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II. The Rediscovery Strategy in English Language Learning

1. Introduction


            People often are not acquainted with the simpliest things that surround them inside their own culture. It might be explained that life does not force them to be interested in deeper investigation of the surrounding world. There is a simple story that can clarify the ways of dropping this bad habit of not being interested in the surounding world. In late April many of the trees growing around the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Pécs burst into bloom. One of the trees decorating the streets and parks in the vicinity is bird cherry tree which has nice white blossoms that smell very sweet these days. People of the streets usually do not know the name of these trees.

            As for me, I have been acquainted with this tree on the occasion of my Russian studies, partly spent in Russia. Since bird cherry is a native tree species in Russia the tree itself and its blossom are well known among Russian people because they grow throughout the country.  Черёмуха (reed: tcheriomucha) is not only known but very much loved by Russian people that is clearly indicated in folk songs and poems of Russian literature. Thus, interestingly enough, first I have discovered the given species in Russia and after that I have rediscovered it in Hungary. This is how I have learned its Hungarian name „zelnicemeggy”. As a matter of fact, almost nobody knows this name in Hungary. One might conclude then that investigating foreign languages and cultures you can get into a closer acquaintance with your native language and culture. This is the basic formula of the rediscovery strategy of foreign language learning, which is in accordance with intercultural language teaching methodology.



 2. The Rediscovery Strategy

As is well known, Hungarian learners are accustomed to a „logical” (in other words „grammatical”) way of learning foreign languages. Therefore the rediscovery strategy is proposed for further use as an additional strategy for facilitating foreign language acquisition process. In the first place foreign language teachers place stress on language form. Differences between the surface elements of first language (L1) and second language (L2) are so obvious that the attention is distracted from the differences in semantics and pragmatics. According to our approach, it is thought that learners fint pleasure in discovering and rediscovering the world as a result of their comparative studies in the classroom.

            The process of learning moves forward i ntwo channels. 1. The discovery of a new communicative system (language form and meaning). The students learn both sides of linguistic codes making themselfconscious about the differences that can occure. 2. The discovery of a partla new world. The learners must be aware of the possibility of differences in features, values and uses of things. The occurance of new cultural items or different fenomena must be taken for granted. The learners are to build up an attitude of understanding, accepting and appreciating the new linguistic and exralinguistic world. As a result, they must create a nev world view concerning what has been learnt or thouht before. This should be performed as some kind of feedback that leads to the rearrangement of the learners' previous linguistic and cultural knowledge.

            A examle will be provided which shows how the rediscovery strategy works. When practising in model verbs' usage, the learners read and analyze a text (Eastwood 1990: 43) about British driving schools. Learners have the task to put the structures „be allowed to” and „have to” in  positive and negative forms:

            „In Britain YOU ARE ALLOWED TO drive a car when you're seventeen. You HAVE TO get a special  two-year driving licence before you can start. When you are learning, someone with a full licence always HAS TO to be in the car”.

            During the exercises the learners, on the one hand, perform the appropriate grammatical tasks and, on the other hand, they make comparisons regarding the outside world. Linguistic performance intertwinswith the logical processes and, as a result, the learners get a new message about the target language culture. Now the students are able (they are required to) making utterances as follows: „In Hungary you also can drive when you are seventeen but Hungarian beginners don't need to have  special  two-year driving licences and nobody has to be present in  the car”. It also may be discussed whether or not it is dangerous for the young drivers and others to drive a car under nobody's guidance.

            When making comparisons, finding differences and similarities between things, as well as linguistic structures and meanings, learners employ their intellectual skills for the purpose of getting new infirmation. The above example shows how the discovery- rediscovery strategy advances in their natural way. Howevwer, on methodological consideration, it will be practical to overview  of other (phonological, morephosyntactic, lexical, cultural) aspects, too.


3. Phonological Perspective


            Concerning pronunciation skills Hungarian adult groups of learners have little success, sharing many of the features of the famous „Hunglish” hybrid language. This is the aspect of learning process where language fossilization can be observed. „Fossilization, in linguistics and second language acquisition, refers to the often-observed loss of progress in the acquisition of a second language” (see more: Contrary to this, students can find pleasure in doing further pronunciating exercises. Still, we can claim that the rediscovery strategy is succesful phonologically. It must be stated that, to some extent,  fossilization is compatible with relatively advanced level of language proficiency. Besides, learners, moreover speakers, attributed by fossilized English pronunciation do not very much mind about their disabilities, focusing on the matters of communicative messages. One must say that they are doing it rightly.


