The evolution of language in the digital age is speedier than ever before!

Languages evolve very quickly in today’s digital age, and as new things happen in the world, new words are created. But how does a word officially become part of the dictionary?

This is how the Oxford Dictionary answers the question: In today’s digital age […] new terms can achieve enormous currency with a wide audience in a much shorter space of time […]New words become part of everyday vocabulary – especially the ones related to the internet, social media and technology in general.’ 

Mona Lisa taking a selfie!One example of an internet-related word that has become part of everyday use is selfie, which was named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2013. For those of us who are unsure of the exact definition, it means a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. The word was first introduced by an Australian boy who, after falling over, posted a picture of his broken bottom lip on an online forum and wrote ‘And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’ This happened in 2002 and since then social media users have been using this word until its popularity soared in 2012.

New words are also coined to indicate inventions and products, especially in particular industry sectors. Take vape as an example, the commercial name for the electronic cigarette and from which new word classes were created, such as the verb to vape, which means ‘to smoke an electronic cigarette’.

As we cannot predict if a word will become part of everyday vocabulary, we always need to keep up with the advances of technology and new trends. When it comes to translating your website, you need to rely on language professionals who are aware of the changes in language use. At The Page Refinery, we only count on professional translators who are experts in specific sectors, ensuring that every word is up-to-date and captures the attention of your online audience.

For more information on how The Page Refinery (@ThePageRefinery) can help you, write to us at info@pagerefinery.com or call us on +44 7779 66 88 53. We translate into and from a wide range of languages including French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish and Polish.

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