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Hi.
Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam.
In today's video we're going to learn non-English words.
You're thinking surprised because this is an English video lesson, it's supposed to
be about English, but in English we tend to borrow a lot of words from other languages.
We keep them as they are, we even keep their meanings more or less, but we like to apply
them to many areas.
So there's a lot of words.
These are just a...
This is just a sample of the foreign words that we use regularly in English.
Some of them have been changed to apply to other things besides the original meaning
of the word.
So...
Excuse me.
First, let's start with the actual words: "tsunami", this is Japanese.
"Gung ho" is Chinese.
"Pro bono", Latin.
"Quid pro quo", also Latin.
"Prima donna", Italian.
"Je ne sais qua", French.
"Déjà vu", French.
"Faux pas", French.
"Du jour", French.
"Kaput", German.
And "guru" is actually Sanskrit.
Okay.
So, first I'm going to explain to you what the words mean, where they came from, and
what they mean originally, and then how we use them in English.
So we'll start with "tsunami".
"Tsunami" basically means harbour wave.
So, in Japan after an earthquake, sometimes...
They have a lot of earthquakes, but sometimes they get a tsunami.
It's basically a big wave.
So the ocean after the earthquake sends a big wave and it covers the land.
There was a big one a few years ago, a lot of damage.
But we use this, again, to mean the same thing.
Whenever there's a tsunami, whenever there's a big wave after an earthquake, but we also
use it to talk about anything that's large and sudden.
So, for example, the whole world is facing a refuge situation now.
A lot of people from...
Moving from all parts of the world to other parts of the world, and the countries that
are receiving these refuges, they are facing a tsunami of refuges.
So it's like a big wave of people.
Okay?
So whenever you have a big, sudden, wave or whatever, a big, sudden situation or a big,
sudden change coming at you, you can call...
You can refer to it like a tsunami.
Okay?
"Gung ho".
So, "gung ho" basically means very enthusiastic.
In Chinese it means basically part of a team or teamwork, but in...
The way we use it in English, if we say: "That person is really gung ho",
it means he's really enthusiastic, really eager, really wants to work hard.
So, if I work at a company and a new employee comes in...
And I've been at this company a long time, you know, I'm settled, everything, I do my
work, I go home.
But this guy comes in and he's so gung ho that everybody's a little bit worried because
he's making us look bad.
He's too gung ho.
He's too energetic, too enthusiastic.
It's a...
So it's a very good word for that.
Anytime you're ready to do something, you can do it gung ho or you can do it casual.
"Pro bono", basically this means free.
So I'm going to actually write this because these are a little bit long to write.
Free.
If... So, you see a lot of doctors.
A lot of doctors or lawyers when they start their business or when they're very successful
and they can afford it, they do a lot of pro bono work.
Means they'll go provide legal advice to somebody who can't afford it,
or they'll do medical assistance to people who can't afford it.
For example, they'll go around the world to poor countries and they'll help children especially
with medical situations, etc.
So anything...
Anytime somebody does something for free, like but professional, like work and they
do it for free, it's pro bono work.
"Quid pro quo", something for something.
We also have an idiom: "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."
Okay? It means: You do something for me, I'll do something for you.
But when we exchange favours...
For example, if I do something, some professional work for you because I'm a lawyer, I will
give you some legal advice; you're a designer, you will design my website.
I don't pay you money, I pay you with legal service; you pay me with your design work.
Quid pro quo.
I do something for you, you do something for me.
And this is also a very common expression.
Okay, so now we're going to move to the Italian: "prima donna".
Now, "prima" means first, "donna" means lady, so it's the first lady.
So when we speak about the opera, the lead female singer is the prima donna, but we mean
it as a woman or a person...
Doesn't have to be a woman.
It could be a man who's a prima donna.
But it's somebody who's very temperamental.
So let me write that for you.
Someone who's temperamental is very moody, changes his mood or her mood all the time,
always making demands that are...
Can't really be met.
Very...
Somebody you don't really want to spend too much time with because they're a little bit
over-demanding and never satisfied.
You might be more familiar with this word: a "diva".
"Prima donna", "diva", they're pretty much synonymous.
But let's put it this way: When we call somebody a prima donna it's not necessarily a good thing.
A prima donna is somebody who always complains, and is never satisfied, and thinks he or she
deserves more than they get.
Okay? So that's prima donna.
Moving on to the French.
"Je ne sais qua" means I don't know what.
