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Comparative features of Russian and Chinese paremiological texts in linguistic and cultural aspects

Chen' Xuesong

PhD in Philology

Postgraduate student, Department of General and Comparative Historical Linguistics, Moscow State University

119991, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, 1, aud. 955










Abstract: The subject of the research is the specificity of the implementation of Russian and Chinese paremiological texts in the language picture of the world (which is conditioned by the national and linguocultural peculiarities of the Russian and Chinese languages). The object of the research is Russian and Chinese paremias as a reflection of the linguocultural dominants of Russia and China. The author examines in detail the aspects of the perception of paremiological texts in Russian and Chinese in a comparative aspect. Author reveals the concept of paremiological texts as a representation of the stereotypes of national consciousness, reflecting the accumulated experience, history, features of thinking and perception of the world. Particular attention is paid to the consideration of paremias in the context of socio-historical knowledge, material and spiritual culture, thinking of the Russian and Chinese peoples. The main conclusions of the study are: definition of paremias as significant elements of the language, reflecting the national cultural code; establishing a connection between paremiological texts and cultural and behavioral attitudes, creative and cognitive activities, as well as philosophy, etc. The author's special contribution to the study of the topic is to identify the features of Russian and Chinese paremias: in particular, it is noted that Russian paremias are conditioned by their attachment to everyday life, everyday observations; Chinese associated with philosophy, allegorical understanding of social and everyday phenomena. The scientific novelty of the study lies in the fact that for the first time in the framework of identifying the specifics of Russian and Chinese paremias in the language picture of the world, a number of little-studied concepts were considered. These concepts determine the features of the representation of national and linguocultural dominants of Russia and China.


paremias, language picture of the world, national cultural code, linguistic culture, national consciousness, concept, paremiological text, proverbs and sayings, extralinguistic factors, paremiospatial space

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Russian Russian intensification of contacts between Russia and China causes the need to search for new points of contact in Russian-Chinese national cultures, including at the level of development of language contacts, which, in particular, necessitates the study of the Chinese language by the Russian-speaking audience, the importance of understanding the specifics of the linguistic picture of the world of China, including in a comparative aspect with the Russian language picture the world [1]. The analysis of the peculiarities of the linguistic worldview of China in a comparative aspect facilitates the formation of a secondary worldview when learning Chinese and the establishment of intercultural communication.

One of the basic elements reflecting the national linguistic and cultural code, as well as generally forming the linguistic picture of the world, are paroemias, which are "a minimal text with a certain number of textual categories, such as content, coherence, consistency, integrity, completeness, modality, emotivity, precedent, interpretativeness, functional orientation" [2, p. 11].Paremias in the national-linguocultural aspect are "verbally expressed stereotypes of popular consciousness" [3, p. 127], which are of interest to linguoculturologists. Paremiological texts are a genre of oral folk art that transmits the experience accumulated by an ethnic group from generation to generation, as well as reflecting the mentality, peculiarities of national thinking, ideas about the world, history. Comparative analysis of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese national-linguistic-cultural space helps to identify similarities and differences in the linguistic worldviews of two different countries, to identify the cultural dominants of the ethnos based on folklore origin.

All of the above has necessitated a comparative analysis of Russian and Chinese paroemias in the national-linguistic-cultural aspect, which, ultimately, will allow us to present the paroemias within the framework of the representation of social relations within an ethnic group, material values, spiritual culture, as well as stereotypes and cultural concepts that have folkloristic roots and reflect the history and peculiarities of thinking of the people.

Comparative analysis of Russian and Chinese paremiological units has been repeatedly carried out on the basis of many concepts, which emphasizes the relevance of this topic: Pi Jiankun considered the concepts of lies, untruth and falsehoodas fragments of the Russian paremiospatial in comparison with the Chinese language [4], O. V. Ladisova and HuangWenhua considered the national and cultural values of the concept of family in Russian and Chinese paremiology [5], I. S.Russian Russian and Chinese paremiological foundations [6], M. Mammadova compared the concept of mind and stupidity in the Chinese and Russian paremiological picture of the world [7], E. G. Doronina and Gu He studied the paremiological representation of the concept of love in the Chinese and Russian language pictures of the world [8], Liu Juan considered the concept of travel in Chinese and Russian linguistic cultures [9]. However, a number of concepts in the framework of the study of Russian and Chinese paroemias in the national linguistic and cultural aspect were not considered, which led to the choice of the subject and the problems of this work.

