English vocabulary is no longer limited to native English words.

As English has gradually taken up the role of a global language, it has allowed influences from other languages to seep into its roots and enrich its word lists.

A preliminary glance at the Oxford Dictionary will reveal the truth of this idea.

In order to crack CLAT-English, a good English vocabulary is necessary but no longer adequate.

CLAT loves challenging you with words of a different origin to test your knowledge.

The easiest way to fare well is to keep in touch with the world around you and read as much as possible.

You must take the effort to mark out foreign words and phrases you come across in your readings and find out their meaning.

While this is a good method it is not enough to prepare you for CLAT so make this method a routine habit to supplement your main study.

The best way for you to cover a wide range of phrases is by going through word lists.

Although this may seem tiresome, remember that a little effort on your part today can take you a long way tomorrow.

Keep in mind that knowing these words and phrases will not only increase your chances of fairing well in CLAT but also vastly improve your writing and speaking skills.

Here is a list of foreign language words and phrases to get you started.

  1. a la carte [French]

adj., adv. with a separate price for each item, printed on the menu; basically it is used to refer to the menu, as opposed to, say, a buffet

Estonian cable operator Elion, an unit of the operator Eesti Telekom, has modified its SmartTV offer on an a-lacarte basis

  1. alfresco [Italian]

adj., adv. open air; outdoors

Brighten up the alfresco area using mosaic tiles to create murals and feature walls

  1. alma mater [Latin]

n. any institution one has graduated from; in other words, one’s old school or university

Wolmer’s coach Vassell Reynolds will be going up against his alma mater and coaches who were once his schoolmates

  1. avant-garde [French]

an artist or group associated with the use of new techniques in their field

The happy convergence of avant-garde art and revolutionary politics is a utopian dream nowhere more celebrated than in the creative foment of the Russian Revolution.

  1. Blitzkrieg [German]

n. rapid, intensive attack, originally used to describe sudden military offensives

The Yemen war planned as a blitzkrieg by the Arab coalition has turned into a dragged-out war drawing resources from the coalition.

  1. bona fide [Latin]

adj. authentic, genuine, in good faith

We were targeted across Bo’ness, Bonnybridge and Stenhousemuir by callous thieves pretending to be bona fide workmen.

  1. c’est la vie [French]

that’s life; such is life

I don’t let the little things bring me down, I just say ‘C’est la vie!’ and keep giving life my best.

  1. curriculum vitae (CV) [Latin]

n. resume, i.e., outline of one’s educational and professional qualifications, made for job applications

Although video resumes are not a replacement for the regular curriculum vitae (CV), many recruiters use them as a tool to gauge the candidate.

  1. de facto [Latin]

adv. in reality, actually.

Serbia has “de facto” accepted the existence of Kosovo but nationalist sentiment is preventing formal recognition.

adj. existing whether legally recognised or not

The Asian Development Bank has recommended the Cook Islands recognise de-facto relationships, as part of advancing gender equality.

  1. déjà vu [French]

the sensation of having previously experienced something that one is experiencing

For investors, this may be deja vu, considering the way tariffs on voice calls and realisations for telecom service providers crashed five years ago, impacting the sector’s profitability amid high debt.

  1. doppelgänger [German]

an apparition or double of a living person.

A man met his doppelgänger on a flight – and took a selfie to celebrate the bizarre moment

  1. en route [French]

adv. on the way

Harry Belafonte, the activist and performer, was en route to receiving an honor at the Four Seasons Restaurant when he fell ill.

  1. ergo [Latin]

conj. therefore; consequently

There are lots of people cheering for me at every event I go to; ergo the polls are wrong and I am winning.

  1. ex officio [Latin]

adv. and adj. by virtue of one’s position or status (literally ‘out of duty’)

In 1866, the Salem Municipal Council was formed with the then Collector Charles Norman Pochin appointed as ex officio chairman.

  1. faux pas [French]

social blunder

Kim disclosed her beauty faux pas while delivering a speech at the inaugural InStyle awards in LA.

  1. fiasco [Italian]

total failure

Norwegian media on Friday blasted a Justin Bieber concert in Oslo as a “fiasco” after the Canadian pop star walked off the stage.

  1. guerrilla [Spanish]

a member of an irregular army operating in a territory under the control of a hostile force, i.e the enemy; their warfare is generally hit-and-run, employing sudden attacks and sabotages because they are fewer in number

Deep in the Colombian jungle, guerillas from the Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) plan and execute violent terrorist tactics.

  1. klutz [Yiddish]

a clumsy person

She’s a comical blend of insane athlete and pathetic klutz.

  1. lingua franca [Italian]

common language

This has been a rather remarkable evolution: Rodriguez, a noted baseball transgressor, working for one of baseball’s network partners, talking to a national audience in the lingua franca of baseball before and after each postseason game.

  1. nee [French]

adj. born; used for the maiden name of a married woman

Kareena Khan nee Kapoor

  1. par excellence [French]

adj. the best at something

It took over half a century for Manorama to rise to the level of a historic comedienne par excellence and become a household name.

  1. per capita [Latin]

adj., adv. per person

Estimated US per capita consumption of fish and shellfish was 14.6 pounds in 2014, up marginally from the 14.5 pounds consumed in 2013.

  1. per se [Latin]

adv. in itself

The film is also edited differently, and is not Bollywood per se.

  1. prima donna [Italian]

temperamental entertainer

The prima donna IT guru spends much of the team meeting time boasting of his knowledge, while demeaning that of his peers.

  1. Realpolitik [German]

opportunistic politics that concerns itself with ground realities, with self-advancement as the sole driving principle

I no longer think of the former secretary of State as the heartless grandmaster of realpolitik.

  1. status quo [Latin]

the existing state of things

The High Court on Saturday ordered to maintain status quo with regard to the two acres of land, situated on Platform Road.

  1. tabula rasa [Latin]

blank slate

But the real hero of Makari’s tale is Willis’ student John Locke, who argued that the mind is a tabula rasa on which ideas are inscribed.

  1. terra firma [Latin]

hard, firm ground

Offensive coordinator George Godsey kept his offense planted on the terra firma for all of 13 plays, only three of which gained as many as 5 yards.

  1. vis-à-vis [French]

adv., adj. face-to-face

The US dollar rate vis a vis the Kuwaiti dinar dropped to KD 0.302 but the euro rose to KD 0.333, in Sunday’s trades.

  1. Zeitgeist [German]

the intellectual outlook or spirit characteristic of a particular time period or generation

Street demonstrations and protest movements as cultural memes have hit the zeitgeist like a buzzy new Netflix series this season.


5 Response Comments

  • SherrylJuly 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

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  • Sarthak SharmaSeptember 7, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Thanks Bro for such a great description of foreign words.

  • Khushbu rafiqApril 17, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Thanx for helping..

  • Harshda bargalMay 13, 2017 at 6:39 am

    It’s awesome.. Thank you so much

  • nehaJuly 1, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Thank you so much…..


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