3 Facts About the English Language You Might Not Know

09/06/18

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July 4th marks the day the United States celebrates its independence. As most of the early settlers came from England, the language came along with them. The English language, however, has far deeper roots.

The Language That Brings People Together

Today, the English language is spoken around the world. It’s many people’s first language, but the second language of so many more. English is known as a common language that can bring two people together who do not speak the same primary language. For example, a Spaniard and a Swede might not speak each other’s language, but the chances are high that they will both speak some amount of English.

Sound interesting? Here are three more facts that might pique your curiosity about the language that goes around the world:

1) English is the only major language without an academy that oversees it

For example:
– In France, the Académie francaise oversees the French language.
– The Real Academia Española handles the Spanish language.
– German has the Rat für deutsche Rechtshreibung as a guide.

Though many have tried to create an English Academy, the last time anything went into effect was in 1820. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the “American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres was launched with John Quincy Adams as president, but broke up after two years after receiving little political or public support.” At present, South Africa is “the only English-speaking country to have a language academy.”

2) English words come from a mixture of many languages

Old English developed from a mixture of West Germanic languages including German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Faroese, and Icelandic. Though these languages are very different, Listverse explains that they “are similar to one another in grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and verb usage.” With a little bit of Latin and Celtic thrown in for good measure, it’s taken a lot of influence to create the English language that is spoken today.

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3) English will continue to change

All languages will continue to evolve and change throughout time. Without change, a language “becomes purely academic, like Latin or Ancient Greek.” You have already seen many changes in your lifetime. After all, 20 years ago, a “tweet” was the sound that a bird made, and to “google” someone sounded mildly offensive. This is what makes the job of a translator so important.

When languages change, those who work in translation must know how to adapt to the changes, and do it quickly. This is why we hire professional translators who are not only skilled in their specific language, but in the area of specialization. For example, those with a medical background will have a better understanding of the medical terms that are tricky to translate, but can be lifesaving. And as technology changes almost every day, those with a background in IT and software can provide up-to-date translations. Whatever your translations needs may be, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

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