The Foreign Languages You Speak Everyday – Daily Quote

Jo Hawk

we-dont-just-borrow-words-on-occasion-english-has-pursued-other-languages-down-alleyways-to-beat-them-unconscious-and-rifle-their-pockets-for-new-vocabulary.-james-nicoll.

When I started studying Spanish, I noticed a vast number of crossover words. I had already studied my dictionary and discovered words of Latin and Greek derivations along with German and French-based words. English is fantastic at borrowing words. Forever. Linguists call the appropriation of a foreign language word, a loanword. Some loanwords undergo a phonetic makeover, which makes the word sound more English and less like its home origin.

Linguists say loanwords account for 80% of English words and borrows from 350 other languages. Yep, that number amazed me, but it turns out there may be 7,000 unique languages in the world. More than half of the world’s population speak just 23 of those. The statistic also shows almost 3,000 languages are in danger of extinction and are spoken by fewer than 1,000 people.

I wonder if some foreign words will one day only live in their English form…

View original post 132 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s