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Languages. The phenomenon of idioms

The well known phenomenon of every language, the phenomenon of idioms, is still a wide topic for the linguistic and cultural analysis, because idioms of each language are strongly tied to the culture and history of the people that generate them. An idiom is an expression which is typical to a language. They are phrases which are used over a long period of time to capture a concept. They are present in every language and play an important role. They give the language more variety; to know and to understand the meanings of idioms is important, they indicate a rich language. After comparing and analyzing the structure, wording and meaning of color idioms in three languages, it has been concluded that:
  1. The majority of English, Russian and Lithuanian color idioms contain the same colors. The biggest part of idioms is related to black, white and red colors.
  2. Yellow and brown color related idioms do not have many equivalents in the Russian and Lithuanian languages. Most of yellow and brown color idioms are traditionally English expressions, which are not used in any other languages.
  3. The majority of Russian, Lithuanian and English color idioms denote features of people’s character, feelings and appearance. There are some idioms in all three languages which denote unexpected events.
  4. The observed correspondence between structure, wording and meaning of English, Russian and Lithuanian idioms may be determined by translation, adaptation, common historical events, life situations or human thinking. Slight differences between structure and wording of English, Russian and Lithuanian idioms may be determined by cultural phenomena.
  5. Some color idioms can be more universally used than others and they can be easily translated, for example the English idiom “red as a lobster” is easily translated into the Lithuanian language as “raudonas kaip vėžys“.
The research of color related idioms data could be useful for the composition of the idiomatic dictionary written in three languages: English, Lithuanian and Russian. The research data could be useful for everyone interested in color idioms and their usage in various everyday situations.
  1. Idioms are important in language learning as they help to enrich the vocabulary and make the speech sound more creative.
  2. Dividing idioms according their thematic metaphorical aspect helps non-native speakers to understand and learn them easily.
  3. As the main aim of the practical part of the research paper was based on finding out all possible animal describing idioms. Comparing with other words there are more idioms containing words “dog”.
  4. Idioms containing “donkey”, “goat” and “pig” as their thematic metaphorical aspect have only negative implications.
  5. Idioms containing “bull” as their thematic metaphorical aspect have only positive implications.

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