At Bubbles, working in the language translation industry, words are our bread and butter. When you specialise in leading language translation services as a profession, you have to keep your finger on the zeitgeist and take note of current trends in linguistic phrases, expressions, terms and slang, in order to use the language correctly.
When you’re working on translating any language, especially within a business context, it’s essential to pay very close attention to accuracy and to consider the cultural perception and references of the words you’re considering using.
Unfortunately, the quick and easy language translation services available on the web aren’t always able to provide accuracy or a cultural context. Hiring a professional translator, can make the difference between winning content and an embarrassing mistranslation. When you think about how quickly words enter our lexicon over the course of a year, it’s easy to see how important this is in new markets.
Read on for our pick of the words that helped define 2018 as we look forward to another successful year helping businesses expand internationally.
1. The Oxford word of the year was…. Toxic.
Not a massively positive start we know, but The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.
Their data shows that along with a 45% rise in the number of times it has been looked up on oxforddictionaries.com, over the last year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses. With the rise of the #metoo movement, it’s unsurprising (and heartening) to see a rise in “masculinity” and “relationship” being popular associated search terms.
2. Laurel (or was it Yanny?)
Remember the seemingly endless debate that nearly became more divisive than Brexit in 2018?
Based on the original audio clip from vocabulary.com, this particular audio clip features a voice repeating the word ‘Laurel’, which some people heard as ‘Yanny’.
This innocent audio clip soon became the centre of heated discussions that divided the internet and soon became as huge as the gold/blue dress disagreement of 2015. The cause of this debate is due to the fact that the audio clip is an illusion similar to the gold/blue dress and the recording can be heard in two ways as the mind swaps between the two different interpretations.
Who could forget when singer Janel Monáe identified herself as a ‘pansexual’ in a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine? After initially identifying as bisexual, Monáe said during an interview that after reading up on pansexuality; she later identified more with this term.
This revelation from this popular singer caused a huge amount of internet searches for pansexuality in the US and even led to articles and discussions in the media. This ultimately helped explain the concept to those members of the general public who were in the dark and 2018 was also an important year for a greater acceptance of gender diversity.
For those who missed out, the term pansexual means “anyone who is attracted to people of all genders, sexes, regardless of their own gender or sex”. However, the terms bisexual and pansexual can be used interchangeably beyond the male-female gender binary.
There were many news stories that unfolded in the US during 2018 covering the divide within the Department of Justice, the US government branch that is responsible for the enforcement of laws.
As the term ‘justice’ crept up more and more in conversation, such as criminal justice, economic justice, social justice and racial justice, many Americans started to question what the word actually meant when it was being applied in these different contexts.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, justice was searched on their online dictionary 74 per cent more than it was in 2017.
When looking at the word justice closely, it has several meanings ranging from technical and legal to the philosophical.
This is a fantastic example of the complexities within language and the many – and ever-evolving – cultural meanings carried by words.
Contact Bubbles today to discover how we can help your business translate documents, digital marketing content and more.