The Evolution of Language & What It Means for Document Translation
Barb Sichel | February 28, 2018
Every year, thousands of new words are added to dictionaries around the world. The evolution of language has become even more evident, with greater impact on businesses, as the Internet has enabled communities across continents to form bonds.
Language is a system of communication, and although often confused, differs from speech. Speech involves the production of sounds, while language encompasses additional forms of complex communication. Language is comprised of multiple facets of communication such as speech, writing, and gestures.
Because of its impact on society, language can be considered one of the most advanced social tools humans possess. Without language, people would be unable to share thoughts, stories, ideas, recommendations, or knowledge of any kind.
Language evolution has been a vital part of our social structure ever since the concept of communicating this way originated.
With international audiences growing more and more accessible, it’s important to keep up with changing markets and communicate with them appropriately. And ensuring that your business remains relevant in global markets is difficult without the right team behind you. One way to do this is to enlist the help of professional language and document translation services so that your business’ documentation is impeccably translated and your message is delivered exactly as you intended.
Even different cultures using the same language often have nuances in how they determine which words match with which references. Additionally, the same gesture or signal in two different cultures might mean two completely different things, potentially resulting in a grave misunderstanding.
For example, while the hand gesture symbolizing “OK” is well-understand in many places, it is considered offensive in countries like Brazil, Germany, and Russia.
Failing to take the local culture into consideration may result in disastrous consequences for communication in the form of a gesture or phrase that is considered offensive in one location or language, but acceptable in another.Find out how the #evolutionoflanguage impacts your business’ #documenttranslation! Click To Tweet
It’s clear that the evolution of language is still continuing as we move through the 21st century.
The Evolution of Language & How We Got Here
The formation of language is a heavily researched topic, and one that originates with what can be considered the evolutionary practices of early humans.
It’s our greatest tool to connect with cultures across large distances—and even with those in our own backyard. Language is arguably the most complex communication instrument that humans possess, and it allows for greater sophistication in our thoughts, actions, and interactions.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how language is changing, and what it means for us.
Scholars often attribute the formulation of our human society to the evolution of language. That is not to say that animals don’t have complex signals and communication of their own, although they are nowhere near as intricate as the communication tools humans have.
The evolution of human language has allowed humankind to flourish and communicate, advancing our societies far beyond our immediate communities. The development of language enabled people to communicate about threats, food, and other important elements of human existence.
One of the most studied aspects of animal communication revolves around the observations of primates and the tools they use to interact. Studies of language highlight the diversity of existing human languages, the progression of development among children and adolescents, and the varied language competencies across different species.
The formation of words has been instrumental to human advancement as a species and has sparked the considerable spread of knowledge, first across communities and now across continents.
We’re able to code an essentially unlimited number of objects and variables into any language through the use of translations. Human languages differ vastly in terms of how they present themselves—from sign language to Chinese to English—although they are thought to share the same generalized structure.
Without the positive impact that the evolution of language has made on our society, humans as a species would be far less social and considerably less advanced.
Through the association of specific signals to specific items and events, we’re able to communicate with others much differently than if we didn’t possess this ability.
Without the proper tools to communicate, the various advances in civilization that we’ve witnessed through the years would be lifetimes away. For example, because of language and translation, experts around the world are able to communicate within their fields. A direct example of this is the capability of the United Nations to be able to operate with translation at the core of its success.
What Does the Evolution of Language Mean for Your Document Translations?
Languages have often been a barrier for businesses looking to operate in foreign markets. It can be a struggle to break into any new market, but especially so if that market has a different culture. Cultural linguistics usually present a challenge to those unfamiliar with the new, international market, but one that can be overcome through use of the right resources.
Through the translation of documents or the interpretation of spoken communication, businesses can begin to form new relationships. However, the ever-evolving nature of language with constant updates, additions, and the deletion of words and phrases can make it a challenge to keep up with the changing tides.
The exact combination of words and sentences that each language uses to communicate are driven by a complex system of rules. Experts have been able to master that system to accommodate businesses around the globe.
Language barriers between countries can be difficult to overcome, but with help from qualified and experienced experts, your business can find success in new global markets, even as each language evolves and changes.
When you’re working with languages in an international market, accurate document translation is imperative for your business success. The difference between document translation and interpretation is that while both mediums work in the same realm of language, translation is the comparison of languages in two written formats, while interpretation is the communication between two languages via speech.
The support your business needs is the ability to accurately convey your message in a different language and take into account the specific cultural nuances present in every society.
Without the ability to communicate your message in the desired language figuratively and literally, your international business relationships will suffer and you could potentially risk the integrity of your business.
For example, medical documentation is especially challenging to translate from English into a foreign language. The evolution of the English language is complex enough, but especially so when pairing it with an industry known for its often confusing terminology.
The nuances of the different cultures, medical techniques, and industry jargon are complex in one language—and especially complex in two, three, or 26! Without an expert in both medical documentation and the languages you’re translating to and from, you risk potentially invalidating your business’ message.
At best, this can be confusing for your audience, and at worst, this can grievously hurt business relationships, your reputation, or even have life-threatening consequences.
The evolution of language has truly formed the way our societies communicate and has brought us greater sophistication than we could have previously thought possible.
To ensure your success in this modern communications age, your business’ international translations must be up to par. Professional document translation services will take both cultures and languages—as well as your specific industry—into account. And as the language evolves, so will the translations provided.
When you partner with the professionals at International Language Services, you can trust that your business document translation will receive the expert care it deserves.