The peculiarities of translation of phraseological units in the business in the business world

We research phraseological units of English language of business speech, which divided of four large groups:
1. Phraseological units, united on the basis of the general concept «business and management»,
2. Phraseological units, united on the basis of the general concept «monetary relations»,
3. Phraseological units, united on the basis of the general concept «purchase and sale»,
4. Phraseological units, united on the basis of the general concept «economic and relations of production».

1. buck a (the) trend - достичь успеха в своём деле, в то время, как у других компаний дела идут плохо:
Britain will buck the global recessionary trend next year with growth of around 1.1 pc [LBED 2000].
climb to the top of the career ladder - высоко подняться по служебной лестнице, т.е. достичь самых высоких ступеней в должностной иерархии;
earn (havej one's wings - 1) приобрести умение (квалификацию) в чём-л. благодаря упорной работе и приобретению опыта; 2) показать себя ответственным (исполнительным) работником;

The president of the company sent a committee to the colleges and universities to do some head-hunting - we hope he finds some young talent [КСАИВ 1991].
Президент компании послал в университеты комиссию для отбора людей на работу - надеемся, он найдёт молодые таланты.
keep / hold ones head above water - «удержаться на поверхности», бороться с трудностями; быть на грани банкротства, но бороться за существование, не влезая в долги:
This is a very busy year for Barney and he is going to have to work very hard to keep his head above water [EIIU 2003].
Этот год для Барни оказался очень трудным, и он намерен работать с полной отдачей, чтобы удержаться на поверхности [перевод наш - В.П.].

2.Slang money words and expressions appear widely in the English language, and most of these slang words have interesting, often very amusing, meanings and origins.
Many slang expressions for old English money and modern British money (technically now called Pounds Sterling) originated in London, being such a vast and diverse centre of commerce and population.
While sources of British money slang vary widely, London cockney rhyming slang features particularly strongly in money slang words and their origins.
The history of money and its terminology, formal and slang, is fascinating - the language was and remains full of character, and although much has been lost, much still survives in the money slang words and expressions of today.
The origins of slang money expressions provide amusing and sometimes very significant examples of the way that language develops, and how it connects to changing society, demographics, political and economic systems, and culture.
Money, and its amazing aspects of culture, design, society, history, language, finance, science, manufacture, technology, diversity, etc., (money connects to virtually anything) provide endless opportunities for teaching and training activities, etc.
While the origins of these slang terms are many and various, certainly a lot of English money slang is rooted in various London communities, which for different reasons liked to use language only known in their own circles, notably wholesale markets, street traders, crime and the underworld, the docks, taxi-cab driving, and the immigrant communities. London has for centuries been extremely cosmopolitan, both as a travel hub and a place for foreign people to live and work and start their own busineses. This contributed to the development of some 'lingua franca' expressions, i.e., mixtures of Italian, Greek, Arabic, Yiddish (Jewish European/Hebrew dialect), Spanish and English which developed to enable understanding between people of different nationalities, rather like a pidgin or hybrid English. Certain lingua franca blended with 'parlyaree' or 'polari', which is basically underworld slang. Backslang also contributes several slang money words. Backslang reverses the phonetic (sound of the) word, not the spelling, which can produce some strange interpretations, and was popular among market traders, butchers and greengrocers.
Here are the most common and interesting British slang money words and expressions, with meanings, and origins where known. Many are now obsolete; typically words which relate to pre-decimalisation coins, although some have re-emerged and continue to do so.
Some non-slang words are included where their origins are particularly interesting, as are some interesting slang money expressions which originated in other parts of the world, and which are now entering the English language.
pay through the nose - платить бешеные деньги, платить втридорога:
The man who really paid through the nose was the belligerent Smithers, who was convinced that the tradesman who could get the better of him never been born [Aldington "The Colonel's Daughter": part III, ch. 2].

Кто действительно платил втридорога, так это воинственный Смизерс, убеждённый, что ещё не родился такой торговец, который сумел бы провести его [АРФС].
shake the money tree - «сорвать куш», т.е. получить огромную прибыль:
His whole business is no great shakes but he still hopes he will shake the money tree [Хошовская 1997: 44].
В целом, его бизнес не представляет собой ничего выдающегося, но он всё ещё надеется сорвать куш [перевод наш - В.П.].

