English Phrasal Verbs Translation Into Russian and Finnish

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AEPS Reading, Writing & Spoken Communication – Language Centre – University of Helsinki| |
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20.03.2013|

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The article represents a part of a research about English multi-word expressions and their translation equivalents in other languages. The research was important for different tasks such as language learning, translation, automatic multilingual lexicon etc. The article is a short review of English phrasal verbs and their translations to Russian and Finnish. English phrasal verbs are multi-word expressions consisting of a verb and an adverbial particle with a spatial or locative meaning. The meaning of this combination doesn’t depend on the individual meanings of its parts. The most frequent phrasal verb pattern is any form of lexical verb plus prepositional adverb/particle, and usually there can be a noun phrase, any pronoun or any adverb embedded between the verb and the adverb/particle. Neither Russian nor Finnish has phrasal verbs.

English-Russian
If there is an English phrasal verb with an adverb or particle, which on its own is a function word like in, on, up etc., it is usually translated into Russian as verb with prefix, e. g. die down – замирать, find out – выяснять. If a part of an English phrasal verb may act as a content word such as forward, behind, apart, together etc., the Russian translation is often a verb + adverb combination, e.g. bring together – сводить вместе, leave behind – оставлять позади. However, some verbs of this group can be also expressed in Russian by prefixation, e.g. take apart – разбирать. In addition, if an English phrasal verb is highly idiomatic, the Russian translation will be either idiomatic expression or a lengthy explanation.

English-Finnish
Many English phrasal verbs can be translated as single Finnish verbs, e.g. wake up – herätä, herättää; move ahead – edetä. There are also phrases and idiomatic combinations in Finnish, which can be used as translations of English...
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