FEATURES OF SET EXPRESSIONS CONTAINING WORDS “RED” AND “BLACK” IN ENGLISH AND THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY
NGUYỄN THỊ NGÂN
FEATURES OF SET EXPRESSIONS CONTAINING WORDS “RED” AND “BLACK” IN ENGLISH AND THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS (ĐẶC ĐIỂM CỦA NHỮNG CỤM TỪ CỐ ĐỊNH CÓ CHỨA TỪ “RED” VÀ “BLACK” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)
M.A. THESIS Field: English Language Code: 8220201
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY
NGUYỄN THỊ NGÂN
FEATURES OF SET EXPRESSIONS CONTAINING WORDS “RED” AND “BLACK” IN ENGLISH AND THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS (ĐẶC ĐIỂM CỦA NHỮNG CỤM TỪ CỐ ĐỊNH CÓ CHỨA TỪ “RED” VÀ“BLACK” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)
Field: English Language Code: 8220201 Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Văn Quế
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled “FEATURES OF SET EXPRESSIONS CONTAINING WORDS “RED” AND “BLACK” IN ENGLISH AND THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in English language. Except for the indicated reference, no other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgment in the text of the thesis.
Nguyễn Thị Ngân
Approve by SUPERVISOR
Phan Văn Quế Date: …………….
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support from
a number of people. First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Van Que, my supervisor, who has patiently and constantly supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas, expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as an academic researcher. A special word of thanks goes to my friends and many others, without whose support and encouragement it would never have been possible for me to have this thesis accomplished. Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my husband for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this academic work.
ABSTRACT The title of my thesis is Features of set expressions containing words “RED” and “BLACK” in English and the Vietnamese equivalents. The aim of this paper is to show the features of set expressions containing words red and black in English and the Vietnamese equivalents. This study helps students be aware of the necessity in using idioms both in English and Vietnamese. With the method of describing, comparing, analyzing and contrasting, this paper will give learners crucial information to help them gain knowledge and improve their study. After collecting 337 set expressions containing words red and black in English; đỏ and đen in Vietnamese idioms and proverbs dictionaries. The study is carried out basing on the quantitative and qualitative approach in order to show some features of English set expressions containing words “Red” and “Black” and their Vietnamese equivalents. As a result, some similarities and dissimilarities between English set expressions containing words “Red” and “Black” and Vietnamese ones have gained through finding process. Moreover, implications for learning and teaching set expressions containing words red and black are also mentioned in this thesis.
LIST OF TABLES Table 4.1: Syntactic features of RED set expressions in English
Table 4.2: Syntactic features of ĐỎ set expressions in Vietnamese
Table 4.3: Syntactic features of BLACK set expressions in English Table4.4: Syntactic features of ĐEN set expressions in Vietnamese Table 4.5: Semantic features of “Red” set expressions in English Table 4.6: Semantic features of “Đỏ” set expressions in Vietnamese
33 34 41 41
Table 4.7: Semantic features of “Black” set expressions in English Table 4.8: Semantic features of “Đen” set expressions in Vietnamese
Table 4.9: Syntactic features of “RED” and “ĐỎ” set expressions
Table 4.10: Syntactic features of “BLACK” and “ĐEN” set expressions 50 Table 4.11: Semantic features of “RED” in English and “ĐỎ” in Vietnamese set expressions 51 Table 4.12: Semantic features of “BLACK” in English and “ĐEN” in Vietnamese set expressions 52
TABLE OF CONTENTS Certificate of originality
Abstract List of tables
iii iv 1
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale for the study
1.2 Aims and objectives of the study 1.3. Research questions
1.4 Methods of the study
1.5 Scope of the study 1.6 Significance of the study 1.7 Design of the study
3 4 4
Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Previous studies 2.2. An over view of set expressions
6 6 7
2.2.1. Definition of set expressions 2.2.2. Types of set expressions 220.127.116.11. Idioms
7 8 8
18.104.22.168. Proverbs 2.3. An over view of Culture
2.3.1. Definition of Culture 2.3.2. Characteristics of Culture 2.3.3. Characteristics of English Culture
11 12 12
2.3.4. Characteristics of Vietnamese Culture 2.4. Concepts of color 2.4.1. Color in language 2.4.2. Color in culture
13 13 13 14
2.4.3. The meaning of color red and black in English 2.4.4. Features of color set expressions 2.5. Structures of idioms 2.5.1. Phrases 2.5.2. Clauses 2.5.3. Sentences
15 16 18 18 20 22
2.6. Semantic features of idioms 2.7. Theory of syntax and semantics 2.8. Summary
23 25 27
Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Setting of the study 3.2. Research questions 3.3. Research methods 3.4. Instruments
28 28 28 28 29