3. be out of pocket - быть в убытке, поистратиться; потерять, прогадать:
These narrow notions about debt, held by the old fashioned Tullivers,
may perhaps excite a smile on the faces of many readers in these days
of wide commercial views and wide philosophy, according to which
everything rights itself without any trouble of ours. The fact that my
tradesman is out of pocket by me is to be looked at through the serene
certainty that somebody else's tradesman is in pocket by somebody
else; and since there must be bad debts in the world, why, it is mere
egoism not to like that we in particular should make them instead of
our fellow-citizens. I am telling the history of very simple people,
who had never had any illuminating doubts as to personal integrity and
honor. [Eliot "The Mill on the Floss": book IV, ch. II].

Эти узкие взгляды на долги, которых придерживались старозаветные Талливеры, возможно, вызовут улыбку на лице многих читающих эту книгу в наши дни широких коммерческих взглядов и широкой философии, согласно которой справедливость восстанавливается сама собой, без всяких хлопот с нашей стороны; на тот факт, что я способствовал облегчению карманов моего поставщика, нужно смотреть спокойно, в уверенности, что чей-то другой поставщик набил себе карманы за счет кого-нибудь другого; и поскольку на свете не обойтись без этого зла - долгов, чистейшим эгоизмом было бы протестовать против того, что в долги залезаем именно мы, а не наши сограждане. Я рассказываю вам историю людей очень простых, у которых никогда не было свойственных нашему просвещенному веку сомнений относительно того, что такое честь и что такое честность. [АРФС].

4. sail close to the wind - вступить на опасный путь, предпринимать рискованные шаги, которые могут привести к опасным проблемам:
The days passed. Once the understanding with Bonhag was reached, Cowperwood's wife, mother and sister were allowed to appear on occasions. His wife and the children were now settled in the little home for which he was paying, and his financial obligations to her were satisfied by Wingate, who paid her one hundred and twenty five dollars a month for him. He realized that he owed her more, but he was sailing rather close to the wind financially, these days. The final collapse of his old interests had come in March, when he had been legally declared a bankrupt, and all his properties forfeited to satisfy the claims against him. The city's claim of five hundred thousand dollars would have eaten up more than could have been realized at the time, had not a pro rata payment of thirty cents on the dollar been declared. Even then the city never received its due, for by some hocus-pocus it was declared to have forfeited its rights. Its claims had not been made at the proper time in the proper way. This left larger portions of real money for the others. [Dreiser "The Financier": 521-522].
Время шло. В результате договоренности с Бонхегом жена, мать и сестра стали изредка навещать Каупервуда. Лилиан с детьми устроилась в небольшом доме. за который платил Фрэнк, и на все другие нужды Уингейт выдавал ей в счет его доходов сто двадцать пять долларов в месяц. Каупервуд понимал, что ему следовало бы давать ей больше, но его возможности в это время были далеко не блестящи. Окончательный крах всех финансовых дел Каупервуда наступил в марте, когда его официально объявили банкротом и все его имущество было конфисковано в пользу кредиторов. Только на покрытие задолженности городскому казначейству-пятьсот тысяч долларов - потребовалось бы больше денег, чем можно было реализовать, если бы не был установлен расчет по тридцать центов за доллар. Но и после этого городу все равно ничего не досталось, так как путем различных махинаций у него оттягали права на получение этой суммы. Город якобы опоздал с предъявлением претензий. Это, конечно, послужило к выгоде других кредиторов, поделивших между собою сумму: в которой было отказано городскому казначейству. [Пер. М. Волосова: 513].
use the soft pedal - не выделять, не акцентировать; не поднимать много шума:
All of the papers were so closely identified with the political and financial powers of the city that they did not dare to come out openly and say what they thought. The chief facts had already been in the hands of the various editors and publishers for a week and more, but word had gone around from Mollenhauer, Simpson, and Butler to use the soft pedal for the present. It was not good for Philadelphia, for local commerce, etc., to make a row. The fair name of the city would be smirched. It was the old story. [Dreiser "The Financier": 303].
Все газеты были так тесно связаны с политическими и финансовыми заправилами города, что не осмелились открыто выступить с комментариями. Редакторы и издатели уже с неделю были в основном осведомлены о подробностях дела, но от Молленхауэра, Симпсона и Батлера поступил приказ: большого шума не поднимать. Это, мол, весьма невыгодно отразится на делах города, принесет ущерб торговле и так далее. Не следует пятнать честь Филадельфии. Словом, старая история! [Пер. М. Волосова: 296].
Such division of phraseological units isn't definitive. Phraseological units of business English language can be divided into groups and subgroups. Sometimes it is difficult to define the category of them, often they can belong to two and more groups (fields).
Например: accept sth at face value - принимать что-л. за чистую монету Expression "face value", consists of phraseological units, has not one value that gives the chance to us to carry it as to frazeo - to the semantic field of phraseological units, united by concept «monetary relations», and to the field of phraseological units, united by concept «purchase and sale».
In the first case the given word combination has following value: nominal, nominal cost (coins, banknotes, actions).
Не was likewise curious about stocks and bonds and he learned that some stocks and bonds were not worth the paper they were written on, and that others were worth much more than their face value indicated [Dreiser "The Financier": 11].
He меньший интерес возбуждали в нём акции и облигации; он узнал, что бывают акции, не стоящие бумаги, на которой они отпечатаны, и другие, расценивающиеся гораздо выше своего номинала [Пер. М. Волосова: 10].
In the second case at this phraseological unit other value: видимая, кажущаяся ценность.
All set phrase "accept sth at face value» in its meaning «принимать что-л. за чистую монету» also it is possible to define as concerning to phraseological units united by concept «economic and relations of production».From now on, he knew, he would look suspiciously on a good many things he once accepted at face value [Hailey "Hotel": ch.7],
Уоррен понимал, что отныне он будет относиться с подозрением ко многому, что раньше принимал на веру [АРФС].
Other similar example is the following phraseological unit:
a butter-and-egg man - 1) богач, сорящий деньгами (обыкн. о провинциале, приехавшем в большой город), 2) бизнесмен, финансирующий театральные постановки в целях наживы (амер. жарг,).

