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Предисловие
Пособие «The National Component of Human Character and Human
Behaviour» имеет целью расширение знаний студентов языкового ВУЗа о
культуре и о национальных особенностях носителей английского языка –
британцев и американцев, в том числе в сопоставлении наций с друг другом и
с характерными особенностями русского населения.
Пособие разделено на три части:
1. Британцы
2. Американцы
3. Русские
В пособии представлены аутентичные тексты, отобранные нами из
периодических изданий стран изучаемого языка «The Guardian», «BBC
America», «The Wall Street Journal», различных зарубежных учебных пособий
и Интернет-сайтов.
Данные тексты в полной мере можно считать оптимальным средством
ознакомления с культурой стран изучаемого языка. Они разнообразны по
стилю, иллюстрируют функционирование языка в форме, принятой
носителями языка, и в естественном социальном контексте.
Наличие нескольких текстов в разделе позволяет обучать навыкам
разноцелевого чтения в сочетании с другими видами речевой деятельности:
говорением, аудированием. Каждый раздел включает в себя грамматические,
лексические, переводческие и коммуникативные упражнения и задания,
обеспечивающие вместе активную деятельность в области речевой практики.
Многие упражнения пособия снабжены ключами, что позволяет студентам
использовать его в самостоятельной работе.
Пособие является дополнением к учебнику «Практический курс
английского языка», 3 курс, под редакцией Владимира Дмитриевича Аракина,
однако может быть использовано в комплексе с другими учебниками и
учебными пособиями.
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В центре нашего внимания находится функционирование английского


языка на всех уровнях – уровне лексико-грамматических единиц, лексико –
грамматических структур, целостных предложений и текстов.
Параллельно с усвоение языковых единиц обсуждаются правила
этикета определенные модели поведения.
На дотекстовом этапе, нами, как правило, предлагались вопросы на уже
имеющиеся у студентов знания, подтверждаемые или опровергаемые в
процессе прочтения или прослушивания текста.
На послетекстовом этапе, большинство заданий основано способности
студентов к выделению основной или детальной информации, критическому
ее осмыслению и активному применению в дискуссионных обсуждениях.
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British People
 Before you read the text, try to distinguish the difference between two
forms of addressing people – the British and the Englishman? Is there any
difference? (geographical aspect)

1. Read the information about the character of British people. Is there a lot of
information familiar to you? Is there anything new?
Almost every nation has a reputation of some kind. For example, it has been generally
recognized that the Russian people are generous, open-hearted, kind; the Spaniards
are said to be noble and very proud; the French are supposed to be amorous, gay
and light-minded. We say that the Germans are very efficient but rather dull; the
Americans — boastful, energetic, technical-minded and easy-going.

Now, what about the English? What is a typical Englishman like? 
Many people, especially those who never lived in England, picture the Englishman so:
«A tall, slim, fair-haired gentleman, with regular aristocratic features and a look of
superiority in his blue eyes; conscious of his historic mission “to rule the world”;
contemptuous of all other, non-English, nations; formal, cold, haughty, very reserved
even in his relations with his fellow Englishmen; living in reasonable luxury in his
suburban country house which is supposed to be his “castle” and going on short round-
the-world trips in a private yacht, now and then, like Sir Francis Chichester, just to prove
that Britain still remains the country of great sailors; very conservative in his political and
social views; well-bred, polite, quiet, taciturn, reticent in speech; fond of sports and
animals; and at last, possessing a great sense of humour, a special “English type” of
humour, often difficult to understand for foreigners.»
• English people are famous for their habit of politeness. It is considered polite to give
up one's seat to a woman who is standing, to open a door for her, carry things for her,
and so on. Most British people expect the person in front of them to hold the door
open for them. People think you are rude, if you don't do this. Most British people
queue when they are waiting for a bus or waiting to be served in a shop. But during
the rush hour, when a bus or train arrives, people often push forward to make sure
they get on. This is called jumping the queue.
• British people keep their old traditions and are very proud of them.
• They are famous for their sense of humour, which other nations find difficult or even
impossible to understand.
• English people show great love for animals.
• And, of course, English people are fond of sports. Many continentals think life is a
game; the English think cricket is a game. To many Englishmen cricket is both a game
and a standard of behaviour. When they consider something unfair, they say "That
isn't cricket".
Note The English national character is dualistic:
• One aspect is conservative, the other extroverted. The pub is a fine example of the
conservative aspect of English character. The pub, unlike the bar in the U.S., is a focal
point for the "locals." One goes to the pub for the same reasons one used to go to
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church: for fellowship and spiritual enlightenment. There is nothing flashy or plastic
about most pubs. Many look like one's living room, full of plush, soft chairs, couches,
a fireplace, and bright lights. The pubs keep respectable hours, open from 10 A.M. to
2 P.M. and 5 P.M. to 10 P.M.; Friday and Saturday nights they stay open until 11 P.M.
There are no all-night or 3 A.M. public bars. When the pubs close everyone goes
home. The pub represents pleasure with control and in good taste.
• This control is exemplified in English humor. Most Americans find nothing funny in
English comedy shows, since English humor is word oriented while American humor
is more action-oriented.
• The same control that is found in English pubs and humor is also found in the English
pace of living. Where else does one stand in line quietly for the bus or the taxi?
• Tea drinking is another expression of the English spirit of control and patience. Only
barbarians drink tea by placing a tea bag in a cup of hot water. There is a whole ritual
to tea drinking in England: The water must be boiling rapidly, the teapot warm, the tea
loose, then steeped at least 5 minutes in a teapot covered by a tea cosy. Then and only
then does one pour the tea into a cup and drink it. Not only old ladies in lace with
Pekingese on their laps drink tea, but a whole nation of workers, entrepreneurs, and
aristocrats have tea for breakfast, lunch, and, of course, all activity stops in the
afternoon for the customary tea break.
• However, there is another side to the English Character-the bizarre, the audacious, and
the innovative. It was not the U.S. but conservative England that produced the Beatles
with their long hair and sounds that have influenced a decade of rock musicians and
adolescents. Out of a very straight middle-class family comes the androgynous Mick
Jagger of the Rolling Stones whose very existence violates the rigid sexual
stereotypes of Western culture.
• The English are innovators and experimenters in many areas: A. S. Neill's Summerhill
has become the model for progressive education. R. D. Laing, psychiatry's antipsy-
chiatrist, claims that it is not the individual who is insane but his society, which
constantly categorizes him and forces him to fit into abstract norms. It was in England
that Marx wrote Das Kapital which so traumatized Western civilization and
radicalized Eastern ones. Perhaps because of Marx's ever-present presence (he is
buried in Highgate Cemetery in London), England was one of the 1st countries to
have socialized medicine and welfare benefits for all.

• Puritanism
Puritanism has always found in the English its most fertile breeding ground. For
hundreds of years their children have been brainwashed with trite little sayings -
"Silence is golden", "Empty vessels make the most noise" and, most telling, "You are
not put on to this earth to enjoy yourself". Small wonder that they end up, as adults,
acting rather like the three wise monkeys and emotionally in traction.
But still the English defend their character and behaviour against all comers. Perhaps
that is because Puritanism with its punishing work ethic assures them that their reward
for all that restraint will come at a sort of school prize-giving ceremony in the world
to come.
If it is the latter, they are forgetting that since God is also English - a firmly-held
belief - any hedonism in the next world will probably be accompanied by mugs of
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bromide. Nevertheless, the English continue to bask in this certainty to the general
astonishment of the rest of mankind.

• Moderation
If there is one trait that absolutely singles out the English it is their shared dislike for
anyone or anything that "goes too far".
Going too far, as the English see it, covers displaying an excess of emotion, getting
drunk, discussing money in public or cracking off-colour jokes and then laughing at
them noisily. Beyond the pale altogether is the man or woman who regales one with
his or her titles or qualifications. The only acceptable place to air these is on an
envelope. To the English the proper way to behave in almost all situations is to
display a languid indifference to almost everything, though one may be seething
underneath. Even in affairs of the heart, it is considered unseemly to show one's
feelings except behind closed doors.

• A Good Sport
If an English man or woman refers to you as "a good sport", you will know that you
have really arrived. For them it is a qualification normally never awarded to a
foreigner and by no means within the grasp of all the English.
The term is not exclusively a sporting one. It describes the sort of behaviour both on
and off the playing field that characterizes everything the English really respect. In all
physical trials, the good sport will play without having been seen to practise too hard
and will, ideally, win from innate superiority. He or she will then be dismissive of
their victory and magnanimous towards the loser.
It goes without saying that the good sport will also be a good loser. There will be no
arguing with umpires or outward signs of disappointment. On the contrary, a remark
such as "The best man won!" tossed airily to all and sundry, and never through
clenched teeth, is obligatory even in the face of crushing defeat. This does not really
fool anyone, for the English are fiercely competitive especially in matters sporting.
They would rather be crossed in love than beaten on the tennis courts, but to let it be
seen would be going too far.

• Self­doubt
It is the apparent colossal self-confidence and moral certainty of the English that is
paradoxically one of their greatest stumbling blocks. For both qualities are, to a
certain extent, only illusions. Whilst they may appear fearless and calm on the
surface, deep down the English suffer from agonizing self-doubt, feeling that in many
areas of human activity they just cannot cut the mustard.
All the time there were countries to be conquered and foreigners to be governed, the
English could sublimate all their clamouring uncertainty. The scent of success served
as incense at the altar of their self-assurance.
But with the helter-skelter slide from Empire to Commonwealth and ever downwards,
their doubts, like itches, have begun to plague them and it is considered bad form to
scratch in public.
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• Sentiment
The English have a strong sense of history. Because their past was so infinitely more
glamorous than their present, they cling to it tenaciously. Mix this love of bygone ages
with an unrivalled sentimentality and you have a heady mixture which can be sensed
in every aspect of the English life.
Antique shops clutter up every town and village. English homes are filled with old
things not only because please the eye but because there is a feeling that anything that
has stood the test of time must be better modern counterpart.
The English generally distrust the new-fangled or modern. Shininess is vulgar and the
patina of age lends respectability. Thus they cling on to old furniture, old carpets, old
chipped china, old kitchen gadgets and garden implements long after common sense
dictates that they should be replaced.
"If it was good enough for my grandfather/grandmother, it's good enough for me!".

