Loan words between languages

ben.wilko1 By ben.wilko1, 7th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Languages

A page about the exchange of loan words between languages and why loan words occur.

Loan words between languages

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Sharing is caring!We all know the good old saying, and apparently so do languages! This phenomenon arises usually when a language does not have a particular word which it encounters in another language or culture.
For example, a vast amount of English vocabulary can be traced back to words derived from languages such as Latin. As it turns out, the term itself could be classed as a loanword as it is derived from the German word Lehnwort, which has the same meaning. Remember though, that sharing is a two way process! (and I really feel like I’m pushing good morals in this post!) As with other highly influential languages, English passes on some words to some other languages, the most prominent example of this is computers and technology, where there are many words of English origin.

It isn’t just in English that this linguistic trade takes place, for example, when Portugal established a trade route with Japan, bringing their vocabulary with them, the Japanese absorbed some of these words into their own language. An example of this is the Japanese word パン(Pan) meaning bread, this was taken from the Portuguese word pão because the Japanese did not have a word to describe the bread that was newly introduced to their culture.

Where people mingle, so do their languages, in this modern globalised society in which we live, there’s bound to be plenty of vocabulary transfers in the long term. Whether this means a word that is directly taken from one language to another, or a word that is taken and changed to suit the speakers of the host language, loanwords are in constant use in so many languages, and you may be surprised at how many you find!

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German, Language, Language Issues, Language Learning, Language Tips, Languages, Loan, Word

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author avatar ben.wilko1
Student of German studies with a passion for languages

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