This is not a programming post.


A loanword is a term taken from another language and used without translation; it has a specific meaning that (typically) does not otherwise exist in a single English word. Sometimes the word’s spelling or pronunciation (or both) is slightly altered to accommodate English orthography, but, in most cases, it is preserved in its original language.

Résumé (🇫🇷) and kindergarten (🇩🇪) are loanwords.


A calque, on the other hand, is a word or phrase taken from another language but translated (either in part or in whole) to corresponding English words while still retaining the original meaning.

Forget-me-not calques Old French’s ne m’oubliez mye. Beer garden calques German’s biergarten.

the grand conclusion

But wait: Calque is a word taken from French and used without translation, so calque is a loanword! Meanwhile, loanword calques German’s lehnwort.

Therefore… “Loanword” is a calque, and “calque” is a loanword!