Jargon, technical jargon

and technical language

Jargon refers to a (not generally understandable) special vocabulary of certain social classes or professional groups. In the 18th century, "jargon" was borrowed from French into German. The original meaning in French was "gibberish" or "incomprehensible mumbling".


In linguistics, jargon is referred to as a special language or sociolect. Within a group of users of the respective jargon, the jargon simplifies communication between the group members. In colloquial language, jargon can also have an identity-forming function within a group. Specialised jargon is used when it is not colloquial language but refers to a specific professional or specialist area.


However, technical jargon as a professional and specialist language must be distinguished from genuine technical language, as technical language is standardised, whereas technical jargon is not. However, the boundaries can be blurred.


Group languages, professional languages and specialised languages


Examples of group languages are scene jargon, school language or the language of computer gamers. Well-known professional languages include miners' language, sailors' language, hunters' language and soldiers' language. Specialised languages are, for example, administrative language, legal language (Juristendeutsch) or general languages in various scientific fields.


Even interpreters with years of professional experience cannot master all the jargon, technical jargon or specialised languages in their working languages. Interpreters therefore prepare themselves for their assignments. For this preparation, they need so-called preparation material or preparation documents. Interpreters are dependent on the cooperation of the organisers or speakers to provide these documents.

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