Here are 10 words commonly used in English language which come from Chinese language. Knowing these loanwords can make learning Chinese easier and understand the similarities between Chinese and English!
Gung Ho 共和
Pronounced "gòng hé" in Mandarin. The literal translation is, "work together." The English usage was popularized by Marines fighting in the Pacific in World War II. The phrase came to mean: "whole heartedly enthusiastic, and loyal, eager, and zealous."
Pronounced "tái fēng" in Mandarin. The literal translation is "strong wind." Experts say the term, typhon from the Greek and Arabic, was strengthened with the Chinese translation.
In Chinese, the name is pronounced "zhōng guó" and literally means "the middle country." The name was first used by the Italian explorer, Marco Polo.
Pronounced "sī chóu" in Mandarin. The word was first introduced to Western culture by smugglers who took silk worms and mulberry leaves out of China in 552 Common Era.
Feng Shui 风水
Literally wind and water. It is the Chinese belief in creating a spiritual balance in one's home and workplace. The word was first introduced to the Westerners in 1757.
Literally means "knock head." Pronounced "kòu tóu" in Chinese. In China the word is a way of bowing and touching the forehead to the ground to indicate respect. In English the word means to "be servile: to behave in an extremely submissive way in order to please somebody in a position of authority."
Lose Face 丢脸
The literal translation is "humiliation" and is pronounced "diū liǎn" in Chinese. The word is said to have been introduced to English speakers in 1876.
Shanghai is a Chinese seaport. The word in English came to mean, "to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor." This was the practice of 'recruiting' sailors to the seaport of Shanghai.
Tai Chi 太极
In Chinese, the word is literally translated to the "supreme ultimate." It is now used in American lingo to describe the martial art of tai chi. Some emphasize the slow movements as a form of exercise, while others practice it as a martial art.
Literally "black dragon." First introduced to the English language in 1852 as a dark, black tea.