I’ve often written about how modern English owes so much to old Germanic languages. These connections aren’t always evident though. Words evolve over time and drift away from their origins. Plus, a lot of what English gained from these languages and proto-languages is not easy to see on the surface. Syntax, grammar, and compound-noun formation are not as easy to recognise as individual words. Which is why Latin-based languages can seem superficially more similar to English, with many words sharing similar etymologies to English ones (though the English ones tend to be more formal).
The result of this is that there don’t appear to be too many words shared between modern German and English. There are a few however, and in honour of English’s origins in Germanic languages, I’m going to look at the German words that we use in English: Continue reading