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10 English Words BORROWED From Other Languages (French, Japanese, Chinese etc.)

Eat Sleep Dreamers the English language is
made up of words from around the world. We have borrowed words from every language that
I can think of. I mean, more than half of the English words are from either Latin or
French, that’s incredible. So today we’re going to look at the top ten words the world
has given the English language. I think you are going to like this one guys and all that
is coming right up after we meet another Eat Sleep Dreamer. Our first word comes from French. Now I told
you guys there are many French words in the English language. I think it’s something like
thirty percent which is incredible. Really that is absolutely huge, isn’t it? Now the
first word we’re going to look at today is entrepreneur. And that is somebody that starts
a business. I’m seeing this word used a lot in the media on social media, entrepreneur
it’s a fantastic word. The stress is on the last syllable entrepreneur. An example sentence
‘I know a lot of people that want to be an entrepreneur.’ Ok, let’s look at number two. Our next word is from Italian, paparazzi.
Paparazzi are the group of freelance photographers that follow you know celebrities or high-profile
people in order to take photographs of them and then sell it for a high price. The famous
case that I remember was Lady Diana being chased by the paparazzi and she would always
have photographers trying to take photographs of her and that put a lot of pressure on her.
That’s obviously a negative example but yeah the photographers that try to take photos
of film stars musicians, they are called the paparazzi. An individual is a paparazzo but
the noun, the larger noun is paparazzi. Now as you can see the pronunciation is very English,
it’s not how an Italian would say this word. Whenever we borrow a word we put it into our
own pronunciation so paparazzi is how I would say it. The stress is on the third syllable
‘paparazzi’ An example sentence ‘there are loads of paparazzi waiting outside the restaurant.’
Our third word is from German and it is ‘doppelganger’. This is an amazing word, I love this one.
This basically means somebody looks exactly the same as you but they are not you, they
are not your twin but they look exactly like you. The stress is on the first syllable doppelganger.
‘Dude, there is a doppelganger of you at my work.’ Now Chinese has given English so many words
as well and this is my favourite phrase of all ‘chop chop’. So I think it’s from Cantonese
and it’s a kind of mangled version of the original Chinese. But it basically means hurry
up, like quickly quickly. So imagine you are trying to get your children to school and
they are taking ages putting on their shoes you might say to them ‘come on guys, chop
chop’ like ‘come on! Hurry up!’ Is kind of what you mean there. So chop chop just means
hurry up, do it quicker and it comes from, originally from Chinese. I love that phrase
Chop Chop. Number five comes from Japan and Japan has
given so many words to British English particularly modern British English. And this word is emoji.
Emoji stands for picture character I believe in Japanese and yeah we now use it all the
time in our Whatsapp messages or in our instant messaging, whatever it might be. We use the
schwa at the beginning ’emoji’ and the stress is on the second syllable ’emoji’. Example
sentence ‘I love using emojis’. Number six is actually a Yiddish word. Now
the Yiddish language is the historical language of the Ashkenazi Jews and there are a lot
of words that have come from the Yiddish language into particularly British English. This one
is one of my favourites. “Klutz’ it’s a noun and it describes somebody that is very accident-prone,
they are very clumsy. So if you are always dropping things, knocking things over, spilling
drinks or you are always falling over you could be described as a klutz. Somebody that
has the characteristic of someone that is very clumsy and accident-prone. I love this
word. ‘Oh he’s such a klutz.’ ‘oh my God!’ So somebody that drops something you can say
‘oh what a klutz.’ Of course loads of Spanish words have made
it into the English language and this one is perhaps the most famous, siesta. It’s a
noun and it means a short sleep. Usually after lunch but we use it more generally to just
talk about any kind of short sleep. Now in English we could also use nap to have a nap.
So in the afternoon, let’s say it’s a Sunday afternoon and you are feeling kind of tired
‘I’m just going to have a nap’ or ‘I’m just going to have a siesta’ So you could say either,
you could say nap siesta, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone kind of knows what siesta
means now in English so yeah it’s up to you. As I said before French has given English
so many words and so many phrases. And in fact we use the French phrases so much that
we don’t even have an English phrase for this. So when you are about to start dinner or start
a meal you would say to everyone ‘bon appetit’ and it means enjoy your food but there is
no phrase in English to describe the same thing so we would just say bon appetit. Students
have asked me ‘Tom what do you say in English when people say bon appetit?’ and I say ‘we
say bon appetit.’ Like I don’t think there is another phrase. Like enjoy your meal everyone
perhaps. Bon appetit is the perfect phrase for it. Also when someone is going on holiday
you could say ‘bon voyage’ and that means like have a good holiday. So yeah that’s also
a nice phrase that we’ve taken from French. This is by far my favourite French phrase
to come into English ‘deja vu’. Now deja vu is that strange feeling you get when you think
that you have experienced this situation before. You feel like you’ve been here, you’ve done
this thing. Everything was exactly like this, really strange feeling. So maybe you meet
somebody and you are like ‘I’ve got this strange sense of deja vu.’ Like I’ve met them before
or you know like we’ve been in this situation before. Really strange feeling, deja vu. Now
this os by far my favourite French word to come into the English language, deja vu. It’s
that strange sense that you get that you’ve. Alright, I’m just joking we have actually
done this before. I was just joking. Alright, next one, next one. The final word is from India and I think from
the Hindi language which is guru. And it means kind of teacher but what has happened now
is that it’s been taken into the English language and used to mean a broad meaning of teacher.
So for example if you are a social media guru that means you are an expert in social media.
If you are a management guru then you are an expert in management. So it’s taken a form
to mean like an expert in something. So it’s not just generically a teacher it’s now come
to mean an expert in English. So guru, a guru. You could be a love guru which is an expert
about love. So yeah I like that one, I think that’s pretty good. I’m going to be an English
guru. Yeah, i like the sound of that. I’m going to be an English guru. That sounds way
too impressive, I’m definitely not an English guru. Now why do i think it’s important to know
where these words come from? Well, I think obviously language is a part of culture and
in the words you get to understand the history of Britain and the English language. You’ve
got the movement of people so the French coming to conquer England and leaving their words
within the English languages. You’ve got colonialism with Britain colonising India so then you
have the influence of Indian words into English there. You’ve got technology, so for example
look at Japan and they’re creating technology and giving words to the English language.
Of course you’ve got food as well and I mean Italy with all their incredible food has given
us things like pizza and spaghetti. So these words come from so many different places and
it’s an amazing way to kind of understand the movement of people and culture and the
way the world is kind of sharing everything that it has with each other. So I think understanding
where words come from is a fascinating part of learning a language. Guys in the comments below I want you to write
in the words that the English language has borrowed from your language. So whatever they
are I want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the Eat Sleep Dream English community.
That would be amazing. if you’ve enjoyed this lesson please give it a big thumbs up. Make
sure you subscribe and also hit the notification bell so that you don’t miss a single lesson.
Because I release new lessons every Tuesday and every Friday teaching you fresh modern
British English. Thank you so much for watching guys, this is Tom, the Chief Dreamer, saying

