English, like any other language has evolved with time to include many words from other languages in its dictionary. French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Mandarin Chinese are some of the well known languages that have contributed to English language. Of these French is one language that seems to have contributed about 33% of the words in the English language. You might be surprised to know that an average person who does not know French does know more than a hundred French words.

Words like a la carte, adieu and banquette come from French, whereas, alligator, banana, barbecue, cafeteria are just a few of the many words that we know of and these come from the Spanish language.  Similarly, there are many other words that have made their way into the English language. With so many words making their way in, it is no surprise that English has so many words from other languages, but have you ever thought as to why and how words from other languages have entered into the English language?

Why: Words are added to a language because they are used often by the native speakers of the language while communicating in another language, so often that they just blend into the language.

English has therefore seen many words being borrowed from other languages.

How: While one of the norms of word addition is that the word has to be popular, frequently used a lot by people and people had to use the dictionary to find its meanings, then that particular word is most likely to be included in a dictionary. All said and done, the word addition does not happen overnight. It has its own pace by which a word enters the dictionary and the language. There are also words that have changed their meanings over time and these are also incorporated by the lexicographers.

Words from many languages are often seen making their way to other languages and most often we do not realize their origin, unless we hear from someone or read them somewhere.

Next Post Previous Post