Which English words come from Chinese

Foreign words in English: 45 words from around the world

ByRyan Sitzman and Daisy Copper

"Wow, the English language has so many words!"

Have you ever thought about it

That may be true, but did you also know that many English words are actually foreign words and come from other languages?

True, over time, English speakers have “stolen” words from other languages ​​and added them to English.

These words are often called "loanwords" (English:loanword) designated. Especially if these words have only recently been added to English.

It could actually be that many English foreign words come from your mother tongue!

This means that these foreign words are particularly easy for you to learn and you will be able to expand your English vocabulary very quickly.

And once you've learned the rest of the foreign words on this list, you might even be able to impress your English-speaking friends, who knows. So the next time a foreign word appears in English, you can tell your friends something about its origin!

All right are you ready Let's discover the 45 most common words that English has picked up from different languages ​​together!

Before or after looking at this list, the best thing to do is to watch the video "Where does English come from?" on FluentUto learn more about how this language evolved. FluentU takes authentic English videos such as movie trailers, music videos, news and inspirational speeches and converts them into personalized language lessons that allow you to discover many more foreign words in the English language. FluentU has many useful tools for learning English. You can even try FluentU for free for a while after registering on the homepage. Alternatively, you can also download the app for Apple or Android devices.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Foreign words from French

In one way or another, English, French, and German are almost like three brothers or sisters who grew up together. Each language has more or less shaped the other two languages, but French had by far the greatest influence on English.

From the 9th to the 14th centuries, a certain form of French was even an “official” language in the English court! During these years the common people (the non-nobles) spoke an older form of English while the kings, queens, and members of the English court spoke French. And to create even more confusion, most of the documents were also recorded in Latin.

As you can imagine, these languages ​​were also mixed up quite often. So let's look at some English words that still look a bit “French”.

Another note: play it safe and listen to the pronunciations for these originally French words. Many of these are likely to be pronounced a little differently than you might expect!

1. Ballet

This is a form of dance that is common and very popular in many parts of the world. Since this dance style was developed in France, many terms related to ballet are also in French. Non-dancers would probably just use the words "Ballerina" and "Tutu ” from this list, but there are many more terms.

It doesn't hurt if you first listen to the word "ballet" being pronounced. Here is the "t”Not pronounced in the end. Instead, the second syllable sounds like "lay"And has the same vowel sound as the letter"a“.

Another interesting thing about some of these French loanwords is that some words are pronounced like English words and others sound a little more French.

Here are some other examples of French loanwords referring to “-et"But end up being pronounced in English as if they had a"a" at the end: "Buffet“, “gourmet“, “filet“, “chalet"And the well-known automobile company"Chevrolet.”

Example:

  • My niece and nephew are in ballet class, so I watched their 5-hour ballet performance on Saturday. It was pretty long.
  • Take my niece and nephewBalletclass, so on Saturday I have your five-hour class Balletwatched the performance. It was quite long.

2. Cafe

In English, this is the name for a small restaurant with a more informal, informal atmosphere. It often has small tables and chairs and sometimes tables that are outside. It has two spellings in English and is used both with the accent (coffee shop) as well as without (coffee shop) written.

“Café” is derived from the French word for “coffee”, but it is also very similar to other coffee-related words in other languages. Usually cafes also sell coffee. But if a business only sells coffee (and no food), then in English-speaking countries the business is usually "coffee shop ” called.

Also note that there is a similar word, namely "cafeteria" gives. This word can cause some confusion at times. In general, however, a cafeteria is very similar to a small restaurant. There is only one difference: a cafeteria is usually a small restaurant that exists mainly for a specific group of people. You can often find cafeterias in schools or on the premises of larger companies. In this case, these cafeterias are for the people who teach there or work in the building.

Example:

  • I've only got about 20 minutes for lunch, so I'll just stop at a coffee shop for a quick sandwich.
  • I only have about 20 minutes for my lunch so I just become one Coffee shop go and have a quick sandwich.

