The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.

~ Jacques Yves Cousteau ~

What? Another Online Version in English Translation

July 7th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 3 secs

Do they mean what we think they mean?

Congratulations! You speak English; the power language of the world. Don’t take it for granted. You are truly one of the lucky ones, as millions are at this moment trying their best to get their tongue around this tyrannical language. For them being able to read an “online version in English translation” is about as good it gets in mastering this pickpocket dialect of German descent.

English, as we know, has become a truly great language. But its claim to greatness only comes because it has “borrowed” so much from other tongues. Once a guttural patois spoken by coastal tribes around the East Frisians in Europe, this rough German dialect was used by the Angeln who took it to Britain, where history shaped it to become a mighty mother tongue in its own right. Folk like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and a host of others, gave it substance. While taking words from some of the best of the rest amplified, extended, and refined English into the wonder it is today. Today, even the international Internet bows to English, for good or ill. So you can expect there’ll be an English translation available online somewhere for just about everything.

No doubt you’d be miffed if an online version in English translation wasn’t easily accessible. “Why isn’t it in English?” we insist. Surely it’s the standard… But as you know, standards come and go. One day, something else will take its place. Perhaps a bit English, perhaps something else. Either way, we shouldn’t be complacent or even conceited, just because we speak the current lingo of choice.

Besides, good English is difficult, even for native speakers to manage. Children learning English in Britain take up to two years more to read and write, compared to children in other European countries. Why? Well the very thing that makes English strong has weakened it to the core. Inconsistencies in spelling drive learners of all ages crazy. While identical sounds with different letters is a test for everyone. This has led to various attempts, particularly in the US, to simplify the churlish beast. But in truth, it has only made things more complicated. Switching from tyre to tire, and from tonight to tonite seems reasonable. At least until you find that mold still mixes with soul and fright is just as right as nite. Now add to that a variety of inexplicable online versions in English translation and it all gets terribly muddy. Pity the kids and anyone else who has to learn this mess.

The solutions aren’t likely to appear for quite a while yet. So, meantime, strap yourself in for that next picturesque English translation available online and try your best to get it to make sense. Thanks to the added twists of Japlish, Chinglish, Singlish, and more, each online version in English translation is getting increasingly intriguing, as we all do our best to make sense of the wonderful world of English.




Comments are closed.