3.5. Data collection and Data analysis 3.6. Summary
29 30 31
Chapter 4: FEATURES OF SET EXPRESSIONS CONTAINING WORDS “RED” AND “BLACK” IN ENGLISH AND THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS 4.1. Syntactic features of “red” and “ black” set expressions in English and “ đỏ” and “đen” in Vietnamese 4.1.1. Syntactic features of “red” set expressions in English and “đỏ” in Vietnamese 4.1.2. Syntactic features of “black” set expressions in English and “đen” in Vietnamese 4.2. Semantic features of “red” and “black” set expressions in English and in Vietnamese 4.2.1. Semantic features of “red” set expressions in English and in Vietnamese 4.2.2. Semantic features of “black” set expressions in English and in Vietnamese 4.3. A comparison between the semantic and syntactic features of the word “RED” and “BLACK” in English and “ĐỎ” and “ĐEN” in Vietnamese
31 31 32 34 35 42 49
4.3.1. In terms of their syntactic features
4.3.2. In terms of their semantic features
4.4. Implications and suggestions for teaching and learning English RED and BLACK set expressions in English and Vietnamese 4.4.1. Suggestions for teaching English
RED and BLACK set
expressions in English and Vietnamese 4.4.2. Suggestions for learning English RED and BLACK set expressions in English and Vietnamese 4.5. Summary
Chapter 5: CONCLUSION 5.1 Concluding remarks
5.2 Limitation of the study 5.3 Suggestions for further study
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
Rationale Nowadays, the globalization has become a wide-spread trend in the world,
therefore, communication with high requirements has become an urgent trend in the world than ever. That is the reason why English is the most popular and flexible language in the world. In studying English, especially for the Vietnamese, it is really a shortcoming if we do not take into consideration of set expressions in English, especially set expressions containing words color. English expressions are not only a part of language, but also one of the components creating traditional culture of each nation. Through expressions, we can learn more clearly and deeply about English people, their country as well as their culture. As we know, because of specific characteristics of culture, so each color English expression has its own features. It lies in the fact that, colors have taken an important role in the living and each color also has its own meaning. Theoretically, many relevant studies on color in English and in Vietnamese have been done so far. According to Rod Ellis, one way to help foreign learners of English overcome their language-related problems is to teach them formulaic and figurative set expressions such as proverbs, idioms, metaphors, phrasal verbs etc. which are a crucial part of natural language production (Rod Ellis, 2008). Therefore, set expressions containing words “red’ and “black" are selected as the focus of this study because it is seen those specific characteristics of culture, and each color English expression has its own features. It lies in the fact that, colors have taken an important role in the living and each color also has its own meaning. Therefore, there have been a lot of studies involved in the meaning of colors set expressions in order to know how to use them. As for Berlin and Kay, the “color terms" has been used to show differences in color of each language on over the world. While we might readily expect differences for words relating to things in the environment such as animal and plants, or for a cultural system like governance or kinship terms, it might seem surprising that terms for colors should vary. The investigation claims that languages vary in the number and range of their basic color terms. (Berlin and Kay, 1969) As a result, knowledge of color set expressions can increase comprehension of texts and using them can make learners ‘verbal and written communication more effective (Irujo, 1986; 1
Vanyushkina-Holt, 2005). However, researches on features of set expressions containing word “red” and “black" in English and their Vietnamese equivalents to find out their similarities and differences between the two languages have not been carried out. Being aware of the importance of color set expressions in daily interaction as well as in learning language, I decided to choose the thesis entitled “Features of set expressions containing words “red” and “black" in English and the Vietnamese equivalents” as the topic of the master graduation thesis; thus, this thesis can help Vietnamese learners of English understand more clearly about the way of using and translating them from English to Vietnamese and vice-versa. Hopefully, it will somehow help Vietnamese learners enrich their knowledge and have a deeper insight into English color set expressions. As for the learners of English or Vietnamese, a contrastive analysis of semantic and syntactic features of color set expressions in this thesis will help them improve the ability to use and understanding. Especially, the study of all kinds of color set expressions containing words “red” and “black” are expected to provide the translators with fresh thinking of culture, lifestyle, and custom, notions, which brings their works to perfection to some extent.
