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Károly Polcz Department of Languages for International Business, Faculty of International Management and Business, Budapest Business University, Hungary

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Szvetlana Hamsovszki Department of Languages for International Business, Faculty of International Management and Business, Budapest Business University, Hungary

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Erika Huszár Department of Languages for International Business, Faculty of International Management and Business, Budapest Business University, Hungary

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Emőke Jámbor Centre for Modern Languages, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

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Nóra Szigetváry Department of Languages for International Business, Faculty of International Management and Business, Budapest Business University, Hungary

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Marianna Válóczi Department of Languages for International Business, Faculty of International Management and Business, Budapest Business University, Hungary

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Open access

Abstract

Online terminological glossaries may play a key role in translating and disseminating terms in multiple languages, especially in those highly specialized domains where no other terminological sources are available. The influence of English as a lingua franca is undeniable in the process of shaping target language terminologies. The purpose of this paper is to explore types of secondary term formation and the related translation procedures as reflected in specialized online glossaries in the domain of start-up companies to find out whether they are universal or language-specific. The study investigates 28 online glossaries in five languages with a total of 1,566 terms. It is hypothesised that contact-based term formation with a considerable influence of English is significantly more frequent than interpretative term formation with little or no such influence. It is also proposed that among the translation procedures transference is of the highest occurrence. According to the third hypothesis, languages differ in their preference for various translation procedures. Statistical tests have confirmed all three hypotheses. In addition, our findings also shed light on the lexical gaps in the target languages under investigation.

Abstract

Online terminological glossaries may play a key role in translating and disseminating terms in multiple languages, especially in those highly specialized domains where no other terminological sources are available. The influence of English as a lingua franca is undeniable in the process of shaping target language terminologies. The purpose of this paper is to explore types of secondary term formation and the related translation procedures as reflected in specialized online glossaries in the domain of start-up companies to find out whether they are universal or language-specific. The study investigates 28 online glossaries in five languages with a total of 1,566 terms. It is hypothesised that contact-based term formation with a considerable influence of English is significantly more frequent than interpretative term formation with little or no such influence. It is also proposed that among the translation procedures transference is of the highest occurrence. According to the third hypothesis, languages differ in their preference for various translation procedures. Statistical tests have confirmed all three hypotheses. In addition, our findings also shed light on the lexical gaps in the target languages under investigation.

1 Introduction

The marked sociolinguistic influence of English as a lingua franca concerns not only general language vocabulary (Crystal, 2003), but also the terminology of various specialized languages (Myking, 1997), which are generally “more open to lexical borrowing” (Milić & Kardoš, 2019, p. 867). The high proportion of English borrowings – particularly striking in the language use of domain experts – is reported to lead to code-switching (Mateo, 1993; Polcz, 2017, 2020) and domain loss (Kristiansen, 2012). The corpora of previous studies in this area have been largely comprised of textbooks, professional sites and newspaper articles, while online glossaries have received relatively scant attention and, to our knowledge, their multilingual comparative study from a translation perspective is unavailable in the literature.

Our research investigates 28 freely available specialized online glossaries with English as the source language and French, Italian, Hungarian, Russian and Spanish as the target languages. The study focuses on the multilingual terminology of start-up companies, which, as far as we are aware, has not been explored from the perspective of translation studies and terminology. The objective is to reveal whether types of secondary term formation and the related translation procedures are universal or language-specific.

The idiosyncratic language of start-up companies along with the related terminology first evolved in the US, but the start-up ecosystem, including start-up companies, accelerators, incubators, investors, consultants and business angels, soon spread to European countries. The first successful start-ups in Europe were established in the first decade of the 2000s, such as Prezi in Hungary, Cabify in Spain, Working Capital in Italy, BlaBlaCar in France and Arna Genomics in Russia, just to name a few. As the participants of the ecosystem were not always familiar with the English terminology, institutional and other professional websites compiled glossaries to assist non-English speaking entrepreneurs to understand the concepts and enable them to translate the specialized terms.

Critics are justified in pointing out that online specialized glossaries and dictionaries, for the most part, fail to meet basic lexicographic standards (Caruso, 2011; Fuertes-Olivera, 2010; Fuertes-Olivera & Nielsen, 2011). Nevertheless, we consider them as significant linguistic phenomena worthy of scholarly investigation because the ways glossary editors – also acting as language mediators – render terms may have far-reaching effects on target language usage in general and translation in particular, as well as on the efficiency of communication between various user groups, especially in highly specialized domains where no other terminological sources are available.

2 English as “the nativized foreign language”

According to Prćić (2014, p. 144), English has acquired the sociolinguistic status of being “the nativized foreign language”. This means that it is the only language thus far that has “become […] part of many native languages and cultures around the world, to the diminution of some of its foreign language properties”. This effect is also markedly reflected in the terminology of specialized languages as evidenced by a significant number of direct and indirect borrowings, manifested in various translation procedures, such as transference and different types of calquing. Put differently, “English functions as a supplementary language because it supplements the communicative needs of a given language community by filling out actual and supposed lexical and other gaps […]” (Prćić, 2014, p. 144). The following literature review is intended to shed light on the role of domain experts in shaping target language terminology.

The dominance of English has been investigated empirically on comparable corpora, i.e., authentic texts authored by domain experts across a variety of languages and domains, such as finance in Spanish, Hungarian and French (Mateo, 2014a, 2014b; Orts Llopis & Almela Sánchez-Lafuente, 2009, 2012; Phillips, 2007; Vargáné Kiss, 2016), information technology in Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Slovenian and Russian (Belda Medina, 2003, 2004; Bernardini & Ferraresi, 2011; Kolupajeva, 2015; Sethna, 2015), sport in Serbian (Ilinčić, 2019; Milić, 2013, 2015; Milić & Sokić, 1998), medical terminology in Hungarian and Serbian (Keresztes, 2003, 2007; Vuletić et al., 2017), along with highly specialized fields such as remote sensing in Spanish (Sanz Vicente, 2012), just to name a few. Most of the results point to a clear supplementary function of English in secondary term formation and in the related translation procedures. In other words, a significant number of lexical borrowings, hybrid translations and calques have been shown to appear in target language texts.

