Loanwords are okay
1 min read

Loanwords are okay

Does it matter if you language has a lot of loanwords? To be considered a loan, it has to be of foreign origin, and speakers from the borrowing end can understand and use in various contexts. It's perfectly okay for the meaning to shift on the borrowing end, as semantic shift happens naturally. It does not make the word "unpure" or anything, it's just how things happen. The borrowing language may have different point of view or context, so not all properties from the source can be carried over. This phenomenon has been going on since antiquity, where people from different groups interacting with each other. Consider the following loan:

Freshy - n. a college freshman

In English, a first year college student is known as a freshman. In Thailand, the term freshy is used instead. Does it deteriorate English in any way? No, because English does the same to many loans. Thai is not the only guilty party. Not that I'm implying there's anything wrong with it.

Loanwords also enrich a language by providing new concepts and ideas. Loanwords are not evil. But some people would have you believe that loanwords must be eradicated to keep a language pure. French tries to do this and fail miserably. Influx of new loans through mass media and internet are coming through faster than The Académie française can process and dissimenate the French version to the public.

Who are they to think they can curb the wax and wane of French language. People speak however they want. What is correct and standard then sound foreign to our modern-day ears. What sounds natural to us today may be ancient history to a few generations later. Languages always change. It doesn't only when no one uses it anymore - like Latin.

Just like food, many people like Japanese food - sushi, gyoza, to name a few. Foreign doesn't mean bad. Just that some people want you to think it is.