Aims and objectives of the study This study is carried out with the hope to reach some aims at finding out the
typical features of English colors expressions, especially investigating RED and BLACK set expressions in English and the Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features, thus help learners of English to have better understanding of these expressions, enable to use them effectively in daily communication. With a view to achieving the mentioned – above aims, some specific objectives have been put forward like the following:
Identify, describe the syntactic, semantic features of English colors
expressions and the RED and BLACK set expressions in English and in Vietnamese.
Identify the similarities and differences of these English expressions containing the word RED and BLACK and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features.
Make some suggested implications for teaching and learning English
expression containing words RED and BLACK in English and the Vietnamese 2
Research questions The research plans to address the following questions: - What are the syntactic and semantic features of set expressions containing words RED and BLACK in English and the Vietnamese equivalents? - What are the similarities and differences of the RED and BLACK set expressions in English and “đỏ” and “đen” in Vietnamese in terms of syntactic and semantic features? - What are the implications for teaching and learning set expressions? 1.4. Methods of the study This study is planned to identify and describe some syntactic and semantic features of the English color expressions RED and BLACK with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents, from these finding, some similarities and differences would be shown. To gain this purpose, a large number of color expressions, RED and BLACK color has been collected and treated differently at the various time. After that, the data has been collected and analyzed in a careful consideration with the combinations of contrastive analysis in qualitative and quantitative approaches, which are used in the arguments and discussions. Comparative and contrastive methods are used to show the similarities and differences in the way of using color expressions by English and Vietnamese people in both spoken and written language. Furthermore, descriptive, analysis and contrastive methods are used as the major methodology of this study. The methods are also used to describe the syntactic and semantic features of words Red and Black. Some typical examples and statistic tables are given to make a clearance. Last but not least, some of the research techniques are used and combined such as statistics and observation method to draw out necessary findings. 1.5. The scope of the study Words denoting color is a very large topic, so this study only focuses on set expressions containing words red and black in English and the Vietnamese equivalents. Set expression includes fixed phrases, sentences, proverbs and idioms which contain words red and black in both languages, English and Vietnamese. But in this study, we only study the scope of set expressions containing words red and black in 3
English and the Vietnamese equivalents. Amount set expressions containing words red and black in English and đỏ and đen in Vietnamese in this study with 197 set expressions in English and 140 set expressions in Vietnamese. The data are taken from 8 dictionaries in English and Vietnamese (see references) This study focuses mainly on semantic and syntactic features of idioms containing words “red” and “black” and the Vietnamese equivalents. Comparison and contrasting syntactic and semantic features are to point out the similarities and differences between English culture in using set expressions containing word red and black and their Vietnamese equivalents. 1.6. The significance of the study Theoretically, there are many authors studied about the set expressions and color set expressions such as Kay and McDaniel (1978), Wierzbicka (1996), Goddard (1998) ,Guimei(2009, Francis M. Adams and Charles E. Osgood (2011), Huei-Ling Lai and Shu-chen Lu (2012), Berlin and Paul Kay (1969) as well as Trương Thanh Ngọc (2003), Nguyễn Mai Diệu Khoa (2003), Lê Thị Thanh Thủy(2009), Trịnh Thị Minh Hương, Phan Lê Thị Huyền (2011). However, Bùi Thị Thanh Hiền (2011), studies the metaphor related to Red in English and Vietnamese in her and no one studies about “ red” and “black” features in English and Vietnamese so this thesis studies the features of set expressions containing words red and black in English and the Vietnamese equivalents to supply deeper understanding of set expressions containing words red and black in English and their equivalents in Vietnamese in terms of their syntactic and semantic features for learners and teachers. Practically, idioms and proverbs are large parts in English and Vietnamese. They are used in daily life and in communication so the study points out the similarities and differences about the features of set expressions containing words red and black to learners to improve their use of language skills when using set expressions containing words red and black in English and their equivalents in Vietnamese. 1.7. Design of the study The thesis consists of five chapters as bellows: Chapter 1, Introductions, presents an overview of the thesis including rationale, aims, objectives, scope, research methods, and significance, well as the design of the study.
