A linguistic graduate can carry out his professional activities in various fields (teaching, translation, research, journalism). However, in all diverse directions, his main goal will be the successful implementation of intercultural communication, the establishment of relations between representatives of two cultures, each of which is associated with a particular region and carries its distinctive features. Therefore, we can talk about the preparation of regionally-oriented linguistic specialists. Knowledge of specific characteristics of the region contributes to a better understanding of the foreign language culture representative and assessment of the level of interaction with him. These characteristics of the region include the following components: knowledge (the description of the mental structure or process that a student uses separately or in combination with other components of knowledge), psychological and ethnic (knowledge about the attitude of the region’s inhabitants to the world, to the traditions of other countries), linguistic (knowledge of the dialects of different countries and where they play an important role, and where they do not affect understanding; vocabulary – realities, xenonyms), the component "Traditions" (the ability to give linguistic and cultural commentary, so that people not familiar with these traditions, were mentally prepared to visit the region), the component “Symbols of the region” (knowledge of distinctive visual, graphic and musical symbols). Considering the characteristics of the region contributes to the successful implementation of the professional activity of a linguist, whose ability to understand the national-ethnic, cultural, social specifics of the region is the key for the interaction of different cultures representatives.
Keywords: Linguistregionregionalization of educationcross-cultural communication
Linguist is a profession of the 21st century (along with, or even more than a programmer / lawyer). His knowledge is a fundamental condition for globalization, which is already in full swing. However, this profile goes beyond the usual understanding of linguistics as linguistics.
Linguistics is the science of communications, which are in demand at all levels of the formation of society. The areas of activity of a specialist in this profession are many. So, for example, a linguist graduate can do:
Teaching activities (in educational institutions);
All types of translation (in manufacturing companies, trading enterprises, translation agencies);
Research work (consultant, translator, linguist at research institutes, analytical agencies, consulting bureaus);
Representative work (brand representative, head of PR department, translator, secretary-referent in international corporations of any profile);
Writing advertising, scientific, analytical materials (journalist, proofreader, editor or copywriter in information publications, on-line business).
However, it is worth noting that in order to remain relevant within the cultural diversity of the world, many traditional concepts of linguistics require revision (Koskinen, 2015).
The activities of a Linguistics graduate may be associated with work abroad, as well as in our country, on the reception of different culture representatives. The goals of the stay of foreigners in our country can be completely different: business (establishing partnerships), travel (acquaintance with a different culture), personal, etc.
It is important to note that at present, a professional linguist as an expert in interlingocultural communication plays not a secondary but the main role in a cross-cultural communication and rapport. Thus, any flaw of the linguist’s and, in particular, translator’s training leads to faulty communication and misunderstanding among nations and peoples. Speaking about the connection between language and culture, House (2016) defines translation as an integral part of the revolution both in communication in general, and in interlanguage and intercultural communication in particular (House, 2016; Katan, 2009). It is safe to say that being a mediator between two societies and cultures, a translator’s mission is “impossible without understanding that the success of his professional activity depends on his knowledge and notion about the world of foreign speech community” (Khaleeva, 1989, p. 58). In other words, without possessing such basic knowledge in foreign language, the graduate is not able to represent his country and culture abroad, to overcome stereotypes, to conduct equal communication with foreign partners in foreign language (Dobrivskaya, 2018).
Very often many graduates of foreign languge universities, institutes or departments have to act as interpreters and have to be able to present their native country in a foreign languge.
Thus, the problem of the paper is seen in two major aspects: first of all, introduction of regional component into linguist’s training; second, consolidation of role of translation subjects in linguist’s training.
One of the most important aspects of successful communication is the linguist’s understanding of the person he will work with. Where did this man come from? What is characteristic of the region in which he lives? How do these characteristics of the region (customs, traditions and even geographical location) affect the mindset and worldview of a representative of a foreign language culture? Emotionality, cultural characteristics, body language and context – all this is to be considered as part of preparation for professional activities. Thus, for example, Piller (2011) argues that it is cultural factors that influence the interaction of two individuals more than others. From this, in turn, it follows that the problems and difficulties arising during the translation activity are largely dependent, and sometimes caused, by differences in cultures.
