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Poll: Do you use many foreign words in your native language?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Local time: 21:50
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Jun 6, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use many foreign words in your native language?".

This poll was originally submitted by Cristina Heraud-van Tol. View the poll results »



 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 13:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Jun 6, 2016

English is full of 'em.

[Edited at 2016-06-06 09:10 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:50
French to English
Yes, often Jun 6, 2016

French is full of 'em too. Lots of English words and lots of Latin phrases too.
What's funny is that some bog standard ordinary Latin expresssions used in French are erudite when used in English and vice versa.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:50
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Mea culpa Jun 6, 2016

I don't use them ad nauseam, but a soupçon of the foreign can give the text a certain je ne sais quoi.

 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:50
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Who doesn't? Jun 6, 2016

In this interconnected world, every language is full of foreign words. I dare say I use them only when appropriate, unlike many of my countrymen (mainly politicians).

 

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 05:50
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 6, 2016

Julian Holmes wrote:

English is full of 'em.

[Edited at 2016-06-06 09:10 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 6, 2016

I understood 'foreign words' to mean those that haven't been incorporated in the large unabridged dictionaries.

I try to use words that my listener will understand. Most of the people I meet won't understand me if I sprinkle my language with foreign words, but if I'm with my Brazilian family, I rarely go more than 4 or 5 sentences without inserting a Portuguese word. We mix it up all the time.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes and No Jun 6, 2016

German is full of them, and an end of continuously added anglicisms is not in sight. Do I like it? No. Can I change it? Not really.

[Edited at 2016-06-06 11:44 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't understand what is meant... Jun 6, 2016

Are we talking about the oral or the written form of the language? Are we talking about foreign words that have been incorporated in Portuguese and are now part and parcel of the language or about newly coined words?

 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:50
French to German
+ ...
No Jun 6, 2016

No, I try to avoid them whereever possible. I find the excessive use of anglicisms in German (or any other language for that matter) often fairly ridiculous, especially when English terms are used incorrectly or pronounced the wrong way.

What really makes my blood boil are 'proofreaders' who think they should add some unnecessary anglicisms to my translations. I don't know what they are trying to achieve. Even texts aimed at a younger target audience often appear silly when riddled with too many anglicisms. They just come across as a very desperate attempt to be 'hip' but don't succeed.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes. More than I should, in some people's opinion Jun 6, 2016

I was brought up to be conscious of languages - my parents worked and played with languages all the time. My mother was an Oxford English scholar and my father taught Greek, translated the New Testament into Marathi... and could read several other Indian and European languages.

At school in my generation we learnt languages as an accomplishment, just as people played musical instruments or painted or practised sports. We didn't ask what use it was or expect to make a living from it. It was part of the culture I grew up in.

Everyone knew at least a smattering of French, and many people were quite fluent. Latin was still more or less compulsory for anyone with ideas about an academic education.

My adopted language, Danish, has its own 'Danglish' expressions, which I try to avoid, but it has adopted a lot of English officially in recent years. Here I mean English with Latin and Greek roots especially - English already has a great many expressions we picked up from the Vikings 1000 years ago.

I find it hard at times to decide what actually is 'foreign' - words I thought everyone understood, which have been accepted as English for generations, have fallen out of favour in some circles!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3362150/Councils-ban-elitist-and-discriminatory-Latin-phrases.html

I can't imagine why anyone should confuse e.g. with egg, but some do get egg on their faces when they don't know the difference between e.g. and i.e.

exempli gratia - for example
id est - that is (to say) ...


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Wenglish Jun 6, 2016

Inevitably Welsh is heavily anglicised. English words form part of most sentences, numbers and dates are almost always in English, and in male conversations the most widely used adjective by far is "far-king" (literally every third or fourth word among farmers).

The language is purer up north, but over by us only extremists say "cyfriadur" when they could say "computer". While I can just about understand carrots being called "carrots" instead of "moron", I could never bring myself to use the singular form "carrotsen" rather than "moronen".

The local garage offers the following services: "battris, teiars, brecs, egsosts". All very practical.

It's hard to tell whether this is killing the language or keeping it alive.


 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:50
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Some Jun 6, 2016

I understood the question as "are many foreign words used in your native language"?

Whether I use them or not (professionally or privately) is another point.
As a matter of fact, I remember leggings being fashionable when I was at uni. Back then we called them "caleçon". Now the same thing is back in fashion, with a new name, meant to sound like "leggings" but sounding rather silly to me (more like "layguine"). I suppose it's all about marketing and lack of imagination, as well as the assumption that anything in franglais has something cool about it.


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:50
English to German
+ ...
yes, a lot Jun 6, 2016

The Germn of Switzerland is full of them:
Tea Room, Coiffeur, Trottoir, Chauffeur, Reservation, Billett, Billeteur, Cheminée, Crème etc.


 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Other - don't understand the question Jun 6, 2016

Is this a question of whether "my native language uses a lot of foreign words" or "whether I mix in a lot of foreign words in my native language"?

And by "foreign words" should I include anything that doesn't stem form Old Norse, or limit myself to recent loan words that haven't yet been given a "grammatical treatment" (conjugation, plural form etc.)?


 
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