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Title: Anglicism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Puerto Rican slang words and phrases, Pseudo-anglicism, Celticism, Transliteration, Word coinage
Collection: English Language, False Friends, Transliteration, Types of Words, Word Coinage
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


An Anglicism may refer to

  • a) a word or construction peculiar to the English language
  • b) a word or construction borrowed from English into another language
  • c) English syntax, grammar, or meaning transposed in another language resulting in incorrect language use or incorrect translation.


  • Anglicisms in Chinese 1
  • Anglicisms in French 2
  • Anglicisms in German 3
  • Anglicisms in Polish 4
  • Anglicisms in Italian 5
  • Anglicisms in Spanish 6
  • Anglicisms in Ukrainian 7
  • Anglicisms in Finnish 8
  • Other definitions 9
  • References 10
  • See also 11

Anglicisms in Chinese

Note: Chinglish refers to poor or broken English used by native Chinese speakers, while Anglicisms in Chinese refers to appropriation of English terms, expressions, or concepts into Chinese language. These two concepts should not be confused.

  • Example of anglicism by phonetic borrowing: use of expression "巴士" (instead of "公共汽車" or "公共汽车") for "bus" in Hong Kong and Macao because of similarity in pronunciations.
  • Syntactic Anglicism: occurs when a sentence is rendered following the English word order instead of Chinese word order. For example, "网络" ("網絡") or "网路" ("網路") (network); "网" or "網" can be translated as "net".

Anglicisms in French

A distinction is made between well-established English borrowings into French, and other words and structures regarded as incorrect.

Occasionally governments of both Quebec and France have undertaken strenuous efforts to eradicate Anglicisms, with some success, although in modern times there has been a more relaxed attitude. Sometimes a new word is coined in French that succeeds in replacing the Anglicism — for instance, logiciel ("software").

However, the Académie française's directives are not always considered very appropriate; for instance, it has decreed that "online chat" be replaced by causette or parlotte, but these are terms for "chat" that are not commonly used. In Quebec a different solution has been found to translate "online chat." The word clavardage is increasingly gaining acceptance. This neologism is a portmanteau word coined from the words clavier ("keyboard") and bavardage ("chat"); an English equivalent portmanteau might be "keyversation."

Quebec French and European French tend to have entirely different Anglicisms for historical reasons. Quebec French acquired its Anglicisms in a gradual process of linguistic borrowing resulting from living among and alongside English speakers for two and a half centuries since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham of 1759. European French, on the other hand, mostly adopted its Anglicisms in recent decades due to the post-Second World War international dominance of English. Furthermore, the use of English words is less of a mark of "coolness" in Quebec than in France. Thus, the people of Quebec and France often consider each other's Anglicisms to be incorrect or humorous while considering their own to be perfectly normal. In Quebec, Anglicisms are never used in formal documentation (government papers, instruction sheets) and very rarely used in informal writing (magazines, journals). Where the use of an Anglicism is unavoidable, it is generally written in italics.

An example of a European French Anglicism not used in Quebec:

sweat: short for sweatshirt, but pronounced like the English word "sweet"

An example of a Quebec French Anglicism not used in France;

frencher: to French kiss

Another type of Anglicism is a phrase or structure that is calqued from the English. For example, the valediction Sincèrement vôtre is regarded as an Anglicism, a direct translation of the English "Sincerely yours," when a native French valediction would be more appropriate.

Because English itself borrowed a great amount of French vocabulary after the Norman Conquest, some Anglicisms are actually Old French words that dropped from usage in French over the centuries but were preserved in English and have now come full circle back into French. For instance, one attested origin of the verb "to flirt" cites influence from the Old French expression conter fleurette, which means "to (try to) seduce". (Other possible origins for the word include flit, E. Frisian flirt (a flick or light stroke) and E. Frisian flirtje (a giddy girl)). This expression is no longer used in French, but the English Gallicism "to flirt" has itself now become an Anglicism in French.

There are also some words that were borrowed from English into French centuries ago, such as clown (pronounced "kloon"), square (meaning "public square") or spleen (meaning "melancholy" rather than the organ). These are not considered Anglicisms but are fully accepted as French words by the Académie française.