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the lack of time for professional term formation and standardisation. Mateo (2014a, p. 414) distinguishes between “first-tier” and “second-tier receivers”. First-tier receivers are those experts who encounter the English term for the first time and translate them into the target language. As they are more interested in the meaning than the form, they are often satisfied with direct borrowings or calques. They are followed by second-tier receivers who adopt these terms. Thus, borrowings and calques become established in the target language ahead of the forms proposed by terminologists and professional translators.

The second reason is the composition of the target audience. The studies by Orts Llopis and Almela Sánchez-Lafuente (2009, 2012) show that business journals aimed at a professional audience use significantly more borrowings than publications targeting lay readers. The latter tend to resort to calques, reformulations and expansions.

The third reason is due to cultural differences and preferences in language use. Phillips (2007, p. 67) pointed out that the business pages of French and Belgian newspapers use fewer English borrowings than their German and Dutch counterparts. Further, German papers tend to borrow only if the term is new, whereas Dutch papers borrow the most. That is because, as explained by the author, Dutch is a minority language, and Dutch professionals usually have a good command of English. In examining the language of information technology in Slovenian and Japanese, Sethna (2015, pp. 130–131) concluded that Slovenian shows a preference for target language term formation, whereas Japanese favours “ortho-phonologically adapted borrowing” (Sethna, 2015, p. 131). Intriguingly, these strategies reflect the attitude of the discourse community, i.e., domain experts towards specialized language use.

Other studies, however, question linguistic and cultural factors. Konovalova and Ruiz Yepes (2017) found no significant differences in lexical borrowing in the language of marketing in German and Spanish, though their results were not quantified. Ortego-Antón and Pimentel (2019) reported nearly similar proportions of borrowings of social media terms in Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.

The literature reviewed above suggests that there is a relatively high occurrence of direct lexical borrowings (46–57%) in the samples investigated, although the comparability of the results is not without difficulties in the absence of a uniform methodology. In the present study, we attempt to conduct a comparative study of specialized online glossaries with a uniform methodology. We view glossary editors as “first-tier receivers”, who may have a pivotal role in disseminating target language terminology mainly through translation. The results will provide insights into the characteristics of secondary term formation along with the related translation procedures.

Previous research has mainly focused on the borrowing patterns in online glossaries without attempting to draw generalizable conclusions (Milić & Kardoš, 2019; Orts Llopis & Almela Sánchez-Lafuente, 2009). A direct predecessor of our research is the studies conducted by Polcz (2017, 2020), detecting a high proportion of lexical borrowings (46.02%–47.09%) in English to Hungarian online glossaries in the domains of online marketing and start-up companies.

Based on the literature and our own observations, we put forward the following three hypotheses regarding secondary term formation and the related translation procedures in the target languages. The first two are assumed to be universal, whereas the third one is language-specific.

  1. According to the null hypothesis, there is no difference between the occurrence of contact-based and interpretative term formations, while the alternative hypothesis suggests that contact-based term formation occurs in significantly higher proportions than interpretative term formation in the languages under investigation.

  2. According to the null hypothesis, there no difference between the occurrence of transference and other translation procedures within the category of contact-based term formation, whereas the alternative hypothesis proposes that transference occurs in significantly higher proportions than other translation procedures.

  3. According to the null hypothesis, languages and translation procedures do not depend on each other, whereas the alternative hypothesis posits that individual languages show a preference for certain translation procedures.

3 Translation procedures and term transparency

We adopt Sager's (1990, p. 80) distinction between primary and secondary term formation. Whereas primary term creation, i.e., designating a new concept, is a monolingual process without a linguistic precedent, secondary term formation pertains to knowledge transfer with already existing terms in the source language which need to be transferred to the target languages. It is important to note that terminology theory makes a distinction between the conceptual (langue) and the linguistic (parole) level of analysis (Fischer, 2017), and attempts to reveal the relations between concepts on the one hand, and concepts and designations on the other (Sandrini, 2005). The first step in conveying terms from one language to another is to identify the terms in context (parole), and then reveal their conceptual content (langue), and finally find or create a corresponding term that designates the same concept in the target language (Fischer, 2017). In the present research, however, as our objective is to shed light on the influence of English on the target languages, we will be concerned only with the second level of analysis; that is, linguistic correspondences between English and target language terms to find out whether the guiding principle in setting up correspondences are universal or language-specific. As the taxonomy we work with has its main origins in translations studies, we view correspondences as instances of translation, using Newmark's (1988, p. 81) term translation procedures to refer to the translation of terms, i.e., “smaller units of the language”.

The following taxonomy is based on the categories known from translation studies and contact linguistics (Balázs, 1983; Lanstyák, 2006; Molina & Albir, 2002; Newmark, 1988; Vinay & Dalbernet, 1995). The immediate background is the taxonomy set up by Polcz (2017, 2020), which has been modified and refined for the purposes of this investigation by reducing the number of categories; that is, merging similar translation procedures into the same category to make the data more suited to statistical analysis.

