Розмовні теми частина 2 - Т. М. Гужва 2003

Appearance and Character

Read the texts, give a summary and discuss them. Speak on the characters of the English, American and Ukrainian people.

Text 17-1

The English Character

The national character of the English has been very differently described, but most commentators agree over one quality, which they describe as fatuous self-satisfction, serene sense of superiority, or insular pride. English patriotism is based on a deep sense of security. Englishmen as individuals may have been insecure, threatened with the loss of a job, unsure of themselves, or unhappy in many ways; but as a nation they have been for centuries secure, serene in their national successes. They have not lived in a state of hatred of their neighbours, as Frenchmen or Germans have often lived. This national sense of security, hardly threatened by the Armada, or by Napoleon, or by the First World War, has been greatly weakened by the Second World War and by the invention of the atomic bomb.

Many books have been written — even more, perhaps, by Frenchmen, Americans, Germans, and other foreigners than by Englishmen — on English traits, English ways of life, and the English character. Their authors are by no means always in agreement, but they tend to point out what seem to them puzzles, contrasts, in the way the English behave. A few of these contrasts may serve to sum up how the world looks at the English.

First, there is the contrast between the unity the English display in a crisis, their strong sense for public order, indeed for conformity, and their extraordinary toleration of individual eccentricities. Germans are usually astounded by what they regard as the Englishman’s lack of respect for authority and discipline. Frenchmen are often puzzled by the vehemence of English political debates, by Hyde Park public orators, and similar aspects of English life, which in their own country would seem signs of grave political disturbance. This sort of contrast has led to the common belief held by foreigners, and indeed by Englishmen themselves, that they are the most illogical people, always preferring practical compromises to theoretical exactness.

Second, there is the contrast between English democracy, the English sense of the dignity and importance of the individual, and the very great social and economic inequalities that have hitherto characterized English life. There has recently been some tendency to allow greater social equality. But Victorian and Edwardian England — which foreigners still think of as the typical England — did display extremes of riches and poverty, and drew an almost caste line between ladies and gentlemen and those not ladies and gentlemen.

Third, there is the contrast between the reputation of the English as hard-headed practical men — the «nation of shopkeepers» — and as men of poetry — the countrymen of Shakespeare and Shelley. The English tradition in philosophy has always been realistic and hostile to mysticism; yet the English look down on the French as narrow rationalists. The apparent coldness of Englishmen and their reserve has been almost universally noted by foreigners; but foreigners also confess that they find English reserve not unpleasant, and that once one gets to know an Englishman he turns out to be a very companionable fellow.

(from «Moscow News »)

fatuous self-satisfaction — неразумное самодовольство • нерозумне самовдоволення

serene sense of superiority — спокойное чувство превосходства • впевнене почуття значної переваги

insular pride — сдержанная гордость • стримана гордість

sense of security — чувство безопасности • почуття безпеки

insecure — небезопасный, опасный; ненадежный, неверный, непрочный • небезпечний; ненадійний, невірний, неміцний

invention — изобретение, выдумка, изобретательность • винахід, винахідливість

way of life — образ жизни • спосіб життя

by no means — никоим образом, ни в коем случае; нисколько; отнюдь не • ні в якому разі; зовсім ні; аніскільки

to sum up — подводить итоги, суммировать • підбивати підсумки, підсумовувати

conformity — конформизм • конформізм

extraordinary toleration of individual eccentricities — необычная терпимость к индивидуальной эксцентричности • незвичайна терплячість до індивідуальної ексцентричності

to astound — поражать, изумлять • вражати, дивувати, приголомшувати

lack of respect — недостаток уважения • брак поваги

vehemence — сила, страстность, горячность • сила, пристрасть, запальність

disturbance — нарушение, тревога, беспокойство, волнения, беспорядок • порушення, тривога, неспокій, хвилювання

exactness — точность, аккуратность, пунктуальность • точність, акуратність, пунктуальність

sense of dignity — чувство достоинства • почуття гідності

hitherto — до настоящего времени, до сих пор • що цього часу, до цих пір

to display extremes of riches and poverty — демонстрировать крайности богатства и бедности • демонструвати крайнощі багатства і бідності

hard-headed practical men — твердоголовые реалисты • твердоголові реалісти

nation of shopkeepers — нация лавочников • нація крамарів

apparent — видимый, явный, очевидный • видимий, явний, очевидний

to confess — признавать(ся), сознавать(ся) • признаватись)

companionable fellow — компанейский парень • компанійський хлопець

Text 17-2

The Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Character

Modern archaeological evidence indicates that Ukrainians are the autochthons, original inhabitants of Ukraine this land, that their forefathers lived on this territory from the third or fourth millennia B.C.

