Synonyms of ‘to look’ in English, страница 3

The synonym line of 'to look' in Latvian synonym language mainly consist of colloquial, common language and regional words. Several of them or their forms could be considered as obsolete, in particular lūsināties, boķēt, žūrēt, glūņāt, ķīķelēt.

Russian synonym dictionaries also provide colloquial and common language word in line with literary as synonyms. I would regard some of them obsolete too, as воззриться, низать глазами, вызариться, запускать глаза. But one of them though, unlike in the Latvian dictionary, is already specified as obsolete - взирать. Regional words are not mentioned. Basically synonyms express the way of looking- attentively (всматриваться), with curiosity (таращиться), firmly (не сводить глаз), angrily (сверлить глазами), time after time (посматривать). Some dictionaries provide synonyms also for derivative meanings, for example if meaning ‘to face or be turned in a specified direction' it has synonyms глядеть, выходить.

English synonym dictionary provides only some informal words and one slang. There are also many different ways of looking, but these are different from those in Russian synonym dictionary. For example, to look with continued attention- to contemplate, to watch carefully-to eye, to stare with open mouth – to gape, to look steadily and intently- to gaze, to look quickly-to glance, to look with eyes partially closed- to squint, to look lovingly- to ogle, to stare with wide-open eyes- to goggle, etc. in synonym line are included synonyms of  'to look' meaning 'to search' and 'to examine'-consider, examine, inspect, read, scan, scrutinize, study. Also are mentioned synonyms of  'to look' meaning 'to appear to be'- seem, appear, 'to be turned in particular direction'- face, overlook.


 The main problem is that meanings of the verb ‘to look’ do not fully coincide in three languages and consequently neither do their synonyms. And although dictionaries provide translations for these words, that is not enough for sufficient translation, because these translations tend to be deficient in some dictionaries.

For example, ‘contemplate’, which means ‘to look with continued attention; observe thoughtfully’ is translated in Latvian as just ‘vērot, aplūkot, saskatīt’, but in Russian as «созерцать», which may be is closer in meaning but has too poetic meaning. But for ‘to behold’ which is poetic in English such translation as «узреть» (poetic in Russian) is really successful.

‘To ogle’ in one Russian dictionary was translated as «глазеть на», although in other it was translated in explanatory way but much closer «смотреть влюблёнными глазами».

Of course sometimes synonyms can be translated in a very smooth way, safely using a synonym, e.g. 'to gape'- 'blenzt', «таращиться»; 'to see'- 'redzēt', «видеть»; ‘to watch’- ‘vērot, skatīties’, «смотреть, наблюдать», etc.


There is a great number of synonyms in English, Latvian and Russian. Some of them coincide in their meaning and some do not. Mainly it happens due to difference of the derivative meanings of ‘to look’ in those languages and different approach to structuring synonym dictionaries. I think that usually synonyms in one language cannot be translated by synonyms in other, because their denotation and connotation rarely coincide fully. But translator should not avoid using synonyms, because they enrich our language. Synonyms help us to avoid unnecessary repetition, thus making our language easier to understand.


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