English, a language spoken by over 300 million people in today´s world, is second only to Mandarin. It is estimated that nine times out of ten, two non-Anglophone speakers will communicate to one another in English. This perhaps, domination of the English language is supported by its international usage in writing as well as being the spoken language adopted by more than just the Anglophone countries. English has become the dominant language not only in European politics, but also the international. It is also the lingua franca of business exchanges, science, information technology, the world of cinema and T.V. and not forgetting popular music.
Why this huge demand for english translations?
Even though many may simply attribute the existence of English in all these fields as the cultural presence held by the U.S. in Europe, it can also be accredited to the introduction of English into the education system across Europe in countries such as Germany, Holland and Norway, which was witness to its establishment as the lingua franca of Western Europe. Another leading factor behind the English language is the fact that English is assigned as the main language of communication for endless numbers of large international bodies. To take an example, English is one of the six official languages of the UN, and even though all official documents are translated into all six of them, many conferences are simply held in English and sometimes French. More recently this demand this demand for English translators can also be seen to be fuelled by the fact that it has apparently replaced French as the “lingua franca” of the EU’s civil service. The result of which points to the fact that English comprises an integral factor in the process of globalisation we currently find ourselves part of. The fields of finance, politics, education, science and many more are all affected and most importantly to this article, this implies a huge rise in the demand for translators and interpreters of English. The tendency towards English is reflected in the demand for translations into said language, mainly present in the business relations, labour mobility and immigration and inter-cultural marriages.
If we take Spain for an example of this increase at an alarming rate, we can see it is closely tied to the economic crisis. With thousands of young Spaniards abandoning their maternal country to try their luck in a foreign city, the demand for translations due to labour mobility has shot up. A flurry of CVs, degree certificates and transcripts in addition to the endless course certificates and letters of recommendation has been seen by translators of English as these documents have proved more than essential for these potential employees of our future world wishing to embark upon an adventure in not just the UK, Australia or the US. Countries such as those of Scandinavia, Holland, parts of Africa, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore and many more, also, in reference to that abovementioned, accept official translations in the language of English and not just the official tongue of the country. In the world of business, English still proves to be a handicap for, for example, many Spanish companies which see themselves hindered in the expansion of their firm into international grounds. Taking into account the current state of the country, simple adjustments such as an English translation of the company website and dossier could enhance business and profits and launch the company forward into the international market. With the number of immigrants in Spain at an all-time record, it is no wonder that inter-cultural marriages are on the up in this country. Taking into account within this statistic, British ex-pats are included, translations from English-Spanish of birth and marriage certificates. As an English translator who is truly passionate about the written quality of my work, I cannot express the importance of fully-trained, native translators. Nothing sends a clearer message than a translation which does not merely give a literal and basic corresponding text in the English language, but which captures the true essence of the original text and explains it in the exact terminology, style and tone, necessary for the audience. This is something which always must be taken into mind in light of the ever-increasing demand for translators of this language to ensure that as globalization becomes part of our daily life, and English truly asserts itself as a lingua franca, that the original meaning does not get lost in translation.