A fascinating phenomenon is the birth of new lexical items in a language. With this also follows the creation of new lexical sets, lexical bundles (as Biber might say) as well as collocations and idioms. This is of great import for translators as the good translator should also be a linguistic observer and commentator. He/she should know what is happening to a language and why this is happening.
Most of the new births are connected to science and technology as well as philosophy and ideology. When a new field is created, a new invention made, a new gene found, a new device manufactured or doctrine developed language has to follow suit and describe it. One of the problems for translators is the fact that this is usually undertaken in the language in which the discovery is made and that happens to be – more often than not – English. For non-English speakers this is a problem.
Often the new word that is created has Latin or Greek origins (mainly because of tradition and the feeling that these Classical language are in some way more scientific than the others). Then it is borrowed into another language. So we find a Latin word borrowed or created within a particular field (in the English-speaking world, for example) that is then borrowed (or borrowed and then morphed) into yet another language.
Often the name that is tagged onto a new object is pseudo-Latin or Greek and sounds classical. Take, for example, the unofficial name of the trans-Neptunian planet 2003 UB313 – Xena. What might have been a more appropriate name for this outermost of quasi-planets is Xenial (pertaining to hospitality and relations with friendly visitors).