One of the characteristics of language contact is that words from one language are adopted into another language. These words we call loanwords. Often these loanwords travel through more than one language, sometimes even ending up in their original language again. During this journey the form and meaning of these words can change to such an extent that on their return they are hardly recognised in their country of origin.
Loanwords can be found in all languages, but for practical reasons this contribution is limited to Dutch. Ever since the Old Dutch period (ca. 500–1200 AD) we see that words from other languages are included in Dutch and that words from Dutch are given a place in other languages. Using a number of examples from the Dutch vocabulary, this contribution discusses how words from other languages over time have acquired a place in the Dutch language and how the Dutch language has contributed to the vocabulary of other languages in the world.
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