Semantic ambiguity also allows us to carry the given word combination at least to two phraseological units: the concept «purchase and sale» and the concept «monetary relations».
The result was a wholesale cancellation of contracts, or maybe just a refusal to renew contracts that had expired. In some cases the butter-and-egg men were right; in others they were wrong [Lardner "Shut Up, He Explained", "Over the Waves"].
В результате чего, пошлел массовый разрыв контрактов или, может бытьь, отказ о продлении тех, чей срок уже истек. В ряде случаев, бизнесмены были правы, в других же – нет [АРФС].
From the examples, many phraseological units, without dependence from their participation in this or that phraseological field, assume some values frequently having different semantic colouring. While translating steady combinations the recognition of features of a context in which they are used is necessary. For many English phraseological units, used in the business text, are characteristic a polysemy and stylistic different that considerably complicates their transfer.
Except multiple-valued phraseological units, in business lexicon of English language the phraseological units having neutral stylistic colouring are used and owing to it they can be carried to any of noted by us phraseological semantic field depending on a context in which they are used.
Example of expressions which, in our opinion, can't be carried to a certain phrase semantic field, following phraseological unit is:stand in one's own light - ставить себя под удар, действовать против собственных интересов:
Cowperwood saw at once that he was to get no aid from the politicians.
The one thing that disturbed him was this reference to Stener. Had they already communicated with him--warned him? If so, his own coming to Butler had been a bad move; and yet from the point of view of his possible failure on the morrow it had been advisable. At least now the politicians knew where he stood. If he got in a very tight corner he would come to Butler again--the politicians could assist him or not, as they chose. If they did not help him and he failed, and the election were lost, it was their own fault. Anyhow, if he could see Stener first the latter would not be such a fool as to stand in his own light in a crisis like this. [Dreiser "The Financier": 223].
Каупервуду сразу стало ясно, что от этих людей ему нечего ждать помощи. Единственное, что взволновало его,- это упоминание о Стинере. Неужели они уже снеслись с ним, предостерегли его? В таком случае его визит к Батлеру был неудачным ходом; но, с другой стороны, если завтра его ждет банкротство, то как он мог поступить иначе? По крайней мере эти господа знают, в каком он положении. Когда его окончательно загонят в угол, он снова обратится к Батлеру- и тогда уже их воля помочь ему или нет! Если они ему откажут и он вылетит в трубу, а республиканская партия потерпит поражение на выборах, им некого будет винить, кроме самих себя. Теперь важно опередить их и первым повидать Стинера; надо надеяться, что у него хватит ума не подвести себя под удар. [Пер. М. Волосова: 216].
The above-named phraseological units, among others it similar, it is difficult to rank as one field that proves presence in a semantic field which form zones of crossing phraseological field.
Lawful it is represented to note a number of the steady comparisons which are often enough used in English and Russian languages of sphere of business communications which also have entered in noted above semantic field.
For example:
be busy as a bee -трудиться как пчела, работать не покладая рук;
as busy as a beehive - работа кипит как в улье:
He played and sang the first verse and chorus. In the middle of the latter, so moved was he by the sentiment of it, his voice broke and he had to stop. Tears stood in his eyes and he wiped them away. A moment or two later he was able to go through it without wavering and I thought it charming for the type of thing it was intended to be. Later on (the following spring) I was literally astonished to see how, after those various efforts usually made by popular music publishers to make a song "go" - advertising it in the _Clipper_ and _Mirror_, getting various vaudeville singers to sing it, and so forth - it suddenly began to sell, thousands upon thousands of copies being wrapped in great bundles under my very eyes and shipped express or freight to various parts of the country. Letters and telegrams, even, from all parts of the nation began to pour in - "Forward express today - copies of Dresser's 'Tell Them That You Saw Me.'" The firm was at once as busy as a bee-hive, on "easy street" again, as the expression went, "in clover." Just before this there had been a slight slump in its business and in my brother's finances, but now once more he was his most engaging self. Every one in that layer of life which understands or takes an interest in popular songs and their creators knew of him and his song, his latest success. [Dreiser "Twelve Men", "My Brother Paul"].
(as) (hungry) as a hawk - (голодный) как ястреб / хищник:

