25. Lexical challenges in translation
A concept is distinguished by the word which is conveyed as a recognizable unit of meaning. It may be cut into meaning components (=сема). In a given language a concept is represented by a word, or a morpheme, a phrase or  idiom, by tone or by word order. Concepts are identified in a language on the principles of contrast and comparison with the system of the same language. Languages have different concepts, these concepts can be similar or completely different. They may develop or be absent in a language. In any case we can’t speak of complete equivalence.
There are the same categories in some languages, but the ways they are conveyed and expressed may be entirely different.
Sometimes the language can lack some concepts. E.g.: “projector” = ‘a thing that shows pictures on the wall” – it lacks in Vietnamese, they use definition. Sometimes there are concepts which partially overlap. E.g.: “to undo” = «сделать опять всё как было»
The concept of plurality does exist in English and Russian but it’s packaged differently. To denote plurality we use suffixes, add them to nouns and verbs. Very often the idea of plurality is is expressed differently.
Plurality vs. Singularity
Похороны = funeral
Часы = watch
лук = onions
To look into the eye = смотреть в глаза
To keep oneself in hand = держать себя в руках
The same meaning component may occur in the surface structure of the lexical items.
Sheep – sheep
Lamb – ягненок
Ram – овен
In some languages the concept isn’t broken into subconcepts.
Wolf = волк и волчица
Generic and specific concepts can be found in any language. One and the same word can be used at different levels.
Human-being – man – husband
Человек – мужчина – муж
Ученый муж – scholar
There are generic notions that are different in different languages.
Зерно – corn, rice
Сутки – the 24’s, day
2:00 – two in the morning
In some languages the concept of “evil” is equal to the concept of “bad”, but evil isn’t always translated as bad.
The atmosphere was evil – враждебная
A tall building – высокое здание
There are pairs in language that are different by one component of meaning.
Он жил в 20 веке – He lived in the 20 century
Он жил здесь 2 года – He had stayed with us for 2 years
When we speak about semantic differences between languages we can say that there’s difference in meaning as well as phonology etc. The systems of concepts never cover each other. the relationships between these systems are very complex.