The difference between a dead and a living language are pretty clear, but beyond the fact that one is in active use and another is not, a key feature of a living language is its ability to change and evolve. The English that is used and spoken in the 21st century is so different from the Elizabethan English used in the 16th century that it requires scholarly specialization to even understand Shakespeare today “fluently,” rather than constantly referring to an index or guide to look up grammar and vocabulary no longer in use.

At different parts of the year, the Oxford English Dictionary makes announcements about what words are being officially entered into the OED itself, which basically means they have now become part of the English language. What’s surprising about the most recent additions is that some of them aren’t even English. Here are three of the most notable additions that you may want to incorporate into your vocabulary now that they’re in the official dictionary.

Hongbao

The alternative spelling, “Ang Pow” has also been entered into the OED. This is the tradition followed during the lunar Chinese New Year, in which families give a gift of money in a red envelope to anyone in the household that is still single. In other words, both children and unmarried adults can collect quite a hefty amount of gift money in larger families, but will, in turn, be expected to return the favor once they get married and start a family of their own.

Dahlesque

Phrases like “golden ticket,” and words like “splendiferous” and “scrumdiddlyumptious” would not have come into existence without the unique, endearing—and even challenging—children’s stories of Roald Dahl. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and BFG have all become landmarks of children’s literature, so the OED officially recognized his influence on fiction with “Dahlesque” as anything with resemblance or feel similar to Roald Dahl’s works.

Lechon Asado

From Cuba, we get the words Lechon Asado, which is the name of a particularly tasty homemade dish of grilled pork. In traditional preparation, this is usually an entire pig that has been marinated and is shared with family and friends. The secret to the appeal of this dish is the marinade, “mojo criollo,” of which there are a lot of variations based on individual family recipes.

With new words constantly being developed in English and other active languages, translations that reflect colloquial nuances are more important than ever. Get in touch with us today to see how we can put our professional language translation services to work for you.

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