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Loanwords from African Languages. 96501044 Nancy Kao. Intro. A few words from languages that were spoken in the west of African have entered English: 1. by way of Portuguese and Spanish in the end of the 16 th century ..…… “banana” 2. by Louisiana French…………. “voodoo”

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  • A few words from languages that were spoken in the west of African have entered English:

  • 1. by way of Portuguese and Spanish in the end of the 16thcentury..…… “banana”

  • 2. by Louisiana French…………. “voodoo”

  • 3. by Brazilian Portuguese and Cuban Spanish…………………………… “zombie”


  • Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought the fruits from West Africa in the 16th century. The word banana is of West African origin, from the Wolof language.

  • Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania.


  • Vodun or Vudun (also spelled Voodoo) is a traditional organized religion of coastal West Africa from Nigeria to Ghana.

  • Louisiana Voodoo is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions which developed within the French, Spanish, and Creole speaking African American population of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It became syncretized with the Catholicism and Francophone culture of south Louisiana as a result of the slave trade.


  • The original zombies occured in the West AfricanVodun religion and its American offshoots Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo.

  • "Zombi" is also another name of the Vodou snake lwaDamballah Wedo, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kikongo word nzambi, which means "god".

Other words
Other words

  • cola - from West African languages (Temnekola, Mandinkakolo)

  • coffee – disputed. either from the Ethiopian region/Kingdom of Kaffa, where coffee originated; or Arabic kahwa

  • conga - feminized form of Congo through Spanish

Other words1
Other words

  • jazz - from West African languages (Mandinkajasi, Temneyas)

  • jumbo - from Swahili (jambo or jumbe) or from Kongonzamba- "elephant"

  • safari - from Swahili “travel”; ultimately from Arabic

  • tango - probably from Ibibiotamgu

Thanks for your listening
Thanks for your listening!

Sources: text book andWikipedia