Polcz's (2020, pp. 14–15) taxonomy takes into account the degree of term transparency resulting from translation procedures. ISO 704: 2009(E) (p. 39) considers “a term or appellation […] transparent when the concept it designates can be inferred, at least partially, without a definition or an explanation”. Polcz (2020, pp. 14–15) distinguishes between three types of term transparency from the perspective of a generally literate but lay user. Interferential terms include those direct borrowings from English which are likely to be perceived as code-switching by a lay user in a language other than English: magic number (fr), cap table (hu), dilution (it), pivot (ru), coworking (es).1 Intransparent terms are foreign or international words used in a narrow professional context. They are usually introduced into the target language through “naturalization”, which, according to Newmark (1988, p. 82), “adapts the SL word first to the normal pronunciation, then to the normal morphology […] of the TL […]”: scalability (en) – scalabilité (fr), monatization (en) – monetizáció (hu) and monatización (es), digitalisation (en) – digitalizatsiya (ru). Linguistically transparent terms are those textual units in which the individual elements are widely known, but the layperson is not necessarily familiar with the full conceptual content in the given subject area: accelerator (en) – accélérateur (fr), crowdfunding (en) – közösségi finanszírozás (hu), bridge loan (en) – prestito ponte (it), accelerator (en) – akselerator (ru), equity loan (en) – préstamo participativo (es).

In the following, we attempt to describe types of term formation and the related translation procedures observed in the sample. The glossaries include numerous terms of Latin and Greek origin. It is important to note that this paper does not seek to conduct etymological analyses. The following categories have been developed in light of direct contact between English and target language terms as evidenced in the glossaries, regardless of the true etymological origin of the target language terms (Milić & Kardoš, 2019; Vuletić et al., 2017).

We distinguish between two main types of secondary term formation. Contact-based term formation means that English exerts a significant direct or indirect influence on the target language term. The glossary retains a sense of “foreignness” by including or coining terms following source language patterns. In translation studies, this is regarded as foreignization (Venuti, 1995). In interpretative term formation, the contact language influence is significantly lower or entirely absent. Glossary editors capture the sense of the concept based on the definition, or they find systemic equivalents already established in the target language. In both instances, the resulting terms follow target language patterns (Fischer, 2012; Venuti, 1995). This approach is also referred to as domestication in translation studies (Venuti, 1995).

Contact-based term formation includes transference, internationalisation and substitution as the most typical translation procedures. The translation procedures identified within interpretative term formation are uniformly referred to as sense-centred translation. This is because further breakdown of the category would make the data too fragmented to draw relevant conclusions due to the relatively low number of occurrences in some of the categories.

3.1 Translation procedures in contact-based term formation

3.1.1 Transference

The term transference refers to those instances whereby the source language term is directly borrowed by the target language, yielding loanwords (Newmark, 1988, pp. 81–82): bridge financing (fr), growth hacking (hu), burn rate (it), butstreping (ru), fundraising (es). The sample also provides examples of hybridization, whereby a morpheme in a complex term remains unchanged, while the other one is substituted with a corresponding target language morpheme (Haugen, 1950, p. 210; Kontra, 1981, p. 15): business model canvas (en) – business model canevas (fr), double trigger vesting (en) – gyorsított vesting (hu), disruptive innovation (en) – innovazione disruptive (it), traction maptrekshn karta (ru), cohort study estudio de cohortes (es). This category also includes cases of zero translation, whereby the glossary provides a definition without an equivalent term. It is likely that in the absence of a target language term, the user will use the English term, which may become established in the target language. Transference results in interferential target language terms, likely to be perceived as code-switching by the lay user in target language discourse.

3.1.2 Internationalisation

This category comprises those internationalisms that are included in a dictionary of foreign words of the given language along with hybrid forms comprised of an internationalism and a target language word. Words of foreign origin which are integrated into the target language to such a degree that the user does not perceive them as foreign are not considered in this category. Using internationalisms in translation is usually viewed as transference, i.e., direct borrowing. In our system, however, we distinguish internationalisms from transference simply because transference always results in an interferential term that gives the impression of code-switching, whereas in using international words the issue of code-switching does not normally arise, as they either result in transparent terms such as marketing, workshop, networking etc. or intransparent terms used in a narrow professional context: monetisation (en) – monetizáció (hu).

3.1.3 Substitution

The literature usually distinguishes calque and semantic borrowing as two types of substitution (Balázs, 1983; Lanstyák, 2006). A calque consists at least of two morphemes: cap table (en) –table de capitalisation (fr), angel investor (en) – angyal befektető (hu), investment agreement (en) – contratto di investimento (it), death valley (en) – dolina smerti (ru), financing round (en) – ronda de financiación (es). Semantic borrowing occurs if the source language term is comprised only of one morpheme: dragon (en) – sárkány (hu), funnelvoronka (ru) (ru), dragon (en) – dragón (es). As a result of semantic borrowing, a general word is terminologized, i.e., it designates a concept in the target language that was not previously associated with it. For instance, the English term dragon designates a start-up company that can raise more than a billion dollars in a single fundraising round. Its Spanish equivalent dragón also acquires this terminological meaning in addition to the general meaning of a mythical animal. As calquing and semantic borrowing are very similar phenomena, they are uniformly categorized as substitution in the taxonomy. Although substitution produces linguistically transparent terms, yet we classify them as contact-based term formation because they follow source language patterns, thus often giving rise to a certain degree of “foreignness” for the lay language user.

3.2 Translation procedures in interpretative term formation

3.2.1 Sense-centred translation

Unlike contact-based translation procedures, in interpretative term formation a clear effort can be detected to convey the term by using the onomasiological approach. In other words, the target language term is introduced on the basis of its definition by capturing its conceptual content and finding a designation that refers to the same concept in the target language. We view this process as sense-centred translation. Although all target language terms should be introduced based on conceptual correspondences, this process is difficult to spot in contact-based term formation, considering the large number of transferences and calques (see section 5). Nevertheless, this is not to say that contact-based term formations do not fulfil the requirement of conceptual correspondence once they are accepted by the professional community and later by the general public. This simply means that contact-based terms tend to be linguistically less transparent.