3. Croissant

Some of the most common (and best!) Foreign words in English have to do with food, of course. This is because many dishes are closely related to a particular culture and many languages ​​often do not have a word of their own for a dish from another culture.

A croissant is a type of pastry or bread made from puff pastry that leaves lots of crumbs on your plate when you eat it. In English you would say the croissant flaky is.

A similar type of pastry can also be found in the English-speaking world. It's called crescent roll. The word roll is the English word for smaller pieces of pastry.

Example:

  • Tina really loves to make croissants because they taste better than other types of bread.
  • Tina really loves croissants because they taste better than other types of bread.

4. Entrepreneur

This is definitely a foreign word to listen to as it is a little difficult to pronounce even for a native English speaker.

An entrepreneur (or Entrepreneur) is a person starting their own company. Other forms of this word are for example too entrepreneurship (“Management”) or entrepreneurial (“Entrepreneurial”).

Example:

  • Elon Musk, the man who started SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world.
  • Elon Musk, the man who started SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is one of the most famous Entrepreneur of the world.

5. Faux pas

This term is another word for a so-called "faux pas". Listen to the pronunciation here, as many of the letters appear in it, such as the "x" and the "s”Cannot be pronounced.

If you have a Faux pas it isn't necessarily a huge mistake and it doesn't hurt anyone physically, but it can make people feel uncomfortable in a situation.

Example:

  • I committed a pretty big faux pas last night. I kept trying to offer Maria beers, but I completely forgot that she stopped drinking alcohol three years ago!
  • I got a pretty big one last night Faux pas committed. The whole time I tried to offer Maria a beer and forgot that she hasn't had alcohol for three years!

6th genre

In French, this word means “kind” or “style”. Listen to the pronunciation here.

In English it is used to describe the category to which something belongs. This foreign word is used particularly in connection with pleasure and entertainment. You will especially hear this word when people are talking about books, films, and music.

Example:

  • Roy likes many types of music, but his favorite genre is heavy metal.
  • Roy loves many different types of music, but his favoritesgenre is heavy metal.

7. Hors d'oeuvre

These are small bites of food that are served at special events (usually parties). They are very similar to small appetizers. However, starters are usually only served before a large meal.

Be sure to listen to the pronunciation. Since the spelling of this word is actually rather difficult, this foreign word is often only used in conversation by native English speakers. I actually had to look up the spelling three times before I could even write the word!

Example:

  • We were invited to Tina and Roy’s engagement party. We expected a big meal, but there were only hors d'oeuvres. That was okay, though, since we weren’t that hungry.
  • We were invited to Tina and Roy's engagement party. We were expecting a big meal, instead there was only Horsd’oeuvres.That was okay though, as we weren't really hungry.

8. Lingerie

This term is used to describe female underwear or sleepwear that is usually “sexy” or special in some other way. The pronunciation is also a bit tricky here.

Example:

  • These days, before some women get married, their friends give them a "lingerie shower. " That’s when the woman’s friends all get together and give her lingerie as a wedding gift.
  • Nowadays women receive from their friends a "Lingeriebad ”before they get married. This means that the future bride will meet with her friends and Lingerie, i.e. women's underwear, received from them as a wedding gift.

9. Renaissance

In French, this word means “rebirth”. In English, however, it is often used to describe the historical period between 1300 and 16000. During this period, things like art and science in particular have developed.

It can also be used whenever a person, company, or country regains popularity after a difficult period. Some entertainment writers also described the "renaissance" of actor Matthew McConaughey as "Mcconaissance."

Example:

  • I don’t know much about art, but I do know that Michelangelo and Raphael were two of the most famous artists from the Renaissance
  • I don't know much about art, but I know that Michelangelo and Raphael are two of the most important artists in the world Renaissance were.

10. Rendezvous

In English, this foreign word, which comes from French, is used to indicate a place where people are scheduled to meet. It also indicates the process of meeting another person at a specific point in time.

Example:

  • We're in a new city, and I'm sure you all want to explore it a bit. It's 2:00 now, so let's date back here at 6:00. Then we'll go to dinner.
  • We are in a new city and I am sure that you will want to explore it a little. It's 2:00 p.m. now, so let's get here at 6:00 p.m. in the same place to meet. Then we go to dinner.