Chapter 2, Literature review, overview the previous studies and build up the theoretical background in the study. Chapter 3, Methodology, focuses on a set of the study, research questions, research methods, instruments, data collection, and data analysis and summary. Chapter 4, Finding and discussion, point out the syntactic and semantic features of “red” and “black” set expressions in English and the Vietnamese equivalents. Chapter 5, Conclusions, summaries the major findings recorded during the making of the thesis presents the limitations of the study. References and Appendix come at the end of the study.
Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
Previous studies In English, there have been many authors carrying out studies on color, culture
in using of colors. However, their approaches are different in some ways. Kay and McDaniel (1978) present the existence of biologically based semantic universals about color terms. Wierzbicka (1996) and Goddard (1998) maintain that visual and environmental things should be referred to as common reference points for color meanings. Guimei (2009) mentions the cultural connotation in the color words between Chinese and English languages is very abundant. Francis M. Adams and Charles E. Osgood (2011), also studies the affective meanings of color in cross-cultural. It is also another study, Huei-Ling Lai and Shu-chen Lu (2012), mentions and shows the similarities and variations in the meaning extensions of black and white, and further to find the cultural factors behind them but it only mentions in Taiwanese Languages. Hui-Chih Yu (2014), shows the differences and similarities of symbolic meanings of color in English and Chinese in his study. After that, Brown and Lenneberg (1954) published “A Study in Language and Cognition” they discussed the effect of codability on recognition. Brown and Lenneberg attributed this effect to the property of codability. Linguistic codability is the ease with which people can name things and the effects of naming on cognition and behavior. In their experiment, they used a series of Munsell chips to test color recall and recognition in English speakers. Their findings suggested that the availability of a basic color term in a given language affected the retention of that color in recall testing. In other words, Brown and Lenneberg linked their study to Lenneberg and Roberts' 1953 findings on color recall in Zuni speakers. Berlin and Paul Kay (1969) carried out a research named “Basic color terms: their universality and evolution” (published by University of California Press). This is one important area of discussion has been the differences in color terms in languages and raised a new theory of differences for words relating to things in the environment such as animals and plants, or for cultural systems like governance or kinship terms, it might be surprising that terms for colors should vary. Berlin and Kay investigated the fact that languages vary in the number and range of their basic color terms. In Vietnamese, there have also been many authors carrying out studies on color, culture in using of colors, set expression such as Trương Thanh Ngọc (2003), 6
she mentions semantic features of word denoting colors in English and Vietnamese: black, white, green, red, yellow, blue, brown, grey, orange, pink and purple. However, in another study by Nguyễn Mai Diệu Khoa (2003), she focuses her attention on the study of the metaphoric meaning of words denoting color which includes six main colors. Nguyễn Thị Diệu Hảo (2005) finds that people tend to use idioms denoting color words in daily communication. Lê Thị Thanh Thủy (2009), points out connotation meanings of white, red, blue in both languages English and Vietnamese. Another study is "Tính biểu trưng cuả từ ngữ chỉ màu sắc strong Tiếng Việt" by Trịnh Thị Minh Hương at Ho Chi Minh Pedagogical University (2009). Phan Lê Thị Huyền (2011) based on a new trend with contrastive analysis on both semantic and pragmatic features of the adjective Black in English and Ðen in Vietnamese in compound words, collocation, and idiomatic phrases. Bùi Thị Thanh Hiền (2011), studies the metaphor related to Red in English and Vietnamese in her study. Phạm Thị Kim Chuyên (2012), shows the similarities and differences of the semantic features of the word Green in English and Xanh (lá cây) in Vietnamese. However, there has not been so far a study on features of two colors red and black in English and Vietnamese. Therefore, it is necessary to do research on this matter to hit the target. 