Sense-centred translation yields linguistically transparent target language terms which may make certain aspects of the concept clear. One type of sense-centred translation occurs when the source language term is matched with an already existing target language term based on the definition of the concept: business angel (en) – investisseur providentiel (fr), due diligence (en) – átvilágítás (hu), patent (en) – brevetto (it), valuationocenka (ru), golden parachutecontrato blindado (es). The other type is referred to as new equivalences. This involves studying the definition of the concept and then coining a term comprised of the elements of the target language: incubator (en) – pépinière d'entreprise (fr), traction (en) – haladás (hu), exit (en) – disinvestimento (it), stake (en) – dolya v kompanii (ru), partnership agreement (en) – pacto de socios (es). This procedure sets up equivalences that did not exist before.

The sample includes examples of partially sense centred-translations whereby one element of the target language term is a semantic equivalent, while the other one is a sense-centred rendition: business angel (en) – ange investisseur (fr), seed investment (en) – magvető befektetés (hu), seed investment (en) – posevnye investicii (ru), raise funds (en) – levantar inversión (es).

4 Data and methods

Our research includes 28 online start-up glossaries with a total of 1,566 terms. We follow the ISO 704: 2009(E) (p. 34) definition, which posits that “a term is a designation consisting of one or more words representing a general concept in a special language in a specific subject field”. For the purposes of this study, start-up terminology refers to the set of terms in online specialized glossaries which were found on the internet with Google Search Engine, using keywords such as Start-up glossary or dictionary in the languages under investigation. We specifically collected glossaries found on professional websites focusing on some aspects of start-up companies or providing services and advice for them; that is, business consultancies, venture capital firms, accelerators, law offices, marketing agencies, universities, specialized journals, mentoring guides and independent sites or blogs. The editors of glossaries – either teams or independent experts – act as mediators collecting target language terms already in use, as well as creating new terms as evidenced by the data in section 5. The glossaries are mostly bilingual; however, in some instances, target language terms are missing, or they are only found in the definitions. The lexicographical deficiencies in the macro and microstructure of the glossaries attest to the fact that the editors are mostly domain experts lacking theoretical knowledge of terminology and lexicography. However, their contribution to target language terminology may be significant, as they are the ones in direct contact with entrepreneurs and the rest of the ecosystem, and thus the target language terms they use may set an example for the wider community to be followed in the target languages.

We followed Polcz's (2017, 2020) methodology in capturing translation procedures and the resulting term transparency. The English and the target language terms were entered manually into a database management application. This was followed by a coding stage based on the taxonomy described in section 3. Each pair of terms was assigned codes for the two variables under study, i.e., translation procedure and term transparency. All data were coded by two researchers independently of each other. Intercoder reliability was measured by calculating Cohen's Kappa coefficients. The results were then compared and in the instances of disagreement, the coders jointly decided on the code to be applied. Table 1 shows the Cohen's Kappa coefficients for the two variables. The values for intercoder reliability, as defined by Landis and Koch (1977), show strong or near-perfect agreement.

Table 1.

Intercoder reliability based on Cohen's Kappa

FrenchHungarianItalianRussianSpanish
Translation procedures0.7970.8960.9620.8090.904
Transparency0.8960.8980.9370.800.964

The Hungarian data already explored in Polcz (2020) was re-coded based on the current taxonomy incorporating all five languages under scrutiny (see subsections 3.1–3.2). We carried out code-based queries in the database management program to reveal the typical translation procedures and the transparency of target language terms.

To test hypotheses 1 and 2 (see section 2), two-sample z-tests were performed to show whether significant differences between various types of term formation and translation procedures exist. To confirm the first hypothesis, the proportion of contact-based term formation was compared to interpretative term formation. For the second hypothesis, the proportion of transference and the proportion of internationalisation and substitution were compared. The latter two translation procedures were combined into one data set to simplify the calculation, since if there is a significant difference between the two data sets (transference vs. international word + substitution), then significant differences are also evident upon comparing the proportions of transference with the other two data sets separately. To test the third hypothesis (see section 2) a Pearson's chi-square test and a comparison of column proportions were conducted in SPSS software.

Upon testing hypotheses 1–3, multiple occurrences of terms were taken into account because the same term can be translated in various ways across glossaries. Thus, our research provides a full account of preferred translation procedures in view of all occurrences.

In addition, we were also curious to reveal the proportions of interferential, intransparent and linguistically transparent terms in each language, except this time we eliminated multiple occurrences. More specifically, for this investigation, each term was coded only once with its most transparent translation. This approach reveals lexical gaps, i.e., the instances when none of the glossaries provides a transparent target language term for a given concept.

5 Results and discussion

Table 2 illustrates the proportions of various types of term formation and the related translation procedures in the sample.

Table 2.

Types of term formation and translation procedures across languages, N = 1,566

Translation proceduresFrenchHungarianItalianRussianSpanish
n%n%n%n%n%
Contact-basedTransference15452.7418247.0324279.3422259.3611957.21
Internat.258.566316.2861.978622.9962.88
Substitution5920.215413.953812.46287.495928.37
Total23881.5029977.2628693.7733689.8418488.46
InterpretativeSense-centred5418.498822.74196.233810.162411.54

The data in Table 2 reveal that the proportion of contact-based term formation is higher than that of interpretative term formation in each language. In practice, this means that glossaries show a preference for simpler and more straightforward solutions that are likely to have already been established, or they are in the process of being established, including transference, hybrid translation, internationalization and substitution (calque and semantic borrowing). Surprisingly, little effort is dedicated to sense-centred translation. This approach to equivalence yields target language terms that are less meaningful and usable for semi-experts or laypersons.