Names:
1. Sir Francis Charles Chichester (17 September 1901 – 26 August 1972), aviator
and sailor, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for becoming the first person to
sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest
circumnavigator, in nine months and one day overall.
2. Alexander Sutherland Neill (17 October 1883 - 23 September 1973) was a Scottish
progressive educator, author and founder of Summerhill school, which remains
open and continues to follow his educational philosophy to this day. He is best
known as an advocate of personal freedom for children.
3. Summerhill School is an independent British boarding school that was founded in
1921 by Alexander Sutherland Neill with the belief that the school should be made
to fit the child, rather than the other way around. It is run as a democratic
community; the running of the school is conducted in the school meetings, which
anyone, staff or pupil, may attend, and at which everyone has an equal vote.
4. Ronald David Laing (7 October 1927 – 23 August 1989) was a Scottish
psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience
of psychosis. Laing's views on the causes and treatment of serious mental
dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the
psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual
patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as
symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder.

  The vocabulary is taken from the text. Match the words with their
definitions.
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1. amorous a) unfriendly and seeming to consider yourself better than other


2. contemptuous people
3. haughty b) easily falling in love
4. reticent c) the thing that everyone looks at or is interested in
5. to jump the queue d) to move ahead of others in a queue without waiting for one's
6. a continental proper turn
7. а focal point e) someone who starts their own business, especially when this
8. entrepreneur involves seeing a new opportunity
9. audacious f) expressing a strong feeling of disliking and having no respect
10. puritanism someone or something
11. new-fangled g) showing a willingness to take risks or offend people
12. to bask in h) an inhabitant of the European continent, not related to Englis
13. innate people
14. magnanimous i) unwilling to speak about your thoughts or feelings
15. to cut the mustard j) the belief that self-control and hard work are important and th
16. helter-skelter pleasure is wrong or unnecessary
17. tenacious k) something that you say which means that people who talk a l
18. heady and frequently express their opinions are often stupid
19. "Empty vessels make l) having a powerful effect, making you feel slightly drunk or
the most noise" excited
m) to take pleasure from something that makes you feel good
n) holding tightly onto something, or keeping an opinion in a
determined way
o) an innate quality or ability is one that you were born with, no
one you have learned
p) very kind and generous towards an enemy or someone you h
defeated
q) recently made for the first time, but not always an improvem
on what existed before
r) to be able to deal with problems or difficulties satisfactorily
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  Translate the following sentences from Russian into English.


1. Ошибочным представлением о типичном англичанине является описание:
«Светловолосый человек, с пониманием своего превосходства,
надменный, слишком сдержанный, живущий в своем роскошном «замке»
и обладающий потрясающим чувством юмора, непонятным другим
национальностям.
2. Иностранец никогда не удостоиться звания «играющий честно/достойно
принимающий победу и поражение» в глазах англичанина.
3. Англичане цепляются за свое прошлое яро и с непревзойденной
сентиментальностью, что порождает недоверие ко всему новомодному и
современному.
4. Вежливость англичан проявляется, как в привычке уступать даме место,
так и в привычке стоять в очереди. Вы можете увидеть англичанина,
проходящего бед очереди только в час пик.
5. Национальный характер англичан дуалистичен. С одной стороны,
прекрасным примером их консервативности является любовь к пабам.
Паб – это центральное место для местных жителей, в которое они ходят в
поиске дружеских отношений и духовного просветления. С другой
стороны, в характере англичан можно обнаружить черты
эксцентричности, бесстрашия и новаторства, ярко воплощенные в
различных сферах культурной и социальной жизни.
6. Несмотря на то, что с первого взгляда англичане могут показаться
бесстрашными и спокойными внешне, глубоко внутри они боятся, что не
отвечают всем ожиданиям.
7. Спортом, отражающим игровые пристрастия англичан и их поведение,
является крикет. Очень характерно выражение: «Это не крикет»,
означающее несправедливость.
8. Такие пословицы, как «Молчание – золото», «Пустая бочка пуще
гремит», «Ты живешь на этой земле не для развлечений», которыми
англичане «промывают мозги» своим детям столетиями, являются
отражением их пуританских нравов (строгих нравов).

 Answer the questions:

1. What are the most significant features of character of the British people?
2. Are Englishmen always polite no matter what happens?
3. Do you know anything about the British way of standing in a queue? How do they
behave?
4. Which kind of sport do British exalt above all others? What is the famous saying
connected with the name of this sport?
5. Why can we say that the English national character is dualistic? Try to prove it.
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6. Do English pubs differ from those in other countries?


7. What is English humor famous for? Do you personally like English humor? Can
you understand it?
8. Do they have any special tea tradition in Britain? Describe it.
9. Who are the greatest British innovators? Do you know them? What is each of
them famous for?
10. Can you show the characteristic English pose? What is it called?
11. The British consider such sayings as "Silence is golden", "Empty vessels make the
most noise" and, most telling, "You are not put on to this earth to enjoy yourself"
very important. Comment on them. Do you think we should teach our children
resting upon these sayings?
12. What is the trait that absolutely singles out the English?
13. Explain what the Englishman means when he refers to you as «a good sport»?
Does it literally mean sport?
14. What are the British on the surface and what do they feel inside?
15. How is the sentiment expressed in British environment?

  Do you think that some of the traits of character described in the text are
old-fashioned? Can you correct anything using your own experience and
knowledge?

  And now you’ll be given some impressions of people from other countries
and British people themselves. Do their opinions coincide with the information in
the first text or suggest other approaches? Why does it happen? Give your point of
view based on what you already know.

«Whenever I travelled on a bus in UK the British person next to me would draw away
from me as if they were afraid of catching a disease or of the colour rubbing off my
skin.» (Kenyan student)

«When I travelled on a train from Narobi to Mombsas, a woman sat right next to me, her
body touching mine. I was very nervous as I thought she must be making a sexual
advance.» (British woman in Kenya)

«British people never get to the point. They go around this way and that way, using
twenty words where three would do. It’s really hard to communicate with them. » (Israel
student)

«The British are so insincere. They smile even when they are not happy or pleased to see
you. One woman smiled at me every time we passed each other and I thought she really
liked me. So I asked her to come out with me and she refused. She was leading me on
and then turned me down. » (A male overseas student)
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«You told us the British smiled all the time. I find them very unsmiling, especially when
compared to people at home. » (Female Singaporean Student)

«The technicians started laughing and joking with the British students from the first day
as if they were already friends. With us they seem cold and unfriendly.» (Turkish student)
 Each country has definite stereotypes. A stereotype is "...a fixed, or generalised
belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996). In other words
stereotyping is believing that people of a certain group, race or religion all have the same
characteristics when they don't.

Now you’ll be asked to get acquainted with the ideas of one of the Internet
users who was born and has lived in Great Britain his whole life. He explodes 12
myths about the British people, their behaviour, habits and traditions.
Are they new to you? Do any of them seem ridiculous to you?

 For questions (1-16), read the text below and decide which answer
(A,B,C or D) best fits each gap. There is an example at the beginning.

1. We Love Bland Food.
Mashed Potato, Chips and Mixed Veg. Every British Person's Favorite (0)___________.
If you find a restaurant abroad that (1)________for British tourists, then you’ll be hard
pressed to find a meal that does not feature the ultimate triage of the British diet:
mashed potatoes, chips (aka fries) and (2)__________ vegetables (carrots, peas, sweet
corn and chopped green beans). Long live those wonderful school dinners! Even in
restaurants serving ‘traditional local food’ our ultimate combo is served as a side dish, to
compliment the food we actually ordered.

2. Boozing Juice: Makes us Loud and Obnoxious.
The British love to drink! In the eyes of others, our time at home is spent in the
traditional British Pub. Here we socialize and drink until inebriated. On a Friday and
Saturday night, this is taken to excess and spills out onto the streets. On holiday, with a
combination of too much sun, (3)__________heat and dehydration; you have the perfect
recipe for raucous and obnoxious behaviour. Everybody does this, it’s a social necessity,
and nobody gets an early night.
Warning: Alcohol may (4) __________to feelings of superiority, accompanied by a
tendency to fall flat on your face!

3. As a Nation we are Overweight.
Engaged in conversation one night, a Turkish man bought me to a startling revelation.
His words caused some nervous shuffling amongst my companions. ‘Everybody knows
who is (5)__________as the fattest nation in the world, but who comes second?’
(Ducking out of this one: His opinion, not mine!!!!!!)
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4. Traditional Breakfast: The British Fry Up
The British are thought to start each day in the finest fashion, avoiding cereals, yoghurt,
fruit, bread or conserves. The British man prefers to start his day with a sausage, some
mushrooms, two rashers of bacon and a fried egg (6)__________neatly onto a slice of
fried bread. For the health conscious, half a tomato can be thrown in, though this must
also be fried. An almighty sin is to serve this dish without HP brown sauce; this can be a
major cause of offence and leads to many arguments. (7)___________, this essential
condiment must be imported, at great expense, all over the world. Oh did I forget baked
beans? Heinz and nothing less!

5. We Work in Offices, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.
People in tourist resorts work for 16 hours a day, this is not the case in Britain where we
work from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. This means that we are all very lucky, getting
to spend every weekend with our parents, wives and children. Most of us work in offices,
where we create and file paperwork.

