March 2016

Tidbits on the English Language - No. 3: A More Vigorous English

Silicon Valley (Part 2)

The following new phrases could further spread and become established in the English language if such Silicon Valley high-tech slang were reapplied outside of the realm of IT and into our daily conversations.

New Phrasings
(Slang translations)

He's an integrated kind of guy.
(He's got his act together.)

He doesn't have both drives on line.
(He isn't very coordinated.)

He's a read-only memory.
(He never learns anything.)

I'm interrupt-driven.
(My life is frantic, disorganized.)

He had a head-crash.
(He snorted too much cocaine.)

He's in beta-test stage.
(He's "wet behind the ears".)

The use of these IT expressions has conquered beyond the English-speaking world: they have permeated other languages too.

les applications batch (batch applications)
digitaliser (to digitalize)
semi-conducteur (semi-conductor)
interface (interface)

repeat funktion (repeat function)
der Highbyte (HighByte)
Resetknopf (reset button)
der High-Speed-Prozessor-Bus (high speed processor bus)

bufferizare (to buffer)
shiftare (to shift)
hardwarista (hardware designer)
debuggare (to debug)
randomizzazione (randomization)

The Silicon Valley exemplifies how easily American English affects surrounding lingos. In addition to this, the English language has exceeded the national frameworks of England and the USA to be used as a common tongue everywhere on Earth. Most people pick English as their second language for a variety of reasons. Be it a Japanese employee working in Vietnam, a Russian scientist conducting his research in Berlin, a Moroccan doctor practicing in Amsterdam or a Thai pilot landing at a Beijing airport, people from different countries always start by speaking English when they meet.

Which brings us to the question, could English even be used beyond our planet?
When it launched in 1973, Voyager 1 carried a golden record with greetings from Secretary-General of the United Nations Kurt Waldheim. Those were recorded in English for a potential audience of... Extra-terrestrials!

As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, an organization
of a hundred and forty-seven member states who represent almost all
of the human inhabitants of the planet Earth, I send greetings
on behalf of the people of our planet

Written by Masanori Itoh, Translation/Localization Department