The methodology of the research is determined by the interdisciplinary problems of the analysis of paremias functioning in a foreign cultural environment. Russian Russian and Chinese paremiological texts in the national-linguocultural aspect were identified using the following methods: analysis of theoretical literature on the topic, general scientific methods (analysis, synthesis, comparison, analogy), the method of comparative analysis (understanding the features of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews), the method of content analysis (analysis of paremiological texts Russian and Chinese languages), generalization (conclusions based on the work done).


Paremiological texts represent the stereotypes of national consciousness, reflecting the accumulated experience, history, peculiarities of thinking and perception of the world. Paremias as part of national folklore generalize socially significant patterns, typical situations, i.e. paremias can be applied to a large number of situations, which makes such an expression more universal and widely used [2]. The paremiological text preserves the situation that caused the appearance of paremia (communication of people at home and at work, social relationships with people, everyday communication situations that differ in everyday life, repeatability, reproducibility, reflection of various aspects of human life). The national specificity of the paremiological unit serves as a connecting element of the semiotic system of language with stereotypes, mythologems, national symbols, concepts and other cultural and national signs.

The paremiological text includes words that correspond to the function of generalization and do not carry personal and temporal attribution: "paremias are characterized by conciseness, conciseness, semantic saturation" [10, p. 95]. When considering and comparing the definitions presented in dictionaries of linguistic terms, we note that paremia is often described as a small genre of folklore that has a certain set of properties (syntactic independence, stability, representation of national culture, multifunctionality, imagery, a high degree of generalization, etc.) [11].A paremiological text can consist of either one sentence or several. In the methodology of linguistic and cultural analysis of paremias, it is customary to consider paremiological texts as a means of representing national and cultural experience (paremias are a verbalizer of the means of the national picture of the world) [3]. Currently, the issue of including paremiological units in the phraseological fund of the Russian language (about the belonging of proverbs to phraseological units) is debatable, the issue of the differentiation of paremiological texts (proverbs, sayings, winged expressions) also remains controversial.

Russian-speaking researchers describe paremias as aphorisms of folk origin, which are independent language expressions without performing a nominative function. Paremias, like various folklore texts, have "a plan of linguistic and logical structure, as well as a plan of realities" [12, p. 33]. In Chinese, paremiological texts are called "chenyu" (stable speech turns represented by sayings and proverbs) [4]. Such units are minimal texts, usually consisting of four syllables and a different number of characters (from three to fourteen). A large number of four-syllable chenyu is explained by the principle of speech economy. In this study, it is advisable to consider proverbs and sayings of the Russian and Chinese languages, which are paremiological texts reflecting the national picture of the world and allowing to identify its features. In the analysis of paremiological texts in this work, such directions of comparative research are used as:

  • linguocognitive (consideration of the national worldview and worldview and search for distinctive features);
  • sociolinguistic (analysis of various social living conditions of an ethnic group in comparison with another ethnic group);
  • linguocultural (the study of culture in the paremiological embodiment) [12].

The change of seasons is a universal phenomenon, widely reflected in the paremiological picture of the world of many peoples. The representation of the seasons in the Russian and Chinese worldviews have both similarities and differences, revealed through a comparative analysis of the paremiological units of both languages. In particular, for Russian culture, summer is a time characterized by good weather (since many Russian regions have a rather harsh climate, summer is considered a fertile time, suitable for labor and performing a large number of works, including supplies for the winter), which is reflected in proverbs and sayings: "summer is a golden time, don't waste a minute in vain", "summer gathers, and winter picks up", "summer week is more expensive than winter", "summer day feeds the year", "stay at home in summer have no bread in winter" [13].Russian Russian life emphasizes the importance of summer as a time of work, preparation for winter, as well as a time of warmth [14], hence summer is the expected season for Russians: "summer is bad when there is no sun", "the cuckoo brings news of summer, the swallow brings warm days", "to know by color what is the matter it's coming to summer", "summer to the peasant father and mother" (the parodies also emphasize the suddenness of summer: "summer is skipping, and winter is waddling")[13]. In these paremias, the relationship between different seasons is traced (the influence of summer results on winter, the expectation of summer from spring).

