Idioms Essay

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English and Slovak idioms Idioms of the two languages may be compared from the systemic linguis¬tic point of view (contrastive approach) and from the point of view of their translation in literary texts (translational approach). Consequently we distin¬guish between systemic and translational equivalents. Contrastive view In the contrastive approach we compare idioms of the language L1 with idioms of another language L2 and focus on mutual equivalence between L1 and L2 and problems of their interference. The objective is to find parallel idioms -- systemic equivalents, and find out their dif¬ferent and common features. The "systemic" equivalent used in contrastive analysis reflects the equivalence of a particular idiom in a language as a system. The equivalent is determined by the possibilities of a language, i.e. by the existence or non-existence of idioms with the same (very close) content -- containing the same/different components. In the contrastive approach one has at his disposal idiomatic equivalents and non-idiomatic equivalents (a word, collocation/free word, explanation), and the preference is given to idiomatic equivalents. When we compare English and Slovak idioms, the great majority of Eng¬lish and Slovak idioms are different in their expression form, so the best way to compare them is to compare from the point of view of their content equivalence only. Here idioms may be analyzed according to (l) what kind of lexical items are available in Slovak to express the meaning of English idioms (2) what their rela¬tionship is to other similar units. Comparison may include individual idioms, sets of idioms (e.g. idiomatic semantic fields), or the whole body of idioms (e.g. as compiled in a dictionary). Types of systemic equivalents We can roughly speak about two groups of systemic idiomatic equiva¬lents (l) absolute, (2) relative equivalents,
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