Anglické jazykové okienko

Anglické jazykové okienko

Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI

Zimné/Letné športové hry. Years ago when I first had to translate these expressions I thought the combination of sports and games was not necessary. It looked like an example of pleonasm (using too many words) and of tautology (repeating the same idea with different words). The Olympic Games are simply summer/winter games. But later I started thinking about the difference between sports and games. Both originally expressed the idea of amusement, entertainment and pastime, but sport came into English from old French and game from old German. Nowadays sport focuses on the specific activity and game on the specific event, so games are how sports are organized. Winter sports are different from summer sports, so it makes sense to have games based on winter sports separately from summer sports games.

Andy’s Wordshop

I've been asked to write about the difference between “motive” and “motif” in English, because both are combined in the same word motív in Slovak. Both words are linked with the idea of movement: a motive is what “moves” somebody to do something, so it gives the person a reason for their action, whereas a motif is what “moves” a piece of art, so it gives the art some meaning. When a crime is committed the police should discover when, how, why and by whom it was committed, and the answer to “why” is the criminal's motive. On the other hand, a motif is the source of a piece of art. West Side Story is a musical based on the motif of Shakespeare's story of Romeo and Juliet. Traditional folk art often consists of modifications of natural and religious motifs, i.e. “pictures” of animals, hearts and crosses.

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