The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) documented many of the words that these new English-speaking communities added to the vocabulary. Many of these words are borrowings from other languages with which English is in constant contact, such as lepak (wandering aimlessly) from Malay, deurmekaar (confused, confused) from Afrikaans, kaveera (a plastic bag) from Luganda, and whÄngai (an adopted child and adoption itself) from Maori, which may be unknown to British English speakers but are characteristic words of Malaysian English. South African English, Ugandan English and New Zealand English. A guardian is a guardian or protector who cares about the well-being of others or their property. In legal language, the guardian is usually used as an alternative to “parent.” Contrary to popular belief, multilingualism, rather than monolingualism, is the norm, with various reports estimating that between 60% and 75% of the world`s population can speak more than one language. And in a multilingual and digitally connected world, where more and more people are brought together by common interests and goals, and not just geographical proximity, the exchange of words between languages and cultures has accelerated. Guardians are often adults who can make legal decisions for children who are not their own. Sometimes they also take care of themselves, just like a parent. A guardian angel is a figure that some people believe (seriously or jokingly) watches over and protects them. The term is also used to describe people who believe they are “keeping” something important, such as morality, culture, or fashion. As part of Oxford University Press` “Gift of Words” campaign this year, we asked people who speak more than one language to “give” a word from their mother tongue to their second language and vice versa.
The responses we have received so far highlight even more words that multilingual English speakers have had to borrow from their other languages because there was no direct equivalent in English: words like saudade (nostalgic nostalgia) from Portuguese, gezellig (a feeling of comfort and friendliness) from Dutch, nomakanjani (whatever happens) from isiZulu and apapacho (affection, Consolation) of Nahuatl on Spanish. Meanwhile, the Japanese coined the word skinship and the South Koreans popularized it, a mixture of the words skin and kinship that refers to the close physical contact between parent and child or between lovers or friends. Changing our attitude towards multilingualism and linguistic variation is crucial to combat linguistic prejudices that lead to discrimination against people who do not use the “right” words or speak with the “wrong” accent. Despite all that they have contributed to the enrichment of English, many speakers of variants other than standard British or American English are still ridiculed or lose educational or professional opportunities because they are effectively denied the right to use their own language as they wish. Referring to these loanwords as “gifts” is an important realignment, as many place the purity of the language above diversity and see external influences as a threat to the integrity of a language. However, this is at odds with how language works, as borrowing words is part of the natural evolution of all living languages. English is particularly notable for its ability to absorb elements from other languages, and the aforementioned loanwords join a variety of others that English borrowed much earlier in its history from Old Norse, Norman French, Latin and Ancient Greek, including keywords such as egg, fashion, universe and economy. Speakers of the world`s varieties of English are renewing their vocabulary to better express their identity, culture and everyday realities. In Hong Kong, people shout oil as a sign of encouragement or support, a term literally translated from Cantonese gä yáu, referring to gasoline injected into an engine. In the Philippines, many homes have a dirty kitchen, which is not really a dirty kitchen in the sense you think, but an outdoor kitchen where most of the real cooking is done – a necessary convenience in a tropical country where it`s best to avoid the heat and smells inside. In Nigeria, a Mama Put is a street food stall, and its name comes from the way its customers usually order food: They say, “Mom, put the woman who holds the stall and show the dish they want so it can be put on her plate. Today, the predominance of English as the language of science, technology, business, diplomacy and entertainment has given many people around the world a strong incentive to acquire the language.
From Brazil to South Korea, from Spain to Indonesia, millions of people are learning English, and they too are shaping its development. Only if we share responsibility for English and embrace the language in all its diversity can it truly be a gift for everyone. Who owns the English language? The answer to this question is no longer as simple as “the English”. According to the latest figures from the British Council, English is “spoken at a useful level” by around 1.75 billion people. This huge English-speaking population includes not only the hundreds of millions of people who speak English as their mother tongue, but also the hundreds of millions of others who speak it as a second or foreign language in different parts of the world. Save my name, email address, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Danica Salazar is a lexicographer at Oxford Languages, where she leads editorial projects on global varieties of English From âlepakâ to âdeurmekaarâ, terms borrowed from its 1.75 billion global speakers enrich the language we share Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * English is spreading around the world largely because of imperialism, as the language has been imposed on colonies in Asia, Africa, Australia and America.
When these former colonies gained independence, many chose to retain the use of English, generally to serve as the primary working language and neutral means of communication for their diverse populations. When countries like India, Nigeria, South Africa, Jamaica and Singapore adopted English as their language, they also adapted it – they made significant changes to its pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, giving rise to new varieties that are now collectively known as World English.