2.2. An overview of set expressions 2.2.1. Definition of set expressions As many languages English and Vietnamese, set expressions are own phrases and sentences that used daily in communication, in speech as well as in writing. Set expressions required of fixed phrases, sentences, idioms, and proverbs. According to Nguyễn Hòa (2001), Set expressions are word-groups consisting of two or more words whose combinations are integrated as a specialized meaning of the whole such as to see the red light, to give one a big hand, etc. Besides, John Lyons (1995) posited that expression of a language falls into two sets. There are the expressions that one would expect to find listed in a dictionary: they are vocabulary-units of a language, out of which the members of the second set, lexically composite expression, are constructed by means of grammatical (i.e. syntactic and morphological) rules of the language. Not all the expressions listed in a dictionary, however, are words. Some of them are what traditionally called phrases; and phrasal expressions, like wordexpressions. 7
Furthermore, Đặng Trần Cường (2001) denoted that “phraseology unit is the study of set expressions called phraseological units. These set expressions are completely or particularly idiomatic in speech as a ready-made unit.” Set expressions have been sometimes called word equivalents, and they have been postulated that the vocabulary of a language consists of words and word equivalents (word group), similar to a word in so far as they are not created in speech but introduced into the act of communication ready-made. If substitution is only pronominal or restricted to a few synonyms for one of the only, or impossible, i.e. if the elements of the phrase are always the same and make a fixed context for each other, the word-group is a set expression. In this study, set expressions include proverbs and idioms. 2.2.2.
Types of set expressions
Idioms There are many definitions about idioms: In English, Hornby (1995) states in his Oxford Advanced Learner’s
Dictionary that an idiom is “a phrase or sentence whose meaning is not clear from the meaning of its individual words and which must be learned as a whole unit”. In Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionry (2006), Hornby changes the definition a little bit, noting that an idiom is “a group of words whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words” J. Seidl and W. McMordie (1998) concept "An idioms can be defined as a number of words which, when taken together, have a different meaning from the individual meanings of each ". The number of idioms in English is considerable. Some interesting examples are: It was for the birds (means: It’s is really meaningless and uninteresting), or to bury the hatchet (to make peace), to call it a day (to stop doing something), to paint the town red (to carouse and have a good time). In Vietnamese, it also carries the same basic point English particular idioms and idiomatic language of the world in general. Hồ Lê (1976) refers an idiom is a word combination which has a stable structure and figurative meaning and is used to describe an image, a phenomenon, a characteristic, or a state. Ðái Xuân Ninh (1978) defines an idiom is a set expression whose constituents lose their independence to some extent and combine into rather complete and stable units. According to Nguyễn Thiện Giáp (1985), Idiom is a phrase whose meaning it 8
is not made up of the meaning of the words composing it. Even if the meaning of all words which cannot yet guess idiom meaning of that phrase. Idioms with the completeness of meaning but secluded nature of the elements in the structure, so its activities in question as equivalent to an individual from. Hoàng Văn Thành (1997), the idiom is a combination of fixed and sustainability of the morphology, structure, complete and polished on the meaning to be widely used in daily communication, especially in the oral. To build a foundational definition for the study, we base on the above features as well as our own observation, then apply the following definition as the major concept for our research working: An idiom is a fixed phrase which has integrity of meaning, making a complete referential unit whose meaning is different from the total meanings of its components, it is non-literal and works as a single word or a phrase. We also possess a lot of idioms such as Nghèo rớt mồng tơi, Chọc gậy bánh xe; Cao chạy xa bay; ném đá dấu tay; etc,.. There are many different definitions of idioms but we can find some similarities between them. After survey and study, we found idioms have some common features the following:
- An idiom is a multiword expression. Individual components of an idiom can often be inflected in the same way individual words in a phrase can be inflected. This inflection usually follows the same pattern of inflection as the idiom's literal counterpart. For example: have a bee in one's bonnet = feeling anxiously
An idiom behaves as a single semantic unit It tends to have some measure of internal cohesion such that a literal
counterpart that is made up of a single word can often replace it, for example: kick the bucket = die
