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Loan translation, or a word which is created through loan translation. The parts of the source word are directly translated to make parts of a new word.

An example is "superman," which derives directly from the German "Übermensch."   New York is called "Nueva York" by Spanish-speakers.

This word derives from the French calquer, meaning to trace or copy. "Calque" is not a calque.

In linguistics, a calque is a form of borrowing where it is not so much the word that is borrowed as the meaning.

For example, the Greek 'κοσμος' "order, ornament", (whence cosmetics) came to mean "the world" (whence cosmos). Latin 'mundus', "women's cosmetics" apparently calqued this meaning, and also came to mean "world" (whence mundane or Spanish 'mundo'). (At least so my dictionary tells me.)

It is not necessarily loan translation; loan translation is a kind of calque. In loan translation a compound or phrase is directly translated into a new native compound or phrase (as with Übermensch and superman). Other calques add a new meaning to an existing word; something like idiom translation. If we calqued Spanish "esperar" (to hope, or to wait) onto English "hope", that means we have added the meaning "wait" to the word "hope" that wasn't there before.

Calque, v. t.

See 2d Calk, v. t.


© Webster 1913.

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