Press Release

Foreign Phrase Book Helps Travelers and Scholars Alike

(ARA) — Throughout the 20th century, inventions and machines have allowed people to travel to places they once had only dreamt about. Now, the world seems to be getting even smaller with the advent of the Internet and wireless this and digital that. But this knowledge of foreign cultures is not just limited to traveling to far-off destinations. Languages have become a part of the evolution of the global community and are intertwining more than ever. Slowly but surely, many words we have grown accustomed to using on a daily basis have their origins in places many would have never guessed.

And guessing is what many Americans would be doing if they tried to identify these foreign phrases that have inundated everyday English. It may be easier for Americans, widely thought of as monolingual people, to recognize the presence of foreign words and phrases while traveling. Many will be surprised to discover how many foreign phrases and expressions they really do know. This goes beyond the ability to order a croissant at a local French bakery.

Whether planning for your next journey, or just brushing up on your impressive party quips, a new publication has compiled thousands of foreign phrases that are useful to homebodies and world travelers alike. The "World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions," written by Gabriele G. Adeleye and Kofi Acquah-Dadzie, is a resource that includes foreign phrases from over twenty languages, some familiar and some not so familiar. 

Many of us have heard the saying "It's Greek to me," but the "World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions," which includes words and phrases from both Ancient and Modern Greek, helps readers realize the plethora of English words that derive from the Southern European country. You don't have to be relaxing on an island off the Mediterranean to recognize words like "psyche" and "nectar", words of Greek origin that have been incorporated into the English language. The dictionary also includes expressions and words from the language of love, better known as French. Whether you're sipping on a "grand-cru" or attending a gloomy "film-noir," the "World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions" is a valuable resource for monolingual or multi-lingual readers. The publication also has entries from Hawaiian, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese and German languages, among others, as well as a strong African influence.

The book's African influence stems from its co-authors, Nigerian scholar, Dr. Gabriel Adeleye, and Kofi Acquah-Dadzie, a native Ghanan. Adeleye, as well as the book's editor, Thomas Sienkewicz, used African publications as sources for examples of foreign language use. These citations reveal the influence of European languages, especially Latin and Greek, among educated Africans.

Acquah-Dadzie, attorney, Principal Magistrate for the Administration of Justice in Mahalapye, Botswana and teacher of law, said that he conceived the book after observing difficulties encountered by students, teachers and practitioners of law who had little or no knowledge of Latin. "I wanted to help my friends who did not like Latin but couldn't escape from it," he said. The combination of the authors' works, the "World Dictionary of Foreign Expression," has been assisting students and lawyers in understanding the vast amount of Latin terminology used in legal systems worldwide. ". . . We thought it would be useful not only to students, but the world at large, and a contribution to knowledge," Acquah-Dadzie explained.

Whether you're a writer or journalist trying to increase your worldly vocabulary or a first year law student who can't quite put your finger on the multitude of Latin phrases coming up on the next exam, or even if you're goal is simply to translate that French saying you keep hearing over and over again, the "World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions" is sure to assist in your plight of knowledge for a few "bon mots" — the French phrase for a clever or witty statement.

For more information on the new "World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions," contact the book's publisher at

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