The Pragmatics of Chinese Proverb Quoting in the English and the Russian-Language Mass Media of PRC

  •  Olga Nikolaeva    
  •  Ekaterina Yakovleva    


Mass media of PRC in languages others than Chinese native (in the present research English and Russian) are aform of cross-cultural communication between China and the rest of the world. In other-language mass mediaChina not only presents its views and attitude to the events described, but also reveals China “the whole self” byemploying the fragments of its traditional verbal culture, proverbs in particular being the ways of self-expression.However, the research provided evidence that the foreign-language press of China carefully considers theappropriateness of proverb quotations, and thoroughly estimates the degree of transmitted by them informal andindirect culture-based information, which the target audience is capable or incapable to grasp, share, and abideby. Proverbs generally being among the most indirect strategies of reasoning and persuasion in some contextualuse may convey straightforward and strict judgments. The paper studies significant theoretical issues andapplication aspects of proverb quoting in the foreign-language press of PRC which depends on crucial questionsof cross-cultural pragmatics: first, the addressor’s natural urge for culture-based self-expression alongside withstriving for intelligibility to the foreign target audience, and second, the addressor’s choice of higher / lowercontext in communication with different cultures-addressees. This accounts for the discrepancy betweenpresentation of information in the English-language press of PRC and the Russian-language periodical of China. Both questions suggest a wide range of options in proverb quoting (preserving/omitting a proverb, originalproverb with glossing / loan translation, meaning / connotation modulation of a proverb, etc).

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