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American English: its lexical peculiarities. Analogues and variants in translation.

American English cannot be called a dialect or a kind of deviation from British English, because it has a literary normalized form called Standard American (its own norms established for pronunciation (tomato [tə'me͟ɪtəu], dance [dæ̱ns]), spelling (color, dialog), meaning (tube – TV). American Eng marked out his own orthography in Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language published in1828.

The process of coining new lexical items started as soon as the colonists began borrowing names for unfamiliar flora, fauna, and topography from the Native American languages. Examples of such names are opossum, raccoon [rə'kuːn] - енот, squash (plant), moose (лось), canoe [kə'nuː], pale-face etc. The languages of the other colonising nations also added to the American vocabulary; for instance, cookie, cruller ['krʌlə] (витое печенье), stoop (staircase leading to the entrance), from Dutch; levee ['levɪ] дамба  from French; barbecue, cafeteria, mustang, ranch, sombrero and rodeo from Spanish.


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Analogues in translation (dialectal synonyms)

Fall – autumn, car – automobile, post – mail, shades – sun glasses, porridge – oat meal и тд, there are whole dictionaries where we can find parallel terms for British and American English. Analogues are translated into another language by means of the same words. Translating them we should consider the origin of the text and people for whom we are translating.



Pavement – sidewalk. These words have different meaning, but they exist both in Brit and Am English. They are called divergent items in translation. To translate we should know meaning in both variants. Translation depends on the origin of the text and for whom we are translating.

Tube – American TV/ London underground.

Faculty – способность (speaking) Brit/ преподавательский состав in Amer.
Dumb – немой Brit/ stupid Amer.
cover - cover events in the press Amer/ покрывать – Brit

To ship – transport by ship Brit/ in American - transport in any way (by car, by train etc.)

Homely – comfortable in Brit/ugly in American


Lexical-semantic divergences between BrE and AmE maybe reflected in translation. Thus the Russian министерство иностранных дел is rendered into British as Foreign Office, which corresponds to State Department in AmE. Министр иностранных дел – Foreign Secreary in BrE and Secretary of State in AmE.

05.03.2016; 18:00
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