n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - South African perceptions of Russians : a personified portrait

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This paper discusses the results of original research on reconstructing a personified 'portrait' of Russians according to South African perceptions. The data was collected from various social and mother-tongue groups in the RSA.</br> Students from three South African universities were asked for their opinions on Russian heroes / symbols as a recognized resource for studying the ways in which foreigners perceive the Russian national identity. A personified portrait is understood to be a set of specific personalities, famous people from any country, in this case Russia. These people represent both the present and the past. They can also be characters from works of art or fiction who could represent the Russian people in the perceptions of foreigners.</br> The author underlines the scientific and general educational importance as well as the methodological and practical value of ethno-psycholinguistic modeling of the Russian national identity. The article also indicates some possibilities for utilization of the research results in teaching the Russian language, culture and literature to foreigners.

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