If you want to learn more about English words of French origin, then you should check out this interesting post. The explanations are for people who are learning French, but the article is in English and contains some very important French loanwords that are worth learning.

Foreign words from German

Just like what you received from me for learning French, here is a list of 33 German words that are used in English. The post is written for English speakers who want to learn German. The article also explains a little about the historical connections between English and German. And if you want even more, there is also this article with 76 other German loanwords.

Below I am also adding a list of the pronunciation of these German words (for non-Germans). In general, however, they are not as difficult to pronounce as the French words.

11. Delicatessen

A “delicatessen” (abbreviated “deli”) is a casual restaurant where you can buy sandwiches, coffee and other snacks. This word is derived from the German word delicatessen and means “delicatessen”. In English, however, the word only describes a place where food can be bought.

Some of the most famous Delis, including Katz’s Delicatessen, are located in New York. The photos on their homepage give you an idea of ​​what types of (giant) sandwiches are typical for a deli.

Example:

  • Delicatessens used to be more common in New York, but many are going out of business since many people seem to prefer more formal restaurants.
  • Delicatessen used to be something common in New York. But many of them went broke as a lot of people seem to prefer fancier restaurants.

12. Festival

A festival is any type of party, celebration or festival. This word is commonly used as a suffix in both English and German. A common word, for example, is “Oktoberfest”. The “official” Oktoberfest takes place every year in Munich, Germany. However, many other cities also have their own Oktoberfest.

Example:

  • We visited the Octoberfirmly in Munich, but it was crazy. There were so many people, and all of them were drunk!
  • It's Octoberfirmly visited in Munich. But it was totally crazy! There were so many people there and everyone was drunk!

13. Health

Believe it or not, English speakers actually use this word! Especially in the US, people often say "Health!" in response to someone sneezing (but others say a lot bless you).

This is probably so common because many more German immigrants have moved to the US than to England over the past 200 years. They brought with them numerous foreign words that were taken over from English!

Example:

  • When I sneezed, my aunt said "Health!"
  • When I was sneezing, my aunt "Health!”Said.

14. Kindergarten

Kindergartens are a common type of school in many parts of the world. Children often go to kindergarten for a year or two when they are five years old before going to elementary school.

Example:

  • Our daughter is going to turn 5 next year, so we've been trying to find a good kindergarten for her.
  • Our daughter will be five next year. So we try to find one that is suitable for you kindergarten to find.

15. Waltz

A waltz is a formal style of dance. The word is also often used to describe a type of music that is played during these dances. It can also be used as a verb to describe the process of dancing while a waltz is being played.

Example:

  • My friends say that dancing the waltz is easy, but I can't do it. I'm just not coordinated, and everyone says I have "two left feet."
  • My friends say that waltz dancing is easy. Still, I can't. I'm just too uncoordinated and everyone says I have "two left feet".

16. Backpack

Backpack is a synonym for the word in English backpack. “Ruck” is derived from the German word “back” (back) ab and “sack” means either bag or, as you have probably already guessed,bag.

Example:

  • Alan is going to travel to Europe this summer, but he's planning on only taking one backpack. He’ll have to pack carefully if he wants everything to fit!
  • Alan is traveling to Europe this summer, but he's only planning one backpack to take with you. He'll have to pack carefully if he wants everything to fit in!

From the Yiddishen

You may never have heard of Yiddish, but Yiddish is actually a Germanic language widely spoken among Jewish people with Eastern European roots. Today it is spoken mainly in Israel, Eastern Europe, and some parts of the United States where Jewish families have settled.

Due to historical immigration, some Yiddish words may appear more frequently in American rather than British English. Since Yiddish is also a Germanic language, it can also happen that many Yiddish words are similar to German words or that some words are even the same.

17. Glitch

A Glitch (glitch) is a bit of a problem. However, it is never so big that you cannot finish what you have started.