6. You Can Identify a Brit by Skin Colour: Red.
The British are a fair race, hailing from a dark nation. People think that the weather in
Britain is always rain. On the (8)___________occasion when the sun does break through
the clouds, it is always interspersed with more wind or rain. It is the changeable nature of
British weather that leads us to talk about it, constantly! As I write this on a fine August
afternoon, the sun is shining and I wonder why I am not at the beach. Perhaps I am trying
to avoid, turning a bright shade of red. If this were to happen, I would be pointed at and
referred to as ‘lobster’ for the remainder of the week.
7. Brits are Rubbish at Foreign Languages.
Brits are rubbish at foreign languages, fact! Foreigners think we rely upon English as an
International language. To an extent, this may be true, but Britain doesn’t have a booming
tourist economy to motivate and (9)___________ language skills. If a Brit does try to use
a foreign language abroad, this will usually result in a giggle, before the conversation
reverts to English.
8. Everybody Loves Football and is a Personal Friend of Wayne Rooney or David Beckham.
In a bizarre twist of circumstances, I find myself living reasonably close to the
Redknapp’s. I have never met them, Wayne Rooney or David Beckham. Unfortunately, I
also cannot (10)_________ football and certainly do not actively follow a team. For this
reason as I walked round the streets of Icmeler, paranoia ensued. Everybody was shouting
out ‘Oi Messy, Messy. You have a face like Messy.’ This was not good for my confidence!
Finally after about an hour, one Turkish man had an epiphany ‘you don’t like football?
Where are you from?’ ‘England, really’? A look of confounded concentration crossed his
face. ‘Lionel Messi is the best football player in the world’! I guess it’s time to get my
hair cut.
9. Bad Teeth and Poor Oral Hygiene Abound.
The (11)___________ that British people have bad teeth and poor dental hygiene seems
to abound throughout the world. The fact of the matter is thus, the majority of British
people have very nice, straight white teeth. We brush, floss, and us mouthwash after
every meal. That said state dental care leaves something to be desired, and we do not
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have the expendable income to invest in tooth straightening and whitening that are
prevalent in some other nations. Many of us would love to though…

10. Everybody Lives Near Edinburgh, London or Manchester.
Squint and You May See London Right Between Cornwall and Manchester. Everybody in
Britain lives close to one of these three major cities, explanations to the contrary may be
met with mass (12)___________. After all, Britain is small and everything therein lies
close together. Manchester is something of a favorite abroad, everybody knows someone
else that resides in this city. David Beckham is also believed to be a regular around town.
Cornwall is often described as ‘near London, but 5 hours away by train’.

11. Reserved, Cold and Insincere: The British Stiff Upper Lip.
We British live in a country where
political correctness abounds; we are encouraged to stumble around others, trying
(13)___________to avoid cultural offense. The unfortunate consequence of this is the
‘maybe later’ mentality. This can be frequently seen whilst abroad and comes across as
insincere. British people hate to say no and cannot abide open complaint; we do this for
fear of causing offense. It is (14)__________believed that we shy away from situations
and whinge or write a letter of complaint. In Britain we call this venting our frustrations,
but in other countries it is called ridiculous. If for example, the air conditioning doesn’t
work, why go away and complain or write a letter; mention it at the time so it can be
fixed!

12. Afternoon Tea is Served Between 4pm and 5pm.
British people drink a lot of tea; a common myth has developed around the scheduled
drinking of our ‘favourite’ drink. Afternoon tea for example, is said to be served between
4pm and 5pm. But this is simply not the case. I haven’t had a cup of black (red) tea for
about two weeks, although I might now make one in an hour, it will then be 6:30pm. I’ll
have it with a little milk and two sugars, the (15)___________water will be poured
straight from the kettle following no set procedures or traditional etiquette. It will not be
accompanied by a light snack or biscuits. Some people add the milk first, others pour the
boiling water and add the milk (16)____________. Sorry to disappoint, but tea is treated
like any other drink here. In fact I might just have a nice fresh coffee instead, milk, no
sugar please.

0 А supplement B accompaniment C adding D addition


1 A caters B pleases C obliges D satisfies
2 A united B combined C mixed D blended
3 A odd B excess C advantageous D superfluous
4 A conduct B lead C guide D steer
5 A perceptible B observable C sensed D perceived
6 A located B sited C placed D inserted
7 A consequently B therefore C hence D so
8 A unusual B uncommon C infrequent D rare
9 A support B sustain C uphold D keep
10 A like B abide C hate D submit
13

11 A whisper B talk C spread D rumour


12 A confusion B commotion C embarrassment D disorder
13 A terrifically B awfully C frightfully D desperately
14 A very B widely C extremely D greatly
15 A hot B torrid C warm D boiling
16 A then B after C afterwards D in the end

 Explain in English what is meant by the following words and phrases:


1) to make a queue in a fuss-free manner
2) a jump-off point
3) sour world-view
4) undercut a pompous, self-regarding occasion with sharp jibes
5) to use a wit as a shield
6) science-fiction
7) swings and roundabouts
8) My job was to take photographs of the banners and the crowds and all of the
accompanying frenzy. in earshot
9) obsessed with class
10) the social legacy of 1000 years of bubbling resentment and paranoia
11) raucous and obnoxious behaviour
12) to fall flat on something
13) The British are thought to start each day in the finest fashion, avoiding cereals,
yoghurt, fruit, bread or conserves.
14) On the rare occasion when the sun does break through the clouds, it is always
interspersed with more wind or rain.
15) to follow a team
16) A look of confounded concentration crossed his face.
17) A poor dental hygiene seems to abound throughout the world.
18) to reside in this city
19) the British Stiff Upper Lip
20) a bowler hat
21) The unfortunate consequence of this is the ‘maybe later’ mentality.
22) not to abide open complaint

  Choose one of the points and be ready to express your ideas, talk on one of
the following topics. You may agree or disagree or suggest your own topic and speak
on it. Provide your answer with arguments and examples.

1) The Brits are exasperated by the stereotypes concerning their daily life.
2) The British just can’t see such features of character as the British stiff upper lip
or stiffness because they are too used to it.
14

3) The British just don’t want to admit that their nation has such defects as poor
oral hygiene, overweight, inability to learn other languages, etc.
4) The ability of the Brits to stand in a queue for a long time proves their
deservedness.
5) People from other countries are more objective and observant when they come
to Great Britain than the Brits themselves. The conclusions they arrive at after
having visited Britain can’t be considered as a stereotype.
6) The ignorance of the existing in Great Britain stereotypes will give you a lot of
trouble when you’re in the country itself. And on the contrary the knowledge
will keep you from misunderstanding and confusing situations.
7) The ideas of the Internet user, who has exploded 12 myths about the British
people aren’t objective. It’s his personal point of view. We can’t trust it.
 Read the text about British social customs.

What are Britain's Social Customs?

Time           
British people place considerable value on punctuality. If you agree to meet friends at
three o'clock, you can bet that they'll be there just after three. Since Britons are so time
conscious, the pace of life may seem very rushed. In Britain people make great effort to
arrive on time. It is often considered impolite to arrive even a few minutes late. If you are
unable to keep an appointment, it is expected that you call the person you
are meeting. Some general tips follow.

You should arrive: 
* At the exact time specified – for dinner, lunch, or appointments with
professors, doctors, and other professionals.
* Any time during the hours specified for teas, receptions, and cocktail
parties.
* A few minutes early: for public meetings, plays, concerts, movies, sporting events,
classes, church services, and weddings.
If you are invited to someone's house for dinner at half past seven, they will expect you to
be there on the dot. An invitation might state "7.30 for 8", in which case you should
arrive no later than 7.50. However, if an invitation says "sharp", you must arrive in plenty
of time.

Invitations 
“ Drop in anytime” and “come see me soon” are idioms often used in social settings but
seldom meant to be taken literally. It is wise to telephone before visiting someone at
home. If you receive a written invitation to an event that says “RSVP”, you should
respond to let the person who sent the invitation know whether or not you plan to attend.
Never accept an invitation unless you really plan to go. You may refuse by saying,
“Thank you for inviting me, but I will not be able to come.” If, after accepting, you are
unable to attend, be sure to tell those expecting you as far in advance as possible that you
will not be there.
15

Although it is not necessarily expected that you give a gift to your host, it is considered
polite to do so, especially if you have been invited for a meal. Flowers, chocolate, or a
small gift are all appropriate. A thank-you note or telephone call after the visit is also
considered polite and is an appropriate means to express your appreciation for the
invitation.

Dress 
Everyday dress is appropriate for most visits to peoples' homes. You may want to dress
more formally when attending a holiday dinner or cultural event, such as a concert or
theatre performance.

Introduction and Greeting 
It is proper to shake hands with everyone to whom you are introduced, both men and
women. An appropriate response to an introduction is "Pleased to meet you". If you want
to introduce yourself to someone, extend you hand for a handshake and say "Hello, I
am....". Hugging is only for friends.

Dining 
When you accept a dinner invitation, tell your host if you have any dietary restrictions.
He or she will want to plan a meal that you can enjoy. The evening meal is the main meal
of the day in most parts of Britain.
Food may be served in one of several ways: "family style," by passing the serving plates
from one to another around the dining table; "buffet style," with guests serving
themselves at the buffet; and "serving style," with the host filling each plate and passing
it to each person. Guests usually wait until everyone at their table has been served before
they begin to eat. Food is eaten with a knife and fork and dessert with a spoon and fork.

What should I do or shouldn’t do when I am eating in Britain? 
• The British generally pay a lot of attention to good table manners. Even young
children are expected to eat properly with a knife and fork.
• We eat most of our food with cutlery. The foods we don't eat with a knife, fork or
spoon include sandwiches, crisps, corn on the cob, and fruit.
• Things you should do:
• If you cannot eat a certain type of food or have some special needs, tell your host
several days before the dinner party.
• If you are a guest, it is polite to wait until your host starts eating or indicates you
should do so. It shows consideration.
• Always chew and swallow all the food in your mouth before taking more or taking
a drink.
• Always say «thank you» when served something. It shows appreciation.
• You may eat chicken and pizza with your fingers if you are at a barbecue, finger
buffet or very informal setting. Otherwise always use a knife and fork.
• When eating rolls, break off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating it whole
looks tacky.
• On formal dining occasions it is good manners to take some butter from the butter
dish with your bread knife and put it on your side plate (for the roll). Then butter
16

pieces of the roll using this butter. This prevents the butter in the dish getting full
of bread crumbs as it is passed around.
• In a restaurant, it is normal to pay for your food by putting your money on the
plate the bill comes on.
• When you have finished eating, and to let others know that you have, place your
knife and folk together, with the prongs (tines) on the fork facing upwards, on
your plate.

