It’s always right and proper as one year fades into the dusk that we take a moment to reflect on what truly defined the last 12 months. And what a year it’s been. From political turmoil in America and across the world, to elections in France, Germany, Austria – and even a surprise one right here at home, it’s certainly been a year to remember.
As translation service providers here at Bubbles, we’re particularly interested in how all this activity has affected language. So here’s a look at what we think are the words that best defined the year.
1. En marche
Love him or hate him – France’s Emmanuel Macron has certainly turned some heads this year. So it’s without a doubt that the name of his party, which translates roughly as ‘forward’ or ‘onward’, is a perfect synonym for how we’d like 2017 to be remembered.
It might have been a tough year in the midst of tricky economic and uncertain times, but there is always a cause for optimism if we keep moving forward.
2. Fake news
On a slightly less optimistic tone – ‘fake news’ is a phenomenon that really gained traction this year. After finally waking up to the disastrous results of spreading misinformation online, the world has begun to appreciate exactly how important it is to ‘Gegenchecken’.
Translating as ‘to fact check’ or ‘check against’ – this German pidgin word is the perfect antidote to fake news, reminding us all to nurse a little healthy scepticism on the internet. We particularly like this one for its fusion of German and English words – a perfect metaphor for how we all need to pull together and remember the importance of facts.
If 2017 will be known for anything, it’ll be the shocking allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and the wave of attention that suddenly hit sexual misconduct, which allegedly spread from the backrooms of Hollywood hotels right to the British cabinet. This is the year we learned how uncomfortable the fusion of sex and power can be, and finally decided to say:
That’s right, in the wake of the uncomfortable revelations; we finally decided it was no longer ok. We probably knew before exactly how much sexism still existed in the world, but if nothing else we can allow ourselves a small sense of pride for saying enough.
On a slightly lighter note – we’re always interested in developments in colloquial language – particularly on the internet. This year ‘woke’ has found its way into popular dialogue, to mean a state of awareness or understanding. We particularly like the creativity that’s gone into making an adjective out of a past tense verb.
Have you ever met anybody who doesn’t love this Danish word? In English, it broadly means a state of warmth, comfort and happiness – which I think we can all get behind. And there’s nothing that makes us happier than English being embellished by other languages.
Another fun slang word, ‘lit’ has been used to mean something that’s particularly great or notable. It’s quite amusing to imagine something lighting up like a bulb when people realise how amazing it is. We’re not sure if this one will ever make it into the Oxford Dictionary – but it’s certainly amusing us whilst it’s around.
Covfefe wins as the ultimate defining word of 2017 for us. Unbelievable, deplorable – and yet still somehow hilarious. Donald Trump’s first year in office has been what’s creatively referred to in British politics as an ‘omnishambles’. And there’s nothing that defines how ludicrous the whole process has been quite like this laughable 3am Twitter typo.
So that’s it, over with 2017 and hopefully onto brighter and better things as we move forward into the future. In a year dominated by Donald Trump, fake news and numerous sexual harassment scandals – there’s certainly a lot to improve upon. But the optimist in us also thinks there’s plenty yet to look forward to.
Language translation services
If you’re looking to make 2018 the year you En Marche your business into a new overseas market, then make the most of our specialist language translation services and start talking to your customers in their own language today.