Example:

  • I planned to go downtown to meet with Betty, but I ran into a glitch: The bus wasn't running because it was a holiday. So I just took a taxi instead.
  • I planned to go downtown to meet Betty. I did have one though Glitch: The bus did not go because it was a public holiday. I took a taxi instead.

18. Klutz

A Klutz is a person who is very uncoordinated or clumsy (clumsy) is. In other words: klutzes often have accidents and often break things.

Example:

  • My cousin Charlotte is a real klutz. Every time she goes into a souvenir shop, she always seems to break two or three things, and then she has to pay for them!
  • My cousie Charlotte is a real one Clumsy. Every time she walks into a gift shop, she knocks a thing or two and then has to pay for it!

19th game

Just like in German, this word also means to play in Yiddish (play). In English, however, it is used to refer to a quick speech or story that has been told many times. The game is often used to convince someone of something.

Example:

  • My uncle Thomas believes in a lot of conspiracy theories. When we ate Thanksgiving dinner, he did his whole game about how the government is controlled by lizard people!
  • My uncle Thomas believes in many conspiracy theories. When we had dinner on Thanksgiving, he got this one speech held over the state. It was about how the state controls people through lizards!

20. Schmooze

This verb means that you talk to someone in a very friendly way or flatter someone in order to achieve something with it and to benefit from it.

Example:

  • At the meeting, the professors wereschmoozing with the president of the club. They want his club to donate money to the university.
  • The professors attended the meeting with the club president flatter. They want the club to donate money to the university.

From the Spanish

Like French, Spanish is another daughter language of Latin and has also had a major influence on English. Much of this Spanish influence can be seen primarily in American English, where many foreign words have Spanish origins. Many of these words are less common in British English.

21. Guerrilla

In Spanish, this word literally means “little war”. In both Spanish and English, it can be used to refer to an unofficial group opposing the state. In English, it is often used as an adjective in expressions such as guerrilla warfare (“Guerrilla warfare”) or guerilla marketing (“Guerrilla Marketing”) is used.

Small note: In Spanish it sounds "ll”In“ guerrilla ”similar to a“y“, Different from“ guerilla ”in English. In English the "ll"Just like a"l”As pronounced in“ Gorilla ”(the animal).

Example:

  • The guerrilla fighters took control of the capital of the country, which gave them control of the government.
  • The guerrilla-Fighters have taken control of the state capital. This has given them control over the government.

22. Macho

This word describes a person who is very strong or very manly. It can also be used to describe a person who is arrogant and bragging about their seemingly excessive masculinity. The word “macho” was also used as the name of a professional wrestler and in a popular disco song in the 1970s.

Example:

  • Peter is a real macho guy, but that's annoying sometimes. He says that "real men don't cry," but I think he's wrong.
  • Peter is a real one macho. That sucks sometimes. He says "real men don't cry" but I think he's wrong.

23. Patio

In English, the word “patio” generally describes an uncovered area that is outside the house and has furniture such as tables and chairs.

Example:

  • It was very hot today, so we decided to go out to the patio to drink a cold glass of lemonade. There are some trees there, too, so the sun wasn't as bad.
  • It was very hot today, so we decided to go out for thepatio to go for an ice-cold glass of lemonade. There are a few trees out there too, so the sun wasn't too bad.

24. Plaza

A plaza is and sometimes is a public outdoor area of ​​a city square called.

Plaza is also used as the name of many shopping streets, in areas of company buildings or in other larger outdoor areas. If you are a native Spanish speaker, take note that the "z"Is pronounced" vibrates "in English and not like the soft Latin American"s”Sounds.

Example:

  • Victoria needed to buy some Christmas presents for her friends, so she went downtown to the new shopping plaza to check out some of the stores that were recently opened.
  • Victoria had to buy some Christmas presents for her friends, so she went downtown for the new shopping Plazato inspect the newly opened stores.

25. Piñata

This is a particularly pleasant word for children. It describes a toy that is filled with candy and is mainly used on children's birthday parties. At these birthday parties or parties, children then take turns to watch the Piñatahit with a stick to make the candy fall out.

