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. (March 2011)
linguistics, a calque / or loan translation is a
phrase borrowed from another language by
literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation. Used as a
verb, "to calque" means to borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components so as to create a new
lexeme in the target language.
"Calque" itself is a
loanword from the French
noun calque ("tracing; imitation; close copy"); the
verb calquer means "to trace; to copy, to imitate closely"; papier calque is "
 The word "loanword" is itself a calque of the
German word Lehnwort, just as "loan translation" is a calque of Lehnübersetzung.
Proving that a word is a calque sometimes requires more documentation than does an untranslated loanword because, in some cases, a similar phrase might have arisen in both languages independently. This is less likely to be the case when the grammar of the proposed calque is quite different from that of the borrowing language or when the calque contains less obvious imagery.
Calquing is distinct from
 While calquing includes
translation, it does not consist of
phonetic matching (i.e. retaining the approximate
sound of the borrowed word through matching it with a similar-sounding pre-existing word or
morpheme in the target language).