English Translation Services
Whether you are looking for an English translation for something technical, legal or medical, or simply a letter, we can help you.
Lingua Translations is known for its quality-driven English translation services.
We will equip you with knowledge and methods, enabling you to communicate in the correct style and tone of British English. Don’t expect British English to be the same as American English, get in touch and let us explain…
We offer professional English language translation services and here is some information which you will find useful as the English language is full of interesting facts and essential tips when you are looking to communicate effectively in English speaking countries.
LOCATION Official language in 27 states across North Africa and some of Asia
LANGUAGE FAMILY Afro-asiastic (Central Semitic)
RELATED LANGUAGES Aramaic, Hebrew, Ugaritic and Phoenican
NUMBER OF GLOBAL SPEAKERS As many as 420 million
- British English
British English is the dialect of the English language that originated in the United Kingdom. English has now spread around the world as both a native language and as a second language, due to its current status of lingua franca and global business language. However, each state with English as its native language (Great Britain, United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, for example, among others) each have their own dialect, to the extent to which there are such significant divergences between them that if you are sourcing translation or interpreting services you must be aware of your English target audience and find a linguist working into your required English dialect.
The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-largest economy and ranks as number 8 out of 169 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking. It is a core member of the European Union and a member of the World Trade Organisation. The country also has a very strong network of trade relations with non-EU countries in compliance with WTO regulations. The United Kingdom is a leading trading power and financial centre, meaning that there is a huge flow of translation of legal contracts, financial documents, trading agreements, company reports, among many other document types from a wide range of business and financial sectors. Having these translated into British English is essential to being understood by your target audience. This is not only due to the wide divergences between British English spelling, grammatical and stylistic preferences, but because the translation of legal and financial documents also necessitates a translation that refers to British legal systems and financial practices and regulations, which are very different to other English-speaking countries around the world.
- Written British English
Written British English is standardised to a much greater extent than its spoken counterpart, which is renowned for its huge variation in accents and dialects. British English writing has a certain number of specificities, especially when compared to American English – this makes it of paramount importance to source a person who British for English translations for your projects, as your British audience will notice spelling and stylistic differences if you use an American English translator, for example.
Here are some of the specific qualities unique to written British English:
There are many spellings unique to British English – here are just a few examples:
Honour (BrE) vs. honor (AmE)
Centre (BrE) vs. center (AmE)
Travelled (BrE) vs. travelled (AmE)
Analysed (BrE) vs. analyzed (AmE)
Written British English also diverges from American (in particular) regarding how time and dates are formatted and written.
British English uses the DD/MM/YYYY format (meaning that the date is written first, then the month, then the year), whereas American English formats it MM/DD/YYYY.
Christmas day would therefore be written as 25/12/2015 or 25th December, 2015 in British English, where as it would be 12/25/2015 in American English (a date which does not actually exist if it were read in British English) or December 25th, 2015.
Certain concepts are expressed using a completely different word in British English in comparison to other dialects of English:
“Traffic lights” in British English can be “robots” in South African English.
What British English speakers would call “flip-flops” are “thongs” in Australian English.
“Trousers” in British English are “pants” in American English – but “pants” in British English means “underwear”!
An English Translator for All British Dialects
The range of spoken dialects that span Great Britain are renowned for their diversity, uniqueness and complexity. There are more accents per square mile in Britain than anywhere else in the English-speaking world! They can be so different that some are only intelligible to each other with a great deal of difficulty, and the divergences in vocabulary, accent and style can be as different as the differences between British and American English! As well as the dialects of the four British nations (English, Welsh English, Irish English and Scottish English), which can be divided into sub-dialects by region, almost every city in England has its own dialect with its own idiosyncrasies and unique vocabulary. Although it is impossible to go into every British English dialect in a great amount of detail, some of the main dialects, along with a few of their unique features, are listed below. All of these dialects have accents and features that are different enough to make them instantly recognisable and distinguishable from other dialects to native UK residents.
- Welsh English
It is very common to repeat the subject and verb after phrases (“I love it, I do” or “She’s going out, she is”)
Use of the word “lush” to describe something good (“That ice cream was lush, it was”)
The use of either “in a minute, now” or “now, in a minute” to describe things that will happen either now or very soon (“I’ll be there now, in a minute”).
- Irish English
There are many different accents and dialects within Ireland (it can be broadly divided into Southern and Northern Irish), but here are some of the most recognisable features of Irish English.
Irish Gaelic lacks the words “yes” and “no”, so although today these words exist in Irish English, the most common way of answering a question is just repeating the verb (“Do you enjoy running?” “I don’t.”).
The word “yoke” as a synonym for thing (“You know that yoke you use to make coffee? Where is it?”)