Ahatanhel Krymsky, a prominent Ukrainian scholar and academician, analyzed the twelfth century Kyivan (Nestorian) Primary Chronicle and came to the conclusion that this literary monument bore witness to the development of such a trait of the people as language.

Ukrainian mentality was formed influenced by many factors: geographical location at the crossroads by the West and the East, specific climatic conditions and complex, at times tragic historical destiny. Since time immemorial Ukrainians have been known as hard-working, thrifty, skilled farmers emotionally strongly affiliated to their native parts, good family men and devoted wives. They are typically kind-hearted, friendly, hospitable and well-wishing to both fellow countrymen and foreigners; they are cautious yet inclined to romanticism and sentimentality. They are determined, resourceful, brave, staunch, ready for self-sacrifice.

Among themselves, despite their inherent emotionalism, Ukrainians have always valued restraint, consideration and a realistic view of life. For the most part they are not given to sudden affectations and quick and short-lived affiliations. Instead, their passions bum low but strong and steady. Characteristically, they fall into pensive moods; they may be sad, then suddenly burst with unabaited optimism and infectious vitality. They have a very special sense of humour. They can be bitingly ironical. Theirs is a very rich imagination reflecting the surrounding realities in a colourful, multifaceted, at times paradoxical way. Evidence of this is their inexhaustible folk vocal heritage, captivating decorative art, exotic folk rites, and the generally aesthetic folkways.

Ukrainians — the way people of the Inner World Ukraine see them

9% — would like to live in different country

24% — suffer from loneliness

25% — are graduates of, or have studied for some time at institutions of higher learning

27% — feel proud of their stature

33% — are optimists

37% — like cooking

41% — are prepared to do whatever is necessary to make their life better

46% — read classic authors, sometimes

50% — want to have their own cars

71 % — are mad of food prices

74% — are religious

83% — eat «borshch» at least once a week

94% — like to smile

(«Daily,» 1994, December, 10)

archaeological — археологический • археологічний

evidence — доказательство, основание • доказ, підстава

to indicate — указывать, показывать • вказувати, показувати

autochthon — коренной житель, обитатель • корінний житель, мешканець

inhabitant — житель, обитатель • мешканець

forefather — предок • предок

millennia (pl.) — тысячелетия • тисячоліття

В.С. = before Christ — до нашей эры, до Рождества Христова • до Христа, до Різдва Христового, до нашої ери

scholar — ученый • вчений

academician — академик • академік

Chronicle — летопись • літопис, хроніка

to come to the conclusion — прийти к заключению • прийти до висновку

to bear witness to — свидетельствовать, удостоверять • засвідчувати

mentality — интеллект, склад ума, умственные способности • інтелект, склад ума, розумові здібності, менталітет

destiny — судьба, неизбежный ход событий • доля, невідворотний хід подій

since time immemorial — с незапамятных времен • з давніх часів

thrifty — экономный, бережливый, процветающий • економічний, ощадливий, процвітаючий

emotionally strongly affiliated to their native parts — глубоко эмоционально связаны с их краем • глибоко емоційно пов’язані з їхнім краєм

devoted wives — преданные жены • вірні дружини

to be inclined to romanticism and sentimentality — быть склонным к романтизму и сентиментальности • бути схильним до романтизму і сентиментальності

to be determined — быть решительным • бути рішучим

to be resourceful — быть изобретательным • бути винахідливим

to be staunch — быть верным, быть готовым к самопожертвованию • бути вірним, готовим до самопожертви

despite — несмотря на; вопреки • незважаючи на; наперекір

restraint — сдержанность • стриманість

consideration — рассудительность • розсудливість

sudden affectations — внезапные аффективные вспышки • раптові афективні спалахи

quick and short-lived affiliations — кратковременные порывы чувств • короткотривалі чуттєві пориви

pensive mood — печальное настроение • печальний настрій

sense of humour — чувство юмора • почуття гумору

inexhaustible folk vocal heritage — неисчерпаемый песенный фольклор • невичерпний пісенний фольклор

folk rites — народные обряды • обряди, ритуали

Text 17-3

The «Anglo-Saxons» and the American Character

«Anglo-Saxon» Americans, those Americans of British ancestry, rarely think of themselves as an ethnic group.

First many of them are descendants of the original settlers. Second, they are widely distributed throughout the nation. Nevertheless, the «Anglo-Saxons» remain the largest single ethnic group in America, comprising about 45% population.

It would be a mistake to imagine as some foreigners do that Americans of other ethnic groups have imitated an «Anglo-Saxon» way of life or adopted «Anglo-Saxon» customs. In the middle of the 19th century, the people of the USA were still predominantly «Anglo- Saxon,» but even before the flood of non «Anglo-Saxon» immigrants, the Americans were already far more Americans than they were British.