In Chinese paroemias there is an idea of adaptation to different seasons of the year:, / xi? b? ji? sh?n, d?ng b? ji? b?i / do not take a fan from another in summer, do not take a blanket from another in winter [15]. The reflection of the seasons in the paremiological picture of the world of the Chinese ethnos is characterized by a high degree of allegory, i.e. the conclusion of semantics expressed in allegorical means in the paremia. For example, in the expression , , / d?ng ti?n chu?n ?o, xi? ti?n ch? gu?, sh?n me sh? h?u shu? sh?n me hu? / comparison of winter and summer seasons of the inherent attributes (jacket winter or watermelon in the summer) suggests that we should speak in accordance with the situation, essentially. In China, summer is a very hot season, hence rain is not an undesirable weather phenomenon, as in Russia (as the Russian parody "rainy summer is worse than autumn" says [13]; it is noteworthy that there is no comparison of seasons in Chinese parodies):

  • , / xi? y? ti?n n?ng g? qi?ng, xi? y? zh? bi?n n? bi?n h?i ng?n ch? y?ng / summer in one place it is raining, and the next the sun is shining;
  • , / xi? zh? y? ch?ng y?, y? d? zh? qi?n j?n / on the hot summer days of the solstice, raindrops are very expensive [15].

The perception of summer as a season when a supply of food is made for the whole year can also be traced in the parodies in Chinese culture:ch?n zh?ng r?, xi? zh?ng sh? / take care of every spring day for planting, take care of every summer hour for harvesting [15]. Russian Russian and Chinese paroemias show a difference in the reflection of a person's physical sense of self in a particular season: in Russian paremiological texts in summer, a person is shown as an active subject who perceives summer as a fertile, albeit hot, time (which is reflected, for example, in the Russian paroemia "red summer did not bother anyone" [13]), when does the Chinese language reflect a different perception of summer due to different climatic conditions:, / ch?n xi? qi? k?n f? d? d?n, shu? b? x?ng de d?ng yu? s?n / spring get tired, fall, tired, asleep in the summer, in the winter three months to Wake up [15]; summer, however, it is also associated with the rest from the rest of the seasons, as in the Russian perception.

In Russian paremiological texts, various conditions that take place in the winter months are characterized: "in winter the sun shines, but it does not warm", "January builds bridges, and February destroys" [13]. A similar characteristic is observed in Chinese paroemias:, / l? q? l? b?, d?ng s? h?n y? / in winter, the jackdaw dies from frost [15] (the full paremiological text also details the freezing conditions, i.e. Chinese paremias are more scrupulous in relation to the transfer of accumulated cultural experience).

In Russian paremiological texts, winter is always associated with frost, harsh conditions: "winter has come-winter: a fur coat for cold, money for need", "in winter dogs lie around wait for a blizzard", "in winter a sheepskin coat for everyone" [13]. There is a large number of paremiological texts where winter is compared with other seasons or the preceding of one period of the year is emphasized by another, indicating the advantages of a particular season: "winter is not summer, she is dressed in a fur coat", "winter has no harmony with summer", "summer is hot, and winter is cold" [13]. In the Russian climate, the seasons have striking differences, in turn, the climate of China is milder (depending on the region), which is reflected in national proverbs and sayings; when they are examined in detail, there is no obvious opposition of the seasons. However, the Chinese climate, like the Russian one, is characterized by building opposition in parodies about summer and winter:, / z?u xi? sh? l? suck h?i, d?ng z?u sh? l? suck li?ng / summer go for five kilometres bright sky, and in winter go for five kilometres dark sky [15]. In Russian parodies about frost, there is an emphasis on clothes: "in winter without a fur coat, it's not a shame, but it's cold", "winter is not summer, it's dressed in a fur coat" [13]. It is noted that there is no such emphasis on clothing in Chinese parodies due to the milder climate (depending on the region).

