Calque 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. "Calque" itself is a loanword from a French noun, and derives from the verb "calquer" (to trace, to copy), while loanword is a calque of the German "Lehnwort", and loan translation — a loan translation of "Lehnübersetzung". Proving that a word is a calque sometimes requires more documentation than does an untranslated loanword, since 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 language proposed to be borrowing, or the calque contains less obvious imagery. 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 through matching it with a similarsounding pre-existent word or morpheme in the target language). False friends (French: faux amis) are pairs of words or phrases in two languages or dialects (or letters in two alphabets) that look or sound similar, but differ in meaning. An example is Portuguese raro "rare" vs. Spanish raro "strange" (similarly, Spanish exquisito "exquisite" vs. Portuguese esquisito "strange"). Often, there is a partial overlap in meanings, which creates additional complications: e.g. Spanish lima, meaning "lime" (the fruit) and "lime" (the calcium-based material), but also "file" (the tool). The term should be distinguished from "false cognates", which are similar words in different languages that appear to have a common historical linguistic origin (whatever their current meaning) but actually do not. As well as complete false friends, use of loanwords often results in the use of a word in a restricted context, which may then develop new meanings not found in the original language.

A loanword (or loan word) is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort, while calque is a loanword from French. The terms borrow and loanword, although traditional, conflict with the ordinary meaning of those words because nothing is returned to the donor languages. However, note that this metaphor is not isolated to the concept of loanwords, but also found in the idiom "to borrow an idea." An additional issue with the term loanword is that it implies that the loaning is limited to one single word as opposed to phrases such as déjà vu, an English loanword from French. While this phrase may be used as one lexical item by English speakers, that is to say, an English speaker would not say only déjà to convey the meaning associated with the full term déjà vu, in the donor language (French), speakers would be aware of the phrase consisting of two words. For simplicity, adopt/adoption or adapt/adaption are used by many linguists, either in parallel to, or in preference to, these words. Some researchers also use the term lexical borrowing.

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