Things you should not do:
1. Never lick or put your knife in your mouth.
2. It is impolite to start eating before everyone has been served unless your host says
that you don't need to wait.
3. Never chew with your mouth open. No one wants to see food being chewed or
hearing it being chomped on.
4. It is impolite to have your elbows on the
table while you are eating.
5. Don't reach over someone's plate for
something, ask for the item to be passed.
6. Never talk with food in your mouth.
7. It is impolite to put too much food in your
mouth.
8. Never use your fingers to push food onto
your spoon or fork.
9. It is impolite to slurp your food or eat noisily.
10. Never blow your nose on a napkin (serviette). Napkins are for dabbing your lips
and only for that.
11. Never take food from your neighbors’ plate.
12. Never pick food out of your teeth with your fingernails.

Things that are O.K. to do:
• It is O.K. to pour your own drink when eating with other people, but it is more
polite to offer pouring drinks to the people sitting on either side of you.
• It is O.K. to put milk and sugar in your tea and coffee or to drink them both
without either.

  Find the English equivalents in the text above.


• возлагать существенную важность на что-л.
• встретиться в 5 часов
• темп жизни
• прибыть во время
• быть неспособным прийти на встречу
• прием
• точно в срок, минута в минуту
• ровно в 3
17

• «Заходи в любое время»


• просьба ответить на приглашение
• заранее
• культурное событие
• объятие
• диетические ограничения
• шведский стол
• столовый прибор
• есть вилкой
• официальный обед
• зубцы на вилке
• жевать с открытым ртом
• чавкать
• высморкаться в салфетку

  Choose the behavior which is considered polite, inappropriate, acceptable and so


on in British tradition. Match two columns, using the information from the text.

It is improper not to inform the host if you are coming or not when you receive
It is recommended a written invitation to an event that says “RSVP” but to turn up
It is appropriate at the host’s place;
It is not polite to inform your host that you have some chronicle diseases or
It is advisable can’t eat some kinds of food before the dinner;
It is rude to arrive in plenty of time if an invitation might states "7.30 for;
It is acceptable to eat crisps, fruit and sandwiches with a knife, fork or spoon;
It is inappropriate to give a call to the person you are meeting with if you are late;
It is not suitable to place your knife and folk together, with the prongs on the fork
It is polite facing upwards, on your plate showing that you’ve finished;
It is important to bring a gift to your host if you have been invited to his place;
to start eating before everyone has been served at your table;
to say «thank you» when you are served something;
to hug a person you have met for the first time

  Work in twos. Check your partner.


1) What is considered to be impolite if you have an appointment?
18

2) What should you do if you are unable to keep an appointment?


3) When is a person in Britain supposed to arrive for appointment, reception,
concert?
4) If the invitation states "7.30 for 8", you may arrive … .
If an invitation says "sharp", you must arrive … .
5) What should you do if you receive a written invitation to an event that says
“RSVP”?
6) How can we refuse politely if we can’t come?
7) Should we bring a gift to a host by all means?
8) What is an appropriate response to an introduction? With whom can you shake
hands and with whom can you hug?
9) What should we tell the host beforehand to be able to taste everything?
10) What is the main meal of the day in most parts of Britain?
11) Name the ways of serving food. How do they differ?
12) What should a guest wait not to be impolite towards a host?
13) Enumerate the things you should never do at the table.
14) What is tolerable to do at the table?

  Team up with two students to compare British and Russian social customs
and to discuss if they have anything in common.
Don’t you think that some of the British customs are too artificial and
exaggerated?
Should Russian people take into consideration any of these customs to
become more polite?

 Just For Fun


What the British say What the British mean What others understand
I hear what you say I disagree and I don’t He accepts my point of
want to discuss it further view
With the greatest I think you’re an idiot He is listening to me
respect…
That’s not bad That’s good That’s poor
That is a very brave You are insane He thinks I have courage
proposal
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to Think about the idea, but
justify yourself do what you like
Oh, incidentally, by the The primary purpose of That is not very important
way our decision is …
19

I was a bit disappointed I am annoyed that It doesn’t really matter


that
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense
He is impressed
I’ll bear it in my mind I’ve forgotten it already
He’ll probably do it
I’m sure it’s my fault It’s your fault Why does he think it was
his fault?
You must come for It’s not an invitation, I’m I’ll get an invitation soon
dinner just being polite
I almost agree I don’t agree at all He’s not far from
agreement
I only have a few minor Please re-write He has found a few typos
comments completely
Could we consider some I don’t like your idea He hasn’t yet decided
other point?

  Read the article taken from the British newspaper «The Guardian» about
the Identity crisis in Great Britain. Pay special attention to comments of the citizens.
Do they assent with the article?

 While reading: For question 1-23, use the word given at the end of some of the
lines to form a word that fits in the gap best.

Identity crisis: are we becoming a disunited kingdom?

Surveys suggest notions of Britishness are changing. The Guardian invites


1)___________ to share their views on national identity. 1) read

A young girl waves the union flag at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square to mark 2) count
the one-year 2)_________ to the Olympics. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty
Images
So what makes us? We share the same islands, but we aren't all British. We
call ourselves Scots, Irish, Welsh, English and often, but 3)__________, 3) decrease
British. Every four years, we rally to the union flag for the Olympics, but when 4) divide
it comes to rugby and football, the 4) __________ open up.
There is much 5)________ culture, whether on pop music, clothing, fish and 5) share
20

chips, curries and Marmite, comedians and Coronation Street. We also cringed
at Tony Blair's attempt to exploit the notion of "Cool Britannia" in the euphoria
of his 1997 election victory.
But now, for the first time in several centuries, that notion of Britishness is 6)referendum
under intense strain. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will soon 7) dependant
lead the country into a 6)____________ that could prompt Scotland to declare 8) regard
7)____________, a move that would shatter a 304-year-old political union. 9) administer
8)___________ of the Scottish referendum, the UK has four separate
governments and now the three devolved 9)______________, in Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland, are winning greater economic and legal
powers, cutting London's grip on the country. And in each part of the UK, 10) weak
notions of nationhood and Britishness are changing and, arguably, the links are 11) fold
10)___________.
Because of this 11) __________ political situation, the Guardian invites
readers to enter the debate about national identity and air your attitudes on
Britishness. An interactive graphic will allow us to map the evolving identities
across the UK in advance of a series of special reports on the country. We will
be asking if it is more and more becoming a "disunited kingdom"?
There is much to suggest this is the case. John Curtice, from the Scottish 12) second
Centre for Social Research, is co-author of the Scottish Social Attitudes survey.
He said: "The crucial thing to realise is that in Scotland, British is now very 13) differ
definitely a 12) ___________ identity; that's undoubtedly true to a far greater
extent than it is in Wales." In England there are plenty of people who, if asked
whether they're British or English, will say 'what's the 13)_________?'.
Comparing all the latest social attitudes surveys gives us this contrast: if
voters are forced to choose, 52% of English voters choose British first 14) pact
compared to 19% of Scots, and 30% of Welsh.
In coming days we will look at how these identities are evolving and what the
political 14) __________ of that may be.
Intriguingly, the latest evidence from Wales suggests that devolution may be
making the Welsh feel more British. That is one reading of a new study of 15) whelm
3,029 voters by the Economic and Social Research Council, carried out in the
runup to the 2011 referendum, which found 15)__________ support for giving 16)publication
the Welsh assembly greater powers.
Its results, 16)__________ here for the first time, find that 16% of Welsh
voters now feel "British not Welsh", compared to 9% in 2007 and in 2003. 17) caution
Meanwhile, only 19% felt "Welsh not British", a fall from 24% in 2007, with
30% feeling equally Welsh and British.
Roger Scully, from Aberystwyth University and the study's co-author, is 17)
_________ about reading too much into the Welsh figures since different
survey methods were used in 2011.
"The bigger picture is that basic identity in Wales has not changed much
under devolution, or even if you go back and look at the evidence from 1979, 18)government
since the first devolution referendums," he said.
"People have very different views now about how Wales should be
18)__________. But not because they have become, in some crude sense, more
Welsh." 19) religion
21

In Northern Ireland, identity can be far more complex; loyalty to a larger


nation splits between those feeling British and Irish, mostly down 20) them
19)_________ or ethnic lines. The 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times
surveys, the equivalent of the British Social Attitudes survey, have shown that
37% see 20)_________ as British, 26% Irish and 29% Northern Irish, with 3%
choosing Ulster. 21) choose
But asked the multiple-choice question, 58% of voters in Northern Ireland in
2007 saw themselves, to varying degrees, as both British and Irish. In 1998,
51% of those given a straight 21)_________ said they were British. It is 37%
now. 22) wide
In England last year, 52% described themselves as British and just 34% as
English in a straight choice between the two. That is the 22)________ margin
since 1997. 23) fundament
Behind such figures emotions run deep. Yet, is national identity in the UK
purely a personal badge to be worn with pride at sporting events – or could it
23)__________ change the nature of British (and Northern Irish) state. You tell
us …

Comments of the users:

1) GenHernandez 6 October 2011 12:53PM

So what makes us? We share the same islands, but we aren't all British. We call ourselves
Scots, Irish, Welsh, English and often, but decreasingly, British.
How many Irish folk describe themselves as "British" do you think?
2) severincarrell 6 October 2011 1:21PM

That's the point of the question: many people in Northern Ireland regard themselves as
Irish, while being legally British citizens and having UK passports.
And according to the surveys, many people have layered or hyphenated identities.
Look at these answers to a so-called Moreno question, asking Northern Irish people how
much they saw themselves as Irish or British
3)Thisisyellow 6 October 2011 1:29PM

In Scotland we don't call ourselves British because it means nothing to us. A British
national identity was not naturally nurtured. It was fabricated and the attempt to force the
Scots into accepting it never paid off. Hence, our own national identity is now stronger
than ever.
4)mervynsullivan 6 October 2011 1:51PM
22

Hop in your car... drive out of London or Birmingham or any other city. Travel the
English countryside. You'll see Britishness.
And you know why?
Because all the little English towns and villages around the country are still
predominantly comprised of English people, of original English decent, doing things
English.
Now take a look at London. The foreigners were welcomed. And look what has
happened. For example, just go to Bayswater and walk down Queensway or Westbourne
Grove. You'll struggle to hear the English language. Look how it has changed in just 20
years. Heck, it has wiped out the Britishness!
So there is the answer. The English cities are no longer British. They're something else ...
anything else... but they're certainly not British. And it is all because of the foreign
invasion. It's commonsense, really!
5)card 6 October 2011 1:59PM
I think a more pertinent question is - what is Englishness? Is it the kind of rural utopia
imagined by @mervynsullivan? Is it chocolate-box southern, or manufacturing-gritty-
northern (or even rural western)? Is it really the case that urban, dark-skinned inhabitants
of this country aren't English in the way that I, a white suburbanite, am? What do English
people do, in their work, play, and attitudes, which makes them English and not
something else?
I'll be back later to play cliche bingo with items like 'tolerance', 'fairness', 'Magna Carta',
'monarchy', G.K. Chesterton, George Orwell, fish & chips, red telephone boxes, the NHS,
the Church of England. None of which have had much influence on my 36-year-old life,
and none of which answer any fundamental questions.

