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Re: [Czechlist] TERM: realie, was Re: Czechlist

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  • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
    ... I think you re talking about discourse analysis, rather than pragmatics. I think pragmatics mainly deals with information about culture or the real world
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 1, 2003
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      In a message dated 10/1/03 10:02:09 PM, bezdomovci@... writes:

      >   Not so sure about 'pragmatics' as an equivalent. I thought that
      > 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?
      >
      I think you're talking about discourse analysis, rather than pragmatics. I
      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
      sound.

      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.

      Jamie


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