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How many french words are in the English language?

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40 '/. of the English language

It's difficult to answer, because are you including all the words in the English language or only commonly used ones? are you counting only Norman French, modern French, Latin words that came via French, etc. ?

However, the Oxford Dictionary site ( http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutenglish/proportion?view=UK ) has an estimate of the proportions of the approximately 80,000 words in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (includes some fairly obscure ones, but they're mostly in use) and puts:
  • Latin, including modern scientific and technical Latin: 28.24%
  • French, including Old French and early Anglo-French: 28.3%
  • Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch: 25%
  • Greek: 5.32%
  • No etymology given: 4.03%
  • Derived from proper names: 3.28%
  • All other languages contributed less than 1%

So 28.3% of 80,000 is 22,640 words. Arbitrary, but a good enough estimate.
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