Anglicisms and their Influence on Other Languages

Essay, 2008

6 Pages, Grade: 2,3


Alexander Täuschel


Anglicisms and their Influence on Other Languages

(1) The Importance of the English Language

English is world language number one. English is now most widely taught as a foreign language in over 100 countries (Algeria amongst them, in exchange of French) and a quarter of the world’s population is already fluent or competent in English (1.5 billion and steadily growing), which is more than people speaking Mandarin Chinese (1.1 billion).

Why a language is made global language has not so much to do with the number of people speaking it, but who those speakers are, for it will be those, who have politi- cal/military, and economic power. Other reasons might be aesthetic qualities, clarity of ex- pression, literary power, religious standing.

The language can only succeed on the international stage, if the people who use it suc- ceed. In the case of English, British colonialism had sent the English language around the globe during the 19th century. Throughout the 20th century this presence was maintained through the economic supremacy of the US, because the language behind the Dollar was and is English.

(2) What are Anglicisms? / Direct Loaning

According to Görlach (1994), most languages of the world have been affected by the ex- pansion of English in the course of the past 100 years. The value of the English language can be illustrated by the big influence it has on so many other languages. This influence leads to the act of borrowing of (more or less) useful words from the English language and recording them in foreign languages, so-called loan words, or – in the case of words from the English language – anglicisms. In linguistics, this straight process is referred to as direct or primary loaning like Hot Dog or personal computer.

In many cases, the pronunciation of such borrowed English terms tends to adjust to the recipient language’s phonological system:

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It can also be adapted to the spelling system or to the declension of the guest-language, as for example German die Teste (also: tests; orig. tests) shows.

In the case of English borrowing into the German language, the introducing of the “Neue deutsche Rechtschreibung” has stabilised borrowed English expressions by germanising them like:

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(3) The Process of Indirect (or Secondary) Loaning

The process of direct loaning stands opposed to the process of indirect or secondary loaning, which describes the loaning of words to other languages mediated via another lan- guage.

Example: wagon (AE), waggon (BE)

According to Viereck et al. (2002), the emphasizing of the second syllable as well as the meaning of railway carriage tells us that the word has probably been borrowed from the French language, before it has been loaned into German, Dutch, Italian, presumably also Spanish. The German language on its part has loaned it to Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Croatian and Serbian. Thus, French has been a transmitting medium, then German.

(4) Pseudo Anglicisms

Another phenomenon is the “making up” of anglicisms, so-called pseudo anglicisms. It may additionally point out the international prestige status of the English language; but in fact such made up expressions do not exist in the English language, despite their Anglophone characteristic:

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The following words have entered Dutch dictionaries, butnot (yet) English dictionaries:

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In Hungarian and French:

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These examples show that all borrowings from the English language qualify as angli- cisms, while not all anglicisms are in fact the result of a borrowing process.

Particularly in German-speaking areas, the creating of pseudo anglicisms occurs rela- tively frequently. Since those pseudo anglicisms originate within the German language, they cannot be considered borrowings in terms of lexical unity, rather are they marked as English signs in German. And they represent the word formational capabilities of the German lan- guage.

(5) Hybrid Anglicisms

Hybrid anglicisms are based on a combination of English borrowings with elements of the receptor language. Two examples for hybrid anglicisms in German would be Wunderkids (orig.: miracle kids) and Zukunftstrip (orig.: future trip). Another example would be internet- fähig, a combination of the nomal Anglicism internet plus the German adjectival head fähig.


Excerpt out of 6 pages


Anglicisms and their Influence on Other Languages
University of Frankfurt (Main)  (Institut für England- und Amerikastudien)
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ISBN (eBook)
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Anglicisms, Influence, Other, Languages, Magisterprüfung
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M.A. Alexander Täuschel (Author), 2008, Anglicisms and their Influence on Other Languages, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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