Your Words are My Words

11.04.2012

It is my impression, that not a week passes without another English word being taken into the German language. Often, a German prefix and/or suffix is added. Personally, I think that the German language is complete enough in itself, not to need foreign word additions.

Originally, I believe, certain Germans added the occasional English word, to give the listener an impression of more sophistication. Then came the computer, with its internationally used English words and expressions. Added to these, was the increase in trading world wide, which incorporated worldwide English.

It is interesting to note how some of these words, that are absorbed into German, change their usage. For example, where English uses the word ‘bully’, German uses the word ‘to mob’. In English, the meaning of ‘mob’ is different from ‘bully’. Although those two words are very similar in their meanings, the one would very rarely be used in place of the other, for the identical meaning.

Of course, we could have lots of fun playing with the various uses of the word ‘mobile’ and ‘handy’, knowing that they are also used for one particular object – a form of telephone! This transcription of words from one language to another, is not new. We only have to look at the history of English to see how many foreign words have been absorbed. There are so many English adjectives which stem from French.

In many cases, one may see slight variations of meanings, as in the case of German/English. I suppose it is naturally expected, that there is usually a variation of pronunciation for the same word. Will this language cross-over trend lead us to become more nationally integrated, in the future? Time will tell. A suitable current English saying is, ‘Don’t hold your breath.’

Glossary:

slight -   small, minimal

prefix -   first syllable, before the stem part of a word

suffix -   last syllable after the stem

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1 Kommentar zu „Your Words are My Words“

  1. I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I’ve got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…