The Language of Coronavirus: Contemporary Use in Economics, Politics, and Media

Author’s name:

Lachhein, Barbara1, Larisa A. Averkina2

1 University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany, N. A. Dobrolyubov Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
2 N. A. Dobrolyubov Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia


Since the beginning of 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been accompanied by far-reaching social changes worldwide and has produced a vast number of new terms describing the situation. Not only universities but also national German language institutions have been analyzing sources from politics and media. Launched with the intention to communicate the government’s measures and to meet the population’s immediate need for information, online glossaries have proved to be a suitable tool for making the relevant vocabulary and its con-ceptual content and background available in a timely manner. Along with virologists and poli-ticians, linguists are also studying the pandemic-related situation, thus reinforcing a multidis-ciplinary approach to the global challenge. Given all this, in order to harmonize the current vocabulary, the European Translation Service has drawn up a vocabulary survey for the member states of the European Union. The German language provides various linguistic tools to record coronavirus-related events adequately. The key objective of this paper is to map the process of adapting language to social processes on the basis of Internet research conducted in relevant institutions in Germany. As a result, it has become apparent that new word construc-tions, anglicisms, idioms, and professional terms are shaping the emerging vocabulary related to the global pandemic. Much of this is context-dependent and in need of explanation and ad-equate translations into other languages. Thematically organized dictionaries, glossaries, and podcasts as well as the immediate use of existing medical terms in everyday language enable a quick response to current developments in language. Despite the ongoing emergence of dif-ferent focus areas in research, it is clear that the coronavirus crisis has forced the whole global population to deal with formerly unfamiliar situations, news, and regulations, and thus the most current monothematic vocabulary continues to prevail in communication. However it is yet too early to speak of a general expansion of language and phraseology.

DOI: 10.47388/2072-3490/lunn2020-si-7-17
Downloads 243
Key words coronavirus-related words; coronavirus glossary; building coronavirus vocabu-lary; language criticism; European translation service.


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