Peculiarities of Euphemisms in English and Difficulties in Their Translation

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  • Topic: Political correctness, Euphemism, English language
  • Pages : 55 (19479 words )
  • Download(s) : 721
  • Published : May 3, 2012
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I.1. Definition of Euphemisms5
I.2. Classification of Euphemisms6
I.3. Ambiguity and Logic9
II.1. The Language of Political Correctness15
II.2. Obscurity, Officialese,Jornalese, Commercialese20 II.3. Vogue Words24
II.4. Woolliness27
II.5. Euphemisms Used in Different Spheres of Our Life29 CHAPTER III. TRANSLATION OF EUPHEMISMS34
III.1. Grammatical Difficulties in Translation34
III.2. Lexical Difficulties in Translation of Euphemisms36 III.3. Stylistic difficulties in translation of euphemisms41 III.4. Terrorism and war articles in translation of euphemisms44 CONCLUSION54



This Diploma thesis is devoted to the problem of euphemisms in the English language. Euphemism (from Greek word meaning “to use words of good omen”: eu= well+ pheme = speaking) is the substitution of words of mild or vague connotations for expression rough, unpleasant. Euphemisms are words or phrases which can not be understood literally. Euphemism is sometimes figuratively called “a whitewashing device. Euphemism is used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conveniently more acceptable one. For example the word to die has the following euphemisms: to expire, to pass away, to depart, to join the majority, to kick the bucket, etc… . Euphemisms are words or expressions that speakers substitute for taboo words in order to avoid a direct connotations with topics that are embarrassing, frightening or uncomfortable: God, the devil, sex, death, money, war, crime or religion. These topics seem to be cross cultural. A linguistic consequence of cultural taboos is the creation of euphemisms. The euphemism as a linguistic phenomenon shows no signs of disappearing. In present-day English euphemisms are mostly based on some social and ethical standard of behavior, on the desire not to hurt people‘s feelings (lodger- paying guest), to soften painful news, and very often superstition. A prominent source of synonymic attraction is still furnished by interjections and swearing address to God. Euphemisms always tend to be a source of new formations because after a short period of use the new term becomes so closely connected with the notion that it turns into a word as obnoxious as the earlier synonym. The aim of our work is to investigate the sources , the use and translation of euphemisms. We concentrate our attention on political texts. Euphemisms are difficult for the non- native speaker to learn in isolation from their original source. Grouping of euphemisms into categories according to a particular theme facilitates the process of learning. In my diploma paper we have set forth to study the use and translation of euphemisms and doubletalk in modern political articles at a deeper level, their types and ways of their translation from English into Russian in everyday life of humanity. The objective of the work is an attempt to study all the aspects of euphemisms and doubletalk, the cases of their usage and to analyze the frequency and variability of euphemisms and double talk usage referring to different social fields in various sources. To achieve the set aim we determined the following tasks:

- to search the origin of euphemisms ;
- to study the problem of euphemisms;
- to understand the aim of the modern usage of euphemisms; - to distinguish different kinds of euphemisms;
- to study the ways of formation of euphemisms;
- to analyze the political sources for the presence of euphemisms; - to investigate difficulties and peculiarities while processing translation of euphemisms. The work consists of Introduction, three chapters, conclusion and annex....
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