Top Five Invented Languages

Humans have been inventing languages for hundreds of years. The first record of a made up language dates back


to the twelfth century when German nun Hildegard von Bingen, created a language called Lingua Ignota. Since her time, hundreds more have been brought to life as either a means to communicate, for artistic creation, to give life to fiction, or for philosophical or religious reasons.

Although many of the constructed languages have disappeared , others have endured time and are almost, if not as, complex as many of our natural languages.

Invented by L. L. Zamenhof in the 1880s, Esperanto is perhaps the best-known invented language. It may not have achieved its aim world peace and unifying the world under one language, but at its height it had as many as two million speakers. In 1954 Esperanto was recognized by UNESCO and today it is estimated that about 50,000 speak the language. It is a featured language in Facebook, Skype and Google Translate, and Wikipedia has 150,000 entries in Esperanto. Though many consider it a failed language, Esperanto has more speakers than six thousand of the languages spoken around the world today.

When it comes to fiction, no other language is as popular as Klingon. Created by American linguist Marc Okrand, it is the language spoken by the Klingons in Star Trek. The Klingon language has a complete grammar and vocabulary, an institute in which people can learn the language, a dictionary that has sold over 300,000 copies and even its own translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet .

Philologist and writer, J. R. R. Tolkien invented Elvish, a complete language for the Elves tribes that first appears in his novel The Hobbit . His creation was a complex language based on

Welsh and Finnish, which was made

fully functional by hundreds of fans adding their own words and phrases.

When Geroge R. R. Martin wrote his epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire , he invented a few words and phrases to give life to the Dothraki people. But it was David J. Peterson, a U.C. Berkeley-trained linguist who designed the entire Dothraki language – which includes a 300 page grammar and dictionary – for the HBO show based on Martin’s books, Game of Thrones . The popularity of the show has resulted in Dothraki being heard by more people each week than Yiddish, Navajo, Inuit, Basque, and Welsh combined.

Paul Frommer, a professor at the USC Marshall School of Business with a doctorate in linguists created the Na’vi language for James Cameron’s film Avatar. This language, complete with nouns, adjectives and verbs, is quite complex and is considered a fully learnable language.

The Economist
The New Yorker
The Huffington Post
Oxford Dictionaries

A Multi-Language Website in Minutes: Dakwak’s Easy Service Now Partners with Gengo’s Human Translation API

Gengo , the leading provider of API-driven professional translation services, today announced a partnership with web site translation technology provider dakwak . Given Gengo’s mission to help the world communicate freely, this partnership is a huge step forward, enabling individuals and businesses to reach audiences around the world.

Gengo’s translation services

break down the language barrier and allow users to translate hundreds of thousands of words with ease. With 3 quality tiers, a 7,000+ translator team, and 53 different language pairs, Gengo has helped businesses and individuals expand to virtually every country.

Robert Laing, CEO of Gengo, says “Dakwak have created a simple, powerful service to publish any website in multiple languages easily. They make it easy for anyone to go global. And now their customers get instant access to high-quality translation powered by Gengo. It’s a great match.”

Dakwak’s technology lets web sites localize without any technical steps. A unique admin center gives users control over what and how pages get translated, delivering a fully localized page catered to the target audience.
“The key to globalization is real, natural sounding translation. Machine translation is often incomprehensible and can be misunderstood,” said Waheed Barghouthi, CEO of Dakwak. “Gengo provides the human touch that is necessary for a truly localized experience.”Translation quality can be chosen from free machine, in-house translation, or professional translation through Gengo.

Gengo and Dakwak’s partnership aims to provide small to medium businesses an easy solution for globalization. With Dakwak’s translation management tools and Gengo’s translation team, anyone can easily handle all aspects of the normally complicated localization process.

“Our mission at Gengo is to help everyone communicate across languages.” said Robert Laing. “Working with partners like Dakwak is a great step towards that goal.”

Company profile:
For more information on how to get started with dakwak, visit
To learn more about translation through Gengo, visit

Gengo :

Founded in December 2008, Gengo aims to eliminate the global language barrier by being the easiest way for companies to communicate via innovative technology, ability to scale, and high quality translation. Clients include Rakuten, Alibaba, and YouTube.

Gengo is a privately held company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has an office in San Mateo, CA.

dakwak :

Founded in July 2010, Dakwak

helps businesses in going global by effortlessly launching multilingual websites with no technical involvement.

Dakwak is a privately held company headquartered in Jordan, and has an office in Manhattan, NY.

