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Song of Love

11th October 2019

Can we find a balance between technological developments that are driving us forward and priceless links to our heritage?

In the village of Kongthong in north eastern India, newly born children are given their names in a unique and beautiful way.

Jingrwai Lawbei is the tradition of giving a baby a song for a name. In the words of one Kongthong mother:    

“This tune comes straight from the heart because of our love for our children”

This centuries-old practice is now under threat as, instead of singing each other’s names in greeting, increasing numbers of Kongthong dwellers are calling each other on mobile phones.

We revel in the technological developments that are driving our industry and our clients’ industries forward, but we also believe in finding a balance between that forward motion and priceless links to our heritage. India’s population of 1.37 billion speak a total of 780 languages. Our translations to and from Bengali, Gujurati, Hindi, Tamil, Malathi and many others have taught us to respect the culture of this remarkable country. When we make use of translation memory tools and file engineering technology it doesn’t detract from the work of the linguist or the beauty and nuance of the language. It enhances those things. It helps us strike the right balance. Our finished work may not rival the beauty of a Kongthong mother singing the name of the baby in her arms, but in our own way we’re serving the written and spoken word as honestly as we can.

Regardless of how far technology takes us, we hope the mothers of Kongthong will be singing their babies’ names for a long time to come.

 

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