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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Subject: Loanword/Translation Question
Question: What is the correct terminology of this scenario?

I want to take the French word, ''Pensable'' and change the
pronunciation, while keeping the same definition.


French - Pensable (Paw-Sah-Bleh) ''imaginable''
English - Pensable (Pen-Suh-Bul) ''imaginable''

I was thinking it was a Heteronym, but it says that the
pronunciation AND the meaning are different. I just want the sound
to differ, not the definition.

Reply: That would be a loanword, as you say in your subject line. This is a technical term in linguistics.

Speakers typically adapt the pronunciation of loanwords (or borrowings, an alternative term) to the phonology of the host language, and they borrow the words precisely to mean something that words of the host language don’t mean. Pizza, internet, bungalow are examples of "international" loanwords.

Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 28-Nov-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Loanword/Translation Question    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (30-Nov-2013)
  2. Re: Loanword/Translation Question    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (28-Nov-2013)

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