4. Morphosyntactic Perspective


            Seemingly, the English modal verb system is fit for Hungarians to learn revising their „old way of thinking”. Once an adult group of learners was practisig the modals in Eastwood's excercise book (p. 43), the students were given a couple of rules for campers at the Riverside Camping Centre for interpretation in Hungarian. After that they had the task to reformulate the rules in English, possibly with different modal verbs. The camping rules were as follows: 1) You MUST pay on arrival. 2) You MUSTN'T light fires. 3) You MUST'NT play ball games. 4) You MUST leave before ten o'clock in the morning. 5) You NEEDN'T worry about food – there is a shop at the centre.

            The students concluded that there are very similar rules at Hungarian camping sites, but they are formulated in a different way. In Hungarian the given rules are said or written like this: 1) SZÍVESKEDJÉK a szállásdíjat érkezéskor befizetni. (You MUST pay on arrival. Lit.: Be so heartly to …), 2)  Tüzet rakni TILOS. (You MUSTN'T light fires. Lit.: … is prohibited), 3) TILOS labdával játszani. (You MUST'NT play ball games. Lit.: It is prohibited...), 4) A kempinget délelőtt tízig SZÍVESKEDJÉK elhagyni. (You MUST leave before ten o'clock in the morning. Lit.: Be so heartly to …), A kemping területén élelmiszerüzlet működik. (Lit. At the territory of the camping a supermarket is operating.).

            As we can see, under the „pressure” of English modal structures the learners had difficulties in findig out the appropriate Hungarian utterances. The problem is of pragmatic nature. It must be added that for the first time the learners were unable to create correct Hungarian sentences.They pruduced quasi-Hungarian sentences, actually translated form English in a word-by-word fashion. For exaple: 1) *Önnek KELL fizetni érkezéskor. 2) *Önnek NEM KELL tüzet gyújtani. 3) *Önnek NEM KELL játszani labdajátékokat. 4) *Önnek el kell KELL utazni reggel tíz óra előtt. 5) Önnek NEM SZÜKSÉGES aggódni az élelmiszer miatt – ott van az üzlet a központban. It is hard to believe, that native Hungarians are able to produce a text in such a broken Hungarian language.

            The rediscovery method of learning, suggested to the students, gave the idea about the pragmatic nature of correct use of languages. According to this idea speech activity depends on the context of the utterances, the speakers' pre-existing knowledge (pesuppositions), the inferred intent of the speaker (intuitions, implications), and a series of other extralinguistic items. A pragmalinguistic approach was introduced to facilitate the awareness of correct L2, as well as  native language use. It was concluded that in everyday situations there are preferred types of linguistic structure which are (mostly subcosciously, automatically) observed by the native speakers. Concerning foreign learners, these „subconscious” rules of pragmalinguistics have to be acquivisided  during classroom activity with the help of explicite explanations.

            That is why the utterance You MUSTN'T light fires refers to  Tüzet rakni TILOS. In the meantime it was concluded that MUST / MUST'NT referst not only to KELL, KÖTELES / NEM SZABAD, TILOS, but SZÍVESKEDJÉK, LEGYEN SZÍVES, as well.

            We also stated that both languages have a set of synonymous structures, but in the case of modals sometimes English, other times Hungarian have a more detailed segmentation of the world. It was also agreed that in the comparison of languages usually there is no absolute or full equivalence on any of the language levels. In arithmetical terms, references like MUST = KELL + KÖTELES + SZÍVESKEDJÉK are more typical than MUST = KELL.

            Pragmalinguistic approach also says that the utterance You NEEDN'T worry about food – there is a shop at the centre is slightly funny or even humorous in Hungarian perception. Hungarians just say, as indicated above,  A kemping területén élelmiszerüzlet működik. (Lit. At the territory of the camping a supermarket is operating.), i. e. There is a shop at the centre of the camping. In terms of Hungarian communication habits, the first part of the message You NEEDN'T worry about food takes place as an inference.


