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Grade 9
Sep 5, 2022

One of the most unique characteristics of English is the number of words and phrases it has borrowed – and continues to borrow – from other languages. 

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language. 

Foreign words and phrases help us to better understand our English language, express ourselves more clearly, and comprehend the meaning behind some expressions. 

Root Word:  A root word forms the basis of a new word and is a word by itself. 

English words of foreign origin include from a number of languages including French, German, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Hindi, Sanskrit, Chinese, and also from other countries across globe. 


Words derived from Latin and French make up 29% of the English language, respectively! Additionally, of the 1000 most commonly used words, almost 50% have French origins. 

According to surveys, the percentage of modern English words derived from each language is 29% from French, 29% from Latin, 26% from German, and 6% from Greek, the rest accounting for 6%.  

Although many words from French, German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic have been incorporated into English language, its wide usage, openness, flexibility, tolerance, as well as creativity make it possible to be the main body of international language in the merging of vocabularies. 



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