Essential vocabulary:

1. to rally [ˈræli] - to (cause to) come together in order to provide support or make a
shared effort
2. Marmite [ˈmɑrmaɪt] is the name given to two similar food spreads: the original
British version, first produced in the United Kingdom and later South Africa. The
British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive,
powerful flavour, which is extremely salty and savoury.
3. to cringe [krɪndʒ] - to feel very embarrassed
I cringed at the sight of my dad dancing.
4. Cool Britannia is a media term that was used during the late 20th century to
describe the contemporary culture of the United Kingdom. The term was prevalent
during the 1990s and later became closely associated with the early years of "New
Labour" under Tony Blair. It is a pun on the title of the British patriotic song
"Rule, Britannia!".
5. to devolve sth to sb [dɪˈvɒlv] - to give power or responsibility to a person or
organization at a lower or more local level
6. devolution [ˌdiːvəˈluːʃən] - the moving of power or responsibility from a main
organization to a lower level, or from a central government to a regional
government
7. run-up - the final period of time before an important event
23

8. margin [ˈmɑːdʒɪn] - the amount by which one thing is different from another
9. hyphenate [ˈhaɪfəneɪt] - to use a hyphen to join two words or two parts of a word
10. nurture [ˈnɜː.tʃər] - to take care of, feed and protect someone or something,
especially young children or plants, and help them to develop

 Read an extract from the book «Understanding Britain» written by Karen Hewitt,
which will show you the attitude of the British people themselves to the notion
«identity». Be ready to compare the main points with the previous article.

Who are the English?

For us it is a strange question to ask. What do we share which is distinctively English? A


territory? A language? A history? Institutions? A culture? A religion? A mentality? A
football team?
So: A language? Yes and no. English people speak English, but the English language is
spoken by millions of the world’s population who are not English. A minority of us speak
another language as our first tongue; recent immigrants have more than one language;
those of us who have lived here for generations are monolingual apart from any
knowledge of other languages we picked up in school lessons.
A history? We share our history in the sense the people who were living in England a
thousand years ago, five hundred, one hundred years ago have all contributed to the story
in which we now take part. « … » However, about 8% of us are fairly recent immigrants
who know that although we share the story of England today, haven’t inherited it.
Institutions? Yes and no. Even if we do not think about it, in our social life we
certainly share institutions such as Parliament, the legal system, the BBC and so forth.
We know, for example, how
our Post Office works, we know more-or-less how to use our Health Service. On the
other hand most of those institutions also belong to the other countries of the United
Kingdom. We do not have an «English Parliament» for example.
A Religion? Yes- and no. Historically Britain was, like the rest of Europe, a Christian
nation, and our national ceremonies, such as our commemoration of those who died in
our wars, draw on Christian rituals. Surveys, on the other hand, suggest that millions of
British citizens, nearly half of us, seem to have either no religious belief or vague feelings
of spirituality unconnected with any named religion. Among the religious believers, a
small but often devout Minority are Muslims, and among Christians there are many
different groups whose beliefs and practices vary so much that an observer might think
they belong to different religions.

The question «Who we are?» can also be used to answer questions about «race» and
«ethnicity». Where do we come from? Where did our parents come from? «…»
Until the 1950, almost all the population was «white» or «European coloured», ranging
from the very blond people typically found in Spain or Italy. «…» But when the British
24

government invited thousands of people from West Indies to migrate to this country in
the 1950s, those who arrived were black since their ancestors had been taken as slaves by
the British from Africa to the Caribbean. A few years later, more people were invited, this
time from the Indian sub-continent. Thousands of Indians and Pakistanis, (and later,
Bangladeshis) arrived. «…»
Although people from the West Indies and the Indian subcontinent made up the majority
of the immigrants who came here in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, they were followed by
people from nearly every country in the world. Turks, Chinese, Iranians, Americans,
Nigerians, Bosnians, Afgans, Kenyans, Iraqis, Greeks, Poles, Russians.
Are they British?

  After having read both texts, try to formulate the main points of the
Identity crisis in great Britain.

What is the attitude of the native citizens to those who come from abroad? Can it be
considered as some kind of «Invasion»? Do we have the same problem in Russia?

  Discuss the topic «Identity Crisis in Great Britain, pros and cons for the
native citizens and the refugees.»

American People
 Read the facts about American culture and while reading, mark those facts, which
were familiar to you.

• United States is a melting pot of people, a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of


different ethnic and national backgrounds
• It’s difficult to understand the slang of American blacks. By the way, it’s a kind of
cultural taboo to call them Negros. The polite variant is African Americans.
• With so many immigrants or children of immigrants nobody minds your foreign
accent (which is exceptionally true in New York)
• The friendliness of people smiling at you, asking to forgive them even if they simply
came too close without touching you is striking.
• People keep a great distance from each other in public. Those waiting in lines (at the
bus stop or in a bank) stand about two feet apart from one another. They feel they
have a right to privacy and personal space.
25

• Most Americans like to be informal in habits, speech and dress, at first sight even too
informal. Like people putting their feet on table or addressing each other by their first
names in almost any situation, formal or informal.
• American society is characterized by less social distinction in comparison with British
one. Students do not rise when a teacher enters the room. One does not always
address a person by his title, such as "Major" or "General" or "Doctor" in the case of a
holder of a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
• They often use “Howdy” instead of “How do you do? ”Those who don't easily show
these signs of friendship are called "snooty" or "snobbish." In contrast, people who
show unsophisticated signs of friendship, particularly to their own economic and
social inferiors, are praised as "regular guys," or as "truly democratic."( used to
signify that a person of high social or economic status acts in such a way that his or
her inferiors are not reminded of their inferiority)
• Yet, in spite of all the informality, Americans, even in the way they address each
other, show consciousness of social distinction. For example, one is likely to use
somewhat more formal language when talking to superiors.
• With the high costs of health care in the United States, everyone should have health
insurance. Most Universities and colleges require foreign students to have coverage
and offer insurance through the Student Health Center on campus. The rates are quite
reasonable and all students should take advantage of it.
• The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom
includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the
American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer
and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or
achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.
• Americans think there's something wrong with you if you don't have dreams. Parents
worry about their children if they seem "unmotivated."(Some American dreams are
outrageously optimistic ones. A bright example is a homeless men and women
seeking shelter at rescue missions who told me of their plans to start a business or go
to college or write a book.) American parents routinely ask their children: "What do
you want to be when you grow up?" This is one place in the world where the answer
to the question matters.
• You may be taken aback when your American friends stop helping you after a week or
so. They will still sincerely smile at you but unobtrusively allow you to make your
way through on your own.

Some Table Manners for a Typical Evening Meal


(considered quite formal)

• Wait for others to start eating. Many homes will pray first.
• Family style meal - food is passed to the right.
• Try a little of everything - do not take a Lot of anything.
• Keep the table and table-cloth as clean as possible. Do not put bones or anything on
the table. Things that are not eaten should be put on your plate.
• Burping - don't!! It is considered rude. + Slurping - don't!! Drinking soup or eating
noodles - be quiet.
26

• When food is passed to you say, "Thank You."


• Do not reach across the table or in front of someone to get something - that is rude.
Ask them to pass it to you.
• If your hostess wants to serve you but you don't want to eat it, say, "Thank you. It
looks very good, but I'm not quite used to American food yet. Maybe next time,
thanks."
• Meals are to be slow, pleasant, leisurely times. Enjoy your food, but talk too.
• Watch how fast others are eating. Try not to be too slow or too fast - keep up with
their pace.
• Do not touch your nose, hair or teeth at the table.

 Classify the above mentioned facts into 3 columns. Add anything you find
interesting and helpful when abroad.

Rules of politeness and Habits Historical data


etiquette

  Now you’ll get a situation close to real life. Fill in the gaps with your
reactions, making use of the information you know. Be as creative as you can.

#You are at the dinner dedicated to a charity performance and sitting next to the
host. How would you behave?#

- Everyone is taking their places. You too.


Your actions : ……………………………………

- Some important guests are late. But you can wait nomore, because you are
extremely hungry.
Your actions : ……………………………………

- Now, finally everything starts. You are really eager to try everything and actually
you’re used to eat quite a lot.
Your actions : ……………………………………

- Some time has passed and you notice a very attractive dish. But one person is in
your way.
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Your actions : ……………………………………

- Now that you’ve tasted everything and completely stuffed, the host addresses you
and asks to taste her favorite one.
Your actions : ……………………………………

- What else should you take into consideration at a formal dining occasion?
…………………………………..

Exploring Culture

 Here are some guidelines for foreign visitors to help avoid misunderstanding in
communication with Americans. Read and practice back-translation in pairs.

1. Americans are used to taking turns in conversations. If you speak for a long time,
they will get bored and you will be considered rude. Americans are uncomfortable
with silence: they expect to talk rather constantly when in presence of others.
2. Informal, relaxed postures are commonly assumed by Americans when they are
standing or sitting, even when they are conversing with others; lack of formal
posture is not a sign of inattention or disrespect.
3. Americans show respect for another person by looking him or her in face, not by
looking down.
4. Punctuality – being on time - is important to many Americans; they are likely to
become quite annoyed if forced to wait more than 15 minutes beyond the schedule
time for meetings and appointments.
5. Men usually shake hands with each other the first time they meet. Some men
might not shake hands with women unless the woman extends her hand first.
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Hand-shaking among women occurs even less frequently. After the first meeting
shaking hands is relatively rare.
6. Address people of your own age and status by first name. If the other person is
clearly older than you, you should use Mr., Miss, or Mrs. And the last name. If the
person asks you to use his or her first name, you should feel free to do so. If the
person has earned his or her doctorate, you may use Dr.
7. In casual (called “small talk” ), Americans prefer to talk about the weather , sports,
jobs, people they both know, or past experiences, especially the ones they have in
common. Most Americans do not discuss politics or religion with people they
don’t know rather well.