5. Lexical perspective (transparency of word structure)


            In the previous section the traces of lexical perspectives can be found, too. One of the above examples looks like that: You MUST leave before ten o'clock in the morning. In the first attempt the students arrived at *Önnek el kell KELL utazni reggel tíz óra előtt. Apart from modal verb use problems, there is a lexical failure. Once again, the difficulty is connected with pragmalinguistic factors. In Hungarian it is incorrect to say *reggel tíz órakor, which is a word-by-word translation of the English in the morning. In correct use we say délelőtt tíz órakor. The lexical item délelőtt refers to forenoon, a. m. or morning. Accordingly, in common expressions the word délelőtt is referred as follows: holnap délelőtttomorrow morning, a délelőtt folyamánduring the morning, aznap délelőtt – that (particular) morning.

            Here are more examples exhibiting differences of world segmentation in two languages. It should be mentioned that it is more difficult to learn new lexical items of L2 when they give more detailed world picture. In other words, Hungarian learners of English have more difficulties with virág = flower + blossom, fa = tree + wood(en) + timber, ujj = finger + digit + sleeve + toe, and less difficulties with reggel + délelőtt = morning.


virág = flower + blossom


És gondunk lesz rá, mindig legyen friss virág a sírodon.

 Legközelebb a világ leggyönyörűbb lányát választom társul, akinek szépsége úgy virul ki előttem, mint egy nemes virágé, és akire régóta vágyakozom már, hogy letépjem.

And we see to it that there' s always fresh flowers on your grave.

Next time my partner will be the most beautiful of all, she whom I have watched blossom like a delicate flower, and whom I have long dreamt of picking.


fa = tree + wood(en) + timber


Sammikin észrevette Madoucot a fa előtt, és mindketten azonnal megtorpantak.

Mint jól tudjuk, az Európai Unióban használt fa egy jó része a Kongói Köztársaságból származik.

A fa jelentős megújuló energiakészlet...

Sammikin took note of Madouc, where she stood by the tree, coppery curls in wild disarray.

As we are well aware, much of the timber used in the European Union comes from the Republic of Congo.

Wood is an important renewable natural resource...


ujj = finger + digit + sleeve + toe


Mindössze háromszor volt az ujjadon a Gyűrű,...

Mi történt az ujjakkal?

...sőt az érintett ujj elvesztéséhez vezethet

Helyezze a hüvelykujját a panelre

I' il bet he lost those toes in a fight

Only thrice have you set the Ring upon your finger...

What happened to the sleeves?

. which may (...) result in (...) even the loss of a digit

Place your thumb upon the panel

Biztos egy harc során elvesztette egy lábujját           










midday, noon




evening, night





            Semantically transparent lexical items' meanings are motivated by their word-formation components with additional semantic impact on word meaning. By this reason, to some extent, native speakers of English have specific world view inside the given semantic field. For example, English can say I like all kinds of berries. In Hungarian we can say Mindenféle bogyótermésű gyümölcsöt szeretek, but first, it sounds a bit awkward and, secondly, elderberry, strowberry and blackberry are not really considered as bogyó (berry). Since in Hungarian there is no general name for berries, this semantic domain has no Hungarian counterpart. In other words, there is a lacuna in the given semantic space. 


Berries and Hungarian counterparts


berries: berry

bogyó, bogyós gyümölcs, bogyótermés


szeder, fekete szeder, földi szeder


fekete áfonya


tőzegáfonya, vörös áfonya


eper, földi eper, szamóca










The same applies to the in-laws, which is a general name for relatives by marriage. So in English the name in-laws allows the speakers to consider a group of people as a separate collective. Contrary to this, the construction nem vérrokonok is not a common name for a group of people in Hungarian. Once again, the point is that speakers of English and Hungarian have no shared world-view in this respect.


The In-laws and Hungarian counterparts





Relatives by marriage.


nem vérrokonok, anyósék, apósék

One's spouse's father.



One's spouse's mother



The brother of one's spouse.     The husband of one's sibling.



The sister of one's spouse. The wife of one's sibling.



The husband of one's daughter.


The wife of one's son.