If the professional traders believed Rivers had a large buying order, they would probably try to buy the stock before he could at three-fourths, believing they could sell it out to him at a slightly higher price. The professional traders were, of course, keen students of psychology; and their success depended on their ability to guess whether or not a broker representing a big manipulator, like Tighe, had an order large enough to affect the market sufficiently to give them an opportunity to "get in and out," as they termed it, at a profit before he had completed the execution of his order. They were like hawks watching for an opportunity to snatch their prey from under the very claws of their opponents. [Dreiser "The Financier": 51].

Если акций по этой цене на бирже было много, то покупатель, Райверс к примеру, стоял на своих «пяти восьмых». Заметив, однако, что спрос на интересующие его бумаги возрастает, он платил за них и «три четверти». Если профессиональные биржевики подозревали, что Райверс получил заказ на крупную партию тех или иных акций, они всячески старались забежать вперед и купить их до него хотя бы по «три четверти», в расчете затем продать их ему с небольшой наценкой. Эти профессионалы были, конечно, тонкими психологами. Их успех зависел от способности угадать, имеет ли тот или иной маклер, представляющий какого-нибудь крупного дельца вроде Тая, достаточно большой заказ, чтобы воздействовать на рынок и дать им возможность «обернуться», как они выражались, с барышом, прежде чем он кончит свои закупки. Так коршун настороженно выжидает случая вырвать добычу из когтей соперника. [Пер. М. Волосова: 48].

like hungry swine - подобно голодной свинье:

On the other hand the politicians - those in office outside the mayor - constituted a petty band of guerillas or free-booters who, like hungry swine shut in a pen, were ready to fall upon any and all propositions brought to their attention with but one end in view: that they might eat, and eat heartily [Dreiser "The Titan": 582].

