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Subject: fútbol
Question: Is there a name for words derived from another language, like fútbol from football, that sound like the original, but aren't direct translations? Football would translate roughly to ''bola del pie'' in Spanish. I've been wondering this for a long time. Thank you. Marc Arndt
Reply: Hi, Marc, As Drs. Pyatt & Cruz-Ferreira answered, the term is 'borrowing'. We could say a bit more about this phenomenon: usually the initial person who takes the term into the new language is bilingual (at least partially). Depending on the speakers' fluency in the 'lending' language, the word may be pronounced more or less like it is in the original language. However, as the word becomes more and more integrated into the borrowing language, it will tend to lose distinctive phonetic aspects of its pronunciation, and become more like 'native' words (indeed, this process is often referred to as 'nativization' or even, in English examples, as 'Anglicization'). Until this process has terminated, which may take years or longer in some cases, many borrowings will retain at least some non-native aspects (for example, in English, word-final main stress, which is extremely unusual in 'native' words, and so is taken by speakers as a mark of 'foreignness', or even as a 'European borrowing'; if the word has such marks of foreignness as final accent, speakers may even change vowels they know are 'native' and peculiar to English, like the [ae] in to the 'European' variant [a]; or vice versa: if the word is the name, e. g., of an obviously foreign person, such as the name 'Tanis' for a kid who speaks with a Spanish accent, and pronounces his name as ['tanis], most American kids would pronounce the name as [tuh'nis]. Obviously, there are a lot of complexities in the borrowing phenomenon, and many linguists have analyzed borrowings from a large number of languages into a large number of other languages, so we know something about this phenomenon and its regularities. Hope this helps. Jim
Reply From: James L Fidelholtz      click here to access email
Date: 06-Sep-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: fútbol    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (05-Sep-2013)
  2. Re: fútbol    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (05-Sep-2013)
  3. Re: fútbol    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (10-Sep-2013)

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