Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

The principal theme of these columns is that words taken from other languages (especially Latin) and used with similar forms in Slovak and English are tricky, because we mustn't assume that they have the same meaning. Usually it's the case that the Slovak use of these words remains closer to the original (Latin) meaning, while English usage has developed in its own direction under local influences.

But in "emigration" or "emigrácia" we find an opposite example, because the English sense is simply the movement of people out or away from a country (the opposite of immigration), whereas the local influence of the former totalitarian regime here produced a special sense of the word which is probably still rooted in many Slovak people's minds - the officially illegal and harshly punished departure from the state without permission. The high school debate shows that young people fortunately do not need this sense of the word any more with regard to their own country.

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