The WSU-CI has been working on a video series spotlighting Chinese cognates --words borrowed from English or other foreign languages and adapted to Chinese. Cognates, of course, are especially easy to incorporate into one's target language, since learners are already familiar with these words in their native language. While cognates are plentiful between languages with common roots or between languages where populations are open to borrowing or incorporating foreign words, such foreign words are comparatively rare in Chinese. Nevertheless, we have discovered over 100 instances where Chinese has incorporated words from English and other Western languages in areas ranging from food and drink to music, the arts, clothing, and scientific words. The words may not always seem recognizable at first, but once understood, will help learners of Chinese to augment their vocabulary quickly.

Below are links to Chinese Cognates videos available on Youtube and Youku:

Cognates #1: Food

Cognates #2: Beverages

Cognates #3: Desserts

Cognates #4: Medicine & Drugs

Cognates #5: Measurements

Cognates #6: Scientific Words

Cognates #7: Western Inventions

Cognates #8: Sports & Recreation

Cognates #9: Clothing and Materials

Cognates #10: Music & Dance

Cognates #11: Art & Religion

Cognates #12: Other Western Concepts

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