Industry-Related Issues Affecting Freelance Translators

As of last year, the language services market was worth approximately US$33.5 billion and is currently growing at a rate of 12% a year. It is a hugely diverse market that is able to continue growing in the face of economic recession.

Freelance translators play a vital role in this industry and form the largest single group of stakeholders. But because they are at the end of the supply chain and tend to work disconnected from each other, their concerns are rarely heard.

Common Sense Advisory , an independent market research company, aims to change this by publishing “Voices from the Freelance Translator

Community,” a report detailing the issues freelance translators face.

The report, which surveyed 3,165 freelance translators worldwide found:

  • Freelancers receive approximately two-thirds of their income from translation agencies, and about a third from direct clients.
  • Freelancers struggle with payment issues; over 34.7% said they had not been paid by translation agencies for work completed.
  • 40.3% of freelancers had turned down jobs from a translation agency because other translators had warned them about the agency’s reputation.
  • 81% of surveyed freelancers said they had turned down work because the agency’s rates were too low.
  • 33.5% of freelancers do not regularly use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools.
  • 64% of all those surveyed believe CAT tools are too expensive and should cost less than US$300.In order to be heard and help the language services market progress, Common Sense Advisory recommends freelance translators to:
  • Be vocal with technology vendors, giving

    them feedback on their tools.

  • Get more involved in associations.
  • Participate in online communities.
  • Don’t fear technology advances in the translation industry and learn to work with them to help the market evolve. Machine translation and crowdsourcing is not likely, in the near future at least, to make human translators obsolete.
  • Embrace change, think creatively and communicate with customers. Read report here Source:
    Common Sense Advisory

“Lolz”, “photobomb” and “hackathon” Among Latest Additions to the Oxford Dictionary

There are approximately half a million words in the English Language and every year new ones are created. Some will make it into the Oxford English Dictionary and others will not. For a word to be included, it has to have been used extensively by people, for example in newspapers and novels.

Updated four times a year, here is a list of some of the words that were added to Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2012:

Chatbot (noun): a computer program designed to stimulate conversation with human users, especially over

the Internet.

Deets (plural noun): details.

Forumite (noun): a person who posts comments in a particular Internet forum, typically on a regular basis.

Hackathon (noun): an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Lolz (plural noun): fun, laughter or amusement.

Mumblecore (noun): a style of low-budget film typically characterized by the use of non-professional actors and naturalistic or improvised performances.

OH (noun): a person’s wife, husband, or partner (used in electronic communication).

Photobomb (verb): spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by suddenly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke.

Tweeps (plural noun): a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter.

Twitterpated (adjective): infatuated or obsessed.

Soul patch (noun): a small tuft of facial hair directly below a man’s lower lip.

Veepstakes (noun): the notional competition among politicians to be chosen as a party’s candidate for vice president.

2012 also saw the creation of new words, some inspired by the Olympic Games and economic recession. The following are words that made the Oxford English Dictionary shortlist for potential inclusion in the future:

Omnishambles (noun): This word was also named Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012. Omnishambles is a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations. The word was created by the writers of the satirical television program The Thick of It .

Eurogeddon (noun): the potential financial collapse of the European Union countries that have adopted the euro, envisaged as having catastrophic implications for the region’s economic stability.

Mobot (noun): a characteristic gesture as performed by the British long-distance runner Mo Farah on winning the 5,000 and 10,000 meters events at the 2012 Olympics, in which both arms are arched above the head with the hands pointing down to the top of the head to for a distinctive ‘M’ shape.

YOLO (acronym): ‘you only live once’, typically used as a rational or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behavior.

Huffington Post
Oxford Dictionaries

Babies Start to Learn Language in the Womb

Researchers from the Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Washington and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered language learning begins while we are still in our mother’s womb.

The researchers believe Language learning begins at 30

weeks of gestation, when a fetus develops the sense of hearing. During the last 10 weeks of gestation -pregnancy usually ends at week 40 – a fetus can hear its mother speaking and starts to learn the variations in her words, initially vowel sounds. Just hours after birth, newborns can recognize their native tongue, differentiating between sounds

in their native language and sounds in a foreign language.

In the study , 40

newborns from the United States and 40 from Sweden (all between seven hours and three days old) were made to listen to

vowel sounds from their native language and non-native language. A newborn’s interest and response to the sounds was measured by the time he/she sucked on a pacifier that was connected to a computer. Babies will suck on a pacifier for longer when exposed to something unfamiliar. Both in the United States and in Sweden, newborns sucked on pacifiers for longer when they heard vowel sounds from their non-native language compared to when they heard sounds in their mother tongue.