100 Replies to “10 English Words BORROWED From Other Languages (French, Japanese, Chinese etc.)”


  • Hello. It was an amazing video again. I presume the word ‘yoghurt’ was taken from the Turkish language.
    By the way, do you know any British YouTubers who have bullet journal or hand lettering channels? I watch a lot of these sort of videos.
    Thanks a lot.
    P.S. I recommend your channel to my students as well. I think i yours has the best content.

  • 'Doppelgänger' shocked me. I didn't know that the letters ä/ö/ü (in german 'Umlaute') are in the English language at all, even if it's a word from a foreign language. The only german word I knew so far was kindergarden. For that, a very interesting lesson for me. Thanks!

  • nice video, I didn't know many words, I remember siesta from Madonna's song Isla Bonita but I wasn't sure this word was part of English.

  • Not a single word from Tunisia !😄
    Paparazzi is also used in French.
    It's nice to hear that 30% of English words are borrowed from French. Because I'm good at this language so it may help me to learn English.
    I often use :
    – bizarre ( weird, odd)
    – souvenir ( I bought many souvenirs from Malaysia)
    -café (coffee shop)

  • The phrase "running amok" means for someone to be out of control, especially when they're armed and dangerous. It was adopted into English from the Portuguese amouco which in turn originated from the Malay amok. Back then, the word "amok" was associated with individuals (often men) who went into a frenzy, carrying a weapon trying to either kill or seriously injure anyone in their path. These "amok" episodes were a common occurrence in the older days of Malaya.


    English language borrowed lots of greek words, that's the link that shows some of them but there are a lot more ( i know bc i had a project on this topic 😂😉 )

  • I am Italian and, yes, paparazzi is pronounced more or less in that way (despite the R; in italian the R sounds is somewhat stronger as in spanish) and yes, probably the italian vocabulary that England inherited from us, mostly concerns food, like spaghetti, pizza, grappa, pesto etc. Maybe you have inherited more non-food words from latin than from italian, like i.e. and e.g. as you said in another video

  • Nice video mate. Thanks a lot for doing these.
    Just two words I think is from Norway/Scandinavia; fjord and skiing.

