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?
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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
- Unisex Kids' Stan Footwear White White Smith adidas Bold Pink White Trainers Footwear 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, Smith White Unisex Footwear adidas Trainers White Kids' Stan Pink Bold White Footwear ratification, unification, &c., which all include the Latin element -fic-, from ficare, the combining form of facere, “to make”.
protected by tchrist♦ Mar 1 '15 at 18:38
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