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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.

Hi.

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Improve your Vocabulary: Foreign Words in English

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    Summer posted on 2020/08/10
Video vocabulary