Read more:


6.1. Classroom English


            The comparison of education systems gives insights into the differences of linguacultures. There is no reason for translating uttereances appropriate in Hungarian but are senseless in English. In both cultures at the beginning of a lesson there are symmetrical utterances as follows Egyenesen állj! – Stand up straith. Ne mozogj! – Stop shuffling about.  Jó reggelt / Jó napot kívánok! – Good morning. Good afternoon. Meantime, a number of Hungarian utterances have no English counterparts, e. g. Osztály, vigyázz! Ki a hetes? Jelentést kérek. The situation is explained by the differences of education systems. The „system of 'reporting' is not used in English schools. Thus there is no exact equivalent of a 'hetes' though a monitor covers some of the same duties – collecting exercise books, for instance” (Medgyes, Thomas 15). Consequently, the words monitor – hetes  are not equivalent, they just share a couple of components in common. Let us consider some further differences: Mi volt a nulladik órátok? „There is no real equivalent for this in Eglish. If such a thing happened at all it would be very unusual and never drawn up in the timetable” (ibid 19), Lássuk, ki felel ma? Van, aki szeretne  felelni? „The system of 'felelés' and 'számonkérés' is unknown in English schools. Assesment, which is, in any case, accordded a lot less importance than in Hungary, is normally done on the basis of written homework, tests and end of term or year exams. The view of the teacher and what she thinks of the individual's performance is also important' (53). As for the system of marking, there are also considerable differences. The following are just near equivalents: Szép felelet volt: ötös!That was an excellent answer. Ti hányast adnátok erre a feleletre?  –  How would you mark tha one? Négyest?   Az azért túlzás!Aren't you being a bit too generous? Or: Isn't B+ too much? Most az egyszer nem írom be. Further differences: Ma lezárom a jegyeket. Ma osztályozó konferenciáklesznek. (ibid 199-200)

Read more: Medgyes Péter, Helen Thomas. Osztály, vigyázz! Iskolai kifejezések gyűjteménye angol és magyar nyelven. Budapest: Tankönyvkiadó, 1985.


6.2. Body languages


            The process of gobalization is impacted by growing number of intercultural failures, that gives importance to research of nonverbal communicative channels. The verbal channel conveys mostly semantic (logical) messages, but on the level of gesture communication, which is of high relevance in intercultural communication, an exchange of emotional and axiological information is prevalent.

            It is important to note, that in non-verbal communication the subconscious components play a significant role. That is one of the reasons the speakers aren't aware of the possibility of differences in gesture communication of different linguacultures. Still, differences may occure and couse intercultural misunderstanding. For preventivce purposes comparative studies have to be conducted.

The table below presents a series of body language items with explanations of their use in the Anglo-Saxon wold (mainly USA and Canada) comparing with the Hungarian linguaculture.




Touching another’s back, shoulders or arms

is generally  a sign of affection.

generally takes place in close relationsips.


People are expected to be happy and friendly, therefore they keep smiling. Hungarians often mention that the American smile is embarrassing and may be insincere.

Hungarians smile if they feel happiness or joy.


Eye contact

It is courteous to maintain eye contact during a personal conversation.Not maintaining eye contact with your partner may seem as impolite or a sign of insincerety.

It is important to maintain eye contact during a personal conversation, but the Hungarians' eye contact is less permanent.  Not maintaining eye contact with your partner may seem as impolite or a sign of insincerety.

Staring, gazing

It is impolite and to keep staring someone in the face. Americans often mention that Hungarian „staring” makes them uncomfortabl, e. g. on the Metro.

It is also impolite to keep staring someone in the face, but it is not a major offense to study someone e. g. on the Metro.

Interpersonal distance (space bubble)

The American interpersonal distance  is about 10-12 inches (30-35 cm). Coming inside the personal bubble can cause discomfort.

The Hungarian interpersonal distance is slightly smaller, it is about 25-30 cm. Coming inside the personal bubble also can cause discomfort.

Cheek Kiss

In North America single cheek kiss occures occasionally among family members, close friends and women.

In this respect the difference is considerable. In Hungary sibgle kiss is fairly rare. Double kiss is a common greeting form among family members, close male (!) and female friends.


It is used mostly among adults when meeting, parting, congratulating the partner or as a sign of agreement. It may be not used at casual  passing encounters.

