What is the phenomenon of language vocabulary vacancy. Something can be clearly expressed by some words in a language, but may difficult to express in another language. If the translator cannot understand the phenomenon of lexical gaps, which will certainly bring difficulty in cross-cultural communication. For this reason, It is necessary to research on the causes of the phenomenon of lexical gaps.
The reason of vocabulary vacancy phenomenon.
1. Living environment, difference of life experiences.
We all know that language is a reflection of the objective world, is a social phenomenon. What kind of environment people live, then what kind of language will come out. If a subject do not exist in the objective environment that people living, then the language may be vacant
For example: Salad (a cold and dressed with sauce food) comes from the French, which do not exist in British at the beginning, therefore they transplanted intactly from the French, Chinese as well.
In China, the issue of eating is a point people concern particularly, and thus became a topic often talked. People always say when they meet, said: “eaten yet?” In normal circumstances, the speaker actually does not concern if the hearer eaten yet, it just a way to say hello.
But if an Englishman asked, “eaten yet?”. His first reaction was “will you invite me to dinner?” Sometimes people may feel resent against questioning Because of the cultural differences, there were many Chinese words around the dinner issue and expressions. However in English it is difficult to find the corresponding expressions
The problem of the living environment and life experience is also related to the person or things in a particular language culture. Every language owns its specific expression which only this type of language speaker use.
2. The different customs
3. The different religious belief
4. The different views regarding objective world
A same objective things can contain different values, causing different associations and have different connotations in different cultures. For example, the word “dog” means quite differently in English and Chinese. In the West, the dog is a loyal companion animal, and there are a lot of good phrases concerning dog, such as “love me, love my dog”, “lucky dog”; But in Chinese, there are a lot of derogatory word concerning dog.
These are only the main reason for the lexical gaps phenomenon. We must be noted that: the gap of language vocabulary and semantic purely belongs to a natural phenomenon, and we should treat it objectively. To figure out this kind of problem, we should enrich our vocabulary as much as possible, to find a proper expression instead of the original words meaning.