 Which of these situations are similar to those typical in our culture? Comment
upon them.

 Work in pairs. Read the guidelines again and make a list of similar guidelines for
a foreign visitor coming to Russia.

Sentences-starters:
~ Russians are (not) used to …
~ Russians feel (un)comfortable if/when …
~ Men (women) usually …
~ Russians show respect for other people …
~ Informal, relaxed posture in the Russian culture …
~ Russians usually prefer to…
~ Very few Russians will expect …

  Read the text dedicated to the Constitution, Character, and National


Identity of the Americans. Some phrases are missing. You should find the
proper phrase and insert it into the text.

Constitution, Character, and National Identity Part of The Lehrman Lectures


on Restoring America's National Identity.

• A recent best-selling book raises the question whether we are losing our national identity
or character. Something central to us, it posits, is being obliterated by a world of change:
change in opinion and understanding, change in technology, and change in economics
and demographics.
• The United States of America is the archetype of the liberal society,
1__________________. By classical standards, this would seem to guarantee that our
character cannot be so firmly shaped, our common identity so deeply seated in us, as
prevailed in older times. It may therefore be that we are vulnerable to change, not only
because the force and velocity of it increases, but also because there is something
29

fundamental in us that leaves us prey to it. By one common account, America has never
been so much a theme as a variety, not so much a unity as a plurality.
• Our movies, a key American contribution to the arts, make as much or more money
abroad than they do at home, 2______________________________. Our correspondence
is now instant and impartial as to distance. I got an e-mail lately from a man in India
hoping to do the transcription for Hillsdale College, which is located in rural Michigan.
There is no technical or geographic reason why I should not take up the offer.
• People move back and forth across borders as if the borders were not there. Microsoft is
now growing its research and development team in Beijing faster than in America. If a
country makes a mistake and restricts the number of smart workers who come in, it will
fall behind.
• All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing
circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one
time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.
• There are two reasons, however, why we might not quite give up on the idea of national
character, and especially of the American national character.
3__________________________, with the ability of politics to influence the outlook and
character of citizens. The second has to do with the peculiar source and meaning of our
own.
• What, then, are these elemental forces resident in our community? We have said already
that it is not family, nor place, or religion as they were understood in the classical world.
It is something, in fact, without precedent in the history of the world; therefore, it is no
easy thing to see or to state.
• The principle is then the first factor we can find to explain the cohesiveness of our
society, despite its diversity. It suggests an explanation also for the valor of our soldiers
and the fierceness of our whole society in war. 4_____________________________,
commercial risk-takers, the equivalent of the pioneers who crossed the continent in our
earlier history. It suggests why the American people are philanthropic upon a scale that
exists nowhere else.
• We Americans do not have the common rearing of children, or the society ruled in detail
by laws that extinguish the meaning of what we call private behavior. We do, however,
have a constitution, 5__________________________. It too is a moral force, aiming to
form the habits and shape the souls of those who live under it.
• The American is not a creature likely to wait for commands from above. Feeling equal,
he feels also responsible, both entitled and obliged to care for himself and to contribute to
the care of his neighbors. He does not regard a public official as a fearful authority,
6__________________. Little wonder that entrepreneurship and philanthropy are so
common among us.
• The marvel that our national character exists at all points the way toward the source of its
strength. The United States is a policy built in the name of the rights of man, as those
rights are established in the great "course and economy of nature." Those rights are the
gift of the Creator, unalienable to us, violable by others only with His wrath. This is the
ultimate source of our character.
• This character of ours has not, in the past, been vulnerable to change. In our history, we
have transformed ourselves from a tiny band gathered along the coast of a hostile world
7_____________________________________. We have cherished our freedom, and
kept our character, through the Great Civil War, the abolition of slavery, and the still not
finished quest for equal rights regardless of race. We have passed through the Industrial
30

Revolution and entered the information age. We have fought and won two world wars
and the Cold War, and still we are distinct. We are a mighty force and so far still
restrained in our use of power both at home and abroad.
• This character of ours has not, in the past, been vulnerable to immigration. Rather, it has
thrived upon immigration and made immigration possible. We have from the beginning
welcomed people in their numbers from every corner of the globe, 8________________.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, we did not know their names or that they were
coming until they set foot on our shore.
• It is not immigrants, then, who constitute the danger to us. Rather, the immigrants find
the danger, know it or not, when they arrive here. We have long ago set about the task of
transforming our limited, constitutional, and federal form of government into a
centralized bureaucracy. We have done this on the same principles that are now enjoying
an almost unrestrained season of power across much of Western Europe.
9_____________________________________, is alive and thriving in our country, if not
yet quite victorious. This idea will abolish the principle of equal rights in favor of a
historical ideology under which all rights-nay, all conceptions except transition itself-are
transitory. This idea will make us deny our past until we are ignorant of it. It will make us
beg and not work, await permission and not act. The civil servants will then be neither
civil nor servants.

а) and it too has certain aims regarding character


b) and we have made them "blood of the blood and flesh of the flesh of the fathers"
who came before them
c) and their plots and messages are affected increasingly by that fact
d) the first has to do with the intractability of national character
e) the idea of the proposed European Constitution, the idea behind the whole super-
bureaucracy of the European Union
f) the society in which the private sphere is protected as the very purpose of public life
g) until we are today the possessor of a continent and the strongest people on
earth
h) it suggests a reason why we might be so marked in our propensity to produce
entrepreneurs
i) but rather a servant

  Single out the main points of the Lehrman Lectures. Which main problems
does he touch upon? Do these problems have anything in common with the British
ones?
31

 Prepare a 5-minute lecture concerning some of the spheres of American life.


Concentrate mainly on people’s attitude to these very spheres.

Surely you will search for the information on the Internet. If you want to do a web search
on «Mode of life in the USA», what key words would you enter in a search engine? What
key words may be misleading in your search and why?

1. Mode of life, healthy way of life. (habits, general influence, people’s opinions)

- 10 American Habits Brits will - bad habits of Americans


never understand - Americans and their life
- healthy way of life in the USA - obesity in America
- mode of life in the USA

2. Education, way of teaching.

- American education - educational bribes in America


- America's students - do children in the USA love
- how do teachers treat the children school?
in America

3. Now try to make a similar chart for any sphere of life you choose.
32

Mind! When preparing your small talks and looking for the info on the Internet,
use these hints to guide you.

 LISTENING (СD disk – 1 Terry Tomscha)

Terry talking about London.

Before you listen

What facts do you know about The British and Americans? What are the main
differences between them?

While you listen

Now listen to the dialogue(Terry Tomscha, an American who lives in London, talks
about her experience of living and working in England, where she has been for the
last eleven years).Check your knowledge about The British and Americans, and get
better understanding of these two nations.
33

 Fill in the missing words.


1. ….. the biggest difference is the people. The ….. Englishman is cold and not
very open.
2. In the States it’s very …… . We start ……with the people ….. the street.
We’re a lot more ….. and ….. than people here. You know when I ….. came, I
couldn’t understand what was wrong, but now I see that I was trying to be too
….. too ….. .
3. English people in America are ….. . Everyone wants to talk to them. We’re
….., we love the ….. .
4. But Americans in England are ….. to be a little ….. because they get ….. by
everything. They think everything is so “……” .
5. I couldn’t understand why, when I was talking to someone , they would …..
away, you know, move move ….. .
6. The reason was, you see, Americans stand ….. when they’re talking.
7. I think life’s a lot …… in the States. It’s easier to ….. money and it’s ….. to
spend it.
8. And another thing is Americans ….. a lot ….. than you here. To the English,
their ….. are important, their ….. are important, their …… are important, but
for Americans, ….. is the most important thing in our lives.
9. We Americans are like ….. in this respect. We …… to work.
10. This is my home now. I find life ……, more ……, and much more ….. .
11. Maybe I’ve …… …… English habits! England doesn’t have the ….. beauty of
the States, but oh, it’s very ….. and ….. in a way that I find …..

 Arrange the words in pairs of synonyms.


a) Obviously, enthusiastic, cold, open, friendly, inferior, inquisitive, hard, safe,
wonderful, dramatic, pretty, charming, comforting.

b) Eager, amiable, mediocre(ordinary), industrious, evidently, indifferent,


remarkable, striking(vivid), curious, beautiful, harmless, consoling, enchanting,
outspoken.

Listen to the dialogue once again, try to remember the approximate sequence
of the speakers’ statements.

After you have listened

Work in twos. Act out the same dialogue with your partner or try to make a
new one with the help of the information you already know about Englishmen
and Russian people. Exercises 1, 2 will help you.
34

 Read an article taken from one of the American newspapers. Decide if it is a


critical or realistic approach? Try to prove your idea.

