It’s all Greek to me: Understanding World English Day and Shakespeare

You’ll feel more relaxed if you ‘break the ice’; they led us on ‘a wild goose chase’; it’s ‘a brave new world’; tonight’s episode is ‘not for the faint hearted’; you’re a ‘laughing stock’; the UFO simply ‘vanished into thin air’. These are just some of the everyday English phrases that are widely attributed to William Shakespeare and still in use today. Shakespeare was the greatest playwright and writer in the English language and his influential use of English continues to pervade all aspects of British life and culture, more than 400 years after his death.

23 April was selected as English Language Day as it is believed to be the day on which Shakespeare was born and died. Since it was established in 2010, it has become an annual celebration of the English Language, designed to celebrate its history, rich literary tradition, global significance and linguistic and cultural diversity.
With more than two billion speakers, the beauty and versatility of the English language continues to seep its way into the global consciousness as the lingua franca of global communication. It plays a vital role in connecting people and cultures around the world, fostering global understanding. English assumed such a prominent global role due to the vast impact of the British Empire, the popularity of post-war USA, popular culture, its use in science and technology and being a relatively easy language to learn. It is also extremely adaptable, absorbing loan words and continuing to pick up new ones as it is applied to other cultural contexts.

You’ll regularly hear English being spoken at AgroLingua, especially on the days that Sue op het Veld and Graham Jackson – our in-house native English translators - are at the office. Conversations range from current translation projects to the music on the radio, Wordle, the ups and downs of North London football teams and the wider expat experience. Combining creativity, technology, cultural knowledge and industry expertise, our language specialists translate, revise and optimise high quality English content for our clients. To quote Shakespeare, there’s very much ‘a method in the madness’.

Did you know? 23 April is also St. George’s Day in England and World Book and Copyright Day, which celebrates the global joy of books and reading.

Do you need the right words for a translation in English? Visit our website and request a free quote.

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