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Different Types of Calque

  1. Paronymous calque or loan word: is the result of an incorrect correspondence between two words that have similar forms or etymologies but that have evolved differently in their respective languages to the point that they now have different meanings (semantic transfer).
    At times it happens because, between two words etymologically related in English, but with a slight difference in meaning, the irrelevant one is chosen.
    It is also possible that the error comes from the calque of the grammatical category.
  2. Orthographic calque: normally appears in the transliteration of the names of people, places, and ethnicities. Spelling and writing conventions of the source language that make little or no sense in the target language are copied without too much consideration.
    Regarding personal names of people in different languages (anthroponyms), the fundamental rupture is when two languages use different alphabets. When the alphabets are the same, the names are written the same, with only a few exceptions:

    1. Historic figures and classic authors whose name has a traditional translation.
    2. The names of royal families and nobility.
    3. The names of popes and saints.

    When the alphabets are different, English transliterations tend to rely on the source language to provide a jumping off point, most famously the Hanyu Pinyin system for Mandarin Chinese. However, there still exist numerous disputed spellings in other languages. Perhaps the most visible one today is “Mohammed”, but there are issues that still arise in languages such as Russian and Farsi.Place names:

    1. Names that have a tradition rooted in English.
    2. Names with a connection in English, but that is not used anymore.
    3. Names without any connection to English that, if they come from a language that uses the Latin alphabet, are left as they appear and that, if they come from other languages, are anglicized.
    4. Ethnicities: should come from Latin. Always capitalize the name.

  3. Typographic calque: takes place when typographical conventions that only exist in the source language are transferred to the new language. For example, English’s employment of capital letters has started to creep into Spanish, as well as the use of italics for emphasis and certain uses of quotation marks (a word between quotation marks is marked and the translator must figure out why it is marked).
  4. Syntactic or structural calque: is the product of erroneous connection between the elements of a sentence or phrase (“in order to” = “en orden a” instead of “para”; “to find guilty = “encontrar culpable” instead of “declarar culpable”). The result is the creation of a third language; in this instance, Spanglish.