Whatever their ethnic origins, the Americans of New England, ,the Midwest, the Far West, the South and Southwest all have special characteristics of their region. Yet they also have certain things in common.

Most Americans have great vigour and enthusiasm. They prefer to discipline themselves rather than be disciplined by others. They pride themselves on their independence, their right to make up their own minds. They are prepared to take the initiative, even when there is a risk in doing so. They have courage and do not give in easily. They will take any sort of job anywhere rather than be unemployed. They do not care to be looked after by the Government. The average American changes his or her job nine or ten times during his or her working life.

Americans have a warmth and friendliness which is less superficial than many foreigners think. They are considered sentimental. When on ceremonial occasions they see a flag, or attend parades celebrating America’s glorious past, tears may come to their eyes. Reunions with family or friends tend to be emotional too. They like to dress correctly, even if «correctly» means flamboyantly. They love to boast, though often with tongue in cheek. They can laugh at themselves and their country, and they can be very self-critical, while remaining always intensely patriotic. They have a wide knowledge of everyday things, and a keen interest in their particular city and State. Foreigners sometimes complain, however, that they gave little interest in or knowledge of the outside world.

The Americans have a passion for grandeur. Their skyscrapers, bridges and dams often have a splendour which matches in beauty and scale the country’s natural wonders.

Is the sole aim of most Americans to make money and possess luxuries which could be called excessive? The majority of Americans would certainly deny this, though most feel proud to amass wealth and possessions through hard work. In the USA, about 90% of the population is well enough off to expect a brighter future. The USA still has one of the highest standards of living in the world, although, at the present time, 10% are below what the Government considers to be the «poverty level.» While these under-privileged people receive help from the Government, they have no high hopes for their future. It is from this «underclass,» and those who take advantage of it, that most of the violence springs — the violence which is one of the least pleasant aspects of American society.

Americans are beginning to realize that this terrible problem of poverty is their problem, and not just the Government’s. It has been said that the individual American is generous, but that the American nation is hard.

The USA is reputed to be a classless society. There is certainly not much social snobbery or job snobbery. The manual worker is usually quite at ease m any company. This is partly explained by the fact that people of all income groups go together to the same schools. Americans are far more race-conscious than they are classconscious.

(from «Background to the USA »)

ancestry — происхождение • походження

descendant — потомок • нащадок

settler — поселенец • поселенець

to distribute — распространять • розповсюджувати, поширювати

to adopt — усваивать, принимать • засвоювати, приймати

predominantly — преимущественно • переважно

flood — здесь: прилив • тут: наплив

vigour — энергия • енергія

to pride oneself — гордиться • гордитися

to make up one’s mind — решать • вирішувати

courage — мужество • мужність

to саге — здесь- хотеть • тут: хотіти

to look after заботиться о • піклуватися про

average — средний • пересічний

warmth — сердечность • сердечність

superficial — поверхностный • поверховий, неглибокий, зовнішній

to attend — присутствовать • бути присутнім

glorious — славный • славний, славетний

tear — леза • сльоза

reunion встреча, вечеринка • зустріч, вечірка

to tend [tend] иметь тенденцию • мати тенденцію

flamboyantly — ярко • яскраво, барвисто

to boast — хвастаться • хвалитися

with tongue in cheek — иронически • іронічно

intensely — глубоко • глибоко

keen interest — острый интерес • гостре зацікавлення

to complain — жаловаться • скаржитися

grandeur — грандиозность • грандіозність

skyscraper — небоскреб • хмарочос, хмародряп

dam — дамба, плотина • дамба, гребля

splendour — роскошь • розкіш

to match — подходить • підходити, личити

scale — масштаб • масштаб

wonder — чудо • чудо

sole aim — единственная цель • єдина мета

luxury — роскошь • розкіш

excessive — чрезмерный • надмірний

to deny — возражать, отрицать • заперечувати

to amass — накапливать • накопичувати

wealth — богатство • багатство

possessions — собственность, имущество • власність, майно

well off — зажиточный • заможний

to expect — надеяться,, ожидать • чекати, надіятися

standard of living — жизненный уровень • життєвий рівень

poverty level — черта бедности • межа бідності

under-privileged — бедный • бідний

to take advantage of — воспользоваться (ч.-л.) • скористатися (чимось)

violence — насилие • насильство

to spring — происходить • походити

generous — щедрый • щедрий

hard [ha:d] — скупой • скупий

to repute — считать • вважати

classless society — бесклассовое общество • безкласове суспільство

snobbery — снобизм • снобізм

manual worker — рабочий физического труда • робітник фізичної праці

to be at ease [i:z] — чувствовать себя непринужденно • почуватися невимушено

income — прибыль • прибуток

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