Translation and Proper English - Part 2
There are many different kinds of English spoken right around the world.
What’s the Best Type of English to Know?
As we know, there are many different kinds of English spoken right around the world, but the two main variants of English are still American English and British English. An English learner’s choice of language will depend less on their taste and more on their geography, which explains why people in Latin America are more likely to learn American English than European students: European students generally prefer to further their studies at a university in the United Kingdom, closer to their home country.
Interestingly, national pride has created a barrier between nations to a certain degree, due to the establishment of English as a global language. A tolerance and mutual understanding now exists between people, which, when referring to their English choice, excludes judging each other’s language skills. It seems that, today, everything is accepted as long as people can communicate effectively.
You may notice today that even very conservative speakers of the British language delight in throwing a few US imports into their everyday conversation. George Bernard Shaw’s opinion was that, when referring to language, America and England are two countries separated by a common language; but today this statement doesn’t really apply. Both Americans and the British are happy to digest other people’s peculiarities, and of course things have become much easier due to the easy availability of online dictionaries and other reference sources.
The Differences between the Two Main English Variants
Regardless of where you studied to become a translator, you’ll still find it necessary to have a working knowledge of both English variants, and there are special schools that teach the basic differences between American and British English.
Today’s media has much influence in terms of foreign language vocabulary, particularly English. Most of the movies we watch on digital TV or terrestrial channels are in English, with some of these being in English variants other than the two main ones of American and British. In fact, vocabulary acquisition often occurs without us making any effort at all towards that goal: our brain simply remembers certain words.
Most English Translators Understand the Differences
In truth, most English translators understand very well the differences between British English and American English, and easily recognize the word order, spelling, and vocabulary peculiarities of either language. However, when it comes to business and working for a client who requires text translated into English, it’s not enough to simply sense the difference between the two. Your job as a translator is to complete the translation project to your client’s specifications. In addition, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the client has made their preference very clear, prior to you commencing the translation. Your client will be trying to impress or grab the attention of a certain audience or readership, and that’s the way the text must be translated.
If the wrong language is chosen, it’s not possible for the text to have maximum impact; and what about the confusion that vocabulary differences or false friends may create? So, if the language choice is not clearly mentioned in the client’s requirements, it’s up to you to pose the question.
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