Nowadays, communication and cross- communication have become a vital part in the life of people all over the world. Through language people communicate and exchange their material and spiritual values, making the culture knowledge of one another richer and more diversified. However, it can not be denied that each nation’s language lies in itself similar and different cultural concepts on many fields of life such as humane values, ways of thinking, behaviors standard, religious beliefs, customs and traditions, social conventions, etc. therefore, it could be difficult for foreign language learners to communicate successfully with native speakers if they have poor understanding of the language itself and the language in relation with culture. In Vietnam English is considered a means of international communication and together with its increasing importance, the need of learning English is becoming more urgent than ever. As a result, all foreign learners desire to master English. However, it is the fact that they usually face many difficulties that prevent them from gaining successful communication. Among the reasons, the way people perceive and use idioms seems striking.
Idioms are used to express ideas in figurative way. They bring the vividness and richness for the speaker’s speech. Moreover, they do provide a whole new way of express concepts linguistically. Without them, it can be said that English might lose its color and vitality.
Forming an indispensable part in the stock of idioms in both English and Vietnamese, comparative idioms contain much interesting knowledge about mankind ad our surrounding world. Moreover, they can well reflect the cultural differences as well as similarities of the two nations. Those are the reasons why I decide to make a study on this topic cross –culturally. I do hope that the study on comparative idioms from cultural perspective will be of usefulness for foreign language learners and for people who are interested in communication and cross- cultural communication. 1.2. Aims of the assignment.
With the assignment, the author aims at:
- Helping learners to have a clear understanding about the relationship between idioms and culture. - Pointing out some cultural similarities and differences between these two languages in this particular aspect. 1.3. Scope of the assignment.
Being limited on time and knowledge, the author would like to focus on English comparative idioms in the form of positive patterns (so sánh ngang bằng) which contain the words of comparison “like” and “as” in English and the word of comparison “như” in Vietnamese. Other types of comparative idioms will not be paid attention to. 1.4. Methodology
The study is conducted by collecting materials from various sources especially the instructions from Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Van Do . Moreover, it is also the work of the whole group who carried out a presentation on the same topic in the subject “ language , culture and society” taught by Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Van Do. And lastly the study is carried out on the basis of the author’s personal experience. 1.5 Design of the asignment
The study is divided into three main parts.
Part 1 is the introduction of the study. It includes the rationale for choosing the topic, the aims, the scope, the methods and the design of the study. Part II is the development part which contains two main points. The first one is theoretical background and the second one is idioms. Part III is the conclusion part which summarizes the study.
PART II: DEVELOPMENT.
2.1. Theoretical background.
2.1.1. Culture and some characteristics of culture.
There have been various definitions of culture. In Goodenough’s famous definition (1957:167), the term “culture” is used in the sense of whatever a person must know in order to function in a particular society. Culture, therefore, is the “Know- how” that a parson must process to get through the task of...