Anglicisms in German

Denglisch (German spelling) or Denglish (English spelling) is a portmanteau of Deutsch and Englisch (the German words for the German and English languages). The term is used in all German-speaking countries to refer to the increasingly strong influx of English or pseudo-English vocabulary into German. Denglish is also used to refer to incorrect English that is influenced by German. To some extent, the influence of English on German can be from normal language contact. The term Denglisch is however mostly reserved for forced, excessive exercises in anglicization, or pseudo-anglicization, of the German language.

Anglicisms in Polish

Sporadic linguistic contacts between Polish and English-speaking areas have been noted at least since the 15th century. However, most early Anglicisms in Polish were mostly limited to names for places in Great Britain and the Americas.[1] The first proper Anglicisms were also related to geography and were recorded in an 18th-century work "Geografia, czyli opisanie naturalne, historyczne i praktyczne krajów we czterech częściach się zawierające" by Franciszek Siarczyński. By the end of that century there were at least 21 lexemes of English provenance in Polish usage. The 1859 dictionary of foreign words by Michał Amszejewicz contains roughly 100 Anglicisms, the so-called Vilnian dictionary of 1861 contains roughly 180 of such words.[2] The Anglicisms recorded in the 19th century were in large part words related to social, political, legal and economic concepts used in English society and lacking corresponding institutions in contemporary Poland. Another group were naval, sports-related and technical terms.[1]

Typically new words were initially being written in their original form, especially when they were used to describe English or American contexts. Such was the case of the word klub, kwakier, piknik, poncz, rum and porter.[3]

The assimilation of new English words into Polish sped up in the 20th century and gradually English replaced Czech, German, French, Italian and other languages as the primary source of new imports into the Polish language.[4] At the turn of the century there were roughly 250 English words in use, by 1961 the number of English lexemes in Polish rose to over 700, breaking 1000 lexemes in the 1980s and at least 1600 in 1994.[4]

Borrowings from English language used in modern Polish fall into a number of thematic categories:

Take note, that some of the borrowed words already have Polish equivalents and therefore are not recognized by all language users:
menadżer (manager) instead of kierownik
quad (quad bike) instead of czterokołowiec
monitoring (CCTV) instead of nadzór, dozór
W czym mogę pomóc (English: How can I help you) instead of W czym mogę służyć (English: How can I serve you).

In addition to lexical borrowings, there is also a number of calques in everyday use.

Anglicisms in Italian

Under Benito Mussolini, efforts were made to purify Italian of Anglicisms and other foreign words. Today, Italian is one of the most receptive languages for anglicisms.[5]

Anglicisms in Spanish

The Hispanisation of English words is fairly common in the United States. In Spain, the adoption of English words is extremely common in the spheres of business and information technology, although it is usually frowned upon by purists.

Anglicisms in Ukrainian

There are a lot of Anglicisms in Ukrainian language which are from many sides of human life.

Техніка: блюмінг (blooming), бульдозер (bulldozer), буфер (buffer), грейдер (grader), диспетчер (dispatcher), дисплей (display), ескалатор (escalator), каупер (cowper stove), комбайн (combine), комп'ютер (computer), конвеєр (conveyor), крекінг (cracking), принтер (printer), радар (radar), слябінг (slabbing), сейф (safe), телетайп (teletype), тендер (tender), трактор (tractor), трамвай (tramway), тунель (tunnel), файл (file), фільм (film), хонінгування (honing).

Мореплавство, військова справа: браунінг (Browning), бункер (bunker), ватерлінія (waterline), снайпер (sniper), танк (tank), танкер (tanker), траулер (trawler), шквал (squall), шрапнель (shrapnel), шхуна (schooner), яхта (yacht).

Політика (politics), економіка (economy), торгівля: банкнота (banknote), бізнес (business), блеф (bluff), блокада (blockade), бойкот (boycott), бос (boss), бюджет (budget), гангстер (gangster), демпінг (dumping), долар (dollar), інтерв'ю (interview), лідер (leader), локаут (lockout), маркетинг (marketing), менеджер (manager), менеджмент (management), мітинг (meeting), рекет (racket), трест (trust), чек (check).