It is used frequently, mostly among adults when meeting, parting, congratulating the partner or as a  sign of agreement. Thus, in Hungarian linguaculture handshake is used more frequently than in Nord America.

Thumbs up

In Nord America thumbs up sign can indicate 1) ’Very good’, 2) ’It is approved’

In Hungarian linguaculture thumbs up sign can indicate: 1) ’One’, 2) ’Very good”.  Note that the firs meaning is unknown in English.

Knocking on Wood

Signifies the neutralization of a jinxing brought on by mentioning an either hoped-for or feared result.

Signifies the neutralization of a jinxing brought on by mentioning an either hoped-for or feared result. There is full coincidence of using the given gesture.

V sign

Indicates: 1) victory’, 2) ’bunny ears’

Indicates: 1) victory’, 2) ’bunny or donkey ears’ Practically, there is full coincidence.


It is our belief that this brief review of a small amount of non-verbal items are convincing of the importance of the watchful study of non-verbal sygnals in intercultural communication.


6.3. Christmas Traditions in Hungary


            “St. Mikulás Day (The Hungarian Santa). On December 6th Hungarians celebrate the day of St. Nicholas (Mikulás). St. Nicholas is the Hungarian version of Santa Claus. On this Day, St Nicholas visits children at home and at schools. At home children wait for Mikulás by leaving their polished boots at the window the night of December 5th. If kids have been good over the year St Nicholas fills their boots with treats, chocolates, mandarins, peanuts and small gifts such as toys and books. If children have been really naughty they get in their boots some goodies and a switch made of dry twigs (virgács) as a sign of warning. At homes where there are small children, usually a family friend dresses up like Mikulás and brings the presents himself to children. When Mikulás arrives, children sing songs or tell poems to him. Mikulás praises them for the good deeds and calls them off for their naughtiness. Before leaving Mikulás gives gifts to the children”. Read more:

            “In Hungary, the Christmas tree is decorated on the Holy night (December 24). That is why you don’t find Christmas trees in Hungarian homes before December 24th Christmas Eve (Holy Night “Szent-este” in Hungarian) is the most important event of Hungarian Christmas traditions. On this day Hungarians celebrate the birth day of Jesus Christ. In the afternoon of December 24th families get together to adorn the Christmas tree, to have dinner together, to celebrate and to exchange presents. For many Hungarian families this is the only time along the year when big families get together. If there are children in the family, the Christmas tree is decorated without their notice. Christmas trees are usually adorned with lights, sparkles handmade ornaments, figurines and with “szaloncukor”, a Hungarian Christmas candy covered with chocolate and wrapped in silver, gold and red shiny paper tied with bows. Children are taught that it is baby Jesus (Jézuska) who brings the decorated tree and gifts for all on Christmas Eve and not Santa Claus as in many other countries.

            Traditionally, in the afternoon of Christmas Eve while adults secretly set up the Christmas tree, children are banned from the room where the Christmas tree will be set up. They are entertained somewhere else in the house or taken to see the city’s Christmas lights by grandparents or older siblings. My family in law keeps this nice tradition and all children in the family get really excited about baby Jesus bringing secretly the tree and gifts. In our family, once the tree is set up, a small bell is played as a sign that baby Jesus has brought the tree and gifts. When kids hear it, they run with excitement to find the presents. Once children see the tree they sing traditional Hungarian Christmas carols and then we give presents”. As follows from the above, there are no English counterparts: Mit hozott a Mikulás?  Mit hozott a Jézuska?


6.4. Christmas Traditions in England


“It is cold, wet, and foggy in England at Christmastime. Families welcome the warmth and cheer of a Yule log blazing on the hearth. They decorate their homes with holly, ivy, and other evergreens and hang a mistletoe "kissing bough." Throughout the holidays, carolers go from house to house at twilight ringing handbells and singing Christmas songs. "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" are English favorites. People give the carolers treats, such as little pies filled with nuts and dried fruits. The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. They wrap presents, bake cookies, and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, "A Christmas Carol."

 After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. They toss their letter into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney. After the children fall asleep on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas comes to visit. He wears a long, red robe, carries a sack of toys, and arrives on his sleigh pulled by reindeer. He fills the children's stockings with candies and small toys.

