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Whatever your native language, it’s likely English website translations are the primary – or even the only – other website translations you use. English is the lingua franca, after all. It figures that English website translations are amongst the most commonly requested by businesses trading beyond native shores.

But the times they are a-changing. And Vaclav Brezina, a Senior Lecturer on corpus linguistics at Lancaster University, reveals the English language is changing, too.

Recent research demonstrates the extent to which the English language has shifted to a more relaxed ‘internet’ style. This easy breezy style is increasingly replacing the formal language used previously for English website translations and other digital marketing activities.

So, what are the key trends for sounding in-step on English versions of your website?

What Sort of English Website Translations Are Working in the ‘20s?

1. Less standing on ceremony – Brezina suggests “the high frequency of informal features like contractions (isn’t) and second and first person pronouns”. The ‘royal we’ is definitely out of time for now! “This is something that would be fairly unusual before the internet revolution,” he explains.

2. More ‘internet’speak – “Alexa, app, awesome, blog, congrats, email, fab, Facebook, fitbit, Instagram, iPad, iPhone, Lol, omg, tbh, tweet, Twitter and website” We’re using these words and phrases multiple times a day in common vernacular. Foolproof English website translations are following suit.

3. Diminished use of modal verbs – Modal verbs – can, should, must, may, shall – are out of favour. They come across as too authoritative and stuffy. Brezina reports a 42% drop in the use of ‘must’, a 41% drop of ‘may’ and a whopping 61% drop of ‘shall’ over the past 20 years.


At Accutranslate, we’re as experienced in English website translations as we are at translating from English to other languages. Drop us a line if you’re new to English website translations or if your current version is in need of a refresh.


Five ways the internet era has changed British English – new research, Vaclav Brezina, The Conversation