(Slightly Less) Common Greco-Latin: Latin-Based Imports into German that Differ from their Latinate Loanword Counterparts in English
By J. Wes Ulm, MD, PhD
Medical researcher, physician, linguist, and author
Echoes of the Mystic Chords: A Novel, Book One of The Leibniz Demon Trilogy
The following terms in German were imported from Latin (or Greek) roots, yet in contrast to previous lists, the importations in this case differ from the Latin-based imports into English.
Abkürzung (vs. Eng. abbreviation), Abonnement (vs. Eng. subscription), Abstellkammer (vs. Eng. store room), Akte (vs. record), Alphabetisierung (vs. literacy), Apotheke (vs. pharmacy), Arzt (vs. doctor)*, aufpassen (vs. pay attention), Aula (vs. Auditorium)*, Ausdauer (vs. perseverance), ausliefern (vs. extradite legal term), ausmustern (vs. discard), Bekämpfung (vs. combat), Beschreibung (vs. Deskription)*, Besenkammer (vs. broom closet), Beton (vs. concrete), betonen (vs. emphasize), Bildungsdirektion (vs. Education Department), betonen (vs. emphasize)*, Bezirk (vs. district), Bibliothek (vs. library), Bilanz (vs. record), Bilanzsumme (vs. balance sheet), Börse (vs. stock market), Brief (vs. letter), Burgermeister (vs. mayor), Büro (vs. office), Datei (vs. computer file), Defilee (vs. parade), Devisen (vs. foreign currency), Dom (vs. cathedral)*, Eigenkapital (vs. equity), Einmischung (vs. interference), Engpass (vs. bottleneck), erklären (vs. explain), Essig (vs. vinegar), Fabrik (vs. factory), Fackel (vs. torch), fälschen (vs. counterfeit), Fazit (vs. conclusion e.g. to draw), Fehlbezeichnung (vs. misnomer), Fehlbildung (vs deformity), Fehleinschätzung (vs. misjudgment), feinfühlig (vs. sensitive), gefühlsbetont (vs. emotional), Grad (vs. degree), Graf (vs. count), Gürtelrose (vs. shingles), Halbinsel (vs. peninsula), hinter den (die) Kulissen (vs. backstage), hirnamputiert (vs. brain-damaged), Hubschrauber (vs. helicopter), Hypothek (vs. mortgage), Imperium (vs. empire, same Latin root), impfen (vs. vaccinate, immunize, or inoculate)*, Indiz (vs indication), in puncto (vs. in terms of), jubeln (vs. cheer), Juraschule (vs. law school), Kaiser (vs. emperor), Kanal (vs. channel), Karte (vs. map), Karton (vs. cardboard), Kaution (vs. bail legal term), Kavaliersdelikt (vs minor offense), Keller (vs. basement, or like cellar), Kerker (vs. dungeon), Kette (vs. chain – same Latin root), Kissen (vs. pillow), Klärteich (vs. lagoon), Klavier (vs. Piano)*, kochen (vs. boil), Kommode (vs. dresser), Komplize (vs. accomplice – same Latin root), Konditorei (vs. pastry shop), Konkurrenz (vs. contest or competition), konstatieren (vs. to state), Konsumenten (vs. consumers), Konzern (vs. company or enterprise), Korb (vs. basket), Körperschaft (vs. corporation), Krawall (vs. riot), Kreide (vs. chalk), Kriegsschauplatz (vs. battleground), Kreuzung (vs. intersection), Krimi (vs. mystery novel), kritteln (vs. cavil), kugelsicher (vs. bulletproof), Kuppel (vs. dome), Kursivschrift (vs. italics), Lärm (vs. noise), leger (vs. casual or informal), Legierung (vs. alloy), Lieferkette (vs. supply chain), liefern (vs. deliver), Lizenzgebühren (vs. royalties), Löwe (vs lion – though same Greco-Latin root), Mandant (vs. client in legal sense)*, Mandarine (vs. tangerine), Mandel (vs. tonsil and vs. almond – though same Greco-Latin root), Marine (vs. navy), Meister (vs. champion), Mode (vs. fashion), momentan (vs. currently), monieren (vs complain about), Münze (vs. coin), Muster and Schema (vs. pattern), mustergültig and musterhaft (vs. exemplary), Mụ̈tze (vs. cap worn on the head)*, Nachtisch (vs. dessert)*, Noten (vs. grades in school), Opfer (vs. sacrifice and victim), Panzer (vs. tank), Panzerwagen (vs. armored car), Pauschalisierung (vs. generalization), Pause (vs. intermission), penetrant (vs. pushy), Peste (vs. plague), Pilz or Champignon (vs. mushroom), Pöbel (vs. mob), Podest (vs. podium), Polizeirevier (vs. police department), Posaune (vs. trombone), Pouvoir (vs. power), Praktikum (vs. internship), Prämie (vs. bonus or bounty), Presserummel (vs. hype), pro (vs. per), Probe (vs. sample), Prozess (vs. trial), Quadrat (vs. square), Quittung (vs. receipt), recherchieren (vs. investigate), Redakteur (vs. editor), regelrecht (vs. literally), regieren (vs. govern), Regierung (vs. government), rentabel (vs. profitable)*, Rente (vs. pension), Roman (vs. novel), Schnellkochtopf/Dampfkochtopf (vs. pressure cooker), Schraube (vs. screw – same Latin root – and vs. propeller*), Schreibschrift (vs. cursive), Schreibtisch (vs. desk), Schulung (vs. training), Semmel (vs. roll in culinary sense), Senf (vs. Mustard), Serviette (vs. napkin), sicher (vs. certain, safe, secure, sure), Sicherheit (vs. collateral), skurril (vs. strange or comical), Söldner (vs. mercenary), Spargelkohl (vs. asparagus)*, speichern (vs. save e.g. a file or in sense of computer memory or a store), Speisekammer (vs. pantry), spenden (vs. donate), spendieren (vs. treat sb to sth), Spielautomat (vs. slot machine), Staatsanwalt (vs. prosecutor), Staatsbürgerschaft (vs. citizenship), stornieren (vs. cancel), Studienkredite (vs. student loans), Stundentafel (vs. syllabus), Substantiv (vs. noun), tangieren (vs touch someone deeply in heart), tastbar (vs. tangible), Teller (vs. dinner plate)*, Tempolimit (vs. speed limit), Teppich (vs. carpet), Termin (vs appt), Theke (vs. counter), Tinte (vs. ink), Tisch (vs. table), Trichter (vs. funnel), Turnen (vs. gymnastics), turnusmäßig wechseln (vs. take turns), unterordnen (vs. subordinate), Versicherung (vs. insurance), Vorschriften (vs. requirements), Wahlkampf (vs. electoral campaign)*, Wettkampf (vs. contest), Zeichentisch (vs. drafting table), Zeitplan (vs. schedule), Zeitschrift (vs. magazine)**, Zins (vs. interest on a loan), Zitat (vs. quote), Zoll (vs. customs),
*In these cases, German has also imported additional Latin loanwords that are mostly cognate with their English equivalents. For example, Germans will speak of the (Latin-derived) “Doktor” and“Auditorium” right alongside the “Arzt” and “Aula,” which are likewise of Greco-Latin extraction. Likewise, the word Dessert is in common usage in German (as in English, imported directly from French) right alongside the more native-sounding “Nachtisch,” whose second compontent (“Tisch”) is nonetheless also of Latin derivation.
**Magazine is an originally Arabic borrowing that made its way into the Germanic tongues (magazine in English, Magazin in German) via the Romance languages; similar for Zucker (sugar), Admiral, Sirup (syrup), Tasse (a cup or glass).
Please feel free to quote from, print, and cite this essay as, “(Slightly Less) Common Greco-Latin: Latin-Based Imports into German that Differ from their Latinate Loanword Counterparts in English,” by J. Wes Ulm, originally published on Harvard University personal website, URL: https://wesulm.angelfire.com/languages/different_latin_loanwords.htm , © 2016.
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