Previous studies have shown babies begin to discern between language sounds in the first few months of life; but this is the first study to demonstrate language learning actually begins in utero.


Discovery News

The Future Looks Mobile

Is the future mobile? It certainly seems so. Nowadays, we can do anything from our smartphone; there’s an app for virtually everything, from checking the weather forecast and booking our trips to keeping track of our spending habits and obtaining customized budget plans. We demand that information and services to be available on our smartphones at the speed of light, and of course,

we want it in our own language.

According to Strategy

Analytics, a global research and consulting firm, there are over 1 billion smartphones in use today (1 in 7 people worldwide own a smartphone). It took 16 years to reach this number, but the company predicts that in just 3 years (by 2015), another billion smartphones will be in use across the globe. Compared to our current world population of 7 billion, 1 billion may seem very little and indeed the vast majority of people do not own a smartphone; however, Strategy Analytics sees massive potential for smartphone use and future growth in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.

Globalization and localization go hand in hand; and just like with a website or product, taking a mobile app global means more than just translating the content from one language into another;

it should also be adapted to the criteria of the target market. Cultural variations, idiomatic expressions, images and even the color and layout of mobile pages are all important factors for the success of an app in a given market.

Business Wire
Strategy Analytics

Dakwak API: Search

Dakwak Search API allows you to search in all versions of your website. It returns the phrases that match your query in the translated and the original versions of your website, along with the pages where these phrases were found. To use it, simply send a Request with a search query, then a Response will be returned -in JSON or XML format- with the search results that match your query.


Send a POST request to the following: API_KEY &lang= LANG &q= PHRASE

Then, replace the bold capitalized words with their corresponding values:

  • apikey: this is long unique string used to identify your website, and to allow you to access the search API. To request your website’s API Key, go to Dashboard -> My Website Content -> Settings then click on blue the button “Request API Key”. An email will be sent to the support staff at dakwak and they will contact you with your website’s API Key.
  • q: the phrase you want to search for, it can be in any language you translated your website to.
  • lang: the language of the phrase you want to search for. Use the shortcut of the language, based on this table:
    Language Shortcut Language Shortcut Language Shortcut
    Afrikaans af Greek el Romanian ro
    Albanian sq Hebrew iw Russian ru
    Arabic ar Hindi hi Serbian sr
    Belarusian be Hungarian hu Slovak sk
    Bulgarian bg Icelandic is Slovenian sl
    Catalan ca Indonesian id Spanish es
    Chinese (Simplified) zh-CN Irish ga Swahili sw
    Croatian hr Italian it Swedish sv
    Czech cs Japanese ja Thai th
    Danish da Korean ko Turkish tr
    Dutch nl Latvian lv Ukrainian uk
    English en Lithuanian lt Vietnamese vi
    Estonian et Macedonian mk Welsh cy
    Filipino tl Malay ms Yiddish yi
    Finnish fi Maltese mt Urdu ur
    French fr Persian fa Chinese (Traditional) zh-TW
    Galician gl Polish pl French


    German de Portuguese (Europe) pt-PT Spanish (Latin America) es-LA
    Portuguese (Brazil) pt-BR

The request should look something like this:مرحبا
or, if you’re searching in Spanish:


When you send the request, and if all fields are valid, you will get a response that looks like this:

{"apikey": "12356789abcde",
"lang": "es",
"source_text": "hello world",
"translated_text": "hola mundo",
"page_urls": ["/page1", "/page2"]
"source_text": "hi",
"translated_text": "hola",
"page_urls": ["/page3", "/page4"]

  • apikey, lang and q fields contain the same values of the request
  • results is an array that contains the search results, each element contains:
    • source_text: the original un-translated phrase
    • translated_text: the translated phrase that matches the query
    • page_urls: an array of page URLs where the searched query was found

Error codes

If you get an error instead of search results, it means your request contains invalid information or misses some required information. Please check the correct request format.