In the category of contact-based term formation, transference is the most frequent translation procedure (47.03–79.34%) as opposed to internationalisation (1.97–22.99%) and substitution (7.49–28.37%). Researchers tend to agree that transference is justified if there is a lexical gap, i.e., if no target language term is available, or the concept is so complex that it can only be verbalised by circumlocution (Milić, 2013, 2015; Milić & Kardoš, 2019; Milić & Sokić, 1998). Transference encourages the use of the original source language term in the target language, thus paving the way for code-switching. Borrowed terms are more difficult to fit into the target language, and they tend to give rise to communication problems, especially in interactions between experts and lay users. It is also possible, however, that the transferred source language term and its equivalent co-exist as synonyms in the target language, which may entail terminological confusion, as the same concept is designated by more than one term. Nevertheless, transference carries the advantages of faster and more efficient communication between domain experts. Talebinejad, Dastjerdi, and Mahmoodi (2012), for instance, found that experts favoured English terms simply because target language equivalents failed to convey exactly the same conceptual content. Retaining the original term thus provided better clarity and assisted in avoiding terminological confusion and inconsistency.

The other two translation procedures in contact-based term formation are internationalisation and substitution (calque and semantic borrowing). Internationalisation amounts to between 1.97 and 22.99 percent in the data. From the perspective of transparency, this translation procedure is a transition between transference and substitution. A minority of international words are used only in narrow professional circles and are therefore less transparent to the lay language user. Most of the international terms are used across different subject areas and in nonspecialized communication as well. They may cause communication problems if their conceptual content changes from one subject area to the other, i.e., users are confronted with content they are unfamiliar with. On the other hand, however, international terms can make communication more efficient between professionals.

Substitution (calques and semantic borrowing) is observed in 7.49–28.37 percent of the sample. As the resulting terms are comprised of target language elements, they fit well into the target language system and easily lend themselves to conjugation and word formation without invoking a sense of “foreignness” in the discourse. Similarly to internationalisms, comprehension and usage are made challenging by virtue of their conceptual content, which may be different from their meaning in general lexis. As noted by Kočote and Smirnova (2016, p. 111), calques often “align non-equivalent terms”, which do not designate exactly the same concept and can, therefore, be ambiguous and potentially misleading. As for the benefits of calquing, nevertheless, Montero-Martinez, Fuertes-Olivera, and García de Quesada (2001, p. 693) point out that while contributing to internationalisation as well as to the promotion of national languages, calquing “maintains a link between a TL and international terminologies”. Moreover, it often leads to better results than artificial new terminology. They argue that “calquing […] is also a form of language planning, although this dimension has never been officially acknowledged” (Montero-Martinez et al., 2001, p. 692).

Compared with the total of all translation procedures in contact-based term formation, interpretative term formation occurs in lower proportions. The obvious reason for this is that this type of term formation is a highly complex process, requiring much more expertise, time and effort. Sense-centred translation promotes and contributes to terminological transparency. The advantage of this procedure is that certain aspects of the conceptual content of the term are made clear to the lay user, thus facilitating expert to layperson communication. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that it may not be accepted by the profession, especially if the previously adopted source language term or its variant is also in use in the target language.

After describing the translation procedures, let us now turn to testing the hypotheses. Our first null hypothesis was that there is no difference between the occurrence of contact-based and interpretative term formations, whereas in the alternative hypothesis we assumed that contact-based term formation occurs in a significantly higher proportion than interpretative term formation in each language under study. Table 3 shows the results of the z-tests.

Table 3.

Contact-based vs. interpretative term formation across languages, N = 1,566

LanguageTerm formationProportionsesezp
Frenchcontact-basedp1 = 0.8150.6300.05810.7680.000
interpretativep2 = 0.185
Hungariancontact-basedp1 = 0.7730.5460.05110.7260.000
interpretativep2 = 0.227
Italiancontact-basedp1 = 0.9380.8750.05715.2880.000
interpretativep2 = 0.062
Russiancontact-basedp1 = 0.8980.7970.05215.4090.000
interpretativep2 = 0.102
Spanishcontact-basedp1 = 0.8850.7690.06911.0940.000
interpretativep2 = 0.115

As shown in Table 3, the z-values are high enough to reject the null hypothesis and assume that the alternative hypothesis is true; that is, glossaries show a preference for terms created through contact-based over interpretative term formation at all levels of significance (p < 0.001) for all the languages under investigation.

Our second hypothesis was that there is no difference between the occurrence of transference and other translation procedures within the category of contact-based term formation, whereas in the alternative hypothesis we proposed that transference in contact-based term formation occurs in significantly higher proportions than other translation procedures. This, in turn, may lead to code-switching in the target language. The results of the z-test are shown in Table 4.

Table 4.

Transference vs. internationalisation and substitution in contact-based term formation across languages, N = 1,566

LanguageTranslation procedureProportionsesezp
Frenchtransferencep1 = 0.6470.2940.0654.5370.000
internationalisation & substitutionp2 = 0.353
Hungariantransferencep1 = 0.6090.2170.0583.7590.000
internationalisation & substitutionp2 = 0.391
Italiantransferencep1 = 0.8460.6920.05911.7080.000
internationalisation & substitutionp2 = 0.154
Russiantransferencep1 = 0.6610.3210.0555.8920.000
internationalisation & substitutionp2 = 0.339
Spanishtransferencep1 = 0.6470.2930.0743.9810.000
internationalisation & substitutionp2 = 0.353

Based on the results of the z-tests, we reject the null hypothesis and assume the alternative hypothesis to be true, proposing that glossary editors favour various types of transference over internationalisation and substitution in all five languages at virtually any level of significance (p < 0.001).

Table 5 shows the proportions of interferential, intransparent and linguistically transparent terms in each language, excluding multiple occurrences.

Table 5.

