views updated May 11 2018

CALQUE, also LOAN TRANSLATION. A word or other expression formed by translating from another language, such as Shaw's superman (1903), from German Übermensch (as used by Nietzsche in 1883). The Romans calqued freely from Greek; from poiótēs (suchness), posótēs (muchness), they formed qualitas and quantitas. Calques are often used for ad hoc glossing, as with ‘suchness’ and ‘muchness’ above. Sometimes, a Greek original and its Latin calque have both entered English: apátheia and its calque indolentia provide English with both apathy and indolence. Calques are often formed from compounds in a source language: for example, German Weltanschauung becoming English ‘world-view’. They may also consist of entire translated phrases, such as ‘Time flies’ from Latin Tempus fugit and ‘that goes without saying’ from French cela va sans dire. See BORROWING, FOREIGNISM, LOAN.