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Language: Words Borrowed from Other Countries

In this worksheet, students will investigate French, German and Spanish words, and how they are used in the English Language.

'Language: Words Borrowed from Other Countries' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:   Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

How many French, German and Spanish words do you know already?

 

It isn't very difficult to know what these French words mean.

table, chocolat, éléphant, giraffe.

 

These Spanish words are easy to understand, too.

animal, chocolate, doctor, invisible.

 

German nouns are always spelt with a capital letter, but these words should also be easy to work out.

Computer, Farm, Million, Radio.

 

Many of our words are similar to those in other European languages. This is partly because languages borrow words from each other, but also because many European languages are descended from the same language. French and Spanish are very closely related, and so are English and German.

What do you think this French word means in English? We have a similar-sounding word in English, too.

 

enfant

elephant

child

boy

What do you think this French word means? Again, we have a word in English that means something similar.

 

escalier

escape

staircase

scales

What do you think this Spanish word means in English?

 

conversación

conversion

conversation

converse

The words in the list are all Spanish but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

Column A

Column B

sombrero
a small wooden hand-held instrument
paella
a celebration, party
fiesta
a rice-based dish
castonets
manly
macho
a type of hat

The words in the list are all French but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

Column A

Column B

baguette
a place to eat and drink
cafe
the image of something in outline
chic
fashionable
prairie
a large meadow
silhouette
a long thin loaf of bread

The words in the list are all German but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

Column A

Column B

Pretzel
a type of sausage
Glockenspiel
a crisp, salted snack
Rucksack
worry, anxiety
Angst
a bag carried on the back
Frankfurter
a percussion instrument
Delicatessen
a shop selling cooked meats and savoury foods

Some words look very alike in different languages but actually mean something different. These words are known as 'false friends'. For example, the word 'gift' in German actually means 'poison'!

For the next four questions you need to choose the correct meaning of the word given.

What do you think the German word 'winken' means in English?

to wink

to wave

What do you think the French word 'blesser' means in English?

to injure

to bless

What do you think the German word 'aktuell' means in English?

actually

currently

What do you think the Spanish word 'sensible' means in English?

sensitive

sensible

  • Question 1

What do you think this French word means in English? We have a similar-sounding word in English, too.

 

enfant

CORRECT ANSWER
child
EDDIE SAYS
The English word 'infant' is related to the French word 'enfant'.
  • Question 2

What do you think this French word means? Again, we have a word in English that means something similar.

 

escalier

CORRECT ANSWER
staircase
EDDIE SAYS
The English word 'escalator' is related to the French word 'escalier'.
  • Question 3

What do you think this Spanish word means in English?

 

conversación

CORRECT ANSWER
conversation
EDDIE SAYS
The English word 'conversation' is closely linked to the Spanish word 'conversacion'.
  • Question 4

The words in the list are all Spanish but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

sombrero
a type of hat
paella
a rice-based dish
fiesta
a celebration, party
castonets
a small wooden hand-held instrume...
macho
manly
EDDIE SAYS
In Spain, fiestas are very popular. A fiesta is a huge party.
  • Question 5

The words in the list are all French but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

baguette
a long thin loaf of bread
cafe
a place to eat and drink
chic
fashionable
prairie
a large meadow
silhouette
the image of something in outline
EDDIE SAYS
In English, the word 'cafe' is widely used to describe a place to have coffee and cake. Yummy!
  • Question 6

The words in the list are all German but are used in English. Match them with their meanings.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Pretzel
a crisp, salted snack
Glockenspiel
a percussion instrument
Rucksack
a bag carried on the back
Angst
worry, anxiety
Frankfurter
a type of sausage
Delicatessen
a shop selling cooked meats and s...
EDDIE SAYS
In England, most supermarkets have a delicatessen counter; often the word is shortened to 'deli'.
  • Question 7

Some words look very alike in different languages but actually mean something different. These words are known as 'false friends'. For example, the word 'gift' in German actually means 'poison'!

For the next four questions you need to choose the correct meaning of the word given.

What do you think the German word 'winken' means in English?

CORRECT ANSWER
to wave
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, if you 'winken' in Germany, you would be waving not winking.
  • Question 8

What do you think the French word 'blesser' means in English?

CORRECT ANSWER
to injure
EDDIE SAYS
Don't say you want to 'bless' someone in France!
  • Question 9

What do you think the German word 'aktuell' means in English?

CORRECT ANSWER
currently
EDDIE SAYS
The word means 'currently' not 'actually'.
  • Question 10

What do you think the Spanish word 'sensible' means in English?

CORRECT ANSWER
sensitive
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, the word 'sensible' in Spanish actually means 'sensitive' not 'sensible' in English. How confusing!
---- OR ----

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