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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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Query Details


Query Subject:   International Words
Author:   Karen Chung
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics
Sociolinguistics

Query:   Mon, 17 Aug 1998 18:28:24 +0800 (CST)
Karen S. Chung
karchung@ccms.ntu.edu.tw
International Words


The other day my 12-year-old daughter suggested that 'chocolate' seems to be a truly 'international word' - and offhand I couldn't think of any language I'd studied in which the word for 'chocolate' was anything but a phonetic loan of some kind. Does
anybody know of a language with a non-'chocolate'-sounding word for 'chocolate'?

And I wonder if there are any other such words, e.g. tea? Coffee? Curry? Are there any 'international' non-food words, I wonder?

Please respond to me privately and I'll post a summary if there is enough interest.

Karen Steffen Chung
National Taiwan University
karchung@ccms.ntu.edu.tw
LL Issue: 9.1151
Date posted: 17-Aug-1998



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