Acting as an intermediary, the linguist-translator ensures the successful interaction of two cultures - native and foreign, associated with a specific region. Thus, knowing the specifics of the economic and cultural development of the region (both domestic and foreign), taking into account the characteristics of the region in terms of its professional activities, the linguist is able to solve professional problems within the region more effectively.
Therefore, we can talk about the training of regionally-oriented personnel and the regionalization of education.
The paper tackles upon following issues:
2.introduction of regional materials and regional component into linguist’s training;
3.consolidation of role of translation subjects in linguist’s training;
4.linguist’s ability to arrange intercultural communication.
Purpose of the Study
The study and determination of the characteristics of the region and their consideration from the point of view of the linguist's professional activities.
In this study, we used such methods of scientific research as: theoretical (studying a variety of sources of information, analysis of the information received), empirical (observation), the method of competent judges (communication with native speakers).
The regionalization of education issue is one of the central in this study. This question is relevant at present and many scientists are studying it. Thus, for example, Glumova (2017) offers her definition for a regional component in teaching foreign languages. It is considered as a part of the content of foreign language material in which regional culture of origin is compared with the foreign regional culture. Its goal is to shape the ability to build a cross-cultural dialogue through the prism of transregional awareness (Glumova, 2017, p. 35). The most important aspect of the regionalization of education is the regional component of higher education in the direction of 45.03.02 Linguistics, under which, following Andreeva (2018) we will understand "educational goals, content and methods aimed at creating the personality of a professional in the linguistic field, who adequately represents his region, knows the regional specifics of social, political, economic and cultural life and uses this knowledge in his professional activities aimed at the benefit of the region" (p. 2167).
It should be noted that in the United States, experts from seven European universities involved in the training of linguists (translators) were invited in 2010 in the framework of the state project “Promoting International Communication Competence in Translation” ("The PICT Project") in order to develop a coherent training structure for future translators taking into account regional characteristics. Within the framework of the project, it was determined that the components of the training structure, taking into account regional specifics, should include the following areas:
1) theoretical – mastery of the fundamental concepts, principles and perspectives arising from the theory of intercultural relations, translation studies and related disciplines.
2) textual – the ability to accept intercultural knowledge, translation decisions when creating translated texts.
3) interpersonal – the ability to make intercultural knowledge, communication decisions when interacting with your interlocutors when working as a translator (Cranmer, 2015).
The federal state educational standard of higher education for the area 45.03.02 Linguistics enshrines the following competences meeting the regionalization of training: “general culture competencies-1 (OK-1) – the ability to navigate the system of universal values and take into account the value-semantic orientations of diverse religious, social, professional, national groups and communities of Russian society; general culture competencies-2 (OK-2) – skill to follow the principles of cultural relativism and rules of ethics suggesting giving up ethnocentrism and respecting foreign language culture distinctness and system of values; general professional competencies-4 (OPK-4) – knowledge of ethical and moral standards of behavior adopted in a foreign culture society; readiness to apply social situations’ patterns, common scenarios of collaborative experience of intercultural communication participants; general professional competencies-9 (OPK-9) – willingness to get over effect of stereotypes and implement cross-cultural interaction in common and professional spheres of communication; professional competencies-15 (PK-15) – knowledge of international etiquette and rules of interpreter behavior in various interpreting situations (escorting a tourist group, ensuring business negotiations, securing negotiations of official delegations); professional competencies-16 (PK-16) – mastery of the essential interactive and contextual knowledge, enabling to get over effect of stereotypes and adapt to evolving circumstances during the interaction with different cultures representatives” (“Federal State educational standards…”, 2014).
Aksentyeva (2015) identifies a number of goals implemented in the educational process, taking into account regional specifics in its structure and content. Among them there is the development and individualization of the student in intercultural cooperation, the upbringing of a patriotic and socially active personality, the expansion of regional knowledge, the raising of interest and respect for the culture of the native land, the development of the ability to talk about a region in a foreign language. The integration of regional material in the general education course requires, in her opinion, compliance with such principles as minimization of educational material, consideration of regional specifics, selection of regionally significant disciplines, consistent presentation of information, communicativeness (Aksentyeva, 2015).