  • 1100: ‘apikey’ is a required field
    You left the apikey field empty, didn’t include it in your request, or misspelled ‘apikey’
  • 1101: ‘lang’ is a required field
    You left the lang field empty, didn’t include it in your request, or misspelled ‘lang’
  • 1102: ‘q’ is a required field
    You left the q field empty or didn’t include it in your request
  • 1300: apikey must be valid

    You used a wrong API key; make sure you copy the full API key of your website

  • 1301: language is not
    valid or supported

    The language you requested is not supported by or does not exist. Make sure to choose the correct language shortcut from the table above

  • 1500: language is not included in your plan
    The language you chose is not included in your plan, please choose another language

Translation and Localization Mistakes Lead to Lost Profits

A few months ago we posted an article called “Worst Translation Blunders in Business,” which listed some legendary translation mistakes. While a few

businesses may get away with some laughs here and there, for most, poor translation and localization is synonymous with losing face, customers, profits and sometimes even the entire business.

Several years ago, Global Information Management provider,

SDL International , conducted a survey, which revealed the negative impact inaccurate translation and localization can have on international companies. It showed that an astounding 80% of the global companies surveyed experienced lost revenue due to translation and localization issues. A further 40% of the respondents stated they have had to delay product launches because of mistranslations, and 7% claimed they had received fines by local governments for non-compliance as a result of translation errors.

Naturally, businesses want to make a fast market entry and cut costs; but by bypassing proper translation

and localization, companies are exposing themselves to even higher financial, not to mention, image costs. Large, multinational corporations often have the means to recover from their translation blunders; however, for small and medium-sized enterprises, it may very well lead to their demise.

As Chief Marketing Officer at SDL International, Chris Boorman warns: “being first to market is pointless if you cannot communicate with your audience…it doesn’t matter how loud you shout – if you’re speaking the wrong language, you simply won’t be heard.”

dakwak’s website translation and localization technology can help you speak the “right” languages and be heard around the world. Try our free trial here.


Business Wire

Saving Endangered Languages Through Digital Technology

Often blamed for propelling endangered languages into extinction , globalization, technology and the internet may in fact be able to accomplish the opposite and save our world’s fragile languages from disappearing altogether. And what a needed task that is because according to UNESCO , unless something is done, only half of the 6000 plus languages spoken worldwide today will exist by the end of this century.

The good news is, something is being done. To help preserve eight endangered languages, K David Harrison, an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, and National Geographic have developed online talking dictionaries , which feature more than 24,000 audio recordings by native speakers and over 32,000 word entries. Some of the endangered languages included in the talking dictionaries are: Matukar Panau (Papua New Guinea); Chamacoco (Paraguay); Remo (India); and Tuvan (Siberia and Mongolia).

Language Extinction Hot-Spot by National Geographic

Harrison also believes text messaging, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are providing the ideal means for speakers of endangered languages to “expand their voice and expand their presence.”

Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) is one example. Spoken by only a few hundred people in Canada and the United States, this Native American language is being kept alive via a website and Facebook page thanks to the efforts of Margaret Noori, professor of Native American studies at the University of Michigan.

Mobile apps can also help revive languages on the brink of extinction. Ma! Iwaidja is a smartphone app designed to prevent the disappearance of Iwaidja, an indigenous language spoken by less than 200 people on Croker Island, Australia. The free app, which includes a 1500-entry English-Iwaidja dictionary with audio and a 450-entry phrase book, allows users to easily upload and update entries, which they soon will also be able to share via an online database.




Over 70% of Internet Users in China Rely on Online Translator Services

According to China’s biggest online multilingual translation service provider, , 73.7% of Chinese internet users rely on online translation tools with English being the most popular source and target language.

The study revealed that when it comes to translating from Chinese to English, the online tools are mostly used for communication purposes, i.e. to translate words and sentences for greetings, chats and introductions. Chinese internet users also depend on online translation services to translate

information and articles from English to their native language.
But not all internet users are happy with online translators; almost 20% of the survey participants reported they would be willing to pay for professional (human) translation

services because existing machine translation services did not meet their expectations.

Whether Chinese internet users master English or not, one thing is evident: the majority of them – as do other international internet users – like to browse sites in their native language and ideally sites that have localized content . Common Sense Advisory research also tells us that 85% of internet surfers require information in their own language before making an online purchase.

With 538 million internet users, China has by far (the US follows with about 245 million users) the largest internet population in the world. Many of those

internet users could, at this very moment, be searching for information, products and services that you offer.

You can have it up and running in no time, without any technical involvement and dakwak’s technology allows your website to be found by users searching in their native language.

Best of all, dakwak gives you the flexibility to choose which parts of your website get translated by machine, the crowd or professional translators.Is your website translated and localized for

Chinese-speaking markets? dakwak can help you deliver a translated and fully localized version of your website catering to your target audience.

Don’t miss out on the

millions of people searching for what you are offering. Try our free trial today! Click here to start


Common Sense Advisory