Streams

Global English: Disco

Friday, October 22, 2010

Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of the words and phrases from other languages picked up by the world's current lingua franca.

Comment below.  Nominate a word from another language that should be a part of "global English" here.

Guests:

Leslie Dunton-Downer

Comments [9]

maria from Queens

Words from other languages that made it into english

Walk about a boat, and you are essentially speaking Dutch (or viking). "Keel" is the throat of the ship, the mast in dutch is "mast" the "gangplank" is the entrance plank (probably from ingang plank), mizzenmast or middenmase from middenmast. starboard from steer-board.

Oct. 27 2010 01:19 PM
Jody

Schadenfreude- from the German, taking pleasure in the suffering of others-
Whom among us has not enjoyed seeing the "mean girl" at a high school reunion-and she looks matronly. hee hee

Oct. 22 2010 01:45 PM
Wayne R. Dynes from Manhattan

I recommend the Turkish monosyllable yok, which means "there is/are none." For example, instead of saying "yes, we have no bananas" one simply say "bananas yok." Much neater and simpler.

As far as I know yok has no equivalent in any other major language. Latin deest seems to fit the bill, but it is really two words: de and est.

Oct. 22 2010 12:25 PM
mohamed from cairo

"yalla" arabic for "lets go"
:)

Oct. 22 2010 12:02 PM
Adam from Brooklyn

The Italian word "Bo" for I don't know. More of an utterance....

Oct. 22 2010 12:01 PM
Kathy from NJ

The german word "Schadenfreude"

Oct. 22 2010 12:00 PM
Steve from Flatbush

How about the myriad French words already in English? Most anything ending in "ion," "ible," "able" et al? English is heavily indebted to French for a significant amount of its vocabulary. Thank the Norman Invasion.

Oct. 22 2010 11:59 AM
tom from uws

French has provided some of my favorite English words -
mantenaint means NOW -
which tells us when to handle maintenance issues.

But I very much enjoyed the joke when GWBush said, "The French don't know the meaning of the word 'entrepreneur'."

Oct. 22 2010 11:47 AM
Paddy from Brooklyn

Just a new word - to get a listener to renew the subscription request they had been ignoring - Deminted! " I just deminted"

Oct. 22 2010 10:37 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.