scale companies still localize their content only with human translation.
We recently localized Swedish hairdresser equipment and product wholesaler website in all Scandinavian languages - Headbrands.seHeadbrands.fiHeadbrands.dkHeadbrands.no. Their turnover saw increases of growth!
Find more information on website translation and our work flow on our website.

Monday, 13 August 2018

English's Days as the World's Top Global Language May be Numbered. Can English Remain the 'World's Favourite' Language?



English is spoken by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but do the development of translation technology and "hybrid" languages threaten its status?
Which country boasts the most English speakers, or people learning to speak English?
The answer is China.
According to a study published by Cambridge University Press, up to 350 million people there have at least some knowledge of English - and at least another 100 million in India.
There are probably more people in China who speak English as a second language than there are Americans who speak it as their first. (A fifth of Americans speak a language other than English in their own homes.)
But for how much longer will English qualify as the "world's favourite language"? The World Economic Forum estimates about 1.5 billion people around the world speak it - but fewer than 400 million have it as their first language.
Of course, there is more than one English, even in England. In the historic port city of Portsmouth, for example, the regional dialect - Pompey - is still very much in use, despite the challenges from new forms of online English and American English.
English is the world's favorite lingua franca - the language people are most likely to turn to when they don't share a first language. Imagine, for example, a Chinese speaker who speaks no French in conversation with a French speaker who speaks no Chinese. The chances are that they would use English.
Five years ago, perhaps. But not anymore. Thanks to advances in computer translation and voice-recognition technology, they can each speak their own language, and hear what their interlocutor is saying, machine-translated in real time.
So English's days as the world's top global language may be numbered. To put it at its most dramatic: the computers are coming, and they are winning.
You are probably reading this in English, the language in which I wrote it. But with a couple of clicks on your computer or taps on your tablet, you could just as easily be reading it in German or Japanese. So why bother to learn English if computers can now do all the hard work for you?
At present, if you want to do business internationally, or play the latest video games, or listen to the latest popular music, you're going to have a difficult time if you don't speak any English. But things are changing fast.
In California, Wonkyum Lee, a South Korean computer scientist for Gridspace, is helping to develop translation and voice-recognition technology that will be so good that when you call a customer service helpline, you won't know whether you're talking to a human or a computer.
Christopher Manning, professor of machine learning, linguistics and computer science at Stanford University, insists there is no reason why, in the very near future, computer translation technology can't be as good as, or better than, human translators.
But this is not the only challenge English is facing. Because so many people speak it as their second or third language, hybrid forms are spreading, combining elements of "standard" English with vernacular languages. In India alone, you can find Hinglish (Hindi-English), Benglish (Bengali-English) and Tanglish (Tamil-English).
In the US, many Hispanic Americans, with their roots in Central and South America, speak Spanglish, combining elements from English and the language of their parents and grandparents.

Language is more than a means of communication. It is also an expression of identity - telling us something about a person's sense of who they are. 

The San Francisco poet Josiah Luis Alderete, who writes in Spanglish, calls it the "language of resistance", a way for Hispanic Americans to hold on to - and express pride in - their heritage, even if they were born and brought up in the US.
English owes its global dominance to being the language of what until recently were two of the world's most powerful nations: the US and the UK. But now, especially with the rise of China as an economic superpower, the language is being challenged.
Computerised translation technology, the spread of hybrid languages, the rise of China - all pose real challenges. But I continue to count myself immensely fortunate to have been born in a country where I can cherish and call my own the language of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and Dickens, even though the language I call English is very different from theirs.
Presentational grey line
Read more: By Robin Lustig Presenter, The Future of English, BBC World Service