Спорт (sport): аут (out), бокс (box), боксер (boxer), ватерполо (waterpolo), волейбол (volleyball), гол (goal), голкіпер (goalkeeper), матч (match), жокей (jockey), нокаут (knockout), раунд (round), рекорд (record), спаринг (sparring), спорт (sport), спортсмен (sportsman), старт (start), теніс (tennis), трек (track), тренер (trainer), фініш (finish), форвард (forward), футбол (football), хокей (hockey).

Одяг, тканини: вельвет (velvet), джемпер (jumper), піжама (pyjama), плед (plaid), плюш (plush), смокінг (smoking jacket/tuxedo).

Їжа, напої: біфштекс (beef steak), кекс (cakes), пудинг (pudding), пунш (punch), ром (rum), ростбіф (roast beef), сандвіч (sandwich).

Культура (culture): гумор (humor), джаз (jazz), клоун (clown), клуб (club), комфорт (comfort), памфлет (pamphlet), сквер (square), тент (tent), фокстрот (foxtrot), фольклор (folklore), хол (hall).

Anglicisms in Finnish

The Anglicisms can be divided to four types: direct phonetic imitation, lexical and grammatical calques, and contamination of orthography. Official language (as given by the Language Planning Office) deprecates Anglicisms, and for the most part, native constructions are sufficient even in spoken language. Nevertheless, some Anglicisms creep in.

Computer jargon is generally full of direct imitation, e.g. svappi "swap". Other jargons with abundant Anglicisms are pop music, scifi, gaming, fashion, automobile and to some extent scientific jargon. This is regarded a sign of overspecialization, if used outside the context of the jargon. Generally, direct imitation is not as common, but there are examples. For example, the word sexy [seksy], pronounced with an Y unlike in English [seksi], might be used as an adjective. This is teenager-specific.

Lexical calques take an English expression, like killer application, and produce tappajasovellus, which does mean "an application that kills" just as in English. You will need to know the equivalent English term to understand this.

Some speakers, especially those in frequent contact with the English language have created a grammatical calque of the English you-impersonal. The English impersonal utilizes the second person pronoun you, e.g. You can't live if you don't eat. Here, the word you does not refer explicitly to the listener, but signifies a general statement. The same example is rendered in Finnish as Syömättä ei elä, where a separate grammatical impersonal (also known as passiivi) is used. When translated word-by-word, Sä et elä jos sä et syö, it will refer directly to the listener. Here the contraction of spoken language is used instead of the sinä of spoken language. Then, you will need to understand that it is an Anglicism, or you can be offended by the commanding "You there!" tone produced. (There are also native examples of the same construction, so the origin of this piece of grammar may not always be English.)

An English orthographical convention is that compound words are written separately, whereas in Finnish, compound words are written together, using a hyphen with acronyms and numbers. In Finnish, prosessitekniikka and Intel 80286 -prosessori would be correct, but process engineering or Intel 80286 processor would not. Failure to join the words or omitting the hyphen can be either an honest mistake, or contamination from English.

Another orthographical convention is that English words tend to be written as the originals. For example, the computer jargon term from to chat is written as chattailla (chat + frequentative), even if it is pronounced sättäillä. The forms chattäillä or chättäillä are used, too. Sometimes, it is even standard language, e.g. sherry , instead of according to English pronunciation šeri [ʃeri].

Other definitions

In the context of Interlingua, an Anglicism is a uniquely English expression used when speaking or writing Interlingua. Many English expressions have penetrated into a wide variety of languages, making them good Interlingua expressions. Novice speakers sometimes assume that an English expression is correct Interlingua when in fact it is not sufficiently international. For example, a novice may use Lassa nos considerar le optiones to mean 'Let's consider the options', as in English. In Interlingua, however, this expression means 'Permit us to consider the options'. A more international expression is Que nos considera le optiones, literally 'That we consider the options'.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Mańczak-Wohlfeld, p. 32
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Universität Regensburg (26–28 September 2006) "Anglicisms in Europe - Universität Regensburg" Universität Regensburg. Retrieved 30 March 2013

See also

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