Example:

  • We had a birthday party for our 3-year-old boy, but we thought he was probably too young for a piñata. We thought all the kids would get hit in the head with the stick.
  • We had a birthday party for our three year old son but thought he was probably too young for one Piñata We thought that all children might accidentally get hit on the head with a stick.

26. Siesta

A siesta is another word for a nap. These types of naps are usually done in the middle of the day, especially after eating or to take a break from work.

People in warm countries often take a siesta during the day, when it is too hot outside. So lunch time, for example, is a good time to stay indoors and sleep!

Example:

  • Wow, since I ate that big plate of spaghetti, now I'm feeling super tired. I think I'll take a quick siesta before I get back to work.
  • Wow, that plate of spaghetti made me totally tired. I think I'll be quick siesta insert before I go back to work.

From the Japanese

27. Karaoke

You probably know what karaoke is. Karaoke is when a trending song is played with subtitles on a screen and you can sing along with it. There are karaoke bars in many countries, including the United States and England. However, karaoke bars are most commonly associated with Japan.

Example:

  • Mitch really likes singing karaoke, even though he doesn't have an amazing voice. But that doesn't matter — the important thing is to have fun with friends!
  • Mitch loves to sing Karaokeeven though he doesn't really have a good voice. But that doesn't matter. The most important thing is to have fun with friends!

28. Karate

Like karaoke, “karate” is most likely a word that sounds familiar. Karate is a word used to describe a popular Japanese martial art. In Japan the word karate means “empty hand” because you don't need any special training equipment or weapons to practice this martial art.

Example:

  • Lisa has a black belt in karate, so you'd better not try to steal her things.
  • Lisa has a black belt inside karate. So it's better if you don't try to steal their things.

29. Ninja

This word means spy in Japanese. In English, however, it is used to describe a person who can secretly attack someone without being seen. People associate ninjas with fighters who wear masks and black suits. However, this is historically incorrect.

The modern usage of the word “ninja” describes a person who is particularly good at a certain thing. This occurs mainly in the technical area.

Example:

  • You should try Karl’s cookies — they're delicious! Karl is a real baking ninja!
  • You should try Karl's cookies - they are delicious! Karl is a real bakerNinja!

30. Origami

Origami is the art of folding small pieces of paper in an artistic and creative way. Some origami artwork can be very detailed and really amazing!

Example:

  • If you want to try origami, it's very easy to start. You just need some small pieces of paper. But if you want to become an expert, it could take years of practice.
  • It's very easy with origami to start if you want to give it a try. You only need a few origaminote. But if you want to become an expert, it will take years of practice.

31. Tsunami

This is a gigantic ocean wave that is usually triggered by an earthquake.

Unfortunately, the word tsunami has become well known since the 2004 tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia and the 2011 tsunami wave in Japan. These natural disasters killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Example:

  • Those recent tsunamis were terrible, but at least they made people more aware of the dangers of tsunamis.
  • The youngest Tsunamis were terrible, but at least they made them more aware of the dangers of people Tsunamis procured.

From native American languages

When Europeans came to America, they met millions of Native Americans. The indigenous people still had their own languages ​​at that time and many of these languages ​​later shaped the English language enormously.

Many of these original American words were mainly names for places. Other words have been adjusted and changed to make them easier to pronounce in English.

Since these words originally come from native American languages, they are of course mostly used in places that have had contact with indigenous peoples. Therefore, these foreign words appear more often in American English than in British English.

32. Chocolate

This word reached the English language after wandering around Spain. The original form of the word is, however xocolatl and comes from Nahuatl, a language from Mexico.

Example:

  • If you don’t know what chocolate is, then I feel very sad for you.
  • If you don't know what chocolate then I feel a lot of pity for you.

33. Moccasin

Depending on who you ask, you're likely to get very different opinions on what a moccasin is. But everyone agrees on one thing: a moccasin is a casual type of shoe.

Example:

  • I don’t like the cold winter weather in general, but I do enjoy wearing my warm moccasinswhen I'm inside.
  • I don't like the cold weather in general. But I like to wear my warm moccasins when I'm inside.

