Nhà xuất bản:University of Languages and International Studies
M.A. Thesis English Linguistics -- University of Languages and International Studies. Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 2013
English and Vietnamese have their own valuable treasures of proverbs. Proverbs constitute a storehouse of their people’s common experiences and moral teachings. As a result, they seem to be indispensable in daily speeches as well as in books and newspapers. This thesis is an attempt to investigate a comprehensive account of the outstanding linguistic features of English and Vietnamese proverbs. Especially, with the ambition to Giúp teachers and learners have a clear understanding about the relations between proverbs and culture, the author has managed to figure out the features of proverbs about marriage in both English and Vietnamese and then, point out some cultural similarities and differences in this particular aspect. The result of the study may make contributions to the translation of proverbs in general and proverbs about marriage in particular. In addition, it may also provide helpful suggestions for teachers and learners in teaching and learning proverbs.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: INTRODUCTION
2. Aims of the study
3. Scope of the study
5. Design of the study
PART II: DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1: Theoretical background and Literature review
I. Theoretical background
1.1.2. Proverbs about marriage
1.1.3. Classification of proverbs
1.1.4. Proverbs and idioms
1.1.5. Proverbs and sayings
1.2. Some features of proverbs
1.2.1. Semantic features
1.2.2. Syntactic features
1.3. Some characteristics of English and Vietnamese people and
1.3.1. Culture and cultural values
1.3.2 The relationship between language and culture
1.3.3. Characteristics of Vietnamese people and culture
1.3.4. Characteristics of English people and culture
II. Literature review
Chapter 2. Methodology
1. Research method
2. Data collection procedure
3. Data analysis
Chapter 3. Data analysis and discussion
I. Comparison and contrast of English and Vietnamese proverbs about
marriage in terms of syntactics
II. Comparison and contrast of English and Vietnamese proverbs about
marriage in terms of semantics
III. Comparison and contrast of English and Vietnamese proverbs about
marriage in terms of culture
PART III: CONCLUSION
2.1. For EFL teaching and learning
2.2. For translation
3. Suggestions for further studies
APPENDIX 1: English proverbs about marriage
APPENDIX 2: Vietnamese proverbs about marriage
APPENDIX 3: Collection of English and Vietnamese proverbs in terms of
PART I. INTRODUCTION
Nowadays, in this globalization and integration era, communication and cross- cultural
communication have become a pivotal want and need of people all over the world. Through
language, we communicate and exchange our material and spiritual values, making the cultural
knowledge of one another richer and more diversified. However each nation’s language lies in
itself similar and different cultural concepts of many fields of life such as human values, ways
of thinking, behavior standards, beliefs, customs and traditions, social conventions, etc.
Therefore, it would be difficult for foreign language learners to communicate successfully with
native speakers if they have poor understanding of the language itself and the language relation
Among favourite languages such as French, Chinese etc, English has still played its decisive
role in international communication and has been studied by a large number of people in the
world. All foreign learners of English desire to master English as native speakers but they
usually face many difficulties that prevent them from gaining successful conversations. One of
the reasons for these problems lies in the way people perceive and use proverbs.
For many years, English proverbs have often been neglected in learning and teaching because it
is a difficult area of English, but nobody can deny that proverbs are really important in
communication, “a proverb in hand is worth a thousand words”(Reynolds, 1959: 75)
Firstly, proverbs as traditional wisdom are never absent from our daily speeches. They are the
main part of each nation’s culture, which reflect all aspects of life. People epitomize their ways
of thinking and their ideas through proverbs. We can use them to solve our daily conflicts or
support our arguments. Proverbs are the mirrors that reflect human cultures. Elzaki (2002: 43)
states: “If we want to understand the culture in a given society, we have to study its proverbs as
any nations have its own characteristics that reflect their lives and environmental
surroundings”. Hence, it can be said that proverbs can Giúp learners know more about social
and cultural characteristics of that language.
Secondly, proverbs are used to express ideas in figurative ways. They bring the vividness and
richness for the speaker’s speeches. Everyone who is much concerned about proverbs owns a
very attractive manner of speaking. Especially, they can provide users with a whole new way of
expressing concepts linguistically. Without them, it can be stated that English might lose its
colour and vitality. In terms of teaching English, lessons will be more interesting and effective
if the teacher knows how to apply proverbs to design different activities in an English class:
quizzes, games, role- play, etc.
Studying English proverbs in comparison and contrast with Vietnamese proverbs, we can find
the similarities and differences between two languages and cultures, which therefore, help
learners of English understand and have a better use of English and Vietnamese proverbs. This
can also Giúp learners have better communication in the cross- cultural communication.
Brutus (1995: 23) stated the practical effect of learning proverbs: “Through proverbs I know
your points of view, the attitudes of your ancestors. Each time I know a new Vietnamese
proverb, I become Vietnamese a little. I believe when we know all proverbs of each other, we
Having been interested in proverbs for a long time, I decided to choose marriage- related
proverbs as my thesis topic. Thanks to these proverbs, I can draw very good lessons and know
how to treat others and behave myself accordingly.
Hopefully, the study may be an interesting and helpful material for learners, teachers of English
and for people who are interested in cultural patterns in communication and cross- cultural
2. Aims of the study
The study aims to:
- Investigate the general syntactic, semantic and cultural features of
English and Vietnamese proverbs about marriage.
- Explore the similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese
proverbs about marriage
- Provide some suggestions for the teaching, learning and translation of the
English proverbs about marriage.
3. Scope of the study
Proverbs are plentiful in both English and Vietnamese. Therefore it is impossible for the author
to carry out an all- rounded study on them. Only marriage- related proverbs are selected and a
comparison and contrast between English and Vietnamese is made to distinguish one from
In this study, both English and Vietnamese proverbs about marriage are discussed in terms of
syntactics, semantics and cultures.
All English and Vietnamese proverbs are collected from dictionaries and books. Hence, this
research may not cover all marriage- related proverbs, just those of common use.
The study was intended to answer the following questions:
1. What are the general syntactic, semantic and cultural features of English and
Vietnamese proverbs about marriage?
2. Are there any similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese proverbs
about marriage in terms of syntactics, semantics and culture?
The major methods applied in the study are comparative and contrastive analysis. This study is
conducted by carefully collecting and referring to materials from various sources to have full
blown information of proverbs about marriage in terms of syntactics, semantics and culture.
The good choice of proverbs in Vietnamese and in British English will be carefully analysed
and examined to see the similarities and differences between the two cultures and languages.
The author’s own experience in communication and cultural awareness will be referred to as
way of viewing the field.
5. Design of the study
The study consists of three parts. The first part “INTRODUCTION” outlines the background
of the study. In this part, a brief account of relevant information is provided about the rationale,
aims, scopes, methodology, and design of the study.
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