International words in German

A taxi sign  on the roof of a taxi
null iStockphoto

Hotel, Taxi, Bank … get it?

Some German words are easy to understand because they are international. They are the same in other languages, and are hardly ever different in meaning from the original.

Many of these words have Latin or Greek roots and were first adopted into European languages before they spread around the world.

These words, which exist in various languages and which have similar meanings everywhere, are called international words. Many of them stem from English, like Computer and Hobby. Others, like Restaurant, come from French, or Kaffee from Arabic. Some German words are also used in other languages, like Kitsch.