The central concept of the regionalization of education is, of course, the “region”. It is worth noting that there is no single approach to the concept of “region”. The whole world can be divided into regions from various points of view: geographical, natural, political, religious points of view. They all may exist simultaneously.
In this paper the term “region” should be considered from the point of view of a linguist’s professional activity. Thus, we accept Nasyrova’s definition (2013) of a region “the totality of spiritual values, norms and rules of behavior that characterize an individual’s regional identity, as well as the image of the student’s closest space, reflecting the subjective experience of cognition surrounding reality and transmitted by means of a foreign language in the process of intercultural communication” (p. 26).
As many linguists believe, dialogue between cultures often fails, not because of purely linguistic factors, but because of a lack of knowledge about the cultural background that is directly related to a specific region. In other words, taking into account certain characteristics of a region implies the existence of a set of communicative behaviour as a complex of traditions and discourse norms in the selected linguistic and cultural community.
Communicative behaviour helps to fully acknowledge that culture, mindset, language and consciousness are all links in the same chain.
It should also be noted that the cultural value of linguistic education can be realized by students only if the training does not emphasize the juxtaposition of different cultures (native and foreign), an in-depth understanding of the native culture, awareness of the universal significance of the cultural value of the language in the process of formation and development are taught cultures, active inclusion in foreign language speech activity and enhancing the creative potential of students.
Using lifestyle as a productive basis for studying regional geographic and cultural studies allows one “to use imagining imagination to master ideas about the country and the people as a whole and in detail, to understand their lifestyle as a way to organize social relations, to consider their characteristics in certain natural geographic conditions and specific types of practical activities, as well as study national psychology, traditions, customs, etiquette with varying degrees of complexity spine at different stages of learning” (Oberemko, 2015, p. 245).
In order to better understand the representative of a foreign language culture and evaluate the level of interaction, a linguist needs to be able to analyze and take into account the following characteristics of the region:
1. A knowledge component – is a description of a mental structure or process that a learner uses alone or in combination with other components of knowledge to complete steps in a task or problem. Knowledge component includes:
1.1 Geographical location – the linguist’s knowledge of the region’s position relative to the Earth’s surface, as well as in relation to other objects with which it interacts (whether the country is warm or cold, it is located in the north or in the south). The linguist must understand the climate in the country. When translating any features of the country, he must understand what is at stake, for example, what is the rainy season. In accordance with this, the translator should be guided when hot weather, and when the rainy season is expected in the region. Depending on the geographical location, to understand what natural resources and minerals are mined in the country, etc. In general, it is believed that people who live in southern countries have less problems than those who live in the north, and because of of this they are more cheerful and naive.
1.2 Country features – the linguist’s knowledge of the regional characteristics of countries, for instance, the regional division of a country, their relations among themselves: Basques in France - for France or the opposition? Does Scotland have positive or negative attitude towards the UK? Local government in the UK, for example, is not subject to a single governance structure. Each region of the country is divided into a number of further divisions. London is divided into districts and one county, while other regions are divided into metropolitan counties, counties and unitary authorities. A linguist must as well understand the climatic features of a country. The climate in the UK is temperate, which means it is usually cloudy, windy, and rainy. The country has low mountains, hills, rivers, fertile land (good for agriculture) and rocks along the coastline.
2. Psychological and ethnic component – the linguist’s knowledge of the attitude of the region’s inhabitants to the world, to the traditions of other countries, for example, how are foreigners perceived in the USA and the UAE? How do Germans perceive emigrants in Germany? It is important for a linguist to understand that the United Kingdom of Great Britain consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is located in Northwest Europe, etc. Ethnic groups may have different culture and mentality depending on their cosmogonic ideas. Are they generated by nature or are they produced by labor? Thus, in America, the stereotypical image of a person, the so-called self-made person, dominates. When meeting each oter americans ask “How are you?” It is not surprising that such a stereotypical orientation of activity contributed to the widespread pragmatism throughout America. It is worth pointing out that the ethnos’ perception of its environment is mainly defined by what issue is important for ethnos. How? What? What for?
For example, the Greeks typically perceive the world through the question “What is it?”. The Germans are primarily interested in the cause of what is happening. Thus “Why?” is important. The goal for the French is more important than cognition, the subject matter of everything is seen somewhere in the distant future; so, the main question for the French will be “What for?”. Perhaps this is the source of theories of progress (Rousseau, Condorcet), evolution (Lamarck), social utopia.
