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I IntroductionLanguage and culture are inseparable. Each national’s special culture mode comes out of the speech and behavior of that race by all means. They use their own language to record the things happened by them. The advertisement is a kin..
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从广告角度比较中西方文化差异
2011-12-13 16:33:33 来源: 作者: 【 】 浏览:777次 评论:0

I   Introduction

Language and culture are inseparable. Each national’s special culture mode comes out of the speech and behavior of that race by all means. They use their own language to record the things happened by them. The advertisement is a kind of manifestation of culture, it’s under the influence and restrict of local culture. National culture influences and restricts the development and expression of advertising language which is the core content of advertisement .advertising language contains and reflects the social culture. Language exists in the community and with the development of society and development, and culture among the definite role to play. A philosophy idea, thinking mode of race, the cultural mental state, moral concept, life style, customs and habits, social system, religion and faith…etc, will produce a function to the advertisement language by all means. No matter how the advertising art develop, as long as it is a popular method of communication involved, it will never take part from language , language will be the most important and effective communication tool. Advertisement through the performance function of language to describe the image of product, express the taste sensibility and make an introduction of related products knowledge lively and specifically. However, the current language is not merely the carrier of products; it adjusts tradition and modern culture factors to make them carry more contents richer than it. In fact, the advertisement language of the social culture reflection is easily comprehended and accepted by people, this can promote the effect of advertisement. Take cognizance of this, make great effort to discuss the inside relation of national culture and advertisement language, it has important function to create and design the advertisement language which matches the basic principle of advertisement expression and suites particular national cultural characteristic. Each advertisement language has its  trace of social national culture, according to every nation’s thinking mode, mental characteristic, living custom, value judgment ,even the political belief, social system to consider an advertisement creation, in order to keep with “native son” taste, match “native son” mindset has already been earnestly practiced by numerous advertisement  plan personnel. The influence of Chinese and Western culture on advertising language is various, The Chinese and Western advertising language also reflect the Chinese and Western culture in many ways. The company of American P&G named its shampoo “pert-plus” in the United States, being named “perjoice” in the Asia, and its Chinese name is “float soft” to cater for Chinese market, and it can explain a problem very much. Owing to the differences of Chinese and Western culture, the representation form of Chinese and Western advertisement is diverse, advertising language also manifests different culture value and thinking mode. As the culture background, customs, behavior principle, life style of Chinese and Western have great distinction. Therefore, every country’s advertisement businessman will think over the culture background of consumers. The aim of the paper is to lay out the influences to by comparing Chinese and Western advertising languages. 

 

Ⅱ. The relationship between culture and language

2.1 The concept of the language and culture

Culture is the all and the one which consist by social behavior, art, beliefs, customs transmission through society conduct and all other products of human work and thinking .Language is accompanied by the creation of the human society, it is the direct manifestation of thinking. Language reflects the characteristics of a nation, which not only includes the nation’s historical and cultural backgrounds, but holds on the nation’s view of life, the way of life and thinking. Culture is diverse, language is also varied (Chen, 2000:20).When the nation as a language, living areas, economic life and psychological stability community appears in the history of mankind, language is deeply stamped with the brand of a nation; it is the most typical characterization of the nation and national culture.

2.2 The relations of language and culture

Language is a means of expressing cultural customs, as a part of culture, and plays an important role in culture. Language can not separate from related culture to be independent. Some sociologists believe that the language is the cornerstone of culture—no language, no culture (Pan, 2001:30).From another aspect, language is affected by language and reflected the culture. Language is based on the historical and cultural aspects. The nation's way of thinking, values, concepts, habits and behavior will affect aesthetic language development. The formation of a national culture, development and absorption ought to pass the language to achieve. Language and culture influence each other; we should try to understand language and culture and to learn them. Language is like a mirror which reflects the entire culture, and every nation has its own culture. Language as the carrier and idea of culture, its representation form is influenced and restricted by culture. Understand their unique cultural background to understand the language features. Only more exposure to foreign cultures, familiar with different language national history amorous feelings, way of life, value and national psychology, open up their vision, learn more about the cultural and language differences. Culture promotes the development of advertising language, the language of advertising propagandize its culture. Chinese and Western advertising language has its own unique form of language which contain the beautiful scenery of language and culture. The charm of the language of instruction is fully displayed in the advertisement. Meanwhile, the Chinese and Western social and cultural knowledge which contained in language make us experience the infinitude delight .Chinese and Western advertising languages let us deepen our understanding of foreign countries, and bring to the world of cross-cultural exchanges.

