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Study English Idioms by Western Culture

论文作者:留学生论文论文属性:硕士毕业论文 dissertation登出时间:2010-08-29编辑:steelbeezxp点击率:17776

论文字数:论文编号:org201008291308059353语种:英语论文 English地区:中国价格:免费论文

关键词:English IdiomsWestern Culture

Study English Idioms by Western Culture

Introduction
 Idioms are culturally loaded. A good knowledge of idioms will pave the way for a practical application of idioms. However, in daily communication, we usually don’t know why “Hobson’ choice” means no choice at all, “keep up with the Joneses” means to run after the fashion. So it is surely of great necessity to touch on the western culture. This will not only help students to comprehend the figurative meanings of idioms, but also add to the strength and vividness of our language. Now let’s have a careful study. English idiom is a beautiful gem of language as well as the crystallization of the development of language. For English idiom is English cultural treasures, the valuable products that English people create, English idiom is an essential part of the general vocabulary. Webster’s New Dictionary of the American Language, 2nd college edition gives a definition of idioms as “an accepted phrase, construction, or expression contrary to the usual patterns of the language or having a meaning different from the language or having a meaning different from the literal”. According to the latest Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 3rd Edition, “ Idiom is a phrase, construction or expression that is recognized as a unit in the usage of a given language and either differs from the usual syntactic patterns or has a meaning that differs from the literal meaning of its parts taken together.” They are semantically opaque. They are usually metaphorical rather than literal. So the meaning of “to rain cats and dogs” doesn’t mean cats and dogs are caught in the rain. Instead, it means “to rain very heavily”. Besides, they are syntactically stable and semantically united. The words in idiomatic expressions cannot, as a rule, be deleted, added to, replaced by synonymous words, or put in a different order, without affecting the meaning. For examples, in “Where there is will, there is a way”, cannot be replaced by “one”. English idioms not only acquire figurative meaning due to extralinguistic factors, but also are endowed with a national flavor and taste of the soil from which they grow. To sum up, English idiom may be defined as a group of words with a special meaning different from the meanings of its constituent words.
                   
1. The influence of  history
England has a history of more than one thousand years. Generally speaking, people like to embellish their speech or writing with references to characters or events from their history, that is to say, idiomatic expressions are closely related to a country’s history.

1.1  The influence of Roman Conquest
In 43 A.D. the Roman emperor Claudius headed 40000 soldiers to invade the British Isles. It took him 3 years to occupy successfully the central and southeastern parts. From then on, Roman culture and customs penetrated into Britain gradually. Roman clothing, ornaments, poetry and glass containers became popular in Britain, where people’s social life began to Romanize. Take the aspect of language for example, there are a lot of idioms which are from the history of Roman Conquest. For example, the following idioms are related to “Rome”: “Do in Rome as the Romans do” (入乡随俗); “Rome was not built in a day” (伟业非一日之功); “All roads lead to Rome” (殊途同归). Besides, Roman customs are handed down by Englis论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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