CONTRASTIVE there is also an appropriate idiom

CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS
OF IDIOMS                                                                      
    6

Idioms formed with the colour red

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The conceptual meaning of the colour red in Oxford Online
English Dictionary is ?Of a colour at the end of
the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet, as of blood, fire, or rubies.;
(of a person or their face) flushed or rosy, especially with embarrassment,
anger, or heat.? Some further associations with this colour are love and hell.
Its French equivalent is rouge and both
languages are abundant in idioms containing red.

1)      red-blooded (vigorous or virile) = au sang chaud

2)      red as a beetroot (red-faced, typically through embarrassment )– rouge comme une pivoine (red as a peony)

The idioms above have
a partial French equivalent, while the idioms below have an absolute equivalent:

3)      red carpet (privileged treatment of a distinguished visitor)
= le tapis rouge

4)      run a red light  (to pass through an intersection having a red traffic light without stopping) = griller un feu rouge

Red is also a colour
of shame and anger because our faces usually become red when we are ashamed or
angry and therefore in both languages are used idioms with red for these
states:  

5)     
see red (become
very angry suddenly.) = voir rouge

6)      red-faced ( Blushing from embarrassment) = se fâcher tout rouge

 

Idioms formed with the colour blue

French equivalent for blue is bleu. This colour is
usually associated with sky, sea and in a more metaphorical context with peace
and aristocracy. Since it is associated with aristocracy there is also an
appropriate idiom blue blood (noble birth) = avoir du sang bleu. However, the idiom blue-collar relates to manual work
or workers.

Some idioms
containing blue are:

7)      men in blue (policemen) = hommes en bleu

8)      blue-eyed boy (a person highly regarded by someone and treated with
special favor) = le couchou (darling,
favorite)

9)      a bolt from the blue ( a sudden and unexpected event or piece of news) =  un coup de tonnerre dans un ciel bleu

10)  out of the blue ( unexpectedly) = à l’improviste (unexpected)

CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS
OF IDIOMS                                                                      
    7

11)  blue ribbon (a badge given as first prize to the winner of a
competition) = le ruban bleu

12)  once
in a blue moon ( very rarely) = tous les trente-six du mois is literally translated as ?every thirty sixth of
the month?

From the examples
above we can conclude that English idioms containing blue have partian
equivalents in French and rarely absolute equivalents.

 

Idioms formed with the colour green

Oxford English Dictionary defines
green as: ?Of the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like
grass or emeralds?. Green is used as a symbol for vegetation, nature,
life, clean environment and a number of idioms contain it in this sense:

13)  to have green fingers or to have a green thumb (to be good with
plants) = avoir la main verte

14)  greenbelt (an area of open land around a city, on which building
is restricted) = ceinture verte

Green has another
symbolic meaning, that of being young and inexperienced:

15)  a little green (having little or no experience in a given field, specialty, or skill)  has a partially equivalent French idiom années vertes

16)  be as green as grass (have little experience or knowledge) is a non-equivalent idiom in
French

Commonly used idioms
such as to be green with envy and give green light to have their absolute
equivalents in French:

17)  to be green with envy (very envious or
jealous) = être vert de colère

18)  to give the green light (permission to go ahead with a project)  =
donner le feu vert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS
OF IDIOMS                                                                      
    8

Conclusion

The
aim of this paper was to analyse as much as possible English idioms from
various English dictionaries and to find their partial or absolute equivalents
in French and to describe and explain the non-equivalent ones. Furthermore, the
corpus of idioms and their symbolism in the paper was obtained from Oxford
Online English Dictionary whereas their French equivalents were found in online
dictionaries: Collins English-French Dictionary and Reverso Dictionary. The
method of this contrastive analysis was based on Kvetko´s divison of degrees of
equivalents and the idioms were divided according to those categories and the
ones of their common metaphorical or symbolic meaning. Both English and French
are rich in idiomatic expressions containing colours and the most common ones
are those formed with black, white and red.From this analysis we can conclude
that colours are of great importance to our language and vocabulary and that
all languages share a universal system of basic colour categories.

 

 

 

 

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