So when we're talking about something that's really, really good, and somebody asks us
to explain why it's really good, and, you know, they're just...
There's just something there.
You can't really point to it, you can't identify it because it's a mystery, but it's there.
So we say: "Well, I don't know. It has a certain je ne sais qua."
Or so you talk about an actress or an actor, or a person, any person, or you talk about
a food or a fashion, or an art.
You know it's good, but you don't know why.
There's just a certain mysterious element, a certain je ne sais qua.
We often use that word: "certain", actually.
"A certain je ne sais qua".
Okay?
"Déjà vu".
"Déjà vu" is that feeling when you've already been somewhere or you've already done
something, or you've already seen something exactly like you're seeing it now.
So you're in a situation and you walk into a room, for example, and you're like:
"Oh my god, I feel like I've been here before."
Do you know what I mean?
Like it's so familiar, even though you've never been there, but it looks so familiar
it's like déjà vu.
Like in another life you've experienced this already.
Sometimes people say...
Oh, sorry.
"Déjà vu", seen already.
Some people say: "Déjà vu all over again", which is a bit of redundancy.
It's saying the same thing twice, but people say it, just so you know.
Déjà Vu, there's a movie also with Denzel Washington.
He goes back in time, and forward in time, and back in time, so he keeps living the same
moment so it's déjà vu.
"Faux pas".
"Faux pas" is basically an error.
Okay? But not like a mistake.
It's an error in a cultural, or a social, or an etiquette way.
Etiquette.
So, for example, in a certain situation you're not supposed to act in a certain way.
If you're around rich people, everybody's in tuxedos and gowns...
Sorry if I touched that.
Everybody's in tuxedos and gowns, and you come wearing running shoes.
That's a fashion faux pas.
This is a very common...
"A fashion faux pas."
If you...
If you see, like, the Oscars or any awards shows, there's always going to be some sort
of a newspaper or a magazine, saying:
"She made a faux pas, a fashion faux pas. Very bad."
But anyways, it's in a cultural or social situation.
If you go to a very fancy dinner and the host serves you white wine with beef, with gravy,
whatever, that's a bit of a faux pas because you should have red or whatever.
So it's commonly used, but only in certain contexts.
"Du jour", of the day.
So if you go to any restaurant...
Not any restaurant, but many good restaurants will have a soup du jour.
It means soup of the day.
Today's soup, every day is different.
But we also use this in other contexts, for example, you have a guy who every week or
every month you see him with a new girlfriend.
So you make a joke: "So who's the girlfriend du jour?
Who's today's girlfriend?" because always changes.
We can say that with pretty much anything that changes regularly.
"What is the ________ du jour?"
Okay?
The German "kaput".
"Kaput" comes from a card game, and the "kaput" means the loser, but now we basically use
it to mean broken or something that's not working.
So, for example, I have a fridge and it's broken down before but I fixed it, and it's
broken and I fixed it.
And it's broken again and I go to fix it, but that's it, I can't fix it anymore.
It's kaput.
It's finished.
It's done, it's never going to work again.
Time to throw it in the garbage, get a new fridge.
And "guru".
So originally a "guru" was a spiritual guide.
He would help you along your spiritual journey, especially in Hinduism and in Buddhism, etc.
But today we use this word to mean expert or somebody who's very good at something.
So this person you should listen to.
He or she can be your teacher.
And also...
It used to be only men, now anybody can be a guru.
So if you go online you'll always see on the internet, the internet is full of gurus.
They'll teach you how to make money, they'll teach you how to be successful, they'll teach
you how to get noticed, they'll teach you how to start your business.
They are gurus.
Financial gurus, marketing gurus.
They know everything, you should listen to them.
Okay, anybody can be a guru.
Don't necessarily trust somebody just because they call themselves a guru.
Anyways, so these are the words you need to know.
Even if you know them in your own language, if you're a French speaker and obviously you
know these words, keep in mind that they might be used in slightly different contexts in English.
But they have...
They have become part of the English language.
So, if you like this lesson, I hope you did.
If you like it and everything's clear, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
If you have any questions, please go to www.engvid.com and ask all the questions you have there.
There's also a quiz to make sure you understand the meanings of these words and expressions.
And, of course, come back again and see more great videos from all of us and see you again soon.
Bye-bye.
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Improve your Vocabulary: Foreign Words in English

29 Folder Collection
Summer published on August 11, 2020
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