Re: [Czechlist] TERM: realie, was Re: Czechlist
- In a message dated 10/1/03 10:02:09 PM, bezdomovci@... writes:
> Not so sure about 'pragmatics' as an equivalent. I thought thatI think you're talking about discourse analysis, rather than pragmatics. I
> pragmatics was basically the study of meaning, not as generated by the linguistic
> system but as conveyed and manipulated by the participants in particular
> communicative situations, e.g. "It's getting very hot in here" = "Mind if I open a
> window?" or "Goodness! Is that the time?" = "I'm out of here!". Implicature and
> that. Or am I talking through my hat, Jamie?
think pragmatics mainly deals with information about culture or the real world
that is necessary to interpret a text. Pragmatics would deal with why many
of my ESL students can't make sense out of a text like this:
It was the day of the big party. Jennifer wondered if Tom would
like a kite.
She went to her room and shook her piggy bank. There was no
Students recently arrived from Vietnam or China get almost nothing out of
this, even if they understand every word. Some students from the Middle East
think that Tom and Jennifer are adults, that the party is a wedding, and that
there is no sound because the wedding guests have not arrived yet. One guy
from Macedonia thought that there was no sound because the wind wasn't blowing,
and so they could not fly the kite. The students knew all the words in the
text, but they lacked certain practical and cultural information necessary to
interpret them. That kind of cultural and factual subtext is what is studied
in the field of pragmatics.
Since I wrote my last e-mail, it's hit me that "reálie" in Czech does not
exactly mean the same thing as "realia" in English. The way I usually hear the
term used in English, it means "authentic" texts or materials brought into the
classroom from the real world. So, the ESL teacher who empties his backpack
in front of the class and discusses the contents with the class is using
"realia". Likewise, the teacher who brings instruction manuals or cookbooks into
a class, or uses real radio advertisements as listening exercises is
employing "realia", but this is not "reálie", as far as I know.
When I talk about the reálie I had to know for my statnice, I usually call it
in English "cultural information", since it was a mash of history, specific
locations of the monuments to different Czech artists I had never heard of,
identifying kroje by region even though most Czechs can't do it, etc.
Basically, "reálie" is cultural subject matter to be learned, and "realia"
are teaching tools dragged in from real life.
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