Contrastive Analysis Of Requests

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A contrastive analysis of requests in English and Vietnamese In process of communication in a community, request is one of the most important speech acts. In fact, it is used a lot in all aspects of life such as social interaction, working, studying, language teaching, etc.
Especially, when teaching and studying language, many Vietnamese teachers and students find difficulty in understanding the similarities and differences between requests in English and Vietnamese. They can not appropriately express requests in English regarding to structure, meaning, culture, etc.
These practical difficulties are the reason why I conducted the study called “A contrastive analysis of requests in English and Vietnamese”
The topic of requests in English
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Use hints, not requests The floor is very dirty.
Are you in charge of the floor? Usages. Requests are used for speakers to ask for information, help from listeners; or ask listeners to do a specific action
E.g. Could you give me her phone number? (Ask for information)
Would you mind carrying these heavy bags? (Ask for help)
Keep quiet! (Ask a specific action) Politeness. Indirect speech act of requests are more polite to be used in communication that makes listeners respected. However, in familiar relationships such as that of friends, family or in the situation of an older speaker requests a younger listener, direct ones are used. In addition, “please” can be added at the beginning or end of direct request sentences to make it more polite (E.g. Please keep quiet!/ Keep quiet please!)
Requests in Vietnamese Structures. In Vietnamese, requests are created by structures of imperative (E.g. Im lặng nào!) and interrogative (E.g. Anh sẽ rửa chén sau bửa tối chứ?)
In addition, “câu cầu khiến” which has some words such as “hãy, đừng, chớ” at the beginning and “đi, thôi, nào” at the end of the sentence is also used to make requests.
E.g. Hãy giữ im lặng!
Đừng làm ồn vì em bé đang ngủ!
Học bài
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Tối mai Hoa đến dự sinh nhật mình nhé!
Đi xem phim không?
Giving advice
E.g. Đừng lo lắng, cậu sẽ vượt qua kì thi mà!
Contrastive analysis of requests in English and Vietnamese Similarities. Requests in English and Vietnamese are similar in some aspects including structures and politeness of requests.
Structures are considered as one of similarities. Firstly, in both English and Vietnamese, direct and indirect requests in term of speech act are used to show the intentions and messages of speakers. Not only speakers ask listeners to do something in a straight way but they also indirectly ask to make requests more polite and gentle.
Secondly, structures of imperative in English can be translated into Vietnamese that the original meaning of sentence and emotion of speaker does not disappear in some situations such as:
The necessity, importance, urgency is more highly considered than other factors
E.g. Hurry up! We are late! (Nhanh lên! Chúng ta muộn mất rồi!)
Request serves as encouragement from speakers to listeners that helps listeners to reduce their anxiety.
E.g. Well done! Do it again! (Giỏi lắm! Làm lại lần nữa nào!)
Asking for protection of supernatural powers.
E.g. God help me! (Xin Chúa hãy giúp

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