English media texts in the formation of linguocultural knowledge of students

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Lidia Svitych (Kyiv, Ukraine)

The globalization of the world's information flow is closely linked to the process of mutual influence and interaction between cultures, while the proportion of linguocultural component depends on a number of factors of an economic, political, social and cultural nature. For example, the total amount of English media texts markedly exceeds the texts in other languages, which confirms the well-known thesis about the global role of English in today's world. News channel CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Discovery Channel - all of these channels broadcast in English and managed to gain popularity among the viewers all over the world. We could say that the media organize, streamline dynamically changing picture of the world through sustainable system of media topics, such as politics, business, sports, culture, weather, news, international and regional life, etc. That’s why the importance of linguocultural factor in analyzing of media texts should be emphasized [1].

The analysis of students’ errors in translation shows that the largest part of them are linked to misunderstanding of vocabulary, grammar and poor translation skills. There is also insufficient awareness of realities, including “cultural realities”. A speaking person (linguistic identity) possesses cognitive basis of his (her) national linguistic and cultural community, a set of collective cognitive spaces of the socium in which he is included and individual cognitive space [3].

"Literary translation presupposes a background in literary studies and cultural history. A necessary precondition for all translation is knowledge of sociocultural background, both of source culture and target culture concerned.” [4].

In each country we find the manifestation of different cultural traditions and sometimes it is necessary to get acquainted with the roots of a culture. For example, one of the recurring themes for the British media is lighting the privacy details of members of the royal family and high-ranking politicians, whilst in the same category Ukrainian media landscape is dominated by a significant proportion of reports on corruption and criminal disassembly.

“Newsweek” is an American weekly news magazine, which often features world events in relation to American life. For example the headline of the article “Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?” has the subtitle: “Google wants to bring free Wi-Fi to Africa, which makes disadvantaged people in Kansas City wonder, So how come we have to pay?”

Both British and American English are excellent means of brainstorming because of the richness of the vocabulary and different meanings of one word that makes it possible to use the abundant ambiguities and invent words on the move [2].

For the successful assimilation of media texts information, students should be familiar with their types and features that are primarily due to the impact and message functions. There are four main types of media texts according to functional genre: a) informational; b) analytical; c) artistic and journalistic; d) advertising.

Modern media text is characterized by two main functions merged into the unity of information and feedback. Function action (expressive function), the most important for newspapers and journalistic style, makes an urgent need in journalistic means of expression. Bright phraseological units which attract the reader's attention are widely used. They give the newspaper texts the impact force, help to create specific imagery. Phraseological units are not only able to express the idea more concisely, but also to convey the attitude. For example, saying “to beat the air” conveys more expressiveness, evaluation than free expression “to do something in vain” [5].

It is necessary to work on the accumulation of newspaper typical phrases (to work with phrases rather than isolated words), to teach student to extract information, to resort to guesswork as well as to enrich the linguistic and cultural experience through analysis and interpretation of mass media texts.


  1. Добросклонская Т.Г. Медиалингвистика: системный подход к изучению языка СМИ. Retrieved from: http:///www.twirox.com/file/116611.

  2. А. Н. Качалкин. Специфика межкультурной коммуникации в текстах СМИ. Роль СМИ в межнациональном общении. Менталитет и речевой этикет нации. Retrieved from: http://evartist.narod.ru/text12/13.

  3. Козловская Л. А. Лингвокультурологический компонент в языке средств массовой информации. Retrieved from: www.pws-conf.ru/.../8137-lingvokulturologicheskiy-komponent-v-yazy.

  4. Snell-Hornby, Mary. Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. John Benjamins publishing company. Revised edition, 1995. p. 33.

  5. Бархударов, Л. С. Язык и перевод (Вопросы общей и частной теории перевода)/ Л.С. Бархударов. - М.: Международные отношения, 1975. - c. 240.

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