English: Translation & simultaneous interpreting into and from English
The language experts here at the Nuremberg-based translation agency AP Fachübersetzungen love languages, which is why we can offer our customers high-quality translation services for the English language. Besides specialist translations, we are also happy to support you with certified English translations as your competent and reliable partner at any time - even at short notice. Only certain translators for legal documents are authorized to offer this service. A certified translation can solely be prepared by a sworn translator. Only state-certified and recognized translators and interpreters can be sworn at the competent regional court or higher regional court.
Furthermore, our interpreting agency offers the following types of interpreting, among others: GMP interpreting, conference interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, interpreting at courts, lawyers and notaries, liaison interpreting, whispered interpreting (chuchotage) and telephone interpreting.
Interesting & fun facts about the English language
- Interestingly, the motto on the coat of arms of Great Britain is written in French and says: “Dieu et mon droit” (translated "God and my right").
- In general, particularly sophisticated or formal English words often have French origins. The reason for this was the conquest of the Normans in 1066, which led to French becoming increasingly popular among English noble families. Eventually, French and the typical Old English, which was spoken primarily by the common population, developed into today's English.
- With regard to the number of words, English is vastly superior to most languages: the English language has about 1 million words, of which even native speakers use only 20 to 30 thousand words.
- William Shakespeare invented a multitude of words and sayings that are still used today, such as "It’s all Greek to me", "fair play", "addiction", or the well-known expression "to break the ice". Thanks to Shakespeare, the English language gained now over 1,000 words.
- The first Roman settlement in today's City of London district was established about 2,000 years ago.
- "English" is derived from the name of the Angles, a Germanic tribe that immigrated to the British Isles in the early Middle Ages. Another tribe, the Saxons, also immigrated at that time. Hence the term ”Anglo-Saxon” for the early forms of the English language.
- At federal level, there is no official language in the USA. Although English is the most spoken language in the USA, there are many other languages. The state of Illinois originally designated “American” as the official state language; however, it was changed to “English” in 1969.
- Just like in German and many other languages such as Italian or Spanish, there used to be a grammatical gender in English. However, the genders (as well as the corresponding articles and pronouns) were discarded over time, making it much easier for non-native speakers to learn English today.
- The longest English word refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling sand, dust or ashes. The medical term is a synonym for the disease also known as silicosis and consists of no less than 45 letters: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
Overview - English speakers worldwide
English belongs to the Germanic languages of the Indo-European family and is spoken by around 350 million people worldwide as a native language; the majority of whom (about 250 million) live in the USA. Another 61 million English native speakers can be found in the United Kingdom, followed by 18 million Canadians and 15 million Australians. English is also spoken as a native language by 4 and 3 million people respectively in Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand. Of all European languages, Frisian is the language that comes closest to English.
English as a world language
However, English is not only one of the languages with the most native speakers in the world, it is also considered to be THE world language. The total number of people who speak English is much higher since many people use it as a second or third language. The number of these English speakers is estimated to be between 200 million and 1 billion people. As a result of Great Britain’s colonial policy, English spread has spread around the world and developed into the lingua franca. After all, the British Empire with all its colonies comprised about one third of the entire world population in its heyday. Previously, French had been widely used as the international lingua franca, especially in Europe. Later, it was mainly the USA which, due to its political and economic hegemony after the Second World War, further spread the language. Last but not least, film, television and music have also contributed to the spread of the English language.
English in science
The influence of the English language on society through music, cinema, science, broadcasting and the Internet is unmistakable. The majority (80%) of all electronic information available worldwide and over 50% of the 10 million most-used websites are written in English. For comparison: other equally widely used languages such as Russian, German, Spanish or French account for less than 10%.
Apart from this, modern science is also increasingly dominated by the world language English. It is not without reason that new scientific findings are usually published in English. Many universities now offer complete courses in English, from which both international and local students can benefit.
Since English is required in many areas of science and the economy, ministries of education in many countries have introduced the English language into the school curriculum.
Globish as the new lingua franca?
