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French Loanwords in English: a Significant Influence
It's commonly estimated that about 40% of English words have French origins.
French has been a significant influence on the English language for several centuries, especially during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 introduced French-speaking rulers to England, which led to the incorporation of French vocabulary into the English language. Over time, French loanwords became commonplace in English, especially in areas such as law, literature, cooking, fashion, and the arts.
Moreover, French was once the dominant language of diplomacy, and many words and phrases used in diplomatic contexts are of French origin. French was also the language of the elite and the wealthy, and educated classes adopted French terms to demonstrate their sophistication and knowledge.
Additionally, France was a major cultural and artistic center during the Renaissance period, and many English writers, scholars, and artists were influenced by French culture, leading to the adoption of French words into English.
Today, French loanwords continue to be used in English, particularly in areas such as cuisine, fashion, and the arts. The use of French terms can also add an air of elegance, sophistication.
Look at the short story below. Can you guess how many words are of French origine, and which ones?
Write your response in the comment section. I will post the answer in the same section in a few days. Bonne chance!
Sophie paced nervously, waiting for her fiancé, Alex, to arrive.
They had planned a special rendezvous. A night at the ballet, followed by a romantic dinner at one of the city's best French restaurants.
Sophie couldn't help but feel a sense of déjà vu. She had been in this position before, waiting for a man who was never going to show up. But she pushed those thoughts aside, Alex was different.
Finally, he arrived. His limousine pulling up to the curb. The chauffeur opened the door and let her in.
On their way to the theater, they passed a lingerie boutique, and Sophie couldn't resist stopping in to pick up a souvenir of their special night. The show was incredible, and the dancers got an encore performance.
Afterwards, they made their way to the restaurant. The décor was elegant and sophisticated, with the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening. They sipped on champagne and savored each course of the exquisite cuisine, from the lobster bisque to the chocolate parfait, a delicious, decadent dessert.
A night to remember!
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