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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 ( ) 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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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 01:51:49
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Q: How many french words are in the English language?
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Why has french words such as Rendezvous become adopted and reused in the English language as if it was an English word?

Especially in the middle ages, the french and English peoples mixed together, and adopted words. The French have many cognates of English words, as we have french words. Particularly, England was once under a french ruler,(I forget the name), and during that time period many words were exchanged from language to language.

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English, especially english spoken in the U.S., is a language that has taken phrases and parts of words from many languages, including Latin, French, Spanish, German, and others.

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The French language has 'franglais' to describe that. It seems that Frenglish could be an English equivalent.

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