What is the term for concepts that got translated from one language or another?

I've heard this term in a conversation about Czech Anglicisms such like: "Mějte hezký den." - the literal version of the English phrase "Have a nice day."* which wasn't really used in Czechia in the past.

It may include just randomly shared concepts as well. For example a bit – a small amount originally meant a "piece bitten off". I guess the same applies for Czech kus.

  • 1
    In general, these are simply loan words; when it's about whole phrases or idioms, you might correspondingly call them loan phrases. Jul 15, 2016 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


A concept is actually pairing of "what it refers to" (meaning) and a word, so "cow" refers to, well, you know what, and "gabba" (a word of North Saami) refers to "white reindeer", where we use a phrase since we have no reason to have specifically identifies a concept "Whitereindeer". A better way of putting it is in terms of "expressions", i.e. some phrase in one language is used for some purpose, like "you're welcome". Your example is an example of a "calque", which is a word for word loan translation.

  • That's what I meant!
    – Probably
    Jul 15, 2016 at 15:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.