It resists interruption by other words whether they are semantically compatible or not, for example: do a bunk = do a bunk with sb or be sulky as a bear = be as sulky as a bear
It resists reordering of its component parts, for example: let the cat out of
the bag = the cat got left out the bag
An idiom has a non-productive syntactic structure. Only single particular
lexemes can collocate in an idiomatic. Substituting other words from the same generic lexical relation set will destroy the idiomatic meaning of the expression, for example: 9
eat one's words = eat one's sentence
It is syntactic anomalous. It has an unusual grammatical structure, for
example: by and large 22.214.171.124. Proverbs There are many definitions about proverbs: According to Oxford Advanced, Learner's Dictionary (Hornby, 2006, p.1238) has given a definition proverb is a well-known phrase or sentence that gives advice or says something that is generally true, for example, Waste not, want not. Or according to Linda and Roger Flavell (1994, p.24), Proverbs can be defined as “memorable short sayings of the people, containing wise words of advice or warning” Mieder (1993, p.5) defines that “ A proverb is a short, generally known sentence of folk which contains wisdom, truth, morals, and traditional views in metaphorical, fixed, and memorable form and which is handed down from generation to generation.” Alan Dundes (1978) standing on the concept defined structure: A proverb is a traditional propositional statement consisting of at least one descriptive element, a descriptive element consisting of a topic and a comment. However, Barley (1972, p.714) said that “A proverb is a standard statement of moral and colloquial imperatives in fixed metaphorical paradigmatic form; it deals with fundamental logical relationships.” However, in Vietnamese, the concept of the proverb is a bit different. Vietnamese dictionary defines proverb as short statements, often expressed with rhythm, which sum up knowledge, life experience and moral lessons of people. According to Pham Văn Bình (1993), A proverb is a complete sentence expressing an idea or comment, of experience, of morality, of justice or of criticism drawn from human life. Vũ Ngọc Phan (2000), particularly considered a proverb as a complete saying expressing one idea of comment, experience, morality, justice or criticism. Nguyễn Thái Hòa (2009) was conceived: A proverb is a mouthpiece formed in everyday speech. Those are the words but units exist in the memories of the community as a unit of language. For example Ngọt mật chết ruồi, con có cha như nhà có nóc, phép vua thua lệ làng, … In short, in the opinion of many researchers, although few short ways, the 10
proverb is also a sentence express a full meaning, the meaning of the proverb is that a combination of each of its constituent. The meaning of the proverb may be a comment, an experience, a moral, or a word of advice, a word of judgment, criticism. We also can indicate some following common features of proverb according to Obeng (1996):
Proverbs are passed down through time with little change in form. Proverbs are often used metaphorically and it is understanding their
metaphorical nature that we can unravel their meaning. For example, a stitch in time saves nine, don't count your chickens before they've hatched, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Proverbs often make use of grammatical and theoretical devices that help to make them memorable, including alliteration, rhyme, parallel structure, repetition of keywords or phrases, and strong 2.3. An overview of Culture 2.3.1.
Definition of culture Culture is an integral part of every society. It is a learned pattern of behavior
and the ways in which a person lives his or her life. Culture is essential for the existence of a society because it blinds people together. In the explicit sense of the term, culture constitutes the music, food, art and literature of a society. However, these are only the products of culture followed by society and cannot be defined as culture. Various definitions of cultures have been given by scholars from different points of view. Being taken as "socially acquired knowledge" (Hudson, 1980) culture is classified by some scholars into cultural knowledge information and cultural communication information. The former refers to the factual information which does not exert a direct influence on cross-cultural communication, including a nation’s history, geography and so on. The later points to the socio-pragmatic rules in daily communication which entail not only ways of greeting, thanking, apologizing and addressing, but also attention to taboos, euphemism, modesty and polite formula in use, and so forth. Culture is necessary to establish an order and discipline in the society. It is not only a means of communication between people but also creates a feeling of belonging and togetherness among people in society.