            On Christmas Day, everyone sits down to the midday feast and finds a colorful Christmas cracker beside their dinner plate. A Christmas cracker is a paper-covered tube. When the end tabs are pulled, there is a loud crack. Out spills a paper hat to wear at dinner, small trinkets, and a riddle to read aloud to everyone at the table. The family enjoys a feast of turkey with chestnut stuffing, roast goose with currants, or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Brussels sprouts are likely to be the vegetables. Best of all is the plum pudding topped with a sprig of holly. Brandy is poured over the plum pudding and set aflame. Then family members enjoy a dramatic show as it is carried into the dining room. Whoever finds the silver charm baked in their serving has good luck the following year. The wassail bowl, brimming with hot, spiced wine, tops off the day's feast. It is said that all quarrels stop when people drink wassail. After dinner, the family gathers in the living room to listen to the Queen of England deliver a message over radio and television. At teatime in the late afternoon, the beautifully decorated Christmas cake is served”. Read more:


7. Research Centre facilitating intercultural studies


            The Research Centre for Translation Studies (, founded in 2004, devotes its activity to research, training intercultural mediators, organizing conferences “Dialogue of Cultures in a Multilingual Europe”, issuing electronic journals and proceedings both named Translatologia Pannonica.

            Review. 1. The communication concept of the European Union is based on multilingualism, along with the use of English as a lingua franca. Intercultural communication is a key aspect in the exchange of information and ideas among the member states, either via the use of a common language, or via translation and interpreting. The importance of translation/interpreting is highlighted by the practice and tradition of relying on interpreters in official negotiations and meetings even if the parties involved share a common language. The skill and ability of translation and interpreting are put in the foreground also by their mentioning as the fifth linguistic competence (besides speaking, understanding, writing and reading) required from an  EU citizen.

2. When compared with other countries, Hungary lags behind with regard to the mastery of foreign languages and to the training of translators and interpreters, both of which have an unfavourable effect on the country's European integration. Furthermore, in contrast to other EU member states, Hungary does not offer translator training at undergraduate level leading to a diploma:  translators/interpreters are trained in the form of specialized (graduate) courses. As a result of the above, the demand for qualified intercultural experts is on the rise.

3. The School of Humanities at the University of Pécs has been running a translator/interpreter training specialization in Russian since 1992, and in French since 1995.  In February 2004 we launched our 'Translator in social sciences and economics' training in Croatian, Italian, and Spanish as well.

            Aims. Activities related to Translation Studies are to be organized along the following: coordinating research in Translation Studies, initiating effective national and international cooperation, organizing international conferences on translation and interpreting and intercultural studies, contributing to international publications on translation/interpreting and  intercultural studies, providing education, further education of teachers of translation/interpreting and intercultural mediators, offering translation and interpreting services to the University of Pécs and its affiliates.

            Principles of operation. The Research Centre for Translation Studies is established in accordance with the rules of conduct of the School of Humanities, University of Pécs (PTE BTK SZMSZ 25. § ) operates in accordance with the decree of 252/2004. focuses on research in its initial stage focuses its teaching competence on social sciences relies on the  legal and  administrative  support of the University if Pécs; finances its operation via grants, sponsors, and regional and European cooperation intends to establish  a Department of  Intercultural Communication Studies.

            Action plan. Stage 1. The focus is on research, internal further education and cooperation. The Research Centre fosters the development of expertise in Translation Studies and translator training methodology at the modern language departments within the School of Humanities. In line with this ambition, annual domestic conferences, biannual international conferences are organized, books are published, the library on Translation Studies is developed.  The Research Centre launches a BA program in translation/interpreting. It renews cooperation with the University of Trieste, establishes cooperation with the University of Amsterdam, the University of Helsinki, and the Linguistic University of Moscow, as part of its mission on integration and cooperation. The translator training program in French, Croatian, Italian, Russian and Spanish is operated in accordance with the linear system of education. Stage 2. The Research Centre offers an MA program on translation/interpreting. In cooperation with the Doctoral program at the School of Humanities it establishes doctoral training in Translation Studies, which will provide the basis for research and dissertations in this field.  It intends to establish the Department of Translation Studies if the requirements are met.


