Cultural Differences in Chinese and English Euphemisms

Qi GUO

Abstract


Euphemism, a common linguistic phenomenon in different cultures, is defined on the lexical-level in this thesis. It refers to “the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend people or suggest something unpleasant”. This thesis is to make a contrastive study of English euphemisms and Chinese euphemisms by means of the relevant linguistic theories, by which we conclude that euphemism is a linguistic, and particularly a cultural phenomenon. Its development is the outcome of various socio-psychological factors. The study of English euphemisms will surely shed light on English teaching in China. Key words: Euphemism; Culture; Intercultural communicationResumé: L'euphémisme, un phénomène linguistique commun dans des cultures différentes, est défini dans cette thèse au niveau lexical. Il se réfère à la "substitution d'une expression agréable ou inoffensive à celui qui peut offenser les gens ou suggérer quelque chose de désagréable". Cette thèse est de faire une étude contrastive sur l'euphémismes en anglais et en chinois en utilisant des théories linguistiques pertinentes, à partir desquelles nous concluons que l'euphémisme est un phénomène linguistique, et en particulier culturel. Son développement est le résultat de divers facteurs socio-psychologiques. L'étude des euphémismes anglais va sûrement faire la lumière sur l'enseignement de l'anglais en Chine.Mots-clés: euphémisme; culture; communication interculturelle

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.ccc.1923670020100604.005

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