English is full of borrowed words from different languages. While it is the most widely spoken language in the world today, it is a more varied melting pot than you think. As much as 80 per cent of the English language is composed of loanwords. They have been blended, moulded, changed, mixed and adopted from a multitude of languages like Latin, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Scandinavian, Japanese, Arabic, amongst others.
And it works both ways too. Many languages of the world have also borrowed quite a few English words. Borrowing and lending of words happens because of cultural contact between two communities that speak different languages. Some of the most common loanwords are related to food, like croissant, dim sum, sushi, and many others. That’s because many foods are closely connected to a particular culture, and other languages often don’t always have words for foods from other cultures.
Try this quiz and see if you can figure out which English loanwords originate from German and which ones have their roots in Italian.
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