Chinese Language Essays

Submitted By caniiland
Words: 553
Pages: 3

What are the factors to influence the idiom differences between Chinese and English? Maybe the different life-styles, geographic environment, historical cultures, religious beliefs are the major causes. The idiom “be born in the purple” can be explained as “the people born in a rich and powerful family”. It confuses the meaning of “purple” in the idiom stands for “richness and power”. Actually, it is a product of historical culture in western countries. The “purple” is a representative of power in ancient Greece. “In the ancient time of Rome, it is a symbol of class that some important people wear the purple clothes to represent their position in that society, like the emperor, officers or generals." Idiom is a product of culture and an accretion of culture and history of different nations. English and Chinese idioms carry cultural features and information of their nations and it is closely related to their cultural traditions. The thesis researches English and Chinese idioms from their definitions and comparisons and explores their cultural differences according to geographic environment, historical culture, religious beliefs and thinking patterns and values.
There is not one single Chinese language, but many different versions or dialects including Wu, Cantonese and Taiwanese. Northern Chinese, also known as Mandarin, is the mother tongue of about 70% of Chinese speakers and is the accepted written language for all Chinese. Belonging to two different language families, English and Chinese have many significant differences. This makes learning English a serious challenge for Chinese native speakers or vice versa. Most aspects of the English grammar system cause difficulties for Chinese learners. Some English phonemes do not exist in Chinese; stress and intonation patterns are different. Unlike English, Chinese is a tone language. This means that it uses the pitch (highness or lowness) of a phoneme sound to distinguish word meaning. In English, changes in pitch are used to emphasize or express emotion, not to give a different word meaning to the sound. English has more vowel sounds than Chinese, resulting in the faulty pronunciation of words like ship/sheep, it/eat, full/fool. Diphthongs such as in weigh, now or deer are often shortened to a single sound.
Chinese learners find it difficult to…