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英国论文代写范文精选-On the Culture Difference between English and Chinese

2016-06-21 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

51Due英国论文代写网精选assignment代写范文:“On the Culture Difference between English and Chinese”,这篇论文讨论了中英文文化上的差异。随着社会的发展,世界将要成为一个“地球村”。由于地理环境和历史的差异,不同国家和民族具有不同的文化,习俗和宗教信仰,中英文之间就有着巨大的差异。由于文化的差异,一个严肃的问题可能会导致娱乐或大笑;一种无害的声明可能会引起不满或愤怒。

With the development of modernization, the world itself is becoming a “global village”. Opportunities for Chinese to contact with westerners are growing. Due to the differences in geography, development level, different countries and nationalities possess different cultures, histories, customs and religion, misunderstandings often occur in English teaching.

The same words or expressions may not mean the same thing to the people with different cultures. Because of cultural differences, a serious question may cause amusement or laughter; a harmless statement may cause displeasure or anger. Because of cultural differences, jokes by a foreign speaker may be received with blank faces and stony silence. Yet the same stories in the speaker’s own country would leave audiences holding their sides with laughter.

Professor Deng Yanchang once said “…In fact, the learning of a language is inseparable from the learning of its culture.” However, after several years of English study, even college students still find it hard to communicate with English native speakers. It’s not that they don’t have the command of the language forms, but that they lack the knowledge of the target culture.

So English teachers should help students acknowledge the culture background in teaching. teaching  should focus on culture study and learn the skills of communication. What is the relationship between language and culture? What role does culture play with language? In any culture or region, language is much more than semantics, much more than what the written page or the spoken word can contain.

This especially becomes clear when studying a foreign language and learning the ways of a particular culture. For example, the use of introductions, salutations, everyday sayings, etc. This area in particular gives more weight to culture then to the words themselves. Anyone studying a foreign language has to be bicultural as well as bilingual to speak the new language in a way that it is not disparaging to the culture and its origin.

Language does not end at the meaning or the use of words associated to a culture" words represent beliefs, history, and the culture of their origin and they must be used accordingly. As we all know, language is closely related to culture and can be said as a part of culture. From a dynamic view, language and culture interact with each other and shape each other. Language is the carrier of culture which in turn is the content of language. We can dig out cultural features from language and explain language phenomena with culture.

Idioms as a special form of language exist in both of them and carry a large amount of cultural information such as history, geography, religion, custom, nationality psychology, thought pattern and etc, and therefore are closely related to culture. They are the heritage of history and product of cultural evolvement.

Consequently, we can know much about culture through studying idioms and in turn get better understanding of idioms by learning the cultural background behind them. Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols, which is creative, double-structured and changeable. It is a means of verbal communication and distinguishes human beings from animals.

Culture, one of most widely accepted definition, is the total accumulation of beliefs, customs, values, behaviors, institutions and communication patterns that are shared, learned and passed down through the generations in an identifiable group of people. According to the definitions above, language is a part of culture and plays a very important role in it. Some social scientists consider “Language is the keystone of culture. Without language, culture would not possible”.

One the other hand, language is influenced and shaped by culture. It reflects cultures and is the symbolic representation of a nation. It comprises their historical and cultural backgrounds as well as their approach to life and their ways of living and thinking. J.C. Catford once said, “Meaning is property of a language.” To a certain extent, “meaning” stands for culture. Different society has different culture, and it changes with the change of the society. As cultures are diverse, languages are diverse.

Therefore, language should be taught in culture, or culture should be taken into consideration in English language teaching. The Chinese language is part of the Chinese culture and English is part of the English culture. There is no culture that has no language as its part. Language and culture are not separable. They are closely related, each influencing and shaping the other. Human knowledge and experience are described and stored in language. Customs, habits and behavioral patterns can be described and analyzed in language. Social institutions, value systems, beliefs, world views can be described, analyzed and evaluated in language. In short, language can represent every aspect of culture. Language is the mirror of culture.

The close relationship between language and culture is readily shown by the fact that culture is transmitted from one generation to the next through language for the coming generation to learn. While children learn their native language, they also learn their native culture and are eventually accepted as members of their culture. Language learning and culture learning are not separable. To teach a foreign language implies to teach the culture of English. English can never be taught in a cultural vacuum in English.

