Did you know that, out of 196 countries that make up our world, English is the official language of 60 of them?
Did you know that, out of 196 countries that make up our world, English is the official language of 60 of them? And even in countries where English is not the official language, we see borrowed English words being used on a daily basis. And, interestingly, many of these words appear in foreign language dictionaries. If you were looking to start a business in another country, you probably wouldn’t need to be too concerned because you’ll likely find that many English words will be used in that area too!
Different Languages – Shared Words
For example, words such as management, marketing, training and treasury have the same meaning in Germany as they do in the United States or in the United Kingdom. And if you travel to Spain or South America you’ll find that many English words are used there, such as project manager, CEO, and data entry.
Even shopping abroad is not difficult when names of products are pronounced in English. The tuxedo or dinner jacket in Italian and Spanish is referred to as a smoking jacket, and everyone knows what you’re referring to when you say jeans and blazer. In Germany you’ll hear people talking about T-shirts and (pulovah) pullovers, and in France, les tennis refers to sneakers.
The English Language Borrows Words Too!
We should mention here that it’s not only English words that are borrowed – there are also terms that we use in English that have an exotic origin –
- Shmuck is a word that’s commonly used in United States English; however, it’s not often used in United Kingdom English. We’d wager that very few people realise that this word actually comes from Yiddish, and when translated, it means penis!
- Karaoke is a word that’s commonly used in Western culture: it’s a Japanese word meaning empty orchestra.
- The French language has provided us with hundreds of words, like passport, embassy, croissant, arcade, mayonnaise, and the list goes on.
- Then we have the German word wanderlust: this is derived from two German words – wander (meaning to hike) and lust (meaning desire). Today, wanderlust is a commonly-used word which simply means a strong desire to travel.