This is the first comprehensive study of phraseological borrowing. Based on Latvian material it reaches far beyond one language. It describes the reasons and motivation, processes and results of the borrowing of phraseological units; examines the general theories of phraseology, language contacts and borrowing. On the basis of empirical material it sets out a system of phraseological borrowing comprising 4 types of phraseological loans - phraseological translation loans, full phraseological loans, phraseological semicalques and phraseological transcription loans. It also examines the development of the Latvian system of phraseology and discusses borrowings from various languages separately, with examples.
Borrowing is one of the main ways of phraseology formation. Entire layers of phraseology in most European languages are phraseological loans and internationalisms, for example, most ancient mythology and biblical phraseology. Borrowed units are adapted, change meanings and form. Native language structures indirectly affect it, as is evident in the assimilation phase, when many units adapt to the language and expectancy norms and conventions.