Based on the research achievements home and abroad, people came to a common ground that foreign language teaching should focus on cultivating the students’ abilities of cross-cultural communication and their awareness of culture. In cross-cultural communication, people are required with not only the knowledge of phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, language , but also the understanding of English. If not, misunderstanding caused by cultural barriers may occur. So it’s important to teach cultural knowledge in English teaching.

Due to the differences in geography, development level, different countries and nationalities possess different cultures, histories, customs and religion, misunderstandings often occur in English teaching.With the development of modernization, the world itself is becoming a “global village”. Opportunities for Chinese to contact with westerners are growing,  teaching  should focus on culture study and learn the skills of communication. Otherwise, there will be “culture shock” during the cross-cultural communication. Having been influenced by international greetings, Chinese intellectuals are accustomed to say “您好! With the more and more frequent communication, greetings have been diversified dramatically since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

You may greeting one of your acquaintances by asking, “上街买菜了? even it is obvious that he is going out for shopping because he is carrying a basket; asking about whatever you see; by asking “上班啦? if seeing somebody taking a handbag; by asking “旅游啦? if seeing somebody taking luggage. Western people, however, will be amazed at your words, since you have seen that he is obviously going out for shopping, for office or for travelling. Why do you still ask question like Are you going out for shopping” and so on? And the ultimate comment is “What a stupid question!

In China, people would said to a visitor from afar, “你一路辛苦了。” But if he is an English native speaker, Chinese usually put the sentence into English like this, I am afraid you must have had a tiring journey. It will make him/her uncomfortable, for it does not meet the culture background of English speaking countries. The right expression is “Did you have a good trip?/ Did you enjoy your journey?” Or “How was the trip?” When Chinese meet, they often say “上哪里去?” which if translated literally, would be Where are you going?. The natural reaction of most English-speaking people would most likely to be Its none of your business to thins greeting. Another expression is “你吃了吗? which is a common greeting around meal time. It means nothing more than Hello or Hi. But to westerners, it could indicate an invitation to a meal. When Chinese part, the hosts see the visitor to the door or gateway. It is customary for the guest to say to the hosts 请留步. The final words of the hosts are usually 慢走,走好,慢点儿开. None of these should be interpreted directly. Stay here would sound strange; Go slowly, Walk slowly or Drive slowly would be equally so. Native speakers usually say Good-bye, Bye-bye.

It is easy for us to find that our Chinese addressing are much more complicated than that of westerners. For westerners, it is quite common for them to call each other by given name without worrying about the generation differences. But in China, we rarely come across those situations. So English teachers should inform his or her students of the right way of addressing in front of the foreigners.

In English, we have grandparents, grandfather, grandmother, while in Chinese, we have 爷爷,奶奶. In English, we have ‘uncle’ and ‘aunt’ for those people who are the peers of our parents, while in Chinese, we have 舅舅,姑妈等. Furthermore, in English the lower generation like ‘nephew’ and ‘niece’ have no clear distinction of which part he or she belongs to, the same is true with the word ‘cousin’ Our Chinese people attach great importance to family, and think that the blood is thicker than water. In order to show politeness, we should call those strangers in the way of addressing families. For example, 大哥,大姐等等. The Chinese language has many precise terms for describing family and other relationships. People in China address relatives or close neighbors as三姐,周大伯, which should not be carried over into English. English-speaking people address others by using the first name—Tom, Michael, Linda, Jane, etc.—rather than calling the person Mr. Summers, Mrs. Howard or Miss Jones. This applies not only to people of roughly the same age, but also of different ages. It is not a sign of disrespect. It is command to hear a child calling a much older person—Joe, Ben, May, Helen, etc. Another common Chinese form of address is the use of a person’s title, office, or occupation, such as 马校长. But English native speakers seldom address others in this way.

Chinese people like to be modest about their own achievement, possessions and so on. This is considered a sign of modesty, but it may seem dishonest to Westerners. Here is a example. A young Chinese lady in the USA was complimented for her beautiful dress, “That’s a lovely dress you have on.” She was quite happy but replied in negative way as most Chinese people do, “No, no, it just a very ordinary dress.” The American felt somewhat embarrassed. This implies that the American’s taste in clothing was questionable.

Such situation may cause misunderstanding. Westerners may think it impolite. There is another example, A foreigner at his Chinese friend’s wedding, he said, “Your wife is very beautiful.” But his friend replied, “No, no, she is ugly.” At hearing this, the foreigner felt angry and left. The Chinese wanted to show this modesty, but in such a situation, native speakers would like to say “Thank you”. People use different colors to express their different moods. Some colors have similar connotations in both cultures, but some are different.

In China, the color Red is often associated with celebrations and joyfu l days. This is the same in English. For example, Christmas and other special days are printed in red on calendars. These are called red-letter days. In order to give a lavish welcome to distinguished guests, hosts will roll out the red carpet for them. White has different connotations. White in English represents purity and innocent. So westerners call the wedding day White day. And the bride is always in white wedding clothes. But white in Chinese has another meaning. People in China have white at funerals. Black in both Chinese and English is associated with negative meanings: blacklist, black marketblack moneya black sheep and a number of others. Blue has no special association with feelings in Chinese. But in English it represents sadness. In a blue mood means a sad or depressed mood. Similar in meaning are a blue Monday, blue song, blue music.

Blue is also associated with high social position or being aristocratic family. He’s a real blue blood means he’s from a noble family. Green is often referred to envy by westerners. Green-eyed monster or just green-eyed both have the meaning jealous, envious. Sometimes green is also used to indicate lacking in experience or train, as in The new typist is green at her job. Yellow appears in English phrased as yellow journalism. But it is not 黄色期刊 in Chinese. It is a kind of journalism distorting the fact to create a sensational effect. Yellow Pages in American is a book with the telephone numbers arranged according to different categories. Other colors also have certain connotations. Teachers should help students understand the colorful words usages. Anyone who learns a little English knows that the equivalent of Chinese words “谢谢” is Thank you in English, but it’s a big knowledge to make use of Thank you appropriately in different social circumstances. Thank you is widely-used in response to congratulations in English, while such polite formula as “惭愧惭愧” are commonly applied in Chinese. In these cases of communication in English, if we respond literally saying you flatter me, or I feel ashamedinstesd of sayingthank you, it would rather be indecent. Take another example, a visiting scholar in the U.S. replies in accordance with Chinese customs by saying “No, no, it’s just a very ordinary dress” when somebody comments favorably on the dress she wears with “That’s a lovely dress you have on”. That leads to a pragmatic error. The hearer will believe that such a reply indicates she is unable to tell good from bad.

A Chinese saying “Selling dog meat by hanging a sheep head” rather than “Selling mutton by hanging a dog head” embodies Chinese tradition that people comment favorably on sheep while unfavorably on dog. Dogs have impressed China mainland so badly that most words and phrases made of “狗” are almost derogatory. Chinese words as “走狗” are examples of this kind. “A lost dog”, which can be associated with “丧家狗”, is doomed to be beaten fiercely by Chinese people, while a lost dog would be much more cherished by an American or a British. In American or British culture, “dog” is the substitute of loyalty, is a friend of human beings so that a large number of sayings or proverbs in English concerning with dog are absolutely opposite to those in Chinese with commendatory or at least neutral meanings. For example, “as sick as a dog” is used for a serious patient; “to die a dog’s death” refers to those who die from poverty or other disaster; mercy and sympathy are evident when a dog is used to describe human beingsa person in high rank a top dog; a lucky person a lucky dog. “I am too old a dog to learn any new tricks” is said by senior citizens who assume that it’s too late for them to learn; and “凡人皆有出头之日” is Every dog has its day; “爱屋及乌” for lovers is Love me, love my dog. We can conclude from the above mentioned examples that dog and 狗” mean the same animal in Chinese and English, the absolutely identical signified, but their cultural connotations are considerably different

Allusions can not only make the language richer, but also make communication more vivid. Allusions derive from history, legends, literature, religion. Most English allusions involve events or characters from Shakespeare. Many lines from his play are used in daily English: forgive and forget, that’s all Greek to me, all’s well that ends well, all is not gold that glitters.

