Concepts English Needs

As part of a recent trip to Marseille, France I had to stumble across the fact my lack-lustre French GCSE would barely allow me to scrape by for rudimentary communication. I do not assume that wherever I go that I will be able to communicate in my language of choice, however over the last few years I have taken for granted the fact that all one has to do to communicate in most modern fields is to talk English. This often leads to the "I cannot be bothered to learn another language aside from English because I can get by with only it" mentality, that is often discussed, but has led to another serious defect. We become culturally unaware and less exposed to fresh, sometimes brilliant perspectives that are only present in other languages.


A concept I was introduced to via a German Friend is the idea of Anstandsstück. The idea of not taking the last bit of food without being offered. This is a fairly normal social idea, however, to express it requires far many more words than the simplicity of the german Anstandsstück.

It is not an unusual concept of loaning words into English from others, such as the many French loan words that have not morphed. Laizzez-Faire, Carte Blanche and many others are simply great concepts that would require many more words in English if not for the loan words.

The various forms of We

This point was directly stolen form an amazing Tom Scott video around features that English is missing more generally, and not words in particular.

English lacks clarity on the inclusivity or exclusivity on who is being included in a group. Telling someone "We are going on holiday" to your children could imply that they are going on holiday with them, or that we is inclusive with another group who are also present in the conversation. The ability to specify who is included in we would massively help in resolving confusion and not lead to the same conversation every time about whether or not the listener is included.

A good feature of English

This is point was lifted from the sketch by Yuriko Kotani on Russel Howard's Comedy Central Show a few years back.

Yuriko expresses her joy and then lack of that she cannot express the term "-ish" in Japanese. When I am told "6-ish" I know that being punctual is important however a few minutes either side is to be expected. It is not a fine deadline to be followed. It is also similar to the idea of adding "-y" to the end of nouns to term them into adjectives. Instead of staying something has the consistency/likeness of cake, you can say that the object is cakey. The concept can be applied to other terms and be used to inspire meaning in several other ways


This piece might have not been the most business-focused, however, was just a small insight into interesting features of other languages that could be interesting to have expressed in English. Change to a language is slow, yet they could work their way into common tongue if they had more perceived usage

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