1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Calque

By

Definition: A word or phrase in one language whose semantic components (words or parts of words) are translations from another language. For example, the English phrase "blue blood" is a calque of the Spanish phrase sangre azul (sangre means "blood" and azul means "blue"), which at one time apparently referred to the visible veins of fair-skinned people. Similarly, the Spanish rascacielo is a calque of the English "skyscraper" (rasca means "it scrapes" and cielo means "sky"). A calque contrasts with a loanword, in which a foreign word or phrase is adopted outright without an attempt at translating the elements, such as the English phrase "piña colada," which is a simple borrowing of the Spanish phrase rather than a translation of the words (which mean "strained pineapple").
Also Known As: "Loan translation" in English, calco in Spanish.
Examples:
Another English calque from Spanish is "moment of truth," from el momento de la verdad, a bullfighting term. Examples of Spanish calques from English include hombre rana ("frogman"), alto el fuego ("cease-fire"), lavaplatos ("dishwasher"), luna de miel ("honeymoon"), salvaje Oeste ("wild West"), disco duro ("hard disk") and banco de datos ("data bank").
Also from the Grammar Glossary

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.