However, differences can be observed not only in paremiological texts representing the climatic conditions of Russia and China, but also in the paremiological fund as a whole. First of all, it should be noted that Chinese paroemias are characterized by a high degree of allegory, for example:The blue paint is extracted from indigo, but it is brighter than indigo [15] (the Russian equivalent of this proverb is "the student surpassed the teacher" [13]). After reading a Chinese parody, the recipient, unfamiliar with Chinese culture, will not understand its original meaning, hence difficulties in understanding the translator as a whole of the original text.

Analysis of Chinese paremiological texts has shown that most of the units have an allegorical context that is difficult to perceive by an unprepared recipient:, / s?i w?ng sh? m?, y?n zh? f?i f? / an old man from the border lost a horse, is it not lucky [15] (Russian equivalent: "there is no silver lining" [13]); the translation of the paremia involves the use of more lexical units than in the original, hence the principle of economy is violated speech efforts. There are examples where, when transferring a paremia from one language to another, the interchangeability of components is observed, depending on the importance of one or another component in the context of national culture:? / / y? ji?n shu?ng di?o / with one arrow of two hawks [15] (the Russian equivalent is "to kill two birds with one stone" [13]). The influence of the national characteristics of the region on the paremiological fund is traced, because in Russian history, culture and everyday life in general, hunting hares is an understandable (for a non-urban society) phenomenon than killing hawks, which are not found everywhere in Russia. In Chinese paroemias, the mention of animals is a frequent phenomenon:

  • / / sho? zh? d?i t? / waiting for a hare under a tree [15] (Russian equivalent "waiting for the weather by the sea" [13]);
  • / / n?n yu?n b?i zh? / to harness the horse with the tail forward [15] (literal translation: "southern shaft northern track").

These idioms have a synonymous meaning to hope for a win without any difficulty, to rely on luck and fate in their actions. However, the synonymy in Russian and Chinese paroemias is not complete:, / m? qu? su? xi?o, w? z?ng j? qu?n / the sparrow is small, but all his organs are in place [15]. The Russian equivalent of the proverb is "a small spool, but expensive" [13]. In addition, it is noted that animals typical of national culture and mythology are mentioned in the paremias.: / / hu? l?ng di?n j?ng / drawing a dragon, draw his pupils [15] (the Russian equivalent is "the finishing touch, the cherry on the cake" [13]). Chinese paremiological culture is characterized by a cosmological philosophical model, which includes the concept of five elements correlated with animals: dragon, turtle, tiger, monkey and crane. Russian Russian paremiological culture is characterized by the mention of animals that are often found in Russian everyday life (including in Russian folk tales): crows, foxes, hares, pike, etc. [4]. Russian Russian paremiological culture has a fairly frequent applicability of zoonyms, since both domestic and wild animals are widely mentioned in Russian folklore.

In Chinese culture, an important concept is the concept of a person, i.e. an increased sense of self-esteem, an assessment of the dignity and self-perception of other members of society: , / b? ji?n b? sh?, b? zu? b? hu? / to what he did not see, he does not know, who did not do, he will not be able [15] (in in Russian culture, an analogue of this parody may be the expression "you will not experience you will not know" [13]). Another example:, / y?n b? x?n, x?ng b? gu? / the word should be followed by an act, the act is the result [15]; in Russianlanguage paroemias, a similar semantics is observed: "said - done" [13]. With the allegorical nature of Chinese paremias, there is also a more specific description of the situation, for understanding which, however, additional efforts will be required to comprehend the paremiological unit: / y?n ?r d?o l?ng / "stealing a bell by plugging your ears" (i.e., engaging in self-deception, knowing that failure awaits).


Thus, having considered the Russian and Chinese paroemias in the national-linguistic-cultural aspect, as well as presenting individual features of the paroemias within the framework of the representation of social relations within an ethnic group, material values, spiritual culture, stereotypes and cultural concepts, we come to the conclusion:paremiological texts are important linguistic elements representing the linguistic picture of the world and reflecting the national cultural code determined by the specifics of lifestyle, behavioral attitudes, creative and cognitive activity, as well as the philosophy of the ethnos.