Due to the fact that English is now spoken by far more people as a second, third or even fourth language, meaning it primarily serves as the lingua franca, it has repeatedly been called for to simplify English and, for example, to reduce the number of words significantly. For example, the former vice president of IBM USA, Jean-Paul Nerriere, developed a variant of English consisting of only 1500 words: so-called Globish.
History of the English language
The native language of the Celts, the native inhabitants of the British Isles, was Celtic. From the 5th century onwards, various other tribes came to the British Isles, including Germanic peoples, Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who also brought their own languages with them, of course. Today, Celtic native speakers only live in the outlying areas of Great Britain - Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
The Old English (Anglo-Saxon) linguistic period spans the time period between the 5th and the 11th century. The basis of the Old English language were the dialects of Germanic tribes, such as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Later, the Viking attacks also brought Scandinavian influences into the language. Since the languages of German and Scandinavian tribes belonged to different branches of the same Germanic language group, no particular difficulties arose when they were mixed. The resulting influence of Scandinavian languages on the English language was only a slight simplification of morphology and grammar.
Until the 14th century, the Norman kings and nobles mainly spoke an Anglo-Norman language, a version of French, while the common people continued to speak Old English. In those days, literary texts were written in (Anglo) Norman, and religious texts were written in Latin. The Old English language continued to develop due to various influences and changed considerably. While Old English texts are no longer comprehensible to today’s readers, Middle English texts (1150-1500) can still be read and understood comparatively easily and without problems. Early Modern English was used between 1500 and 1700, Modern English starting from 1700.
Grammar of the English language
The English language is written using the Latin alphabet, which consists of 26 letters. The English pronunciation can vary significantly from the spelling since the orthography is often historical. While the pronunciation changed in many cases over the course of the centuries, the spelling stayed the same.
The syntax of the English language is different from that of the German language in many ways. This is the first obstacle for successful translation. Furthermore, all English tenses have a progressive form, which have no real equivalent in German. Consequently, these forms have to be paraphrased or described using other sentence constructions when translating. However, the inflection of verbs is easier. It was almost completely abandoned in the course of the centuries. Moreover, only few words in English have a gender (e.g. some professional titles), whereas German even has three different genders.
The function of articles does not differ in German and English. However, there is only one definite article the and one indefinite article a (or an before spoken vowels) in English since there is no declination.
Vocabulary of the English language
Of the 7,117 living languages worldwide (source: ethnologue.com; as of 27/02/2020), English has the largest vocabulary. The Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words, and that is not counting about half a million technical and scientific terms.
It should also be taken into account that English has several language varieties. Thus, for example, words can have very different meanings depending on the country or even the region. When interpreting, in particular, it is an advantage to know in advance which variety of English is spoken (American, British, Indian, etc.) to guarantee smooth communication between all participants. Things of this nature also need to be taken into consideration when preparing a written translation. There can be significant differences between the diverse language variants from the vocabulary to the way the date is written. To guarantee the high quality of your translations and smooth running of your interpreting projects, the Nuremberg interpreting and translation service AP Fachübersetzungen only works with competent and experienced language experts who are familiar with the particularities of the different language variants.
In the case of certified translations, we only use publicly appointed and sworn English translators for legal documents who have many years of experience, to ensure the impeccable quality and correctness of your translation. To guarantee the successful implementation of your interpreting project, we use our best court, consecutive, liaison, conference and simultaneous interpreters. At AP Fachübersetzungen, your interpreting and translation projects are in the best hands.
Our contact details
Do you urgently need a (certified) English translation? Should the translation be done with great care and precision but also as quickly as possible? Do you have a court or notary appointment, a hospital or trade fair visit, bank meeting, visit to an authority or a business meeting, cultural event, negotiation, factory visit, specialist conference, training course, civil wedding ceremony or another important event coming up and you need an English interpreter whose specialist knowledge and punctuality you can absolutely rely on? Then AP Fachübersetzungen is the right partner for you. You can reach us at +49 (0)911 – 650 08 650 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, you are also welcome to come to our interpreting and translation agency in Nuremberg. The friendly team of AP Fachübersetzungen will be happy to provide you with individual advice and will take care of your inquiry.