Browsing by Subject "intercultural communication"

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  • Sundqvist, Katrin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This master’s thesis treats native speakers’ attitudes to non-native speakers’ spoken vernacular and standard varieties. It examines which theoretical factors researchers have to pay special regard to when studying attitudes to non-native variation. Based on these factors, the thesis evaluates which methods of the language attitude paradigm suit the study of attitudes to non-native speakers’ varieties best. As theoretical background serves the Communication Accommodation Theory in its adapted form for intercultural communication. The thesis draws upon previous findings on relevant factors for the study of native varieties, upon previous findings on relevant factors for the study of non-native language and upon previous findings on the nature of non-native varieties. In order to gain further insights, a case study is conducted. The case study examines native Finnish speakers’ preference of non-native Finnish vernacular and standard varieties. As methods, it employs both a matched- and verbal-guise listening test and a direct question approach. Furthermore, it gathers the respondents’ justifications for their speaker choices in the listening test. The justifications allow an insight into the respondents’ attitudes to the varieties. A non-random sample of 101 native Finnish speaking students from the University of Helsinki is tested. The speaker choices in the listening test are analysed by statistical means (chi-square test). The answers to the direct question and the justifications for the speaker choices are classified into groups of similar answers. The results gained by the listening test and the results gained by the direct question are compared. The findings suggest that the students do not prefer either non-native variety per se. Their variety preference depends on the communication situation. The students do not prefer the same varieties in the case of native and of non-native speakers. While both non-native varieties may sound nice, enthusiastic, self-confident and clear, only vernacular speakers are seen as particularly natural, authentic, relaxed and close to native Finnish speakers. Only standard speakers are associated with professionality in a broad sense, but leave in some cases the impression of sounding foreigner-like or not natural. Differently than in earlier studies on non-native vernaculars, the non-native Finnish vernacular is thus seen as mainly positive. The results of the two different methods do not match. Either or both of them can thus not be fully reliable. This thesis shows that native speakers’ attitudes to non-native varieties are not necessarily the same as to native varieties. Attitudes to non-native varieties have to be studied in their own right, thus. A multitude of factors influences the formation of attitudes to non-native varieties. Non-native and native varieties differ from each other in their form, in the way they are learnt, used and perceived as well as in what they express. Non-native language not as objectively produced by the non-native speakers, but as subjectively perceived by the native interlocutors influences attitudes. Furthermore, attitudes to non-native varieties are likely even more prone to the social desirability bias than attitudes to native varieties. Methods that elicit the respondents’ attitudes directly should thus be avoided. The findings of the Finnish case study indicate that also matched-guise tests may suffer from the social desirability bias because of variety recognition. Furthermore, voice recognition is an increasing problem in the digital age. Most methods of the language attitude paradigm do not study natural language data in real-life communication situations. This thesis reveals the need for more innovative research designs. It suggests therefore several methods that researchers of attitudes to non-native variation may employ in future.
  • Lin, Jinquan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    When international students from mainland China go abroad and start their new life in Finland, they have the choice of using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which have been blocked by mainland China for many years. Additionally, they may keep using platforms that of their native language, like WeChat and Sina Weibo. The current research studies Chinese international students’ perception of their cultural adaptation to Finnish society, with a particular focus on the role of social media usage during their process of adaptation. This study also aims to give attention to intercultural adaptation in the Finnish context. The study conducts a semi-structured interview among eight Chinese mainland students who study in Finland. Interviews are audio-recorded. All data collected are transcribed in Chinese and then translated into English. The qualitative research of content analysis is employed in this study for analysing the research data. The analysis indicates that most Chinese students have positive feelings about Finland. However, the ties between Chinese students and Finnish natives are weak due to various reasons including languages, cultural differences and personalities. These findings further state that the social media usage patterns and preferences of Chinese students are different depending on their length of stay in Finland and the gratification of social media. The analysis demonstrates that the majority of Chinese students prefer to use social media platforms that of their native language, other than Facebook and Twitter. The analysis also highlights different perceptions of cultural adaptation from Chinese students, which reveals that each respondent has his/her way of adapting to Finland.