Types of term transparency across languages, N = 1,026

Term transparencyFrenchHungarianItalianRussianSpanish
n%n%n%n%n%
inferential8241.6210143.3513670.4712146.546344.06
intransparent42.03114.7210.5231.1553.50
transparent11156.3512151.935629.0213652.317552.45

Interferential terms coined through transference, hybrid transference and zero translation represent a relatively high proportion (41.62–70.47%), which is particularly striking in Italian. The proportion of interferential terms draws attention to the lack of target language terms in the glossaries. In these instances, the user is highly likely to find only code-switching terms.

The percentage of intransparent terms is low in the sample (0.52–4.72%), including mostly international words used in a narrow professional context. Despite being naturalised, the lay user is likely to perceive a certain degree of “foreignness” when the terms are encountered in discourse. The relatively high proportion of interferential and intransparent terms combined may contribute significantly to the “foreignness” of the target language discourse, as perceived especially by laypersons.

The percentage of linguistically transparent terms varies between 51.93 and 56.35 percent in French, Hungarian, Russian and Spanish. This indicates that if a user consults all glossaries in the chosen language, transparent target language terms are available in only slightly more than half of the cases. In Italian, however, this proportion stands only at 29.02 percent. Linguistically transparent terms can be used in communication between experts and laypersons without creating a sense of code-switching or a significant degree of “foreignness”. However, their conceptual content needs to be precisely defined to ensure full transparency.

The third null hypothesis was that languages and translation procedures do not depend on each other, whereas in the alternative hypothesis we proposed that translation procedures vary in the languages under study, i.e., they depend on the preferences of the discourse community. To test the hypothesis, we conducted a Pearson's chi-square test, χ2 (12, N = 1,566) = 207.923, p < = 0.001. The chi-square test virtually at any level of significance shows that the two variables, that is, language and translation procedures, are not independent in the sample. Put differently, languages differ in their preferences for translation procedures. Therefore, we reject the null hypothesis and assume the alternative hypothesis to be true.

Table 6 shows the percentage values of the most typical translation procedures and the significant differences between languages where applicable.

Table 6.

The most typical translation procedures (%) and significant differences across languages

Term formation/translation procedureFrenchHungarianItalianRussianSpanish
Contact-basedTransference79.34

fr*

hu*

ru*

es*
59.36

hu*
Internationalisation8.56

it*
16.28

fr**

it*

es*
22.99

fr*

it*

es*
Substitution20.21

ru*
13.95

ru**
28.37

it*

hu*

ru*
InterpretativeSense-centred18.49

it*

ru**
22.74

it*

ru*

es*

*The test is significant at p < 0.01

**The test is significant at p < 0.05

Italian exhibits the most occurrences of transference, significantly higher than the other four languages. Russian, ranked second, shows a significant difference compared to Hungarian. This suggests that Italian and Russian glossaries have the strongest preference for retaining source language terms, i.e., they are the least likely to introduce terms comprised of target language elements. Russian and Hungarian tend to use the most international words, showing significant differences in comparison with French, Italian and Spanish, while French shows a similar difference relative to Italian. Internationalisms provide more transparency by ensuring better comprehensibility than transference, though they retain some degree of “foreignness”. Spanish shows the highest occurrences of substitution (calque and semantic borrowing) with significant differences compared to Italian, Hungarian and Russian. This translation procedure is also relatively high in French and Hungarian, differing significantly only from Russian. The resulting terms follow source language patterns, but they are comprised of target language elements, significantly reducing the sense of “foreignness” and the possibility of code-switching relative to transference and internationalisation. Sense-centred translation is particularly salient in Hungarian and French. Hungarian applies this translation procedure significantly more frequently than Italian, Russian and Spanish, whereas French differs significantly from Italian and Russian. This indicates that of the five languages, Hungarian and French are concerned the most with the dissemination of transparent terms comprised of target language elements.

6 Conclusions

The findings of the study have drawn attention to the language-specific and universal nature of term formation as identified in the glossaries for the five languages under study. Language-specificity is mirrored in the proportions of preferred translation procedures in individual languages. However, it proved to be universal that contact-based term formation occurs in a significantly higher proportion than interpretative term formation in all five languages. Intriguingly, contact-based term formation shows a clear preference for transference as opposed to internationalisation and substitution. In practice, this means that glossaries are limited in their ability to fulfil interlingual communicative functions in a broad sense. Users are confronted with a myriad of mostly incomprehensible interferential terms. Further, transference may reinforce code-switching, as users are likely to fall back on English terms in target language discourse in the absence of transparent equivalents. Whereas it does not typically lead to communication problems between experts, it does make communication more difficult between experts and laypersons.

On the other hand, through translation procedures such as internationalisation, substitutions (calques and semantic borrowing) and sense-centred translation glossaries may facilitate communication between experts and laypersons in instances where no other terminological sources are available. Consider, for instance, the case of translation and interpretation, authoring articles and books or giving lectures for a lay target audience among the numerous instances of communication. Especially, the relatively high proportions of sense-centred translations in French and Hungarian may be of assistance here.

Finally, it is our view that online glossaries may assist in the process of terminological standardization because they include terms reflecting the language use of professionals to a large extent. Standardization bodies may consider adopting those, insofar as they meet the professional criteria for term creation (see ISO 704: 2009(E), pp. 38–39), instead of coining new terms that may not be accepted by the professional discourse community.

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and insights to improve the quality of this paper. We would like to thank Kata Bene PhD for her help in collecting the Italian data. We are also thankful to our native revisor David Parker MBA for his close reading of the text and useful comments on improving it.

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Sources

Please note that due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, glossaries may be moved, entirely removed, or their contents may change.