7.1. Intercultural Mediator Training Programme



Intercultural Mediator Training Programme

Centre for Translation Studies, OM azonosító: FI58544. Intézményi akkreditációs lajstromszám: ALF-015. PTE felnőttképzési nyilvántartási száma: 03-0014-04.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Endre Lendvai

PTE BTK FKK, Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6., D431

06-30/566-7599, E-mail:

Classes: Tuesdays, 16.00-17.30                                    D424

Prereqiusites: Admission to IMT.

Evaluation: class attendance, papers, oral presentations, assessment activities.


Course Description


Globalization: growing number of intercultural encounters. Failures, misunderstandings, frustrations (culture shock) resulted by ignorance of the partner culture. Insufficiency of cultural competence in foreign language teaching. Importance, notion and principles of intercultural communication. British, American and Hungarian people in cross-cultural perspective. Cultural dimensions. Mentality, values, habits, customs, myths, beliefs, prejudices, stereotypes. Speech Etiquette. Associative components of lexical meaning. British, American, Hungarian idioms, sayings, proverbs. Communication strategies. Allusions, communicative expectations. Body language. Joke-system as a mirror of mentality. Strategies for establishing relationship between Hungarians and foreigners.


List of Topics


1. Principles of intercultural communication.

2.  Failures in intercultural communication: case studies.

3. Great Britain, United States, Hungary: history and language.

4. Americans about Hungarians: Hungarians about Americans.

5. Mentality, values, behavior.

6.  Cultural Dimensions

7. Hungarians, British and Americans in the mirror of cultural dimensions.

8. Hungarian vs American business cultures.

9. Establishing relationship between Hungarians and foreigners.

10.Culturally bound items in English and Hungarian.

11. Nonverbal communication

12. Patterns of Hungarian vs American verbal behaviour.

13..Presentations of intercultural communication 1.

14. Presentations of intercultural communication 2.


Course requirements


Effective communication / mediation with / between Hungarian and British / American etc. cultures in the roles of Hungarian speaker / Translator / Interpreter and Tourist Guide.



7.2. Explaining, Translating British Realia


Christmas (Karácsony)


Denotative meaning The second greatest religious festival (after Easter) in the Christian year. It is the most popular family holiday season after summer, and centres on Christmas Day. Connotative meaning At this time presents and Christmas greetings are exchanged, a Christmas three (traditionally a fir tree) is decorated, parties are held, and pantomimes and carol services take place. The Christmas season traditionally begins on Christmas Eve and continues until Twelfth Night (Room 1990, 66). See also: Santa Claus, Christmas Eve, Christmas crackers, Christmas stockings.


Christmas Day (Karácsony első napja)


Denotative meaning 25 December, the central day of the Christmas season, and a traditional family reunion day. Connotative meaning On this day, many people attend church service, open their presents, eat a christmas dinner and astch the annual christmas broadcast on television (or listen to it on the radio). The day is regarded a special one for children, who receive much attention  from their families and friends (Room 1990, 66).


Christmas pudding (karácsonyi puding torta)


Denotative meaning A rich steamed pudding containing dried fruits, spices and oftem brandy, decorated with a small holly in the top.  Connotative meaning Served as part of a Christmas dinner.

Holly (krisztustövis, magyal)


Denotative meaning A tree with bright red berries and shiny dark green, prickly leaves. Connotative meaning In Britain the tree is associated with Christmas. Small pieces of holly are often used for decoration in houses and churches. A piece of holly, too, is often used to decorate the top of  Christmas pudding.


Boxing day (Karácsony másnapja)


Denotative meaning The day (26 december) following Christmas Day, Connotative meaning and celebrated as bank holiday. It was formerly the custom to give 'Christmas boxes', or gifts of money, to servants and tradesmen on this day. Today many people still give an annual Christmas gift to regular callers such ad distmen and paperboys / girls (Room 1990, 37-38)


Christmas carol (karácsonyi ének)


Denotative meaning Christmas carol is a song or hymn Connotative meaning whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period of before Christmas (Wikipedia).


7.3. Explaining, Translating  Hungarian Realia


Globalisation results in closer contacts between cultures and languages, creating new challenges in translating Realia, non-equivalent culture-bound units, i.e. lexical items expressing specific objects, concepts, ideas of a certain culture.

