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The Turbulent Origins of the English Language_Shanghai Translation Company

发表时间:2018-1-13  浏览次数:128  
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Most people would probably agree that the English language is probably the language that’s most widely used around the globe. Generally, when tourists visit countries without being able to either speak or understand the local language, the English language will be their go-to option when it comes to communication. Part of the attraction of the English language is that many English words are commonly used in other languages. In fact, English could well be considered the new Latin – the universal language for all people! We see it in the movies, on television, in music and in literature.

The English Language Can Prove Problematic for Translation Experts

As far as pronunciation goes, English grammar is really quite basic when compared to other languages; but others would consider the English language quite chaotic. There are many words that have the same combination of letters, but they’re pronounced differently: for example, the words tough, through, although, and cough have the same combination of letters, but each of those words has a different pronunciation. And the words steak and weak are another example – these words look the same and they should be pronounced the same, but they’re not! There are so many examples like this in the English language that it’s not surprising that many translators find the English language difficult to work with.

So let’s take a look back at the English language and try to understand the nature of this very effective but erratic language, and the circumstances around its development.

A Brief History of the English Language

The belief is that English emerged around the fourth century when the Jutes, Saxons and Angles invaded the British Isles, thus influencing the local languages. These languages are generally known as proto-English and proto-Welsh. As a result of a Roman invasion there’s also a little Latin.

Because of this we see many similarities between English and the Germanic languages, like Dutch and German, in addition to the Scandinavian languages such as Danish, Swedish, and so on. Historians offer conflicting versions and the details are still being debated as to who was the first to invade and influence the British territory (and which periods we’re talking about), but the end result is the same: The English language is basically a linguistic collage that’s been influenced by many different languages.

English: Still Growing and Transcending Borders

It was because of this difficult growing period that English established itself as a language with less predictable rules and many more exceptions than its sister languages in Europe. But still today we see English expanding and transcending borders, Yes, it can be a difficult and complicated language to learn, but just like a child learning to ride a bicycle, it can seem too hard at first; but then with a little patience and practice it does get easier to manage.

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