1. Selfishness: The New National Value

What do recent issues roiling the American polity tell us about its national character?
The "American dream" is symbolic of the idea that anyone can make it in this country,
so long as they have a combination of talent and a willingness to work hard. Underlying
the idea is not only the notion that America is a land of opportunity and equality in which
merit is rewarded, but also a collective belief in the shared American character - a people
who while fiercely individualistic, are also a people of faith, defenders of liberty, and
believers in the values of democracy. Essentially, a good and decent people.
Similarly with global warming. The world is approach a point of no return.
Nonetheless, the climate change legislation before the Senate is facing an uncertain
future, and it is already too weak to really make a difference anyway. Everyone knows
that a global agreement will be impossible without American leadership (American is
35

responsible for over 20% of global emissions, and has by far the highest per-capita
emissions in the world), but the collective American response is to avoid the economic
pain of emissions controls. On one level this is somewhat suicidal, but on another it is an
unbelievably selfish shunting of the problem to future generations, while externalizing
the current costs to be borne by the rest of the world.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Again, while these are less clear cut or obvious, both
of these wars can be explained as being efforts by Americans to ensure greater security at
home. Flowing from the deaths of some 3,000 Americans, arose a policy to do "whatever
it takes" to prevent any recurance, leading the United States to invade two countries,
resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and tens of thousands of
Afghans, not to mention the other costs imposed on the region. Better them than us.
There is much in American history that bears out that self-image. But a review of recent
issues would suggest that selfishness, egocentricity, and utter disregard for one's fellow
man have also become defining characteristics of the national character. Take health care.
This is a fiendishly complicated issue, but cutting through all the complexity, the most
prominent objection of the massive numbers of American opposed to health care reform,
and particularly the so-called "public option", is intensely personal. In the face of almost
40 million countrymen having absolutely no health care insurance whatsoever, the
objection is basically: "damned if I am going to risk any reduction in my current health
care". Rather they have none than me risking less. Similarly, aside from the 40 million
people without now, in the face of the knowledge that the system cannot continue as it is
for many more years, the collective response is simply to let future generations fend for
themselves. The older generation is the most resistant to reform! To hell with the kids.
But as with health care, this selfishness is not simply reserved for foreigners. From
issues as disparate as gun control and urban violence, gay marriage, the incredible
disparity between Americans in terms of wealth, income, and access to basic education,
the American political responses reflect a me-first, beggar-thy-neighbor, callous
selfishness. It is often couched in terms of individualism and conservative anti-big-
government ideology, and expressed in terms of the benefits of competition and realism.
But at the end of the day, both the tenor of the public discourse and the actual results of
the political process, make for a society that is on many levels morally bankrupt, and
utterly at odds with the carefully nurtured self-image of its people.

2. For the Greater Good
First, Scrooge McDuck is Scottish, not American. Second, it shows an unnecessary
harshness and distinct lack of civility to call Americans "morally bankrupt." And it is
simply illogical to call them selfish. As you so eloquently point out, their actions only
hurt themselves in the long run.
What makes the American psyche so astounding is, in fact, the opposite: their pure
selflessness. Few other people on this planet are willing to put their personal interests
aside for the sake of a higher good. Scratch that. Few other people are willing to put their
personal interests aside for the sake of a perceived higher good.
You can disagree all you want with the substance of the right-wing, heartland, homeland,
god fearing, I-hate-not-just-big-government-but-all-government, paranoid, racist
ideology that has imbedded itself into the DNA of 15% of the American populace, but it
sure as hell ain't selfish. These are people who are willing to do just about anything in
36

support of what they believe to be the greater good. It just so happens that the greater
good means no health care, a collapsing environment, and and indifference to
international law.
And it is not just the extreme right - this is a characteristic that runs across the American
political spectrum. As much as we may have sympathised and respected what Obama
stood for in the last election, his success and the unprecedented enthusiasm that he
generated reflected the same dynamic - not selfishess at all, but a hope for a greater
country. It was the same energy that propelled Bush to power, only redirected towards a
different end.
Looked at in this way, the great American character flaw may be simply pure gullibility.
The history of the United States is larded with charlatans and snake-oil salesmen who
have managed to convince great swathes of the population to put aside their self-interest
join on some quixotic misadventure. More than any other people in the history of
civilization, Americans demonstrate an indefatigable appetite for conspiracy theories,
flights of fancy, huckster religions, paranoid alternate realities, simplistic political orders,
and a range of other major and minor secrets, ideologies and empty myths. Easy marks?
Maybe. Selfish? Never.
But the really notable thing about America and Americans is neither their pursuit of self-
interest nor their capacity to believe any monorail salesmen that happens by, but it is that
they, as a country, as a people, consistently defy odds and expectations. Despite how they
can seem to get so many of the details wrong, they usually manage to get the big picture
right. Here's hoping that continues.

3. A More Nuanced Explanation

Beta makes some very good points here, but they do not negate my
argument. Rather, they illuminate the complexity of an issue that is difficult to do justice
in a thousand words.
I quite agree that Americans demonstrate a remarkable capacity for mobilizing behind
movements perceived to be for some "greater good". Sometimes that greater good is even
fairly broad and inclusive. And as I alluded to, this tendency has often resulted in
magnificent examples of apparent generosity. The Marshall Plan, under which massive
amounts of financial and other support was lavished upon the defeated nations of Europe
after World War II, can be seen on one level as one of the most extraordinary instances of
magnanimity and altruism in history.
The problem is that the Marshall Plan was also very much a result of sober strategic
calculation regarding Cold War realities, and the need to ensure that Germany remained
out of Communist clutches. And so it is with much of American idealism. There is, as
Beta says, an incredible desire to believe in campaigns for some greater good, but there is
also a great talent for packaging policies that are entirely self-interested and
instrumentalist as serving some grand and selfless ideal.
This perhaps captures some of the complexity and nuance of some generalizable
37

American character. While disdainful Europeans so often view Americans as naive,


simple, and yet hypocritical, this is at least partly due to their failure to understand an
inherent paradox - an aspect of American culture that simultaneously embraces extreme
competition, ruthless self-interest, and the application of cynical functionalist cost-benefit
calculation to almost any circumstance on the one hand, and on the other, reveres grand
ideas and ideals, the heroes that pursue them, and the notion that everyone has some duty
to serve in their cause.
This is captured in the character of Alden Pyle in Graham Greene's allegorical novel "The
Quiet American", an agent operating in 1950s Vietnam, at once naive, idealistic, deeply
earnest and self-righteous, yet ruthless and cynical in his pursuit of both his own desires
and American interests, under the guise of helping the people he is killing.
But while some Americans may manifest this paradox personally, my point really goes to
the political system, the social structure and cultural dynamic, which together operate to
produce results that can be incredibly harsh. It is often dressed up as serving some greater
good, and many buy into that bill of goods, but at root it is pure calculated self-interest
that drives the decisions. And to the extent that such collective results can be described by
reference to a personal characteristic, selfish is the word to use. Making a collective
choice to leave 40 million compatriots without access to basic health care cannot really
be understood any other way.

  Discussion. Topic – «Is the impact of the Unites States in all spheres of life
positive or negative?

Russian People
  Other countries have invented a lot of stereotypes about Russian people,
such as «everlasting winter» and «bears walking in the streets».
Try to guess which stereotypes belong to each country.

About family.
1) The Russian family is the family where there are more than 3
children.
2) The Russian family in Poland is the family where a husband is
alcoholic and rowdy but a wife stands it and doesn’t dare to divorce.
3) There the Russian family is the family where a husband has a
mistress and doesn’t conceal it or when a wife makes love on the
side.

a) Australia
b) Poland
c) France
About a bride.
4) The Russian bride is a classical girl without a dowry, whose family
is good but not rich.
38

5) The Russian bride is a woman who has already been married but
now she is a widow.
6) The Russian bride is girl who gets married only because of money
her bridegroom has.
7) The Russian bride is girl with whom a bridegroom meets through
the Internet. And it doesn’t matter where she is from, from Norway,
Portugal and so on.

a) USA
b) Spain
c) Germany
d) Sweden and Denmark

                About food. 
8) In Serbia the Russian lunch is when there is soup or solyanka or
any first course.
9) In Norway the Russian lunch is lunch when you drink ardent
spirits.
10) The Russian salad in Saudi Arabia is a salad where there are a lot
of mayonnaise and potatoes.

а) Saudi Arabia
b) Norway
c) Serbia

  Now read the opinions about Russians. Guess from which country the
author comes from.

a) USA b) Spain c) UK

1. When I first moved to Russia, I noticed that people were standoff-ish with me
because I was a foreigner and always asking questions about Russia. Eventually people
could see my good intentions and opened up to me, warmly welcomed me and tried to
engage me. After all these years, I still have to be understanding that for some, I am still
just a foreigner and that being an outsider is still something to be mysterious about.

2. When you come to Russia for the first time, certain behavioral tendencies of
Russian people may not be appealing to you. First of all, most Russians always have a
serious expression on their face. When you see people running across the streets, most of
them don't look at you, don't smile and seem to be absolutely preoccupied with their own
business. In general, smiling to strangers is not a common thing in Russia, unlike in
39

Western cultures. A smile from someone they don't know, as well as a long eye contact,
can be even understood as an attempt to flirt or strange behavior.

3. At all presence 'good manners' Russian women frequently lose Spanish women
in an external openness. Woman’s smile is always attractive, and the serious face repels
(and it is clear that Spaniards do not know that to smile without any reason is a tag
something another, but not mind). The myth about excessive gravity of Russian women is
still alive. Foreigners are frightened by faces of Russian women when it is difficult to
read emotions. Russian women do not gesticulate much and do not accompany any
mimicry of their statements. It seems to Spaniards that usual talk between Russian
women is similar on unpleasant 'finding-out of relationships'. Not clear the manner of
Russian women in talk - to pass at once to business – it s not welcomed by Spaniards as it
seems to them roughness.

 (CD disk – 2 JAKE GYLLENHAAL ON DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW)


You will be offered to watch an interview with an American actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

1) Which Russian pattern of behavior do Jake and the host of the show ridicule?

2) How do we differ from American and British people in this respect?

3) Can you say that the situation discussed in the show typical for Russians?

 Just For Fun  (CD disk – 3 Dylan Moran on Russian people)

Now you are going to watch a performance of the famous English comedian
Dylan Moran about the Russians.

Naturally, the English humour is different from ours and tends to exaggerate
things. Try to point out the features Dylan Moran made fun of and compare it with
the natural state of things.

