Over the years, the European institutions have developed a vocabulary that differs from that of any recognised form of English.
It includes words that do not exist or are relatively unknown to native English speakers outside the EU institutions and often even to standard spellcheckers/grammar checkers (‘planification’, ‘to precise’ or ‘telematics’ for example) and words that are used with a meaning, often derived from other languages, that is not usually found in English dictionaries (‘coherent’ being a case in point). Some words are used with more or less the correct meaning, but in contexts where they would not be used by native speakers (‘homogenise’, for example).
Finally, there is a group of words, many relating to modern technology, where users (including many native speakers) ‘prefer’ a local term (often an English word or acronym) to the one normally used in English-speaking countries, which they may not actually know, even passively (‘GPS’ or ‘navigator’ for ‘satnav’, ‘SMS’ for ‘text’, ‘to send an SMS to’ for ‘to text’, ‘GSM’ or even ‘Handy’ for ‘mobile’ or ‘cell phone’, internet ‘key’, ‘pen’ or ‘stick’ for ‘dongle’, ‘recharge’ for ‘top-up/top up’, ‘beamer’ for video projector etc). The words in this last list have not been included because they belong mostly to the spoken language.
To discover more English Words and Expressions please click on the picture and download the file.
By Jeremy Gardner, 25 May 2016
Post prepared by Olga Jeczmyk: Translator-Interpreter, Social Media and Content Manager as well as Communication and Terminology Trainee. Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg.