Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject American Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,0, Free University of Berlin (John-F. Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien), course: Language Change II: Language Contact Phenomena and Change in English, language: English, abstract: The number of indigenous people that inhabited the American continent before the European settlers arrived is still debated about today. Based on numerous different sources, printed as well as online, it ranges from 8 million to 112 million people who lived in tribal societies. Those tribes were often very different in the way they lived: some societies were nomad tribes, their major source of food being hunting - which was why they followed their prey. Others lived from growing maize and plants. Again others in the rocky desert regions lived in houses which they built using the natural rock foundations of the area. There were different sizes of tribes, some being rather small, and some being huge, like for example the Aztec societies or the Anasazi people. But no matter what size the population of tribe was, or how advanced they were in their way of life, there's one thing all of them had in common: the moment of contact with the European settlers changed their lives forever. Today the number of Native American people in the United States, although slowly increasing again, is still considerably low: about 1.9 million people today consider themselves to be Native Americans. They make about one percent of the overall population of the United States of America. Throughout the last five centuries, their population was decimated by diseases and wars, caused by the invasions of European settlers. Special programs during the nineteenth century, aiming to 'kill the Indian, save the man' have further added to not only the decimation of a race, but the loss of cultures and related to that, languages. Yet, a lot of aspects of Native American cultures and languages live on today in the modern languages in the form of loanwords. These loanwords allow a glimpse into a unique style of life, which got lost over time. This paper aims on looking at the different kinds of loanwords, seeing what areas of life they can be classified into and to examine when they entered the English language for the first time.