French

https://www.maddyness.com/lexique-startups Accessed 9 July 2022

https://www.forbes.fr/entrepreneurs/les-25-termes-a-connaitre-pour-lancer-sa-start-up/?cn-reloaded=1 Accessed 9 July 2022

https://medium.com/@jfcaillard/le-glossaire-des-start-ups-955addce99f6 Accessed 9 July 2022

https://blog.hub-grade.com/dico-survie-start-up-25-expressions/ Accessed 9 July 2022

https://www.bonjourstartupmtl.ca/lexique-startup-2019/ Accessed 9 July 2022

Hungarian

https://www.ahabrainstore.hu/2019/04/01/startup-szotar-az-alapoktol-%F0%9F%93%96/ Accessed 10 July 2022

http://mszk-bme.hu/a-harombetus-startupper/ Accessed 10 July 2022

https://mvmedison.hu/startup-akademia Accessed 10 July 2022

https://start2act.eu/assets/content/D5.3_Handbook%20for%20startup%20energy%20mentoring%20activities_HU.pdfAccessed 10 July 2022

http://startupdate.hu/startup-szotar/ Accessed 10 July 2022

http://startup-marketing-akademia.hu/nagy-startup-marketing-szotar/ Accessed 10 July 2022

https://vespuccipartners.com/bejegyzes/startup-szotar-penzugyi-kifejezesek Accessed 10 July 2022

https://vespuccipartners.com/bejegyzes/startup-szotar-uzleti-kifejezesek Accessed 10 July 2022

https://vespuccipartners.com/bejegyzes/startup-szotar-programozoi-es-fejlesztoi-kifejezesek Accessed 10 July 2022

https://vespuccipartners.com/bejegyzes/startup-szotar-marketing-kifejezesek Accessed 10 July 2022

Italian

http://anes.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Glossario-Startup-Conoscere-le-parole-chiave.pdf Accessed 12 July 2022

https://creazioneimpresa.net/2016/11/11/il-dizionario-dello-startupper-30-e-piu-termini-da-conoscere-per-sopravvivere/Accessed 12 July 2022

https://www.startupbusiness.it/glossario-della-startup-e-del-venture-capital/84857/ Accessed 12 July 2022

https://www.philing.it/dizionario-del-futuro-startup Accessed 12 July 2022

http://www.startuplegale.it/glossario Accessed 12 July 2022

Russian

https://dev.by/news/kratkiy-slovar-osnovnyh-terminov-startap-komyuniti-ili-33-trendi-vords-dlya-pablik-interekshenz Accessed 13 July 2022

http://web.archive.org/web/20171204011613/http://firrma.ru/projects/kratkiy_slovar_startapera/ Accessed 13 July 2022 (archived version)

https://tech.liga.net/technology/opinion/mvp-i-esche-21-termin-kotorye-doljen-znat-kajdyy-startaper Accessed 13 July 2022

https://investment.24tv.ua/ru/slovar_startapera_kak_najti_obshhij_jazyk_s_investorom_n1048497 Accessed 13 July 2022

https://startup-course.com/ru/glossary.html Accessed 13 July 2022

https://spark.ru/startup/51f77f4b2cd68/blog/38282/yazik-startapa-termini-kotorie-stoit-viuchit-nachinayuschim Accessed 13 July 2022

Spanish

https://startupxplore.com/es/blog/diccionario-startup-las-palabras-que-utilizan-los-emprendedores-a-diario-de-la-a-a-la-z/ Accessed 14 July 2022

https://medium.com/startups-es/terminolog%C3%ADa-b%C3%A1sica-y-vocabulario-para-startups-que-no-est%C3%A1-de-m%C3%A1s-conocer-8b2c6c2b1a66 Accessed 14 July 2022

https://theherocamp.com/product-lab/glosario-terminos-startup/ Accessed 14 July 2022

http://web.archive.org/web/20210411101040/http://5startups.es/diccionario Accessed 14 July 2022 (archived version)

https://www.roedl.es/es/articulos/diccionario-startup-ecosystem-parte-1 Accessed 14 July 2022

1

After the examples, we use ISO 639-1 codes to identify the languages. English – en, French – fr, Hungarian – hu, Italian – it, Russian – ru, Spanish – es.

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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belda Medina, J. R. (2003). Conversion in English computer terminology. Factors affecting English–Spanish translation. Target, 15(2), 317336. https://doi.org/10.1075/target.15.2.06bel.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belda Medina, J. R. (2004). Translating computer abbreviations from English into Spanish: Main types and problems. Meta, 49(4), 920929. https://doi.org/10.7202/009790ar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bernardini, S., & Ferraresi, A. (2011). Practice, description and theory come together – Normalization or interference in Italian technical translation? Meta, 56(2), 226246. https://doi.org/10.7202/1006174ar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Caruso, V. (2011). Online specialised dictionaries: A critical survey. In I. Kosem, & K. Kosem (Eds.), Electronic lexicography in the 21st century: New applications for new users. Proceedings of eLex (10–12 November 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia) (pp. 6675). Trojina, Institute for Applied Slovene Studies.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486999.

  • Fischer, M. (2012). Elméleti és módszertani adalék a terminológia oktatásához I. Terminológiaelméleti alapkérdések a fordításban [A theoretical and methodological aid to teaching terminology I. Fundamental questions of the theory of terminology in translation]. Fordítástudomány, 14(2), 529.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fischer, M. (2017). Kompetenciafejlesztés a szakfordítóképzésben – örök dielemmák, régi-új módszerek és a terminológiai kompetencia [Developing competence in training specialized translators – eternal dilemmas, old and new methods and terminological competence]. In K. Kóbor, & Zs. Csikai (Eds.), Iránytű az egyetemi fordítóképzéshez [A guide to translator training at universities] (pp. 1749). Kontraszt.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fuertes-Olivera, P. A. (2010). Lexicography for the third millennium: Free institutional internet terminological dictionaries for learners. In P. A. Fuertes-Olivera (Ed.), Specialised dictionaries for learners (pp. 193209). Walter de Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110231335.0.17.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fuertes-Olivera, P. A., & Nielsen, S. (2011). The dynamics of terms in accounting: What the construction of the accounting dictionaries reveals about metaphorical terms in culture-bound subject fields. Terminology, 17(1), 157180. https://doi.org/10.1075/term.17.1.09fue.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haugen, E. (1950). The analysis of linguistic borrowing. Language, 26(1), 210231. https://doi.org/10.2307/410058.

