Chinese Loanwords

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The motivations for Chinese to use loanwords in daily conversations

When different languages come into contact, the languages involved may be affected in various ways. “The simplest kind of influence that one language may exert on another is the ‘borrowing’ of words” (Sapir,1921). Accordingly the words that are taken from another language are called loanwords. None of languages is absolutely pure without absorbing any loanword therefore lexical borrowing is a common linguistics phenomenon. Furthermore, loanwords not only contribute to evolution of languages but also play significant roles in linking culture. Loanwords, by their nature, can often be strong evidence of sustained cultural interaction( Leow, 2009). For these reasons, the knowledge
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Mandarin, based on Beijing dialect, simultaneously assimilated abundant Northern spoken forms of language elements, is the sole national language and official language in mainland China, which possess a prestigious and absolutely powerful status in local speech community. Partly for this ground it is inevitable that the amounts and frequency of loanwords used are limited. Nevertheless, a certain number of loanwords exists in particular conversations among particular participants about particular topics. The frequent loanwords employed by Chinese are English, Japanese and Korean. Considering manifold expansion reasons for English words and Japanese, Korean words, it can be concluded that motivations for picking loanwords are different as well. As an international language, the borrowing of English is for the purpose of education, trade and international affairs. It serves as the “lingua franca” for international business and cultural exchange(Kui Zhu, 2011). With regard to Japanese and Korean, one possible explanation is adjacently geographical locations leads to affinity of values and…show more content…
Language is intercourse and thought tool, is also a culture carrier(LiJu Li, 2010). It is recognized that the influence is mutual. For China, Chinese have access to think in a multi-dimensional way and view the world in a wider sight. For the donation countries, bilateral trading will be enhanced by means of culture exporting, being well illustrated by anime display, cartoon books, drama and toys. In spite of that, some people think that Chinese is one of the most lively and superior language in the world so there is no need borrowing any new elements from another language. The People’s Daily even pointed out that lexical borrowing would hurt the health of Chinese. They take Chinese young generation as a negative example, arguing that they are not in line with native speech norms, more worse, they have more passion on foreign festivals, Christmas, for example, rather than traditional festivals and culture. Indeed, loanwords will shock native language and culture to some extent, the benefits Chinese gain from loanwords cannot be neglected. As far as I am concerned, the government and mainstream media should reasonably guide the public and take good advantage of language contacts instead of totally

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