  • Sirén, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Pro graduni lähtökohtana on Wendy Holdenin romaani Bad Heir Day, jota käytän vertailevassa tutkimuksessani esimerkkiteoksena tarkastellessani englantilaisen ja suomalaisen kulttuurin ominaispiirteitä, huumoria ja kääntämistä monitieteisten lähteiden avulla. Pohdin myös tutkimusprosessin aikana esiin nousseita käännöstutkimukseen ja ylipäänsä tutkimukseen liittyviä aspekteja mahdollisia tulevia tutkimuksia tai muita soveltamiskohteita varten. Kappaleessa 2 käsittelen lähdetekstiä eli Bad Heir Day -romaania, minkä jälkeen siirryn tutkimaan vertailevasti englantilaista ja suomalaista kulttuuria, tärkeimpinä yhteiskunnallista ulottuvuutta käsittelevinä lähdeteoksina Anthony Giddensin Sociology (2006) ja Kimmo Jokisen & Kimmo Saariston Suomalainen yhteiskunta (2006). Kappaleissa 3 - 5 käsittelen Bad Heir Dayn kirjallisuusgenrejä ja huumoria. Kappaleessa 6 tarkastelen sekä kääntämistä että kulttuurienvälistä kommunikaatiota, lähteinä mm. Andrew Chesterman (1997), Fons Trompenaars (Charles 2003, HSE) ja Edward T. Hall (Varner & Beamer 1995). Kappale 7 taas käsittelee omaa tutkimuskohdettani kvalitatiivisen tutkimuksen keinoin. Käytän käännösnäytteiden luokittelussa Chestermanin (1997) kategorioita. Kappaleen 7 loppuosa keskittyy käännöksen lukijoihin, sisältäen mm. kolmen lukijan palautetta. Lopulta kappaleessa 8 käsittelen gradunteon aikana kiinnostukseni herättänyttä tutkimus- ja käännösprosessitutkimusta sekä käytän lähteitä tutkimusprosessin reflektointiin, painottaen eri metodien harjoittelemisen tärkeyttä. Tämän kappaleen lähteinä ovat mm. Riitta Jääskeläisen väitöskirja (1993), Juha Varron online-luento (2004) ja Mika Elon artikkeli (2007) taiteellisesta tutkimuksesta sekä Jussi Pakkasvirran Monitiede vai monta tiedettä (2003).
  • Kinnunen, Laura (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The study presents international academics working in the University of Helsinki and their access to the work environment language-wise. The transformations encountered by the higher education systems, like the University of Helsinki, have changed the face of the academic profession. Many of the goals of internationalization, such as increased international cooperation and ability to operate in international and intercultural environments, are connected to the need to use languages. This is why the meaning of language has come relevant to the access to different work environments. The data for the study came from the research subproject "Foreign professional's access to Finnish labour market" in the project "Opening up pathways for competence and employment for immigrants" by the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Helsinki. The questionnaire survey was carried out among employees from abroad on the payroll or on a grant (n=236) at the University of Helsinki in spring 2010. The method to analyze the data was quantitative for closed questions and statistical analysis was utilized. For open-ended questions qualitative analysis was used. The study subject was approached from the theoretical point view of second language acquisition, international communication competence, and concept of stranger. The research questions address more closely on what are the perceptions of the foreign academic professionals on their current level of language skill as well as learning and using language, what conditions related to language limit the access and possibilities to the commitment in the work environment of the University of Helsinki, and what are the perceived needs and development suggestions related to language that would improve the commitment to the work environment of the University of Helsinki. The study showed that there has not really been development in the Finnish skill during the time and to attend Finnish language courses did not have remarkable affect especially to the usage of Finnish in more official work situations. The most used language at work was English and change using Finnish came around after ten years in Finland. For accessing the work environment, Finnish language barrier, difficulties in finding ways to participate in decision making and social sphere, and difficulties in understanding one's rights and obligations in the working environment were evident among the international academics working at the University of Helsinki. The improvements on how international academics perceive working environment would language-wise require systematic changes in the University of Helsinki that go beyond surface level actions that have taken place, despite of the existing discussion on internationalization of higher education, strategic plans, and policies. The language policy in a multilingual work environment works in an excluding manner by blocking access of certain employees without sufficient Finnish skill.