Words from Around the World

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The English language is so varied and rich because it’s made up of words from all around the world. Over the years, in our Word for Wednesday posts, we’ve looked at words that originate from Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, and various other roots. We’ve also looked at many loanwords. A loanword is the term given to a word which is directly borrowed from another language and used in the recipient language without being translated first.

Here at Spellzone, we’re big believers that learning a little bit about the history of a word can go a long way when it comes to working out or remembering how to spell it.  If you recognise that the word you are trying to spell has been borrowed from another language, you can assume that it might not follow the usual English spelling rules. Similarly, when you come across a new word, you might be able to break it down into parts to try to figure out what it means and how to spell it. For example, if you recognise that the Greek root ‘phob’ means ‘fear’, you can usually assume that English words which include ‘phob’ also describe fear in one way or another,for example ‘phobia’ or 'claustrophobic'.  You can learn more about Greek and Latin word roots here.
Here are some of our favourite articles on words from about the world:

American English words and their British English Counterparts 
In this article, we look at some of the differences between American English and British English. The Spellzone course teaches both British and American English spellings, depending on what the student requires, and devotes an entire unit to the differences between the two. Why not have a go at some of our free units, or join us and access the whole course?

Words from the Americas
Both British and American English are also full of words from other languages of the Americas. In this article we look at words borrowed from Native American and First Nations languages.

English Words of Indian Origin (part one and part two)
Sanskrit words have entered the English language in a variety of ways. Some are direct loanwords, while others have travelled across the world, evolving as they move from language to language, before finally being adopted into English. While you’ll definitely expect a few of these words to come from India, perhaps the origins of one or two might surprise you.

Japanese Loanwords
From ‘karaoke’ to ‘oragami’ – in this article we look at Japanese loanwords and what their direct translations into English are. 

Norse words used in Yorkshire English
As a Yorkshire-based company, we might be a little biased when we say we love this article on Old Norse words. How good is your Yorkshire English?

Words from Ireland
In this old St. Patrick’s Day post, we look at some of the ways Irish history, mythology, and folklore have influenced English words.

Whisky and Haggis
In this article, we take a closer look at some of the traditions observed at the Scottish celebration Burns Night. You can also read about other words from Scotland here.

Have a great week!


28 Jun 2016
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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill