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Russian-English Differences Language and Culture.

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Presentation on theme: "Russian-English Differences Language and Culture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Russian-English Differences Language and Culture

2 Basic Differences Russian 1. Inflexional, i.e. it has a wide system of case word forms, complex grammar and syntactical meanings are synthesized in one word: созвониться English 1. Analytical, i.e. complex meanings are expressed with the help of several words: to make an agrrement that one of the interlocutors will make a call

3 Basic Differences Russian 2. A lot of impersonal, indefinite-impersonal, reflexive and passive constructions: а) Меня продуло. б) Вечерело. в) Ну как было не возмутиться! English 2. A strict SPO (subject - predicate - object) structure: а) I caught a cold. b) It was late in the day. с) I could’t help feeling indignant.

4 Basic Differences Russian 3. A lot of nouns, especially verbal nouns and an abundance of genitive case forms in bookish and official styles: крик ребенка артистки театра English 3. A verb is preferrable: The actress’s baby is crying. NB: in colloquial speech, though, nouns are frequent: Can you hear the baby’s shriek?

5 Basic Differences Russian 4. A lot of «negative» words, constructions with the negation «не» and double negation; the method of expressing the thought “from the reverse” is frequent: Вы не знаете, сколько времени? English 4. Affirmative sentences prevail, negative structures are rare, double negation is extremely rare:Could you tell me the time, please? E.g.: Я не мог не сказать ему об этом - I had to tell him about it.

6 Basic Differences Russian 5. Russian sentences are longer than English ones, the reason: Russian syllables and words are approxi - mately 30-50% longer in Russian. We, Russians, are fond of long and colorful phrases. English 5. The English text is composed of comparatively short sentences, it is «ethical» to use short words and brief structures. NB: In translation divide Russian sentences into 2-3 short ones.

7 Basic Differences Russian 6. A lot of abstract words and generalizations in official, scientific, and publicistic texts. E.g.: У нас очень своеобразная ментальность: посягаем на возвышенное, не обращая внимания на реальное. [Burak, p.147] English 6. Specific words prevail, generaliza - tions are implied rather than explicitely worded. E.g.: We have a special kind of mentality: We aspire to lofty things and ignore our everyday needs.

8 Basic Differences Russian 7. Modality of assertion prevails, other forms of modality are not explicit. NB for a tran- slator: Avoid straight- forwardness typical for the Russian language and speech. English 7. Complex modality is typical, the expression of probability admit- ing doubt. Modal words are frequent: seems to, apparently, I would think, presu - mably, allegedly, etc.

9 Basic Differences Russian 8. The order of words in a sentence plays a great semantic role, the most important word stands at the beginning. E.g.: Вам этого не понять. Этого вам не понять. Не понять вам этого. English 8. The word order is fixed, semantic shades of meaning are expressed by other means. In English there can be one variant: You won’t understand this [plus intonation].

10 Basic Differences Russian 9. A lot of sentences begin not with the subject but, an object. The rhematic (new) information stands at the end of the sentence: Лучшим музыкантом был Вэн Клайберн. English 9. The sentence begins with the subject as a rule. The rhematic (new) information is placed at the beginning of the sentence: Van Cliburn was the best musician.

11 Basic Differences Russian 10. A great difference bet- ween bookish and colloqu- ial styles. There is a clear- cut difference between functional styles (scienti- fic, publicist, business, etc.) within literary style. English 10. A much weaker differ- ence between literary and colloquial styles. Practical- ly no varieties within literary style (the term «functional style» is a rare one in English stylistics).

12 Basic Differences Russian 11.Russian oratory style is rather heavy and elo- quent at the same time. It amply uses parallel- isms, enumerations, EM’s and SD’s, set phrases, like «и так далее». English English oratory style is much quieter, more neutral, emotions are suspended. There are less repetitions, colorful or expressive adjectives or epithets, sharp express- ions or invectives.

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