Whereas teaching materials, newsletters and legal documents previously dominated isiZulu translation services, the language is increasingly used in websites, tech, games, videos and fiction. Google Search has been available in Zulu since 2005, with YouTube added in 2011 and Google Maps 2018. As of January 2022 Wikipedia was up to 10 492 articles, and counting.
IsiZulu is South Africa's most spoken language at just under a quarter of the population (24%), approximately 12 million first-language speakers. The language is spoken by over three quarters of KwaZulu-Natal (78%), a fifth of Gauteng (20%), and almost a quarter of Mpumalanga (24%) of the province. Additionally, it is understood by half of South Africans, especially to isiXhosa, Siswati and isiNdebele speakers, which share similar words and grammatical structure. International readers may compare this to the mutual intelligibility of Spanish and Portuguese, and South Africans to Sesotho, Setswana and Sesotho sa Leboa (Sepedi).
Our English to isiZulu translations follow the latest orthographic rules, especially with regards to contemporary usage. This is as it is written and spoken in everyday life. Translations that are only intelligible to other translators do no service to the community or language. With the usage of standardised reference material, such as dictionaries and terminology databases, and frequent training through language workshops, we understand that the best translations are those that balance the language as we like to read it, and as our colleagues and relatives would easily understand and engage with the material.
Every translation is only undertaken by a home language, academically qualified, Zulu translator. We don't use computers to recycle previous translations. Rather we use them where they work best, using MS Word's in built isiZulu spellchecker to thoroughly check all our translations. On completion we issue translation certificates verifying our translator's qualifications and quality control steps in rendering correct grammar, spelling and accessible language for your readership.