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Words Used Worldwide

There are 196 countries in the world and English is the official language in 60 of these. Even in countries where this language is not official, many English words are borrowed and used on a daily basis. Furthermore, many even appear on foreign language dictionaries.

For example, if you’re looking to start business in other countries, fear not as many English words are used in that area too.

Terms such as marketing, management, treasury and training have the same meaning in Germany as they do in England or the US. If you travel to South America or Spain, you’ll find that many words such as data entry, CEO and project manager are widely used too.

Shopping is never too hard abroad when item names are pronounced in English. The dinner jacket or tuxedo in Spanish and Italian is referred to as the smoking whilst everyone knows what you’re talking about if you say blazer and jeans. In France “les tennis” refers to sneakers and you will also hear Germans talk about t-shirts and pullovers (pronounced “pulovah”).

Nevertheless, it’s not only English words that the world borrows. Many terms we often use in English actually have an exotic origin.

Karaoke in Japanese means “empty orchestra” and is used a lot in Western culture.

Shmuck is a word which is heavily used in US English but not so much in UK English. Few people know however that it actually comes from Yiddish and means “penis”.

The French language has provided with hundreds of words such as: embassy, passport, arcade, croissant and mayonnaise.

One of my favorites: wanderlust actually derives from two German words: wander (to hike) and Lust (desire). Today it is used to mean a strong desire to travel.