A large number of characters or names from English and American literature have come to stand for any person with similar traits: A shylock – a cruel, greedy, money-grabbing person, one who will go to no ends to acquire wealth; from the Merchant of Venice, a play by Shakespeare. A Sherlock – a detective or shrewd person who has the uncanny ability to track down and quarry or solve any mystery through careful observation, scientific analysis, and logical reasoning; from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s well-known detective stories. An Uncle Tom – a meek person, especially a black, who submits to indignities and sufferings without any thought or act of rebelling; the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Another source of allusion can be tracked back ancient Greek and Roman civilization. It is natural that the classical Greek and Roman mythic stories are the common and important source of allusions in English. A Pandora’s box -- a plentiful source of troubles or disaster. It derived from the Greek mythology. The story is that Pandora, the first woman who was punished and sent to the earth by the gods as a form of punishment, was forbidden to open the box sent by the gods. When she opened it at last out of curiosity, all the evils in the box flew out to trouble the earth with endless disaster, and only hope left inside when the box was closed. So the phrase often indicates something which may seem good, but which brings troubles at last. Trojan horse -- the hidden danger. It originated from the story of huge wooden horse which were towed into Troy, without knowing that it was left by Ulysses. The armed soldiers inside the horse later opened the city gates for the invading army, which enabled the Greeks to occupy troy. A Damocles sword -- the danger which will happen in the near future. Damocles is a courtier of ancient Syracuse and served under Dionysius, a tyrant who ruled over Syracuse. Damocles was vainglorious and envied Dionysius greatly. Later Dionysius realized Damocles’ psychology and invited him to a feast; but hanging over Damocles’ head was a sword suspended by a single hair. Damocles sat through the banquet in constant fear.

Since the Chinese cultural value is different from western countries, therefore we have to deal with such kind of problems as a translator. According to K S Sitaram’s study, Chinese people and westerners have different response to other people’s praise, the different response originate from the different cultural value. In china, modesty is one kind of virtue, it descends from ancient times, we can see a lot of such kind of words which express the speaker’s modesty. For example, “犬子”……Such kind of expressions are baffled to the western people, because in their social life, self-confidence is one kind of virtue.

Age is also one important aspect of cultural value; the entire nation’s culture has different stress. In China, aged people symbolize wisdom, power and authority, so we often add before the appellation. For example,“老师傅”……But according to western cultural value, young is very important which means vigorous and promising. So in western people’s mind, it is great important to be young and go on to study. The connotation of“老人”and old man or old lady are quite different, therefore we cannot just translate expressions by such way. We have to concern the cultural value of different nations.

In China, the individual benefit is subordinated to the collective profit. Everyone should carry out his own responsibility and prepare to sacrifice the personal interest. The personal fame and success is associated with the collective closely. Here are some Chinese phrases, we can see the cultural reflection from them, such as “光宗耀祖”.In English-speaking world, the cultural value is quite different from Chinese, individualism is their most important cultural value, the individual potentiality and hobby is in dominant position. The children develop the independent character. Since they are very young, they never attribute their success to their family. So it is totally different from Chinese cultural value. As a translator, we must overcome such kind of elements to provide a better communicative way.

In China, it is acceptable to ask other’s age or salary, but westerners consider these as their privacy. English-speaking people set a high value on privacy. There is a saying: “A man’s home is his castle”. In the USA, everyone has his/her own room, no one could come in without permission. So parents cannot enter their children’s bedrooms until they are allowed. Once there is a program called Oprah, one of the most popular talk shows in America, giving a topic about a 12-year-old girl accusing her parents of spending her money.

It is a shock to Chinese. Chinese people have a strong feeling of the family. Family members are dependent on and support each other. Most Chinese family members live together and the young are supposed to show filial piety to their parents. If the young work in another place which is far from their parents, they will manage to visit their parents and send some money to them. Another difference is that Chinese usually advocate collectivism, while in English speaking countries, they focus on Individualism. Individualism is the core of western culture. To westerners, self-reliance and independence are important, and it is considered weak to be dependent on others.

Here is a story: Once Mr. Huang, a famous film director in China, visited abroad. He saw a disabled person turning his wheel-chair upwards with all his effort. Mr. Wang went to help him, but the man stared at him angrily instead of saying “thank you”. Why? It is a terrible loss that he is dependent on others, in his opinion. The traditional Western belief about human nature is that humans are basically evil. According to the Bible, all humans have been born with original sin. The western world believes in is take God as central Christianity. When they use the word God, the image in their mind are likely to One God who is all powerful.

They believe that humans must be saved and accept God to become good. In China, people have accepted the teachings of Confucius and Taoism. Chinese believe that humans are basically good. Children are pure and innocent but may become bad as they grow up. They also believe in Buddhism which was spread in from ancient India thousands of years ago. When they say the word god, their images are many gods but with limited power.

The religious difference leads to aesthetics difference. The word dragon can be found in both Chinese and English. In China, the dragon is not only beautiful, but also the symbol of Chinese. It represents power, strength and good luck. Chinese people call themselves the descendants of the dragon. However, the dragon is a monster to westerners. It is the symbol of evil. That is why“亚洲四小龙”is translated asthe four tigers of Asiain English. When people converse with others, they communicate by much more than words. In the social interactionbody language is believed to comprise up to 90% of our communication. By our expressions, gestures and other body movements, we send messages to the other people. Like verbal language, body language is also a part of our culture. It is important to understand that one culture set of acceptable body language gestures or movements may not be translated with the same meaning in another culture. So in order to communicate effectively in English, one should know the gestures, body movements, etc. that accompany a particular language.

It is a sign of friendship in China that two men walk hand in hand or with an arm around another's shoulder. However, it is regarded as homosexual in America. Eye contact is an important part of body language. In the United States, it is respectful to use eye contact with the person whom is talked to. It implies that the listener is listening to the speaker. In China, Chinese women would regard direct eye contact as rudeness. When meeting others, Chinese usually shake hands or nod to show respect or friendliness. In America, people often hug or kiss to show friendliness, which is quite embarrassing and awkward for Chinese, especially between the opposite sex. In China, kissing is only for lovers or parents to children. The OK hand gesture in America and England, is quite popular and considered a general gesture that denotes an agreement of sentiment. But this is merely used in China. Chinese prefer thumb up to express an agreement. It is also used in both Britain and America and equivalent to the OK gesture.

When some Chinese people drink hot soup, they often blow the surface of the soup first. Moreover, they may make some sound when they eat it. Americans regard this as impolite, because in their culture, making a sound when eating is bad manners. On the other hand, Chinese view Americans’ eating with their hands as dirty. There are many other differences in body language. It takes time to appreciate the difference in body languages. Only in this way, one can understand it and avoid offending anyone. The above are lots of differences between Chinese and western cultures. If you don’t know these differences, you may not communicate with westerners effectively. Native speakers will forgive grammar mistakes you make, but cannot tolerate culture mistakes. So when teaching English, English teachers should help students be familiar with English culture as much as possible.

At present, the aim of English education is not to help students learn how to communicate with foreigners, but to gain commercial profits. To judge the quality of a teacher, the education bureau only care about grades his students make in exams, especially in middle schools. In order to make students to get high marks, English teachers let students do a large number of practices. Most students can get good marks in English exams.

However, they are weak in listening and speaking and cannot communicate with foreigners directly. English teachers in China, especially in middle schools, are Chinese. Their mother tongue is Chinese. They share the same culture background with their students. So their communication is not cross-cultural communication. English is one of the several subjects they have to study at school. They are busy reciting words, phrases and doing exercises.

In China, teachers still play the lead role in class. If teachers only emphasis English grammar and phrases, students cannot gain the ability of cross-cultural communication. We should change our mind on teaching, and realize the risk of cultural conflicts. As English teachers, we must keep on studying, improve our own ability and explore new skills of teaching. In the process of teaching, we can accumulate the data of western culture.

Circumstance is very important in influencing people’s life and personality. And also, it is important in learning language. As a compulsory course for junior and primary students in China, English is becoming more and more important. But the problem is how to learn English efficiently. Learners at home usually have little time to listen to or speak English. Except that they can speak English in their English classes for 40 or 45 minutes only, they have no chance to speak English, no chance to listen to English, even no chance to feel the existence of English. So, as teachers, the most impotent thing to do is to solve the problem, by creating a language circumstance, stimulating their initiative in learning English.

The aim of learning a language is to communicate with others. In middle schools, the most difficult problem to learn English language is the lack of English circumstance. We should organize various activities and introduce students to read some short English stories. We can also arrange them to watch English cartoons, such as The Lion King and Shrek. We should do what we can to arouse the students to study English. Language can never be separated from culture. It is impossible to study a language well, without learning culture. Meanwhile, it helps spread and pass down a culture. Every people have its own culture.

Therefore, an English language teacher does not only teach English, but also teaches its culture. Due to the influence of traditional theory of teaching, our English teaching still has a long distance to go.

We should do our best to help cultivate students’ cross-cultural awareness, so that they can know what to say or do and what not to say or do. However, it may take years to achieve this aim, just as the old saying Rome was not built in a day. If we keep on trying and never give up, we will succeed one day.

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