    Much obliged A Norwegian

  • The Speeches of Professor Xenofon Zolotas
    In 1957 and 1959, the Greek economist Professor Xenofon Zolotas, Governor of the bank of Greece and Governor of the Funds for Greece, delivered two speeches in English using Greek words only. As Prof. Zolotas said:

    "`I always wished to address this Assembly in Greek, but I realized that it would have been indeed Greek to all present in this room. I found out, however, that I could make my address in Greek which would still be English to everybody. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I shall do it now, using with the exception of articles and prepositions only Greek words".

    First speech – September 26, 1957
    " Kyrie,

    I eulogize the archons of the Panethnic Numismatic Thesaurus and the Ecumenical Trapeza for the orthodoxy of their axioms, methods and policies, although there is an episode of cacophony of the Trapeza with Hellas.

    With enthusiasm we dialogue and synagonize at the synods of our didymous Organizations in which polymorphous economic ideas and dogmas are analyzed and synthesized.

    Our critical problems such as the numismatic plethora generate some agony and melancholy. This phenomenon is characteristic of our epoch. But, to my thesis, we have the dynamism to program therapeutic practices as a prophylaxis from chaos and catastrophe.

    In parallel, a panethnic unhypocritical economic synergy and harmonization in a democratic climate is basic.

    I apologize for my eccentric monologue. I emphasize my eucharistia to you Kyrie, to the eugenic and generous American Ethnos and to the organizers and protagonists of this Amphictyony and the gastronomic symposia.''

    Prof. Xenofon Zolotas

    Second speech – October 2, 1959
    " Kyrie,

    It is Zeus' anathema on our epoch for the dynamism of our economies and the heresy of our economic methods and policies that we should agonise between the Scylla of numismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia.

    It is not my idiosyncrasy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists. Although they emphatically stigmatize numismatic plethora, energize it through their tactics and practices.

    Our policies have to be based more on economic and less on political criteria.

    Our gnomon has to be a metron between political, strategic and philanthropic scopes. Political magic has always been antieconomic.

    In an epoch characterised by monopolies, oligopolies, menopsonies, monopolistic antagonism and polymorphous inelasticities, our policies have to be more orthological. But this should not be metamorphosed into plethorophobia which is endemic among academic economists.

    Numismatic symmetry should not antagonize economic acme.

    A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and numismatic archons is basic.

    Parallel to this, we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and numismatic policies panethnically.

    These scopes are more practical now, when the prognostics of the political and economic barometer are halcyonic.

    The history of our didymous organisations in this sphere has been didactic and their gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economics. The genesis of the programmed organisations will dynamize these policies. I sympathise, therefore, with the aposties and the hierarchy of our organisations in their zeal to programme orthodox economic and numismatic policies, although I have some logomachy with them.

    I apologize for having tyrannized you with my hellenic phraseology.

    In my epilogue, I emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous autochthons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you, Kyrie, and the stenographers."

    Prof. Xenofon Zolotas

  • You don't refer (WHY???)that the 25% of English words derive from GREEK. did you know that British is a GREEK word??salt, salary, disaster, school, church, xerox, write and so many others……… THE LIST IS HUGE

  • So many words from the greek language Tom, like: biology, dialogue, ethnology,geography, geometry,
    orthopedic,anatomy etc. Especially in the medical volabulary!

  • Here some words from

    Borshch beet soup

    From Russian:
    Babushka grandmother

    Balalaika a musical instrument with three strings

    Matryoshka also Russian nested doll, stacking doll, Babushka doll, or Russian doll

    Troika threesome or triumvirate; or a sleigh, drawn by three horses abreast.

    Ushanka ear-flaps hat


  • Hi… Saludos from La Paz, Baja Peninsula, México. I love watching your vídeos…and I love british english btw..

  • That's honestly a super lesson..plz provide us with more loan words in're a super English guru. .

  • We have a delicious food (which is actually a kind of stew) called "gulyás" here and you borrowed it and changed it to "goulash". I insist on you trying this out if you haven't yet, it's fantastic 🙂
    And I also think that you should've included the English word for a long-distance bus, "coach"; since it comes from the Hungarian phrase: "kocsi" [kɔtʃi] (mainly used for cars but anyways…)
    PS: I really like your videos and the quality of content you upload.

