Globally Speaking: Motives for Adopting English Vocabulary in Other Languages

Edited by: Judith Rosenhouse, Rotem Kowner

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This volume accounts for the motives for contemporary lexical borrowing from English, using a comparative approach and a broad cross-cultural perspective. It investigates the processes involved in the penetration of English vocabulary into new environments and the extent of their integration into twelve languages representing several language families, including Icelandic, Dutch, French, Russian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Persian, Japanese, Taiwan Chinese, and several languages spoken in southern India. Some of these languages are studied here in the context of borrowing for the first time ever. All in all, this volume suggests that the English lexical 'invasion', as it is often referred to, is a natural and inevitable process. It is driven by psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, and socio-historical factors, of which the primary determinants of variability are associated with ethnic and linguistic diversity.

Rosenhouse and Kowner's book is a welcome addition to the literature on the global impact of English and to the research on lexical borrowing. The case studies are interesting as such, each providing a wealth of information on the status and role of English in their respective language communities in carefully contextualised analyses of the borrowing process.

World Englishes, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 151-163, 2011.

For almost a decade, Prof. Judith Rosenhouse and Prof. Rotem Kowner have led a multi-member research project on the motives for borrowing foreign lexicon, culminating with the publication of this book. Rosenhouse is a noted Israeli linguist specialized in Arabic and Hebrew, who recently retired from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and has joined Swantech Ltd.

Kowner is an Israeli Japanologist who focuses on Japanese attitudes and response to foreign culture, the West in particular, in modern times. Currently he serves as the chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Haifa.


1. The Hegemony of English and Determinants of Borrowing from its Vocabulary - Rotem Kowner  and Judith Rosenhouse

2. Icelandic: Phono-Semantic Matching - Yair Sapir and Ghil'ad Zuckermann

3. French: Tradition vs. Innovation as Reflected in English Borrowings - Miriam Ben-Rafael

4. Dutch: Is It Threatened by English? - Herman J. De Vries Jr.

5. Hungarian: Trends and Determinants of English Borrowing in a Market Economy Newcomer - Zsuzsa Sziklain Gombos, Zoltán Sturcz with Judith Rosenhouse and Rotem Kowner

6. Russian: From Social Realism to Reality Show - Maria Yelenevskaya

7. Hebrew: Borrowing Ideology and Pragmatic Aspects in a Modern(ized) Language - Judith Rosenhouse and Haya Fisherman

8. Colloquial Arabic (in Israel): The Case of English Loanwords in a Minority Language with Diglossia - Judith Rosenhouse

9. Amharic: Political and Social Effects on English Loanwords - Anbessa Teferra

10. Farsi: The Process of Modernization and the Advent of English - Soli Shahvar

11. Indian Languages: Hidden English in Texts and Society - Dennis Kurzon

12. Chinese in Taiwan: Cooking a Linguistic Chop Suey and Embracing English - Sufen Sophia Lai

13. Japanese: The Dialectic Relationships between 'Westerness' and 'Japaneseness' as Reflected in English Loanwords - Rotem Kowner and Michal Daliot-Bul

14. Conclusion: Features of Borrowing from English in Twelve Languages - Judith Rosenhouse and Rotem Kowner



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