 

Ⅲ.The features of Chinese and Western advertisement

Advertisement is the special performance of modern culture spirit. As a means of reflecting the reality, advertising language also is the component of culture. Advertisements adjust people’s activity or bring the society effect into play. Advertisement is a multi-language arts conveying information to people and using language for the carrier (Chen, 2000:12).Therefore, the advertising language should be simple and easily understood, fluency and clear, we should also pay attention to the rhetoric manner at the same time.    Chinese and Western advertisement cited a variety of rhetoric to achieve the effect of merchandise promotion, and consumers are not consciously deepened the impression of the product after gaining the spirit edifying and enjoying aesthetic feeling, arousing people’s desire to buy it , such  as  antithesis, Hyperbole, Parody, metaphor, rhyme and repeatedly. Etc  

Owing to the differences of Chinese and Western culture, the representation form is diverse. Advertising language also manifests different culture values and thinking mode. Chinese and Western culture has large different culture background, customs, behavior conduct and way of life. Thus, advertisers will no doubt consider the demands of consumer through their cultural background. There I list some examples of advertisement to compare and analyze how the Chinese and Western national culture influence their advertising language:

3.1 Different Philosophy concept

The Chinese nation has insists that the heaven and human units as the harmonious one. For example: something unexpected may happen any time, I have life insurance (The People’s Insurance Company of China).This ad indicates that people are not afraid of accident because the people have insurance. The accident and insurance is a unit and are dispensable. That the business loves customs is showed in this ad and it will come to an agreement between them. At last the goal of the ad comes into truth. (Mueller, 1966:66).

But in western culture they insist the standpoint of pluralistic. They pay attention to diversity and changes of material, emphasis specially on the change and difference of the nature ,stressed that personal freedom 、 self—development and personal enterprise. The biggest different between harmonious and pluralists if that the pluralists is not limited. Look at this English ad:Olympus, No limits. There is little you can’t be with the Olympus Zoom Lens Reflex series. The all-in-X cameras that won’t limit your creative ability. (Olympus camera). The camera have one more features make photographs produce different then to reflect individual creativity is in the continuing development and is not limited in this ad. The advertisements show the ultimate challenge and seek freedom can greatly stimulate consumer desire so enthusiastic consumption. (Chen, 2000:33)

3.2 Different cultural values—oriented

Chinese cultural has a long history and the alcohol cultural is significant. To illustrate the quality of goods, they attempt to explain how long the water life by quotating the history. For example: (1) Legend quality, Century ZHANG YU.( ZHANG YU Tokay)  (2) Tang palace drink, JIAN NAN CHUN  (JIAN NAN CHUN Drink) Those two alcohol’s long history were given expression to only sentences, showing the deep feeling toward consumers, narrowing the gap between the products and consumers (Chen, 2000: 62).

The Western countries insisted the short term oriented culture; the main reason is the history is shorter than China. They don’t do the business like Chinese who often use the factors of history and tradition, but use the strong and direct marketing strategy (hard sale), a product of the “immediate results” as a selling point. For example:  “go and get it at once”, “buy it” , “fit it well”, “take action right now”, “call now” etc. is the common use in foreign ads (Zhu, 1996:50).

Value is the different views and attitudes of people regarding the matter. China is a traditional agricultural economy society, it is said that Chinese cultural system emphasized the collectivism and authoritative character, using the natural value orientation. This ad is a manifestation of this feature of Chinese culture: HUA LI killing mosquito tool—“silence without mosquito” dedication. This ad was excellent for using the partial tone of “mosquito” and “listen”. It builds the image of unknown to public dedication of products and corporation. To praises of the heroes of our community who quietly worked hard, this identity arouses the resonance in the minds of vast consumers.

