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A Contrastive Study of English-Chinese Modes of Thought Based on E-C Translation  

2009-12-07 15:42:20|  分类: 花中李的英语毕业 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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[Abstract] Due to different cultures, English and Chinese people have formed their own modes of thought, which influence their living ways greatly, especially their own languages. Mode of thought is a very complicated abstract conception connected closely to philosophy. In this paper I will mainly concern on English individualism and Chinese entirety, because their difference is the most distinct one existing in modes of thought. English people prefer individualism, which leads them to subordinate the recognized objects into small parts. While Chinese people like entirety, they prefer to take the world as a whole. Thinking patterns have been clearly reflected on languages, as a result of which English is hypotactic and Chinese is paratactic. This paper centers on the differences of hypotactic and paratactic characteristics in languages and their forming reasons—modes of thought. English people prefers to make good use of the hypotactic markers to link the sentence components, while Chinese usually try to understand the world by their own intuition. In this paper the differences are explained through English-Chinese translation and the statistics are also given to prove them.

[Key Words] comparison; mode of thought; languages; English; Chinese

从英译汉的实例分析看英汉思维方式差异

[摘 要] 根源于不同的文化渊源,英汉两族人民形成了他们各自的思维模式。这种思维模式的差异深深地影响了他们的各种生活方式, 尤其体现在语言上。思维模式是一个非常复杂抽象的概念,与哲学密切相关。在这篇论文中我将主要阐释英民族的个体性思维和汉民族的整体性思维,因为它们之间的差异是思维模式中最突出的一面。英民族偏爱个体性思维,这使他们在认识世界时惯于将认知对象划分为小个体。然而,汉民族偏爱整体性思维,将世界看成一个整体。语言深刻地反映了思维模式的这种差异,因此就形成了英语的形合特征和汉语的意合特征。这篇论文侧重阐述语言中的形合和意合特征以及它们各种的形成原因----思维模式。英语民族的人民惯于利用形合标志连接句子成分,而汉民族却常常应用自身的直觉来体会世界。这篇论文将通过英译汉的翻译和统计数据来证实此观点。

[关 键 词] 英汉思维;对比;语言;英语;汉语
      1. Introduction

The famous Whorf hypothesis thinks that languages have determining effects on modes of thought, which is formed relatively to languages and different languages will bring on different thinking patterns.[1]p35 Liu Miqing(刘宓庆) holds the opinion that modes of thought has controlled over languages [2]p35, and languages are the concrete manifestation of modes of thought. In my opinion, modes of thought decide the use of languages, and the reasons how languages are influenced by modes of thought should be examined from their relationship.

Modes of thought and languages influence and reflect each other closely. “Thinking patterns, thought characteristics and thinking styles are the philosophical mechanism of language production. Language actually attaches closely to the thought that is the profound mechanism.”[3] p166 Thinking patterns are the deep-rooted mechanism of the forming and developing of languages, and on the other hand languages help to promote the forming and developing of modes of thought. Language is the carrier of thinking and abstraction of reality, and mode of thought is the conscious activity in which people's minds reflect and realize the objective reality.[4]p36 The differences between thinking patterns are the main reasons that result in the differences of language forms, so I think the study of the features, the transition and the relationship of languages should be started with the study of modes of thought which connect closely with the cultures and the languages. English-Chinese modes of thought have their own characteristics in thinking core, thinking pattern, cognition habits and thinking principles. As a tool for communication the basic attribute of English and Chinese are the same, so there are many similarities during the description and thinking with the two languages. But because of the influence of their own cultures, there are many differences between the two languages, and based on different comparison foundation there are many different kinds of results.

In this paper English-Chinese translation will be given and analyzed in details in order to understand the differences of the modes of thought between English and Chinese through their language manifestations. Statistics will be given to explain the differences of English and Chinese, which is the foundation for my analyzing of the differences of their own thinking patterns. As we know, there are many differences between the two languages, such as hypotaxis and parataxis, passive and active, static and dynamic, imperson and person. But in this passage, I will only mainly discuss from one point which is hypotaxis and parataxis. As Nida states in his book that study from linguistics, the most important different characteristic between Chinese and English is the difference of parataxis and hypotaxis.[5]P13 LiuMiqing holds the opinion that hypotaxis and parataxis are the “unique characteristic” for English and Chinese.[6]P13 The comparison of the difference will be described through statistical description and the deep-rooted reasons of thinking patterns will also be given to explain the forming of the language difference. 

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