2.3.2. Characteristics of culture Culture, argued by many anthropologists, most notably Clifford Geertz (1973), is a symbolic meaning system. It is a semiotic system in which symbols function to communicate meaning from one mind to another. Cultural symbols encode a connection between a signifying form and signaled to mean. From the standpoint of contemporary cultural anthropologists, culture is characterized by the following four basic features:
- Culture is a kind of social inheritance instead of biological heritage. - Culture is shared by the whole community, not belonging to any particular individual.
- Culture is a symbolic meaning system in which language is one of the most important ones.
- Culture is a unified system, the integral parts of which are closely related to one another. Above are four principal features of culture. Added to this, culture, in general, has some more important characteristics as following:
Culture is selective Culture is not innate; it is learned Culture is transmissible Culture is not static
2.3.3. Characteristics of English culture Western culture, English culture is a typical cultural nomad original culture. Living environment in the West is a cold, dry climate makes up the vast grasslands, vegetation growth difficult, suitable for herd livestock. That's why in the west breeds mainly sheep. In England and the West, livestock breeding is mainly up to the nomadic people. They do not respect nature, aspiring to conquer nature. In community organizations is seriously powerful, respected individual roles, the behavior occurs on the principle. According to David Marsland (1995), three primary English cultural values and characteristics are freedom, the work ethic (i.e., the commitment to hard work) and the family.
- Freedom - Work and the work ethic - The family 2.3.4. Characteristics of Vietnamese culture According to Trần Ngọc Thêm (1995), the culture of Vietnam is primarily based on wet rice production. In Vietnam, agriculture has always been of great importance in the economy. There are a plenty of agriculture products, such as rice, fruits, groundnut trees, vegetables, various husbandry products, and industrial trees. Vietnamese people usually raise and breed buffaloes, pigs, poultry,... Vietnamese cultural characteristics describe abstract ideas about what Vietnamese society believes to be good, right, and desirable. Vietnamese cultural values and characteristics emphasize the importance of family and community. “Its core values, which embrace the principles of Confucianism, are harmony, duty, and honor, respect, education, and allegiance to the family" (Shapiro. M. E, 2004). Also, according to Hunt P. C. (2002), these values and characteristics are represented as the following:
Education Harmony Family Duty and honor
2.4. Concepts of color 2.4.1. Colors in language According to Berlin and Kay (1969), the researchers found that there were eleven basic color terms common to the world's languages, and perhaps more importantly, that these terms appear in languages in a fixed sequence. The order of appearance of the colors can be expressed as follows:
Figure 1: Order of appearance of the basic color terms (Berlin/Kay 1969, p.4). Berlin and Kay (1969), shows that all of the languages have at least two colors. They are always black and white. If a language has three colors, the one added is red; if a fourth is added, it will be either green or yellow; when a fifth is added, it will then 13
include both green and yellow; the sixth added is blue; the seventh added is brown; and if an eighth or more terms are added, it or they will be purple, pink, orange, or gray. In fact, English has a self-contained set of eleven words that can be described as basic color words, such as black, white, red, yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, orange, purple and gray. In Vietnam, there are nine words denoting color such as đen, trắng, đỏ, vàng, xanh, nâu, hồng, tím và xám. All of two languages English and Vietnamese have both black and white colors to be basic colors. 2.4.2. Colors in culture Brent Berlin and Paul Kay (1969), argues that these differences can be organized into a coherent hierarchy and that there are a limited number of universal "basic color terms" which begin to be used by individual cultures in a relatively fixed order. They based their analysis on a comparison of color words in 98 languages (20 in more detail) around the world. Berlin and Kay (1969) once address the relationship between color lexicons and cultural and technological development as follows: “Color lexicons with few terms tend to occur in association with relatively simple cultures and simple technologies, while color lexicons with many terms tend to occur in association with complex cultures and complex technologies”. In other words, the number of color lexicons proportionally indicates the complexity of cultural and technological developments. From our data analysis, it has the widest distributions of black and red. Each different culture will use black and red colors differently in the way of expressions. The symbolism of color in different cultures tends to have the common identification of color names through cultural exchange. Jung (1964) defined symbols “terms, names, or even pictures that may be familiar in daily life, yet that possess Light enters the eye and hits the retina, where it is absorbed by rod and cone cells. These cells transmit the signals that light triggers via the optic nerve, directly to the visual center at the back of the brain: color is truly “in the mind of the beholder”. See Alison Cole (1993), specific connotations in addition to their convention and obvious meanings. They imply something vague, hidden, and unknown to us”. Fontana (1994), building on the work of Jung, pointed out that certain kinds of symbolism constitute a universal language. The images and their meanings occur in similar forms and carry similar power across cultures and centuries. The symbolism that makes up 14
this language in Jung’s theory is “the natural expression of inner psychological forces”. However, Jung’s ideas on symbolism go only part of the way in accounting for the rich and varied symbolic vocabularies of different cultures. 2.4.3.