В противовес этим подвижникам, шайка политических пиратов, тех, что засели в ратуше и вершили дела (за исключением, впрочем мэра), готова была, подобно голодным свиньям, запертым в хлеву, наброситься на всё, что попадало к ней в кормушку, лишь бы нажраться доотвала [Пер. В. Курелла, Т. Озерской: 568].
look upon as a money prince - быть (выглядеть) финансовым королём:
Не was not yet looked upon as a money prince [Dreiser "The Titan": 477].
... он не сделался ещё финансовым королём [Пер. В. Курелла, Т. Озерской: 465].
spend money like water - тратить деньги не задумываясь (деньги как вода):
Не spends money like water - 1 wonder where he gets it all from [EIIU 2003].
Он тратит деньги совсем не задумываясь, не понятно, откуда он их только берёт [перевод наш - В.П.].
English expressions used in the business world:

​ Time Idioms-

​ War Idioms-

​ Back Idioms-

​ Memory Idioms-

​ Health Idioms-

​ Heart Idioms-

​ Seeing Idioms-

​ Animal Idioms-

​ More Animal Idioms-

​ Anger Idioms-

​ Swimming Idioms-


I. What is a phraseological unit?

2. What does the structural similarity between word-groups and phraseological units consist in? Why are they opposed to words on the structural level?

3. What is the main difference between phraseological units and word-groups according to the structural criterion? What does the term 'structural invariability' imply?

4. What is the semantic difference between word-groups and phraseological units based on?

5. What role does a cultural component play in the semantic structure of phraseological units?

6. What do phraseological units and words have in common from the point of view of their semantics?

7. What makes phraseological units similar to words on the syntactic level?

8. What makes phraseological units similar to word-groups on the syntactic level?

9. What are the characteristic features of phraseological units?

10. What is the semantic structure of phraseological units composed of?

II. What is the denotational macrocomponent of meaning of a phraseological unit?

12. What information does the evaluational macrocomponent of meaning contain? What types of evaluation do you know?

13. What is the motivational macrocomponent of meaning of a phraseological unit? In what way can motivation he viewed?

14. What does the emotive macrocomponent express?

15. What does the stylistic macrocomponent point to?

16. What is the grammatical macrocomponent of phraseological meaning indicative of?

17. How can the gender macrocomponent be expressed? What does it denote?

I8. What is meant by phraseological transference?

19. What does the transference based on simile mean?

20. What is the metaphoric transference?

21. What does the metonymical transference imply?

22. What is the transference based on synecdoche?

23. What types of phraseological units can be distinguished according to the degree of idiomaticity?

24. What types of phraseological units can be singled out from the point of view of their origin?

25. What are the main sources of origin of native phraseological units?

26. What are the main sources of origin of borrowed phraseological units?

1. Analyze the lexical valency of the polysemantic words to run and to charge. Translate the sentences into Russian.

to run

1.The horse runs. 2. The film runs for to horse. 3. The water runs. 4. The tape runs.5) The nose runs. 6. The motor runs. 7. The wine run over the floor. 8. The whole argument runs on this point. 9. She runs the water into t he bath- tub. 10. He run his business well. 11. The ice-cream is beginning to run.

to charge

1. He charged the man ten cents for the pencil. 2. He charged the battery. 3. He charged them to do their duty. 4) He charged these goods to the man’s account. 5. The soldiers charged the enemy. 6. I don’t want to charge my memory with trifles. 7. The judge charged him with the crime.

1.2. Translate the sentences into Russian paying special attention to the grammatical valency of the italicized words. State the difference in the grammatical valency of Russian English word.

Model: to die – to succumb; These animals died of starvation. About 4,000 Americans succumb each year to smoking-related illnesses.

ь Эти животные умерли от голода. Каждый год около 400,000 американцев умирают от болезней, связанных с курением.

1. to suffocate – to choke: The dog was suffocated by smoke. I broke the window for us not to be suffocated by the petrol. She was choked with sobs. He was choked with angry emotion.

2. to ride – to go: My little daughter can ride a bike. He rides a horse perfectly. I don’t want to go by train. If we go by bus we’ll be in time there.

