ENGLISH: THE MOST POPULAR LANGUAGE IN THE PLANET?
Learn a few subtleties, cultural aspects and histories of the language that should be taken into account when translating English.
All Tasks, a translation company specialized in large-scale technical translations, technical standards, technical manuals and technical documentations, maintains a skilled and qualified staff to meet major demands for English, which is one of the most spoken languages of the planet.
By Juliana Tavares
Statistics reveal that there are 300 million native English speakers, 300 million people who use it as a second language, and another 100 million using it as a foreign language.
English is still the official or co-official language in more than 70 countries, in addition to playing a key role in global communication.
It is estimated that within a decade from now, 2 billion people will study English and almost half the world—approximately 3 billion people—shall speak it.
The number of non-native speakers of the language already exceeds that of natives by a 3:1 ratio, according to language specialist David Crystal, author of the book “English as a global language”.
Much has been said about the importance acquired by the English language around the world and over time.
“We are daily witnesses of the fact that, having become something commonplace, it fails to grasp our attention, because it is natural to eat a ‘hot dog’, with a large ‘milk-shake’, listen to ‘rock’, scroll down a ‘tablet’, etc.
And in the following years, the jumble of English words shall be even greater", says translator of the language, Vânia Campanhão.
“Humanity’s permanent evolution, the new technological developments and new means of communication have amplified the importance of that language’s role as a source of communication.
For being present in people’s everyday lives, English has become universal, expanding its limits in trade relations and being part of the essence of globalization".
Studies on the subject divide the history of the English language formation into three periods:
Old English, Middle English and Modern English.
Referred to as the “Anglo-Saxon" period, Old English encompasses the invasions of England by the Germanic tribes, particularly the Angles, Saxons and Jutes; and a second wave of invaders: the Vikings.
The English spoken in that period was a variety of different dialects that, today, would be virtually unrecognizable whether in pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar.
In Middle English, the language suffered strong influence from French, with the introduction of new administrative, political and social concepts, for which there were no equivalent terms in English, resulting in a richer vocabulary.
Influenced both by the nationalist sentiment and the advent of the press, English consolidated its presence in the world and, finally, in Modern English, the language is duly unified.
But it was the colonization period that led English to the dimension it has today, in addition to new a guise, stimulated by the adoption of words from native languages and even Spanish.
The fact is that, regardless of the region where English is spoken, even if maintaining the same roots, the language may present considerable differences wherever it is pronounced.
In the United States alone, for instance, there are countless variants of the language:
New York has a language quite different from California, and people from Texas have a peculiar way of communication when compared to someone from New Orleans or another country.
That is why, albeit translation assistance softwares are indispensable, and more so in English—whose dissemination facilitates, and a great deal at that, the improvement of such mechanisms—, those aspects of the language prompt the need for human translations to correct expressions, unveil syntactical and lexical ambiguities or reassess the contexts.
For that reason, hiring a translation company is the safest way to avoid glitches while construing texts.
According to Campanhão, there should be extra care when dealing with documentation translations, whether they are technical manuals, technical documentation (including large-scale documentations) or technical standards.
“In addition to the skill of setting up a complete database, which will assist them in structuring the phrases, for example, a professional will have the conditions to perceive the subtleties that can only be interpreted accurately if there is deep immersion into the culture of the other.
Something that a machine is incapable of doing.
In a world characterized by ever growing internationalization, English has become the official language in the business world.
Mastering the language, therefore, became synonymous with survival and global integration.
The risk of committing diplomatic blunders owing to poor translations may jeopardize your company’s business and perhaps your professional future.
All Tasks may help you trail the path of success.