From the viewpoint of strategic considerations translation and interpreting ares particular channels of intercultural communication. Motivated by long term processes of cultural contacts, languages possess sets of loanwords and calques that reflect specific items of the counterpart cultures. What translation practice must do, is the creative imitation of the patterns of loaning processes between contacting languages. They can be of linguistic or metalinguistic character.

Translation tactics comprises choices between domestication (assimilating specific source language features to target ones) and foreignization (emphasizing source language features). In most of the cases a balanced combination of the two extremes is welcome. In translators’ decisions cultural distance, type and function of source text, intended target language readership, the level of importance and hierarchy of culture-bound units must be taken into consideration as relevant factors.

Translation techniques, serving strategic and tactic objectives, fall into metalinguistic (definition, paraphrase, apposition, etc.) and linguistic means of rendering (transcription, transliteration, substitution, etc.).

A huge amount of equivalent words are mistakenly considered as culture-bound words by many of the authors: equivalent words (pongyola ‘dressing gown’, bakter ‘track watchman’, csősz field-guard’), equivalent idioms (kihúzza a gyufát lit. ‘pull out the match’, fig. ‘be punished’, öreganyád térdekalácsa lit. ‘your grandmother’s kneecap’, fig. ‘nonsense’, veri, mint szódás a lovát lit. ‘beat sg / sy like the soda water maker beats his horse’, fig. ‘give sy a sound drubbing’, etc. These units can be rendered by lexical means of target language without any loss of cultural connotations. What is lost here is the connotation motivated by the surface structure of the given Hungarian idioms (as a rule, surface structure elements get lost necessarily in translation operations).


Hungarian Realia

Transmission, transliteration


Word-by-word translation





Mountainous region north of lake Balaton



Freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary



Sauntering, wandering

Graduation parade in schools

Bánk bán

Bánk Bán

Palatine Bánk

Bánk, the Palatine



Apricot brandy

 Brandy distilled from apricots



Wallnut or poppy sead roll




Nativity players



Outlaw, highwayman: thief, murderer



Bull's blood

Dark heavy red wine from the Eger region


            The important role of analogues. BakonySherwood forest, BalatonBrighton, ballagásbarackpálinkabrandy, betlehemesekCarol singers, betyár (Rózsa Sándor)Robin Hood,...

            For appropriate understanding, foreigners need cultural commentaries on realia: Balaton: is a comparatively inexpensive and crowded holiday spot for Hungarians; it is affectionately called the Hungarian see. Bikavér: a kind of cuvee, it has fire in it, and is probably the best known Hungarian red wine, perhaps because of its name. Ballagás: a sentimental ceremony in the middle of May, when the graduating seniors slowly march around the school and bid farewell to their school and the junior students...


8. Practice


8.1. Describe British /American Holidays compared with Hungarian Counterparts





Revolution Day (15 March)





Independence Day





National Day (20 August)





Republic Day (23 October)
























8.2. Give Explanations according to Jackie Maguire's book.


Holidays, Celebrations, Festivals


Valentine's card (page 5)

Bobbing for apples (25)

Saint David's Day (7)

Trick or treating

Saint Patrick's Day (8)

Guy Fawkes Night (26)

Saint George's Day

Penny for the guy  (27)

Saint Andrew's Day

Remembrance Day (28)

Lent and Easter (12)

Thanksgiving (30)

Pancake Day (13)

Pilgrim Fathers (31)

Good Friday (13)


Easter Sunday


Easter Monday

Notting Hill Carnival in London (33)

Easter eggs (14)

Brick Lane Festival

Hot cross buns

Multiculturalism Day in Canada

Easter Bonnet (15)

Christmas (36)

April Fool's Day (18)

Christmas Eve (37)

Mother's Day (16)

Singing carols, carol singers

Father's Day (17)

Christmas Day

Summer solstice (20)

Stocking for Santa Claus

Stonehenge and Avebury (20)

Pulling crackers (38)

Fourth of July, Independence day (21)

Boxing Day (39)

Boston Tea Party (21)

Father Christmas (Santa Claus)

Halloween (24)



(See: Jackie Maguire.)