The English Language
The origins of the language
English is a European language that belongs to the Germanic languages family, that was born and developed in Great Britain due to the mixing of the languages of the peoples that settled there (Celts, Angles, Saxons, Jutes etc.). At its origins, the English language was a lot closer to modern German than it is today; the language notably featured four cases (nominative, genitive, dative and accusative), three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) and belonged to the inflected language group (languages in which the words of the language are comprised of roots, or stems, and inflections, or endings). The language evolved greatly over the course of history: it underwent a process of simplification, losing the majority of its irregularities, passing from an inflective language to an isolating language ( a language in which the morphological elements, such as the inflections and declensions, become independent elements) and eliminating cases and genders, until it became the contemporary English language, which is still evolving today.
The English of today
English today has spread around the entire world, and is used both as a mother tongue and a business language: British colonialism played a key role in its expansion, reaching all the continents and managing, in certain countries, to impose English as the official or second language. Today, English is an official or maternal language of the following countries: Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Liberia, USA, Jamaica, Belize, Botswana, Bangladesh, Cook Islands, Fiji, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Western Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sudan, South Sudan, Salomon islands, Tuvalu, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
English and its variants
With a presence in so many countries, each with a different culture and history, the English language has developed following the path marked by the populations, thus changing and integrating structural, phonetic and lexical differences between the different groups: for example, the English spoken in the South African Republic is different to the English spoken in the United Kingdom, which are both different to that spoken in the USA. More precisely, we will have a look at some examples that differentiate British English from American English.
- Phonetically, the language spoken in the USA is characterised by the rhotic “r”,(the consonant is always pronounced) whereas in the British English it is often omitted.
- Orthographically, many words are written in different ways: colour (in British English) and color (in American English), flavour and flavor, recognise and recognize.
- Lexically, many words are entirely different, like the American word “apartment”, which in British English is flat; or the word American word “vacation”, which is holiday in British English.
However, the differences do not end here and are also present in many grammatical aspects of the language, such as the forming of verbs and their use in various past tenses.
Linguistic differences should never be underestimated when trying to understand and communicate with people from other countries.
Translations into English
Professional translation into English and German is one of the strengths of SMG, which started its work in the translation and interpreting sectors in these two foreign languages. With the gradual expansion of the company and the opening of a branch in Bristol, England as well as a commercial point of contact in New York, SMG has been able to perfect its expertise in the sector, increasing its network of partners all over the world and offering its clients efficient and appropriate solutions for every need. This has allowed us to develop a high-quality service that manages technical and cultural texts in the two main varieties of modern English, British and American.
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