10 commonly used foreign words adopted in the English language

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Some of the words we assume to be English are actually borrowed from other languages ​​like Japanese, French, and Spanish. While the exact number of words adopted is still a mystery, most linguists have given a rough estimate of over a million words. It is even more difficult to indicate how many words we can claim as the original English words. The borrowings are so interwoven in our vocabulary that we hardly notice that they are not of English origin. Many of these words have been introduced into our language through our armed forces.

Chocolate

Without a doubt, most Americans love chocolate, but that doesn’t mean the word is English. Chocolate is borrowed from Spanish from Nahuatl, a language spoken by the inhabitants of central Mexico during the time of the Spanish conquest. In Spanish, chocolatl is used to describe a drink prepared by heating cocoa with milk or water. It’s more or less like hot chocolate.

Karaoke

Most clubs that offer karaoke nights have to thank Japan for this innovative idea. A karaoke is a machine that allows people to take turns singing the lyrics of popular songs written into the machine. It comes with a microphone and pre-recorded cooking tracks to make the activity more enjoyable. Karaoke combines two Japanese words; kara meaning empty and okesutura meaning orchestra.

A row of 3 karaoke booths in a shopping mall in Angeles City, Philippines. (Wikipedia)

Kind

The genre in English is used to describe a work of art containing specific characteristics and style. For example, in movies we have genres like romance, comedy, and romance. The word genre was adopted from French but in this language it means genre and could also mean type, explaining its context in English.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten in English describes a class of children where they are taught the basics. This is the class between first grade and preschool. The word was borrowed from German where it means kindergarten. This concept was invented in the 19e century by a German educator.

Contractor

An entrepreneur is an innovative businessman who takes risks to ensure the profitability of his business. The term entrepreneur was borrowed from French where it is known under the name of entrepreneur, which means to undertake as an entrepreneur. This explains the concept in English because being an entrepreneur means you have to own a business.

Mosquito

In English, a mosquito is an insect that sucks the blood of humans and animals. Mosquitoes can spread certain diseases, including malaria and elephantiasis. Even though the term is primarily known as an English word, evidence shows that it was lifted from Spanish. In Spanish, mosquito means a small fly.

10 commonly used foreign words adopted in the English language
Female mosquito feeding on a human arm, Tasmania, Australia. (Wikipedia)

Vigilant

A vigilante is someone who volunteers to fight or reduce crime by taking matters into their own hands. Litigants rarely integrate the parameters of the law into their operations and are sometimes considered offenders. Vigilante entered our lexicons at 19e century and was borrowed from Spanish. In Spanish, the term means a keeper or keeper and can also be traced back to Latin, meaning to stand aside.

Sofa

A sofa is what we commonly call a sofa, a piece of furniture mostly located in living rooms. The word was adopted from a Turkish word meaning a raised section of the floor with a rug and pillows. The Turkish term was also borrowed from the Arabic word suffah, which means bench of wood or stone.

Biscuits

In English, cookies are small, cookie-like snacks that are baked with raisins and are usually tough. Even though the English love cookies, the term has been borrowed from Dutch, which implies cupcakes.

Lemon

Lemon is a yellow citrus fruit filled with vitamin C and other valuable nutrients. For the Marines, this is a yellow-colored drink powder with an oddly long expiration date. The word fruit was borrowed from Arabic where it has the same meaning. Lime was also borrowed from the same tongue, also another powdered but green drink.


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