3. to cure – to treat: This medicine will cure you of your cough. Nothing seemed to cure him of his nervousness. In this hospital Ann is treated for her headaches with quite a new drug. The boys were treated for cuts and bruises rather long.

4. to blame – to accuse: The investigator blamed the driver for meeting with the accident. He blamed her sister for her child’s death. I don’t want to accuse him of telling lies. She said that her employers accused her of theft.

5. to let – to allow: Let me have a look at that letter. Sue doesn’t let her kids eat candy. We don’t allow people to smoke anywhere in the building. Don’t allow your problems to dominate your life.

1.4. State the difference In the grammatical valency of the five pairs of words from task 4.1.Give their syntactic patterns.

Model : to care – to interest: She’s never cared very much about her appearance. Sport has never really interested me.

The syntactic pattern of the verb care is: care + preposition ‘about’+ noun (pronoun). The syntactic pattern of the verb interest is: interest + pronoun (noun)


1. What is lexical valency?

2. Who does lexical valency acquire special importance in case of polysemy?

3. What restricts the range of the lexical valency of words?

4. What are word habitually collocated in speech called?

5. Is there any difference in the lexical valence of correlated word in different languages? Give examples.

6. What is grammatical valency?

7. Is there any difference in the grammatical valency of correlated words in different languages? Give examples.

8. What does the term ‘syntactic structure (formula)’ imply?

9. What does the term ‘syntactic pattern’ mean?

10. What kinds of word-groups can be singled out according to the syntactic pattern?

11. What classes of word -groups can be singles out according to the criterion of distribution?

12. What word-groups are called endocentric?

13. What word-groups called exocentric?

14. What types of meaning can be singled out in word-groups?

15. What is the lexical meaning of the word-group?

16. What is the structural meaning of the word-group?

17. In what way do the lexical and structural types of meaning of word-combinations interact? What does the connection between lexical and structural types meaning of word-groups imply?

18. What meant by the lexical motivation of a word-group?

19. In what cases is a word-combination considered to be lexically non-motivated?

20. What degrees of motivation can be singled out?

1. Translate the sentences into Russian paying special attention to the grammatical valency of the italicized words. State the difference in the grammatical valency of the corresponding words in the Russian and English languages.

Model: if you’re not sure of the answers, say so.

1. He firmly believes that she is innocent of the crime. 2. I explained the situation to the bank manager and he arranged a loan. 3. Several children in the class cannot speak English. 4. Did the newspapers really affect the outcome of the election? 5. Robson strongly objectives to the terms of the contract. 6. I first encountered him when studying at Cambridge. 7. A 23-year-old woman was found guilty of murder in the Central Court today. 8. Her family strongly disapproved of her behavior. 9. Don’t bother him with your complaints. 10. I’ll stay here and wait for Mike.

1.2. Read the passage below. Write out combinations of words distributing them among the following groups:

a) predicative; b) non- predicative. In the non-predicative group single out coordinative word- combinations.

She was silent. Vaguely, as when you are studying a foreign language and read a page which at first you can make nothing of, till a word or a sentence gives you a clue; and on a sudden a suspicion, as it were, of the sense flashes across your troubled wits, vaguely she gained an inkling into the working of Walter’s mind. It was like a dark and ominous landscape see by a flash of lightning and in a moment hidden again by the night. She shuddered at what she saw.

1.3. Taking into account the criterion of distribution, from the passage given in task , write out: 1) endocentric: 2) exocentric word- combinations. What subgroups of endocentric word-combinations can be singled out?

Model: to study a language

The word-combination to study a language is endocentric. According to its central member, i.e. the verb to study, this word-combination is verbal.

1.4. Arrange the word-groups according to the degree of their motivation, starting with the highest.

. I) gay bird, beautiful bird, blackbird; 2) cold wind, cold feet, cold war, cold hands; 3) light hand, light burden, light supper, light artillery; 4) blue funk,, blue skin, blue stocking, blue fox: 5) big cheese, delicious cheese, white cheese, Swiss cheese; 6) wicked tongue, smoked tongue, coated tongue; 7) big boy, big house, big money, big talk; 8) angry tone, high tone, mental tone.