The meaning of the color red and black in English
The meaning of color “red” in English According to Hornby (2015, p1290), Red is the color of blood or fire: a red c In English, Red symbolizes the power and strength; however, it is symbols of different objects, things in some extents. In the past, Red color is not only connected with the death, blood, secrets but also a symbol of the bravery of Britain and the royal family: the red Tudor rose is a symbol of Lanchester family and the famous three lions on the national badge. Scarlet is the color of the mystery, negative things, so the executioner worn red clothes to imply that he is the person who is the first person to touch the secret of life. The dark Red is represented as the power. In Rome, it belonged to the chief leaders, the emperor: the Justinian law give a death penalty for anyone dare to buy or sell cloth of dark red. The red color is considered hot since it is affiliated with warfare, violence, and fire and at the same time, it is also attached with passion and love. During the ancient times, the red color was affiliated with cupid and devil. This color can really have a physical reaction towards people by increasing the heart rate or the blood pressure. It has also been proved that red color enhances the metabolism of human beings. At times, this color is also connected with anger and simultaneously attached with one's prestige (for example – red carpet at celebrity shows and award shows). The color also signifies danger due to which the traffic stop lights and many warning signs and symbols are red in color). The red color has various alliances in the western countries. For instance, the red color is considered as lucky color and is associated with happiness and good fortune. In the eastern countries, this color is used in the weddings for the dress of the brides. At the same time, the red color is a symbol of the morning in South Africa and is also affiliated with communism. In the African continent, because of the RED campaign, this color is attached to the awareness of AIDS. Red is the color of positive things, time of day. That’s the image of enthusiastic, youth, good health and rich: the native people in America often anoint red color on their faces to strengthen health and sexuality, in some countries such as Russia, Japan, 15
and China red is used in festivals, marriage weddings, and birthday anniversaries… The meaning of color “black” in English The black color is the absence of color. It is a mysterious color that is typically associated with the unknown or the negative. The color black is a symbol of strength, seriousness, power, and authority. It is a formal, elegant, and prestigious color. Authoritative and powerful, the color black can evoke strong emotions and too much black can be overwhelming. In Western countries, black is the color of mourning, death, and sadness. It often represents the emotions and actions of rebellion in teenagers and youth. The color black can represent both the positive and the negative. As the opposite of white, movies, books, print media and television typically depict the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. In recent times, the good guy is shown in black to create mystery around the character’s identity. Moreover, black is the symbol of grief. The color black can be serious, professional, and conventional, but it can also represent the mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated. It is a visually slimming color for clothing and like other dark colors, in interior design, it can make a room appear to shrink in size. The color black affects the mind and body by helping to create an inconspicuous feeling, boosting confidence in appearance, increasing the sense of potential and possibility, or producing feelings of emptiness, gloom, or sadness. Nowadays, Black is not used for dying the tooth, but the black color on the dress clothes still favored. Black clothes are used more in the funerals, in the important events such as birthdays, weddings, cocktail parties, evenings ... Black clothes create the misery, sadness, grief in funerals. However, black clothes make a polite, formal; black has also suggested wealth, power, easy to attract people's curiosity. Most of the fat women prefer wearing black because black makes them feel thin, not fat, and also to provide for them the discreet, polite and grave. 2.4.4. Features of color set expressions Each language has its own features, and these features have made the face, the cultural components of that language. As we know, the English language is more various and flexible than any other ones. Especially, English has been a global language and called by an exact name “a living language”. Therefore, English has much more outstanding and individual characteristics than other languages in the world. 16