German use of 'borrowed' English words?

As I understand it, the official attempts not to use English words, both in France and in Quebec, don’t work very well and are mostly ignored by the general population.

And the French people completely ignore them and use the word that seems best anyway.

#15 “Viewing” is frequently used for something like a wake, before a funeral.

Yep, for example - “keks” / “cake”, mentioned above, is Germanic:

Which others peoples / countries go in for linguistic purism, anyway?

So far we have the French, the Québécois, and the Icelanders.

There’s certainly a bigger element of English loan words in youth slang, mainly due to heavier exposure to the internet, pop music other things that both skew English and young, so this would serve to set heavy use of English words apart from old farts’ language, thus making it automatically ‘cool’—which, by the way, is a word that is in such regular German usage that few would immediately recognize it as being English anymore.

Which is a great loss. What’s wrong with superspitzenaffengeil? :wink:

Isn’t that a Mary Poppins song? :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, English is no different from any other language in terms of borrowing. All languages borrow, it’s the nature of the beast. English may borrow from more other languages than other languages, but that’s because English speakers have more opportunity in terms of high amounts of interaction with many other languages.

I once made a list of as many other languages as I could find that English had borrowed from. It was based on the etymologies from a single dictionary (one of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiates). I managed to find words from 216 different languages. I wrote my results up for Word Ways magazine and for a while had it up on my webpage. I no longer have a webpage, but have the html version of the article. You can download it from here or if that fails, PM me and I can send it to you.

Hmm, googling on the title and my name finds that someone quoted the entire article to a message board about the Kurdish language here. They even copied my copyright notice… I’m not sure whether to object to this or not.

You see it reasonably often in Hungarian, too, especially with technology words. A mobile phone is mobil, where rádiótelefon is the “real” Hungarian word. Komputer for számitógép (computer). Szuper, as in “super” shows up in Hungarian and Polish (spelled super in Polish). Vincseszter for “hard drive” (Winchester hard drive.) A similar genericization of a product name occurs in Polish with adidasy for gym shoes (Adidases–although that’s a German origin.) In more slangy language, I’ve heard kúl for “cool,” as in “socially/aesthetically admirable/acceptable.” Dzinsy for “jeans” in Polish. “To Google” in Polish is wyguglować. And there’s scores and scores more I can’t come up with. I grew up in a Polish-American community, but it’s difficult for me sometimes to sort out which are Polish-American words and which are words with English roots that are common in the Polish spoken in Poland. There’s tons of those kinds of Polish-English amalgams in Chicago Polish speech.

Edeka (the name of the supermarket chain) is one of the oldest brand names in Germany, going back to the 19th century. However, one typically wouldn’t think of it as being particularly hip, trendy or international, quite the opposite.

I would interpret this ad as being tongue-in-cheek, maybe even self-deprecating: a company with a vintage, old-school image trying to be modern, but at the some time making fun of the excessive use of Anglicisms (which is indeed prevalent in advertising in Germany).

I don’t understand - ‘keks’ are underpants over here.

Your profile says you’re in the UK. Do you speak German there?:dubious:

Keks are biscuits/cookies in German.

This is weird. Just this past weekend I was visiting with my very well-read brother. (I don’t read that much, myself. I just pay attention. :))

Anyway, he was talking about this book, and how he accidentally stumbled across it, and how it was one of the most entertaining and educational books he’s ever read.

He said that the book stated that what is classified as the English language today is due to way back when, when England was prone to invaders from Germany and France (as well as other nations).

Words from both German and French were left behind, and the divide is that a lot of English’s working-class words have close associations with German words, and a lot of the higher-class words have close associations with French.

So, English did more borrowing than lending, when it came to language.

English doesn’t so much borrow from Germanic languages as descend from them. When Germanic speaking tribes migrated to Britain they didn’t influence the languages already spoken there; they replaced them. Celtic languages retreated north and west to the highlands of Scotland, to Wales and to Cornwall. They were replaced by a Germanic language which, over time, became English. Following the Norman invasion English borrowed heavily from French - and, yes, as a result of this English contains a great many near-synonyms, a Germanic word and a French word meaning the same thing, or closely similar things. Often the French word is used in polite or formal contexts, the Germanic word elsewhere. So, what is a sheep on the farm becomes mutton on the dining table, a killing become murder in the courtroom, and so forth.

We’ve discussed The Mother Tongue and Bill Bryson before. He writes well but is sloppy about facts, both in this book and others that he’s written. There are many such threads, but here’s one of them:

Can someone recommend some better histories of English?

Another interesting loanword is Oldtimer, which denotes not an old guy but an old classic car.

Similarly with Shitstorm, which now appears in mainstream German news articles, but would be completely beyond the pale if a writer in the New York Times or WSJ tried to use it.

For that matter, supersexy would be doubtful in the U.S., given the prudish tendency in regulating OTA television.

The song is all about “Super” … This forced the author to become desperate for super words to use.

The apparent popularity of it may be because its bad…its getting upvotes because so as to make it stand out… I think its so bad they should delete the “like” button from it myself…

Sometimes the borrowings are based on a sort of cross-language homonym effect. When I was in Germany I used to see Kauboy chewing gum for sale, the name being pronounced just like “cowboy” in English. To drive home the point, there was a grinning cowboy pictured on the package. At the same time, though, kau- is essentially the German root word for “chew”, and Kaugummi is the word for “chewing gum”.