Although English words imported into other languages appear to be the same as our English word of origin, subtle changes always take place when these emigrants transfer their loyalty during from one language to another.

The first and most notable change is in pronunciation. German has a different set of sounds from English, so that all loanwords undergo some sound changes with respect to their English word of origin. Typically the intonation shifts to the beginning of the word, the quality of the vowels changes and many consonants alter too, especially the -r-, which changes to an uvular sound.

The other typical change during transference is a semantic one, either a narrowing of meaning to only one of the original senses, or polysemy (the acquisition of new, related meanings not present in the original language).

In most cases when Anglicisms enter non-English languages there are also grammatical changes as well. These include:

  • acquiring gender
  • acquiring inflection
  • atrophy of the English inflection, for example:
    • der Pumps (German, singular), a pump shoe
    • die Standing Ovations (German, no article, singular in meaning), a standing ovation
    • der Keks (German, singular in meaning, formerly der Cakes, a biscuit or cookie)

Changes of form also take place: a part of the English word may simply be dropped, or a "foreign" element may be attached to it.

In written language, orthographic changes may also be required by the rules of the receiving language. In German these include the capitalization of all nouns (not only the proper nouns, as in English) and new ways of combining separate words, either by writing the elements together without a space or joining the elements by a hyphen.

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