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From baseball to beisuboru: Foreign languages steal from English too

It's no secret that English borrows freely — steals, actually — from other languages. And you're probably familiar with at least a few words from English that have been borrowed into other languages — for instance, le weekend in French. But do you know just how much English words can be changed when they're taken on by other languages? Consider these odd examples:

Sound changes

Different languages have different sets of sounds and different things you can do with those sounds. An English word may have a sound that's not used in the language, or it may have combination of sounds that isn't allowed — for instance, some languages don't allow to consonants together and will either remove one of the consonants or add a vowel between them. Japanese has the famous example of beisuboru for baseball (the u's are very light and not stressed); it also borrowed thrill as suriru because th becomes sl becomes r, and you can't have the s and r together. Japanese sometimes cuts bits out of words, too: ballpoint pen has become boorupen (which is "ball pen," according to Japanese sound rules).

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