  • Do you use this words with special symbols like "bon appétit" or "bon appetit" it is correct?

    I think that a fewer of Polish words are using in English. Maybe some swears like "ku*wa" and especially food "pierogi", "bigos" but you have own names to these words. 😀

  • The word ,,Robot,, comes from Czech 😄. Plus I'd like mention, "you are an awesome english guru 😁." Looking for next lesson 👍.

  • The word “Robot” is borrowed from slavic languages. As I heard, it was borrowed from Polish.

  • Hello Tom! How nice a video! Well, as far as I know English language has borrowed loads of vocabulary from greek and latin, which are both ancient languages.Especially in the field of education greek words are dominant. Examples can be the words : mathematics (μαθηματικά), biology (βιολογία), chemistry(χημεία) , pedagogy (παιδαγωγία) , geometry( γεωμετρία) , dinosaur (δεινόσαυρος) etc. Obviously, they are a little changed since we use a different alphabet .Check this video!
    Also,English, as a modern and relatively new language, has been influenced by French and German. Well I hope my comment will provide food for thought! Greetings from Greece!

  • The main reason why there is so much French in English is because Britain occupied France in the Middle Ages for a while. Paris was under English control for over 50 years.
    The famous King “ Richard the lion heart “could hardly speak English himself . I think it was a very positive influence after all.

  • You've got interesting question , so I googled some words origin from Czech rep. : robot, kolache or pistol 🙂

  • 'Guru' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'Teacher'. Of course, a teacher has to be an expert in the subject he teaches! The Sanskrit word for an 'Expert ' is 'Pundit'. Here are a few more:
    'Karma' , 'Dharma' , 'Nirvana', 'Avatar', from Sanskrit. 'Mango' is from the Tamil word 'Mangay'. 'Teak' is from the Malayalam word 'Taek'. 'Catamaran' is from the Tamil word 'Kattu Maram'. 'Bandanna' from Hindi 'Bandanna'. 'Bandicoot' from Telugu 'Pandi Kokku' 'Anaconda' from Tamil 'Aanai Gundan'. 'Cheroot' from Tamil 'Suruttu'.'Pariah' from Tamil 'Paraya'. 'Calico' from 'Calicut' a town in Kerala, India.

  • I can confirm that the Italian pronunciation for paparazzi is slightly different but not that different. It comes from a Fellini movie called "la dolce vita". Paparazzo is the surname of the photographer chasing the actress who bathes in the Trevi fountain or so I think… thanks for the video!

  • Largely used in England as a term of endearment, from the wiki, the word Blighty derives from "bilayati", a regional variant of the Hindi word "vilayati", meaning "foreign". Vilayati came to be known as an adjective meaning European, and specifically English. In 1929, the writer Robert Graves attributes the term "Blitey" to the Hindustani word for "home" in India. (Hindi-Urdu vilāyatī (विलायती, ولايتى) "foreign", ultimately from Arabo-Persian ولايتي "provincial, regional".)

  • American English is a mixture of four languages, Engel, Saxon, French and Latin. But if course Latin invades from all three. The closest language to English is Frisian. I grew up in Belgium and emigrated in to the USA in 2968

  • As I remember the word "spruce" comes indirectly from Polish language. In XVI century the English imported large quantity of wood to build ships from Poland (exactly from Prussia that was Polish province). In Polish language to express that something comes from Prussia one says "z Prus" (spru:s).

  • Here are some from Portuguese:
    albatross, banana, buffalo, caramel, cobra, embarrass, marmalade, mosquito, potato, stevedore, tank, zebra.

  • There many English words that are orginally Arabic

    Written in Arabic as: قهوة
    2- Giraffe
    Written in Arabic as: زرافة zaraffa

    3- Algebra
    Written in Arabic as:الجبر aljabr
    4- Sofa
    Written in Arabic as: صفّة suffah
    5- Sugar
    Written in Arabic as:سكر
    6- Cotton
    Written in Arabic as: قطن qutn
    7- Safari
    Written in Arabic as: سفر safar
    8- Alchemy
    Written in Arabic as: الكيميا All Kim iambic
    9- Tariff
    Written in Arabic as: تعريف ta"rif

    10- Gazelle
    Written in Arabic as: غزال gazal

  • Most of the words in English have the origin in a former language.

    I hope it stays as an international languages, because it deserved to be one!

  • You only say and know bon appetit? My dictionary says you can also say "enjoy your meal", and I have also heard of people that use it.

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