My professor used the word authentification in a lecture. I have always used authentication. Is it a real word or is authentication the correct term?
Authentication is the preferred form in English. The variant authentification is acceptable, but less common—it’s often used by non-native speakers who aren’t aware that it’s less idiomatic in English, because authentification (or an analogue) is the correct form (or at least widely accepted) in many eastern & western European languages:
- Azerbaijani: autentifikasiyası
- Basque: autentifikazio
- Belarusian: аўтэнтыфікацыя (autentyfikatsyja)
- Bosnian: autentifikacija
- Corsican: autentificazione
- Czech: autentifikace
- Danish: autentificering
- Dutch: autenti(fi)catie
- French: authentification
- German: Authenti(fi)kation
- Haitian: otantifikasyon
- Kazakh: аутентификация (autyentifikatsiya)
- Latvian: autentifikācija
- Lithuanian: autentifikavimas
- Luxembourgish: authentifikatioun
- Romanian: autentificare
- Russian: аутентификация (autyentifikatsiya)
- Spanish: autenti(fi)cación
- Ukrainian: автентифікація (avtyentifikatsiya)
- Uzbek: autentifikatsiya
(Source: Google Translate—transliterations from Cyrillic are a best effort and may not be standard/accurate for all languages.)
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary and Wikipedia, authentication was the original form, via Latin authenticare, from Greek αὐθεντικός (authentikos), from αὐθέντης (authentis) “author” + -ικός (-ikos) “relating to”—cf. Latin -ic(us).
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the change to authentification seems to have happened in the mid-18th century—in English at least. It likely arose by analogy with similar words such as personification, modification, ratification, unification, &c., which all include the Latin element -fic-, from ficare, the combining form of facere, “to make”.
Authentification is a French word. After a bit on research on its origin, it would seem that the word is actually composed of three parts :
- authentique (authentic)
- fic → faire (to do)
- ation → action
protected by tchrist♦ Mar 1 '15 at 18:38
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