059 Semantic range

Interesting insights from A Functional Analysis of Present Day English on a General Linguistic Basis by Vilém Mathesius and Josef Vachek:

English words as naming units usually have a wider range and  thus a more general and less definite content than Czech words, and are therefore  better suited to denote figurative meanings. This difference is encountered  especially in translating. A Czech word often has a too narrow, concrete meaning and does not fit in the particular context as well as the corresponding  English word. To illustrate this point let us compare the words prostor and  space. In Czech prostor is nearly always three-dimensional and local (if it is  used in reference to time it requires the adjective casový (prostor) [temporal  space] since this use is an exception), whereas in English, space refers to both place and time. 

Even though English words differ from Czech words in that an English word as a naming unit generally has a wider range and consequently a more general content than its Czech counterpart, English style is required to be  highly accurate, logical and concrete. It is thus often necessary to express  explicitly in English what in Czech is taken for granted; consequently, English  often uses more words where fewer are needed in Czech. For instance, Czech psal mi [he wrote to me] is often expressed in English by he wrote to tell me.

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