  Here are 50 statements about Russian people. Choose 3 of them. You may
be of a similar or a different opinion. Comment on them and prove that you’re
right.
50 Statements About Russians
1: Russians distrust anything cheap.
2: The English word "bargain" cannot be adequately translated into Russian.
3: Although Russians distrust anything with a cheap price, they are fine with freebies.
40

4: A Russian who reaches high levels of power feels it his his/her duty to put down those
who don't.
5: In Russia you need to call the lazy waitresses over by aggressively yelling "Girl!"
6: One needs skills in hitting people with your elbows on the Moscow Metro.
7: In Russia you can drink beer on a park bench without getting arrested.
8: Russians gather in the kitchen and stay up very late, talking about "life".
9: Russians usually avoid talking about work.
10: During any reception in Russia people are immediately separated by gender.
11: There are a lot of police in Russia, most of whom do nothing.
12: Russians never throw anything away. Ever.
13: However, if Russians throw out half of their things, nobody notices.
14: A Russian stranger is likely to call you with familiarity, like "man" or "woman".
15: Russians don't usually say "please" or "thank you".
16: The Russian proverb "Arrogance - the second happiness" cannot be adequately
translated into English.
17: Russians drink a lot of vodka. It's not a myth.
18: You don't have to fear for your life when walking the streets in Moscow alone at
night.
19: Russian men are convinced that feminism has led to the collapse of the West, and
Russia's historical mission: resist.
20: A myth within a myth: Russians believe that Americans believe that bears walk the
streets in Moscow, but this myth of a myth is a purely Russian invention. Americans
actually believe all the bears in Russia are dead.
21: Russians simply do not understand it when a foreigner from the west applies for
permanent residence in Russia.
22: Dentists are very surprised when people show up for a "routine" check-up. So are
doctors.
23: Russians drink tea with a centimetre of sugar on the bottom of the cup.
24: All Russians, from young to old, abuse emoticons.
25: The number of brackets in an email or sms infers the importance of a message. For
instance - Birthday party tonight ) means a birthday party, but Birthday party
tonight )))))) means a fantastic blow-out extravaganza.
26: Moscow has the best subway system in the world.
27: Despite having the best subway system in the world, there are millions of Muscovites
who refuse to ever take it, and spend half their lives stuck in traffic.
28: A Russian will use the slightest reason to bring everyone gifts of chocolate. "It's your
birthday in four and a half months? Wow! Chocolate for the entire office!"
29: Anyone who speaks a language other than Russian is automatically suspect.
30: On New Year's, don't be surprised if you are invited out at 11:30 pm, drink
champagne and cognac until 6 am, eat herring under a fur coat and olivia salad in a
kitchen, and then party in a flat for three more days.
31: The only alcohol-free zones in Russia are McDonalds.
32: Smiling for no reason makes Russians angry.
33: Borscht, cabbage rolls and pirogies are actually Ukrainian.
34: Russians don't send their elderly to nursing homes or make their children leave after
18; instead they all live together in the same 1-bedroom flat.
35: Despite the small roads and the frustrating traffic jams, Russians still buy giant SUVs.
36: Sushi is more popular in Russia than in Japan.
41

37: In fact, Japan is more popular in Russia than in Japan.


38: Russians are extremely friendly if they've known you for more than ten minutes. If
you've known a Russian for at least a week, you will be invited to meet their family.
39: Russians are also extremely emotional and passionate, and although they don't show
emotion in public, they cry and laugh and shout and play more than Italians.
40: Russians care more about the philosophical side of living than the material, and have
a folk song for every situation.
41: Most Russians are very superstitious, and new-age superstitions are in vogue.
42: Russians are passionate lovers, and will quarrel like bitter enemies and make out like
porn stars in public.
43: Russians love to criticize their own country, but will be offended if a foreigner does.
44: If a cashier manages not to break anything while scanning your items, they have
provided good customer service.
45: Russians love McDonald's, KFC, Subway and Burger King more than Americans.
46: Russians spoil their kids rotten, and then magically expect them to behave
responsibly at the age of 18.
47: Although Russians eat more fast food than people in the west, Russians are still
healthier.
48: Russians cannot do anything that requires putting a car in reverse. It can take the
average Russian driver ten minutes to parallel park (I've seen it countless times).
49: Winters in Russia are actually quite beautiful, and Russians are fantastic winter
drivers.
50: Russians are actually freer than westerners; there are fewer laws and social
constraints, and yet the crime rate is lower than in the US or UK.
Keys (  ):
Page 6 (Match the words with its definitions)

1. amorous [ˈæmərəs] – easily falling in love


2. contemptuous [kənˈtemptjuəs] – expressing a strong feeling of disliking and
having no respect for someone or something
3. haughty [ˈhɔːti] - unfriendly and seeming to consider yourself better than other
people
4. reticent [ˈretɪsənt] - unwilling to speak about your thoughts or feelings
5. to jump the queue - to move ahead of others in a queue without waiting for one's
proper turn
6. a continental - an inhabitant of the European continent, not related to English
people
7. a focal point - the thing that everyone looks at or is interested in
The television is usually the focal point of the living room.

8. an entrepreneur [ˌɒn.trə.prəˈnɜːr] - someone who starts their own business,


especially when this involves seeing a new opportunity
9. audacious [ɔːˈdeɪ.ʃəs] - showing a willingness to take risks or offend people
10. puritanism [ˈpjʊərɪtənɪzəm] - the belief that self-control and hard work are
important and that pleasure is wrong or unnecessary
42

11. new-fangled [njuːˈfæŋ.gl ̩d] - recently made for the first time, but not always
an improvement on what existed before
12. to bask in [bɑːsk] - to take pleasure from something that makes you feel
good
13. innate [ɪˈneɪt] - an innate quality or ability is one that you were born with,
not one you have learned
14. magnanimous [mægˈnænɪməs] - very kind and generous towards an
enemy or someone you have defeated
15. to cut the mustard - to be able to deal with problems or difficulties
satisfactorily (отвечать ожиданиям, удовлетворять требованиям)
16. helter-skelter [heltəˈskeltər] - quickly and in all directions
17. tenacious [təˈneɪʃəs] - holding tightly onto something, or keeping an
opinion in a determined way
18. heady [ˈhedi] - having a powerful effect, making you feel slightly drunk or
excited
19. Empty vessels make the most noise" (proverb) - something that you say
which means that people who talk a lot and frequently express their
opinions are often stupid (Пустая бочка пуще гремит)

Page 8 (Translate from Russian into English)

1. A mistaken conception about a typical Englishman is “A Fair-haired person,


with understanding of his superiority, haughty, too reserved, living in his
luxurious «castle», possessing a great sense of humour, incomprehensible to
other nationalities.
2. A foreigner will never be awarded a status "a good sport" in Brit’s opinion.
3. Englishmen cling to their past fiercely and with an unrivalled sentimentality,
which begets distrust to everything new-fangled and modern.
4. A polite attitude of an Englishman shows up (shows itself) in his habit both to
give up his seat to a woman and standing in a queue. The only time you can
see an Englishman jumping the queue is the rush hour.
5. The English national character is dualistic: on the one hand, a fine example of
the conservative aspect of English character is their love for pubs. Pub is a
focal point for the "locals" where they go in search for fellowship and spiritual
enlightenment.
6. Although, at first sight, Englishmen may appear fearless and calm on the
surface, deep down the English feel they just cannot cut the mustard.
7. The kind of sport, reflecting both the game passion for the English and their
behavior is cricket. A very typical expression for them is «This isn't a cricket».
8. Such little sayings as "Silence is golden", "Empty vessels make the most
noise", which were used to brainwash their children for hundreds of years
reflect English Puritanism.

Page 10 (For questions (1-16), read the text below and decide
which answer (A,B,C or D) best fits each gap)
43

1.A 10.B

2.C 11.D

3.B 12.A

4.B 13.D

5.D 14.B

6.C 15.D

7.A 16.C

8.D

9.B

Page 16 (Find the English equivalents in the text)

• to pace considerable value


• to meet at 5
• the pace of life
• to arrive on time
• to be unable to keep an appointment
• reception
• at the dot
• sharp 3
• Drop in any time
• RSVP
• in advance
• cultural event
• hugging
• dietary restrictions
• smorgasbord (buffet)
• cutlery
• to eat with a fork
• a formal dining occasion
• prongs on the fork/fork tines
• to chew with one’s mouth open
• to slurp
• to blow one’s nose on a napkin
44

Page 17 (Match two columns, using the information from the text)

• It is acceptable to arrive in plenty of time if an invitation might states "7.30 for 8".
• It is impolite arrive later than you promised to.
• It is recommended to give a call to the person you are meeting with if you are late.
• It is rude not to inform the host if you are coming or not when you receive a
written invitation to an event that says “RSVP” but to turn up at the host’s place.
• It is appropriate to bring a gift to your host if you have been invited to his place.
• It is inappropriate to hug a person you have met for the first time.
• It is improper to start eating before everyone has been served at your table.
• It is not suitable to eat crisps, fruit and sandwiches with a knife, fork or spoon.
• It is important to inform your host that you have some chronic diseases or can’t eat
some kinds of food before the dinner.
• It is polite to say «thank you» when you are served something.
• It is advisable to place your knife and folk together, with the prongs on the fork
facing upwards, on your plate showing that you’ve finished.

Page 19 (For question 1-23, use the word given at the end of some
of the lines to form a word that fits in the gap best.)

1. readers
2. countdown
3. decreasingly
4. division
5. shared
6. referendum
7. independence
8. regardless
9. administrations
10. weakening
11. unfolding
12. secondary
13. difference
14. impact
15. overwhelming
16. published
17. cautions
18. governed
19. religious
20. themselves
21. choice
22. widest
23. fundamentally
45

Page 28 (Find the proper phrase and insert it into the text)

1. f)
2. c)
3. d)
4. h)
5. a)
6. i)
7. g)
8. b)
9. e)
Page 32 (Fill in the missing words)

1. Obviously, average,
2. Different, conversations, in, enthusiastic, spontaneous, first, friendly, soon,
3. Respected, inquisitive, accent.
4. Thought, inferior, excited, cute.
5. Move, backwards.
6. Closer.
7. Easier, earn, easier.
8. Work, harder, private lives, holidays, gardens, dogs, work.
9. Japanese, live.
10. Safer, relaxed, enjoyable.
11. Gotten into, dramatic, pretty, charming, comforting.

Page 33 (Arrange the words in pairs of synonyms)

Obviously- evidently, eager- enthusiastic, cold- indifferent, open-outspoken, friendly-


amiable, inquisitive- curious, inferior- mediocre(ordinary), hard- industrious, safe-
harmless, wonderful-remarkable, dramatic- striking(vivid), pretty-beautiful, charming-
enchanting, comforting- consoling.

Page 37 (Try to guess which stereotypes belong to each country)


1. c)
2. b)
3. a)
4. c)
5. d)
6. b)
7. a)
46

8. c)
9. b)
10. a)

Page 38 (Guess from which country the author comes from)


1. a)
2. d)
3. b)