An Exposé on English Loanwords

Have you ever seen English words spelled with simplified letters, for example naivete instead of naïveté?

This bums me out a bit. Because I think these loanwords are one of the best things about English. It makes language so flexible and rich.

Usually, people type the simplified form of a word because doesn’t know how to type special characters. But, sometimes it’s because of a decision made for early computers.

So, I wanted to post a sampling of loanwords with uncommon letters or accents. See below.

In a later post, I’ll follow up with some notes on how to type these characters on your keyboard. And I’ll finish up with a bit of background on why this problem exists.

Some Interesting Words

English borrows most heavily from Germanic and Romance languages using characters/accents/graphemes like these:

But, there are also a long tail of interesting words from other languages from Slavic, Turkic, Arabic, and other language families!




Other Languages


This is just a limited list of examples. But I love that the English language is such a mutt. It makes the language rich. And it emphasizes that America is a nation of immigrants.

I use this list as a reference sometime. And, I hope it sparks some curiosity in you as well.

Next up, I’ll post some practical guides on how to type these characters (and more) on your operating system. See part 2: Adiós to Simplified Loanwords

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