From the Chinese

In English, the word “Chinese” is used to refer to different dialects of the Chinese language in China and Taiwan. Even though “Mandarin” is the language that is actually spoken the most.

If you take a closer look at the Chinese loanwords in English, you'll see that English has adopted some pretty cool Chinese words!

34. Dim sum

Dim sum is a type of food found in southern China (especially in and near Hong Kong). So the word originally comes from the Cantonese dialect.

The word originally meant "to touch the heart." Nowadays it is only used to describe a meal in a restaurant where the guests have a large selection of smaller dishes. Many of these dishes are steamed in bamboo baskets. However, other dishes such as soups and fried bread are also served.

If you have never tried dim sum before, you should definitely do so! It's delicious!

Example:

  • Tony invited us to eat Dim Sum and we had a wonderful time! The food was delicious, and the little pieces were actually easy to eat with chopsticks.
  • Tony invited us Dim Sum to eat. We had a great time! The food was delicious and the small dishes were easy to eat even with chopsticks.

35. Gung-ho

In Chinese, this term is used to say that you “work together”. In English, however, the word is used to express that one is excited or excited about something. It is commonly used as an adjective.

Example:

  • I was really gung-ho to eat dim sum, but when we got to the Chinese restaurant it was closed for a holiday! We were all really disappointed.
  • I really was excitedfrom eating dim sum. When we got to the Chinese restaurant, however, it was closed due to a public holiday! We were all really very disappointed.

36. Kung fu

Just like "karate", this is probably a word that you already recognize as it occurs in many languages ​​around the world.

Kung fu is another popular martial art. In Kung Fu, fighters usually only use their hands and feet and not weapons. Kung Fu has been shown in numerous films, TV shows, books, and also appears in English songs.

Example:

  • I'm tired of bullies beating me up. I'm going to learn kung fu so I can defend myself if they attack me again!
  • I don't feel like being bullied by villains anymore. I'm going Kung fu learn so that I can defend myself if they attack me again!

37. Tofu

This is a word that originally comes from Chinese ("dou fu"). Before it was incorporated into the English language, however, the word traveled through Japan and became “tofu” there.

In Chinese means douBeans and fumeans “fermented” or “sour”. It sounds gross when you say it that way, but tofu can be really delicious! If you haven't tried it yet, then you should definitely do it!

Example:

  • I know you're vegetarian, but this restaurant has lots of great options! For many of the dishes you can just substitute the meat with tofu or another vegetarian option.
  • I know you are a vegetarian. But this restaurant has a great variety! The meat in many dishes can simply cook through tofu or another vegetarian ingredient can be substituted.

38. Typhoon

The origin of this word is a bit complicated to trace. But it was coined by the Chinese word “Taifeng”, which means “big wind”. In addition, it is believed to have been influenced by other languages ​​such as Greek, Arabic and Portuguese.

Typhoon (typhoon) is just another name for a hurricane or cyclone. When a cyclone approaches the Pacific Ocean, near Asia, it is called a typhoon. The map on this homepage illustrates this. It's best to take a look at it.

Example:

  • In 2014 Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and caused a lot of damage. It was one of the biggest typhoons ever recorded.
  • In 2014 typhoon Haiyan reached the Philippines and caused a lot of damage. Haiyan was one of the greatest Typhoonsthat have been documented so far.

39. Yin and yang

In Chinese, Yin represents the feminine, the darkness and the night.While Yang represents the opposite, namely the masculine, the light and the day. In English, these words are used to describe opposites.

Example:

  • Mary is the yin to Peter’s yang. They’re complete opposites, but they have a happy marriage. I guess it's true that "opposites attract"!
  • Mary is that Yin and Peter that Yang. They are completely opposite, but still live in a happy marriage. I guess it's true that “opposites attract”!

Bonus words from six other languages

English has taken at least a handful of words from pretty much every major language. It is therefore unfortunately impossible to list all foreign words here. Instead, I'll just show you some of my favorite words from other languages ​​in this section.