3. The linguistic component – is the linguist’s knowledge of the dialects of different countries and where they play an important role (England) and where they do not affect understanding (Russia); vocabulary – realities, xenonyms. Therefore, “awareness of the range of grammatical and vocabulary meanings in different contexts in order to help them interpret different situations correctly, build rapport and avoid misunderstandings” (Mirzoyeva & Syurmen, 2016, p. 169). Acting as a translator, a linguist must know which languages are national for each specific country in which the translation is carried out. For example, the official language in France is French, and the government is required by law to use primarily French. At the same time, there are 75 languages in the country that can count on official recognition in case of ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (24 are the languages of the indigenous population of France, and the rest are the languages of immigrants). The British love their language and do not consider it necessary to speak other languages, since a foreigner, in their opinion, must know English.
4. The component "Traditions" (holidays, customs) – a linguist graduate can give a linguistic and regional commentary so that people who are not familiar with these traditions are mentally prepared to visit the region. For example, in Great Britain there are “calendar customs” – these are the traditions and customs that occur annually on certain days throughout the year. Conservatism, the value of the past and everything connected with it was formed among the British, largely due to attachment to their roots, traditions and customs. As a rule, the British, sceptical of changes, prefer to act by the rules. The English have a very popular expression to draw a parallel between the rules of life and sports rules: “This is not cricket,” which means “it is not fair, not by the rules.” Germans are characterized by respect for the house, which is, first of all, their “small homeland" - Mein Heimatort. the country itself, Germany, is perceived by them exclusively as "Motherland", "Mein Heimatland". Consistent respect for traditional values, especially the discipline and order of the Ordung, can now be traced even in advertising slogans. The hallmark of German streets and the urban environment as a whole is the frequent use of the word "verboten" (prohibited). For example, “Parken verboten” (parking is prohibited), “Plakatieren verboten” (posting of ads is prohibited), “Rauchen verboten” (smoking is prohibited). Such signs, their abundance, once again proves the Germans need for Ordung, order in all areas of life. A specific understanding of order is a key value of German culture. According to Schiller, precisely because of this “blessing of God” civilization arose. Over the past three millennia, this virtue has been firmly entrenched in German consciousness.
5. The component “Symbols of the region” – knowledge of distinctive graphic (coat of arms of the city, region, state, etc.), graphic (I ♥ Moscow, I ♥ NY) and musical (anthem of the city, district, corporations, folk and table songs) symbols penetrating the national component of each person.
When applying regional component into linguist’s training we simulate cross-cultural situations, suggesting a number of excercises and tasks to develop interpreting skills.
One of the examples of such excercises can be a role-play: one student, acting as an interpreter and three others – foreing visitors. The “interpreter” takes the “visitors” on an excursion by car, trying to show the best sights. The excursion takes 40 minutes; the students may interchange during the role-play.
The excercise consist of three stages. First comes vocabulary work during which specific regional words, elements and concepts are studied.
Then the excursion route is developed (students find and use typical phrases for this particular situation, i.e. excursion).
Finally, students perform their roles, solidifying their knowledge and skills.
Thus, regional component and interpreting skills of linguist’s training unite in one activity.
The study showed that understanding and taking into account the cultural differences, traditions and characteristics of the regions is crucial for the successful implementation of the professional activity of a linguist. It is the linguist who must understand how differently the same information can be perceived by representatives of different cultures (Tomozeiu & Kumpulainen, 2016). In order to better understand another culture, you need to be able to listen, read between the lines and guess what the interlocutor had in mind, because often the meaning is veiled. For this, it is worth considering, first of all, the characteristics of the region that we have identified.
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20 November 2020
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Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, bilingualism, multilingualism
Cite this article as:
Oberemko, O. G., Glumova, E. P., & Ermakova, J. I. (2020). Region’s Characteristics And Their Consideration In Linguist’s Professional Activty. In Е. Tareva, & T. N. Bokova (Eds.), Dialogue of Cultures - Culture of Dialogue: from Conflicting to Understanding, vol 95. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 693-700). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.03.73