Based on the comparison of the paremias reflecting the peculiarities of the national-linguocultural perception of individual concepts, it is traced that Russian-language paremiological texts are often tied to everyday life, are based on everyday observations, in turn, the Chinese picture of the world is associated with philosophy, with an allegorical understanding of social and everyday phenomena. At the same time, the connection with the worldview of ethnic groups is due, among other things, to extralinguistic factors: weather conditions, the geopolitical situation, cultural peculiarities, mythology, etc. Thus, in the parodies about summer in Russian culture, a positive attitude and sharp opposition to the harsh winter period are indicated. Summer is demonstrated as a time when it is necessary to make supplies for the winter (summer feeds the whole year). In Chinese parodies, a specific season is not highlighted, it is emphasized that it is possible to adapt to all seasons. There is no bright contrast of winter and summer, since the transition between seasons in the Chinese climate is not as clear as in Russian. Russian Russian culture, rain in summer is bad weather, when, as in the Chinese climate, rain in summer helps to escape from the heat and is an expected phenomenon; accordingly, we can say about the emphasis in Russian paroemias about winter on warm clothes).

In addition, it was found that Chinese paroemias are distinguished by a high degree of allegorical character, whereas Russian paroemias are concentrated on the direct transmission of experience without additional decoding of the message. A high degree of allegorical Chinese paroemias can be traced not only in paroemias about the seasons of the year, but also in other stable expressions on various topics. In the paremiological fund of both languages, the use of symbols of national culture and its inherent attributes (national animals, mythology, etc.) is observed. Not only everyday observations, but also the peculiarities of the social structure of the ethnos are widely reflected in paremiological texts (for example, in Chinese paremias, the concept of a person is an important concept, which has a slightly different semantics in Russian culture). At the same time, Chinese parodies are more allegorical than Russian ones.


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The article "Comparative features of Russian and Chinese paremiological texts in the national linguistic and cultural aspect" submitted for publication in the journal "Litera" is undoubtedly relevant, due to the constantly increasing interest in learning Chinese in our country, to the introduction of teaching Chinese by an increasing number of educational institutions. Taking into account the constantly developing cooperation between our countries, the comparative study of languages and cultural characteristics is important for successful communication, as well as the analysis of the peculiarities of the linguistic worldview of China in a comparative aspect helps to facilitate the formation of a secondary worldview when learning Chinese and the establishment of intercultural communication. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing the formulation of the problem, the main part, traditionally beginning with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. However, the author does not delve into the history of the issue under study, as it is unclear from the text of the article: 1) how widely the problem of the issue has been studied, 2) what scientific gap has been identified, and what problem is being solved within the framework of the reviewed work. We believe that strengthening the introductory part from the point of view of studying the history of the development of the issue would help the author to focus on contributing to new knowledge. Russian Russian and Chinese paremiological texts in the national linguistic and cultural aspect were identified by the author using the following methods: analysis of theoretical literature on the topic, general scientific methods (analysis, synthesis, comparison, analogy), the method of comparative analysis (understanding the features of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews), the method of content analysis (analysis of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews), the method of content analysis (analysis of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews), the method of content analysis (analysis of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews), the method of content analysis (analysis of paremiological texts in the Russian and Chinese worldviews). texts of the Russian and Chinese languages), generalization (conclusions based on the work done). We believe that the research methodology is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the study. I would like to note the great and scrupulous work of the author in the analysis of practical material. However, the volume of the corpus to which the author referred during the work is not specified. We emphasize that in the study the author considers both the theoretical basis of the problem field concerned and the practical problems. The bibliography of the article contains 15 sources, including both domestic and foreign works. However, the logic of the author is unclear, who violated the traditional alphabetical principle of building a bibliography, and also allowed a mixture of domestic works and works in foreign languages, which are traditionally placed after sources in Russian. The article contains no references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. A greater number of references to authoritative works, such as monographs, doctoral and/or PhD dissertations on related topics, which could strengthen the theoretical component of the work in line with the national scientific school. However, the comments made are not critical and do not relate to the content presented by the author. In general, it should be noted that the article was written in a simple, understandable language for the reader, typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies were not found. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The practical significance of the work lies in the fact that the research materials can be used to develop a methodology for teaching Russian in a Chinese audience and Chinese as a foreign language in Russia. The overall impression after reading the reviewed article is positive, it can be recommended for publication in a scientific journal from the list of the Higher Attestation Commission.
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