  • Ilinčić, M. (2019). A lexical-semantic analysis of anglicisms in sports terminology. Babel ,65(6), 752768. https://doi.org/10.1075/babel.00129.ili.

    • Search Google Scholar
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Editor-in-Chief: Kinga KLAUDY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)

Consulting Editor: Pál HELTAI (Kodolányi János University, Hungary)

Managing Editor: Krisztina KÁROLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)

EDITORIAL BOARD

  • Andrew CHESTERMAN (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Kirsten MALMKJÆR (University of Leicester, UK)
  • Christiane NORD (University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa)
  • Anthony PYM (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain, University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Mary SNELL-HORNBY (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Sonja TIRKKONEN-CONDIT (University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)

ADVISORY BOARD

  • Mona BAKER (Shanghai International Studies University, China, University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Łucja BIEL (University of Warsaw, Poland)
  • Gloria CORPAS PASTOR (University of Malaga, Spain; University of Wolverhampton, UK)
  • Rodica DIMITRIU (Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iasi, Romania)
  • Birgitta Englund DIMITROVA (Stockholm University, Sweden)
  • Sylvia KALINA (Cologne Technical University, Germany)
  • Haidee KOTZE (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
  • Sara LAVIOSA (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy)
  • Brian MOSSOP (York University, Toronto, Canada)
  • Orero PILAR (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain)
  • Gábor PRÓSZÉKY (Hungarian Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungary)
  • Alessandra RICCARDI (University of Trieste, Italy)
  • Edina ROBIN (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Myriam SALAMA-CARR (University of Manchester, UK)
  • Mohammad Saleh SANATIFAR (independent researcher, Iran)
  • Sanjun SUN (Beijing Foreign Studies University, China)
  • Anikó SOHÁR (Pázmány Péter Catholic University,  Hungary)
  • Sonia VANDEPITTE (University of Gent, Belgium)
  • Albert VERMES (Eszterházy Károly University, Hungary)
  • Yifan ZHU (Shanghai Jiao Tong Univeristy, China)

Prof. Kinga Klaudy
Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Translation and Interpreting
Múzeum krt. 4. Bldg. F, I/9-11, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: (+36 1) 411 6500/5894
Fax: (+36 1) 485 5217
E-mail: 

  • WoS Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  • Wos Social Sciences Citation Index
  • WoS Essential Science Indicators
  • Scopus
  • Linguistics Abstracts
  • Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts
  • Translation Studies Abstractst
  • CABELLS Journalytics

2022  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
283
Journal Impact Factor 0.7
Rank by Impact Factor

Linguistics (Q3)

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
0.6
5 Year
Impact Factor
1.4
Journal Citation Indicator 0.66
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Linguistics (Q3)
Language & Linguistics (Q2)

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
20
Scimago
Journal Rank
0.796
Scimago Quartile Score

Linguistics and Language 67/1103 (Q1)

Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
1.6
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Language and Linguistics 208/1001 (79th PCTL)
Linguistics and Language 243/1078 (77th PCTL)
Scopus
SNIP
0.868

2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
214
Journal Impact Factor 1,292
Rank by Impact Factor Linguistics 98/194
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
1,208
5 Year
Impact Factor
1,210
Journal Citation Indicator 0,85
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator Language & Linguistics 108/370
Linguistics 122/274
Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
19
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,994
Scimago Quartile Score Linguistics and Language 67/1103 (Q1)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
2,5
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Language and Linguistics 121/968 (Q1, D2)
Linguistics and Language 128/1032 (Q1, D2)
Scopus
SNIP
1,576

2020  
Total Cites
WoS
169
Journal Impact Factor 1,160
Rank by Impact Factor

Linguistics 99/193 (Q3)
Languages & Linguistics 57/205 (Q2)

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
1,040
5 Year
Impact Factor
1,095
Journal Citation Indicator 1,01
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Linguistics 107/259 (Q2)
Language & Linguistics 94/356 (Q2)

Citable
Items
12
Total
Articles
12
Total
Reviews
0
Scimago
H-index
14
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,257
Scimago Quartile Score

Language and Linguistics Q1
Linguistics and Language Q1

Scopus
Cite Score
93/50=1,9

Scopus
Cite Score Rank

Language and Linguistics 130/879 (Q1)
Linguistics and Language 147/935 (Q1)
Scopus
SNIP
1,670

2019  
Total Cites
WoS
91
Impact Factor 0,360
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
0,320
5 Year
Impact Factor
0,500
Immediacy
Index
0,083
Citable
Items
12
Total
Articles
12
Total
Reviews
0
Cited
Half-Life
n/a
Citing
Half-Life
12,7
Eigenfactor
Score
0,00018
Article Influence
Score
0,234
% Articles
in
Citable Items
100,00
Normalized
Eigenfactor
0,02306
Average
IF
Percentile
20,053 (Q1)
Scimago
H-index
13
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,648
Scopus
Scite Score
94/51=1,8
Scopus
Scite Score Rank
Language and Linguistics 120/830 (Q1)
Linguistics and Language 135/884 (Q1)
Scopus
SNIP
1.357

Across Languages and Cultures
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Across Languages and Cultures
Language English
Size B5
Year of
Foundation
1999
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
2
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1585-1923 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2519 (Online)

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