But in the Western capital society, individualism、equality and the dominant natural were the orientation ,they stress personality differences. This can be seen from many American ads products, there are many differences trying to explain from, even in the absence of any differences as well. In the United States ads, there is a popular phrase, it would be: to create different. For example: One airline painted the vivid colors on the airframe in order to catch people’s eye. In fact, the plane and service of other airplane company are not much different.

3.3 Different cultural psychology

Advertiser often reflecting takes me the psychology and tries to appear the customers.  Ads reflected the cultural psychology of language is quite common. Such as:1、congratulate to make a pile to welcome new year, have long luck Goldlion (Goldlion  wearing advertisement); 2、WEI LI washing machine, dedicated to a mother. (WEI LI washing machine); the advertising language cater to the cultural psychology of Chinese, has persuaded function. Good fortune、salary、longevity 、happy and wealth were the symbol  of Chinese traditional culture. Chinese have the psychology of hearing nice words, so many products related to the common use show menu of the family affection. For example: “A lot of good luck, a lot of satisfaction” (FU MAN DUO instant noodles) (Yao, 2000:4)and “A bowl nice glue ball round and round , a good reunion after eating (a advertisement of Chinese glutinous rice flour) are two types examples which emphasis Chinese value. (Yao, 2000:16) In contrast, the Western culture takes more emphasis on independence and individuality; their ads pay more attention to character display, ideas and humor. “Kodak film and your family happiness” (Yao, 2000:22) Is a popular advertisement in China’s market, but its ads in U.S is a picture of one boy holding ponchos in one hand, and the other standing on a sword with the statements. “He just killed his last dragon”. (Yao, 2000:30) Kodak keeps happiness for Chinese, keep the feat for American.

The whole world has a common human emotion, such as kinship, friendship and love, but the expression is different. Westerners are more candid and Asians are more subtle. “Using your telephone to transmit love”. Bell Telephone Company deliver the message by illustrating picture of that: the daughter of an elderly parent far away give a phone call to them and say “I love you”, and excite the older parents by contract.“ Find one day for us to look through the romantic” (ads of one Hotel in Taipei) this conveys the love between husband and wife. The romance is subtle (Shen, 1999:20).

In accordance with Chinese laws the content in ads about ethnic racial difference and gender discrimination is illegal, ads language must be truthful and standardized. It should conform to the construction of socialist spiritual civilization. The following example shows the difference. One American company plants to recruit a female secretary, who looks like puberty girl, thinks like an adult male, walks like adult woman, works like a donkey! In American culture, this parlance has humorous effect. But it makes Chinese viewers angry: because it has the discrimination meaning toward to the female and the donkey means stupid in Chinese culture.

Below there are two ads of advocating non-smoking: The first one was a foreign plane that will make public service announcements, its center is a picture of a rifle, a bullet and a cigarette. The title is: rapid death, slow suicide. This ad directly put the death linked to smoking the language is explicit and straightforward, and has a strong visual impact. It works with undisguised and straightforward method of smoking hazards, to alert people not to smoke. However the other one is a domestic television commercial. It shows us that there is a glass of water on the table, and then a drop of ink is dropping in it, after that clean water turning into muddy, and the last is bigger ,with three drops...  until the whole clean water mixed to dirty completely. Accompanied outer sound: “If smokes, the lung of us will be like this cup of water...” ( Shen,1999:36) This ads like the first one, want to remind people of the hazards on body health, but it keeps away from the death and through the subtle language like the clean water become muddy, hints the relations between smoking and death. The ads above show the different cultural atmosphere of different nation and countries. From this, we can see that the foreign ads try to forbid smoking strongly and straightforwardly, but local ads is meant to remind the rise of smoking people quit smoking subtly and unobjectionable. The western ads make people think seriously after shocked, the domestic ads is allowed people know the hazards while tasting. This is not just the feeling difference of performance, but more important is that it is through language and images to reflect the cultural differences.

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