40.Babushka (from Russian)

In Russian, this word means “grandmother”. In English, however, it usually refers to either a scarf or a head covering that looks as if it might be worn by an elderly Russian lady.

So when a girl or woman wears a scarf to keep her head warm, other people often jokingly call them “babushka”.

Example:

  • I saw an old lady wearing a babushka walking down the street. She was carrying many shopping bags and having trouble walking, so I offered to help her carry her bags.
  • I have an older lady one Babushka as she walked down the street. She carried lots of shopping bags and had difficulty walking. I offered to help her carry the shopping bags.

41.Bossa Nova (from Portuguese)

There are many Portuguese loanwords in English. For example, bossa nova means New wavein Brazilian Portuguese and is one of my favorite words.

It describes a type of relaxing music from Brazil. There are some excellent bossa nova musicians out there, but there are also some “interpretations” of modern songs in a bossa nova style. However, these are not so good.

Example:

  • You may think that you don’t know any bossa nova songs, but you almost certainly have heard a version of the "The Girl From Ipanema." It's a great bossa nova song, but it's also the stereotypical example of "elevator music."
  • You may think that you don't Bossa Nova You know songs, but you have probably already heard a version of the following song: “The Girl from Ipanema”. This is a great one Bossa Nova Song, but is also a stereotypical example of "elevator music."

42. Moped (from Swedish)

“Moped” (pronounced with two syllables: “mo-ped”) is a combination of the Swedish words for “motor” and “pedals”. It's like a bike with a motor. Many people also call scooters or small motorcycles “mopeds”, but this is technically incorrect.

Example:

  • When I got my driver’s license, I really wanted a car. But cars are too expensive, so I bought a moped from my friend Ronnie instead.
  • When I got my driver's license, I really wanted a car. But cars are so expensive so I got my friend Ronnie one instead moped bought off.

43. Paparazzi (from Italian)

“Paparazzi” is actually the plural of the Italian word paparazzo. In English it is used to refer to a photographer or group of photographers who take pictures of celebrities. Paparazzi sell their photos to magazines or newspapers.

The job of a paparazzi is not exactly a popular occupation as it often harasses the celebs. Even so, they were the subject of a famous song a few years ago.

Example:

  • When Princess Diana died in 1999, many people believed that the paparazzi were responsible for her death. Those photographers were constantly following her everywhere.
  • When Princess Diana died in 1999, many people believed that the paparazzi were responsible for her death. These photographers have always followed her everywhere.

44.Sheikh (from Arabic)

A sheikh is a ruler or leader of a group of people in the Arab-speaking world. In English it is used as a title for rulers of some countries, instead of words like “king” or “president”.

For example, the current ruler of Dubai is Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, this man is a sheikh.

Example:

  • When meeting sheikhs, many foreign leaders hold hands with them as a sign of respect or friendship.
  • When foreign executives deal with Sheikhs meet, then hold their hands as a sign of friendship and respect.

45. Taekwondo (from Korean)

We come to our last word. We look again at a term that comes from martial arts or martial arts. In Korean, “taekwondo” means something like “kick fist art” (pretty cool, isn't it ?!) and in English it is used to refer to the popular martial art.

Example:

  • After writing this article, I now want to learn a martial art. I’d like to learn taekwondo, but I want to learn how to use swords and other weapons, so it might not be the best option for me.
  • After writing this article, I felt like learning a martial art. I would like to Taekwondo try, but I would also like to learn how to use swords and other weapons. Maybe it is Taekwondo but not the best option for me.

Wow! That was a lot of words at once! But I am sure that you will have no difficulty learning them. In fact, you've probably heard some of them before.

See you next rendesvouz! I hope you will gung-hobe away from learning new foreign words that English took over from other languages! Adios, amigos!


Ryan Sitzmanteach English and from time to time German in Costa Rica. His great passions are learning, coffee, traveling, writing, photography, books and films. Not necessarily in that order, however. You can find out more about him by contacting him on the Sitzman ABC homepage.

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