The English “th” sound is replaced by a “t” or a “d” (“Dere’s tirty trees over dere” = “There’s thirty trees over there”) in certain Irish dialects.
- Scottish English
The Scottish accent is known to be a little more difficult to understand than other British English dialects, particularly in areas where it is very strong, such as Glasgow. Again, there are many different dialects within Scotland, but here are some of the most distinctive features of Scottish English.
The most recognisable feature to speakers of other English dialects is the use of the word “wee” instead of small (“I’m a wee bit tired”)
Using the word “messages” instead of “shopping/groceries” (“She’s been out to get her messages”)
Using the words “laddie” or “lassie” to mean boy/young man and girl/young woman.
- Northern English (Liverpudlian/Scouse)
The accent of Liverpool is one of the most highly distinctive in the United Kingdom. It is higher-pitched than a lot of other UK accents.
The use of the possessive “me” instead of “my” (“That’s me book you’ve got there!”)
Scousers use a range of words to express the more standard English “man” or “guy”, including “lad”, “fella”, “mate”, etc.
They tend to use the word “proper” instead of “very” (“I’m proper gutted, like!”)
Northern English (Newcastle/Geordie)
The Geordie accent is very recognisable in Britain due to its presence in the media. High-profile television personalities such as presenters Ant and Dec and singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini have led to Britons becoming increasingly familiar with the dialect.
“Aye” is often used instead of the word “yes” – this is not restricted to the Geordie dialect but is one of its more recognisable features
Using the word “pet” as a term of endearment (“Yakking Geordie is mint, pet!”)
Instead of referring to themselves as “me”, Geordies might use the word “us” instead (“Give it to us, then” = “Give it to me, then”)
- Northern English (Yorkshire)
The word “the” is often simply abbreviated to “t’” (for example, “I’m going on t’internet”)
Instead of saying “nothing”, people from Yorkshire will say “nowt”, instead of “anything” they’ll say “owt” and instead of “something” they’ll use “summat” (“I’ll tell you summat – you don’t get owt for nowt” = “I’ll tell you something – you don’t get anything for nothing”)
Using “were” instead of “was” for describing things in the past (“I were just minding me own business”).
- West Midlands (Birmingham/Brummie)
Words like “tried” and “bride” will be pronounced more like “troyed” and “broyde”
Brummies over-articulate the “g” in an “ng” formation – singer becomes “singg-er”
“Bostin(g)” is the word used for when something is amazing/brilliant/excellent
- Southern (Standard English/Received Pronunciation)
This is also known as “the Queen’s English” or “BBC English” and has historically been the dialect of English used by the upper classes and in the media (although the media has now opened up to include a broad spectrum of British accents). It is most often considered as the “standard” against which other accents can be compared. It is the accent that Americans associate with the British and are most used to hearing in television shows and films, and it can be a shock for Americans who come to the UK and find themselves unable to understand what a Scottish, Welsh or Liverpudlian person is saying, for example!
When using RP, letters are carefully enunciated – for example, the “g” at the end of “ing” words is always pronounced, whereas this is a letter that is quite often dropped in other dialects of English.
- Southern (London Cockney)
Cockney is probably the second most famous British accent after RP, and it is also often heard in American TV and film (although they don’t always get it completely right; think Dick van Dyke’s infamous attempt at Cockney in Mary Poppins!)
Cockneys do not pronounce the “h” on the beginnings of words (a little like the French!), or the “g” on the end (“Are you ‘avin’ a laugh?”)
“Th” tends to be replaced by “f” (“What do you fink you’re doin’?”)
Cockney is famous for its rhyming slang, although this is less used in everyday speech nowadays. Examples include “apples and pears” for “stairs” and “dog and bone” for (tele)phone.
- Southern (Multicultural London English/MLE)
This is one of England’s newest and most rapidly evolving dialects, with West Indian, South Asian, Cockney and Estuary influences. It is most commonly spoken amongst young working class Londoners from diverse backgrounds.
The “i” in words such as “like” and “bike” is elongated and pronounced more like “lahke” and “bahke”.
Like Cockney, the letters “th” are replaced by “f” or “v” – for example “fink” (think) and “muvver” (mother).
Quite a lot of the slang used is West Indian – for example “sick” now means “good” or “cool” (and this has become widespread throughout the UK among teenagers and young people), and “bare” means “very”.
- West Country
This accent has been made famous by the British comedy “Hot Fuzz” with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost! It is associated with farming and agriculture.
The West Country dialect is known as “pirate language” because of its frequent use of “oo-ar”!
The word “gurt” is sometimes used instead of “very” – (“Tha’s a gurt big tractor.”)
Instead of “How are you doing”, somebody from the West Country might say “How be on?”