Calque

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In linguistics, a calque ( /kælk/ ) or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal word-for-word or root-for-root translation. When used as a verb, "to calque" means to borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components, so as to create a new lexeme in the target language.

Contents

The term calque itself is a loanword from the French noun calque ("tracing, imitation, close copy"). [1] Calquing is distinct from phono-semantic matching: while calquing includes semantic translation, it does not consist of phonetic matching—i.e., retaining the approximate sound of the borrowed word by matching it with a similar-sounding pre-existing word or morpheme in the target language. [2]

Proving that a word is a calque sometimes requires more documentation than does an untranslated loanword because, in some cases, a similar phrase might have arisen in both languages independently. This is less likely to be the case when the grammar of the proposed calque is quite different from that of the borrowing language, or when the calque contains less obvious imagery.

Types

One system classifies calques into five groups. However, this terminology is not universal: [3]

Also, some linguists refer to a phonological calque, in which the pronunciation of a word is imitated in the other language. [6] For example, the English word "radar" becomes the similar-sounding Chinese word 雷达 (pinyin :léidá). [6]

Loan blend

Loan blends, or partial calques, translate some parts of a compound but not others. [7] For example, the name of the Irish digital television service "Saorview" is a partial calque of that of the UK service "Freeview", translating the first half of the word from English to Irish but leaving the second half unchanged. Other examples include "liverwurst" (< German Leberwurst ) and "apple strudel" (< German Apfelstrudel ).[ citation needed ]

Examples

Loan translations

The common English phrase "flea market" is a loan translation of the French marché aux puces ("market with fleas"). [8] Many other languages also calque the French expression (directly, or indirectly through some other language). The Spanish language phrase is mercado de pulgas while the Dutch language version is Vlooienmarkt, and the German one Flohmarkt.

Another example of a common morpheme-by-morpheme loan-translation, is of the English word "skyscraper", which may be calqued using the word for "sky" or "cloud" and the word, variously, for "scraping", "scratching", "piercing", "sweeping", "kissing", etc. For example, the French language word is gratte-ciel and the Spanish language word is rascacielos.

translātiō and trāductiō

The Latin word translātiō ("a transferring") derives from transferō ("to transfer"), from trans ("across") + ferō (the verb "bear"). [9]

All Germanic languages (except for English and Icelandic and Dutch), and some Slavic languages, calqued their words for "translation" from the Latin translātiō, substituting their respective Germanic or Slavic root words for the Latin roots. The remaining Slavic languages instead calqued their words for "translation" from an alternative Latin word, trāductiō, itself derived from trādūcō ("to lead across" or "to bring across")—from trans ("across") + dūcō , ("to lead" or "to bring"). [9]

The West and East Slavic languages (except for Russian) adopted the translātiō pattern, whereas Russian and the South Slavic languages adopted the trāductiō pattern. The Romance languages, deriving directly from Latin, did not need to calque their equivalent words for "translation". Instead, they simply adapted the second of the two alternative Latin words, trāductiō. [9]

The English verb "to translate" was borrowed from the Latin translātiō, rather than being calqued. [9] The Icelandic word þýða ("translate"; cognate with the German deuten, "to interpret") was not calqued from Latin, nor was it borrowed. [10]

Semantic calque

The "computer mouse" was named in English for its resemblance to the animal. Many other languages use the word for "mouse" for the "computer mouse", sometimes using a diminutive or, in Chinese, adding "cursor", making "鼠标", meaning "mouse cursor".[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

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A lexicon, word-hoard, wordbook, or word-stock is the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge. In linguistics, a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. The word lexicon derives from Greek word λεξικόν, neuter of λεξικός meaning 'of or for words'.

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A loanword is a word adopted from one language and incorporated into another language without translation. This is in contrast to cognates, which are words in two or more languages that are similar because they share an etymological origin, and calques, which involve translation.

Synonym Words or phrases having the same meaning

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Compound verb

In linguistics, a compound verb or complex predicate is a multi-word compound that functions as a single verb. One component of the compound is a light verb or vector, which carries any inflections, indicating tense, mood, or aspect, but provides only fine shades of meaning. The other, "primary", component is a verb or noun which carries most of the semantics of the compound, and determines its arguments. It is usually in either base or [in Verb + Verb compounds] conjunctive participial form.

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The Greek language has contributed to the English vocabulary in five main ways:

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Phono-semantic matching (PSM) is the incorporation of a word into one language from another, often creating a neologism, where the word's non-native quality is hidden by replacing it with phonetically and semantically similar words or roots from the adopting language. Thus, the approximate sound and meaning of the original expression in the source language are preserved, though the new expression in the target language may sound native.

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Homophonic translation renders a text in one language into a near-homophonic text in another language, usually with no attempt to preserve the original meaning of the text. In one homophonic translation, for example, the English "sat on a wall" is rendered as French "s'étonne aux Halles"[setɔnoɑl]. More generally, homophonic transformation renders a text into a near-homophonic text in the same or another language: e.g., "recognize speech" could become "wreck a nice beach".

<i>Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew</i>

Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew is a scholarly book written in the English language by linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann, published in 2003 by Palgrave Macmillan. The book proposes a socio-philological framework for the analysis of "camouflaged borrowing" such as phono-semantic matching. It introduces for the first time a classification for "multisourced neologisms", new words that are based on two or more sources at the same time.

References

Notes

  1. Knapp, Robbin D. 27 January 2011. "Robb: German English Words." Robb: Human Languages.
  2. Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (2003). Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN   1-4039-1723-X.
  3. Smith, May. The Influence of French on Eighteenth-century Literary Russian. pp. 2930.
  4. Fowler, H. W. [1908] 1999. "Vocabulary § Foreign Words." chap. 1 in The King’s English (2nd ed.). New York: Bartelby.com.
  5. Gilliot, Claude. "The Authorship of the Qur'ān." In The Qur'an in its Historical Context, edited by G. S. Reynolds. p. 97.
  6. 1 2 Yihua, Zhang, and Guo Qiping. 2010. "An Ideal Specialised Lexicography for Learners in China based on English-Chinese Specialised Dictionaries." Pp. 171–92 in Specialised Dictionaries for Learners , edited by P. A. F. Olivera. Berlin: de Gruyter. p. 187.
  7. Durkin, Philip. The Oxford Guide to Etymology. § 5.1.4
  8. "flea market", The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, 2000 Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  9. 1 2 3 4 Christopher Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", The Polish Review , vol. XXVIII, no. 2, 1983, p. 83.
  10. "Þýða í Enska - Íslenska-Enska Orðabók". Glosbe. Retrieved 2020-04-25.

Bibliography