Polycode as a Strategic Resource of Intercultural Communication

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The study discusses the application of adaptive strategies in the process of cultural integration under the conditions of multilingualism, taking into account the dynamics of aggregation of foreign cultural elements in the linguistic consciousness of foreigners. The study was carried out in an interdisciplinary plane, integrating the developments of psycholinguistics, communication theory, linguoculturology and sociolinguistics. The work is based on the basic methods of conducting a free associative experiment, lexico-semantic analysis of the received reactions, contextual analysis and interpretation of verbal associations, interlingual comparison techniques, conceptual modeling techniques and linguistic and cultural commentary. The relevance of the research is due to the importance of the interactive interaction of languages and cultures that form the civilizational communicative space. The novelty of the undertaken research is related to the identification of the role of the multilingual cultural landscape as a translator of ethnic and national values by scanning the slices of the introduction of foreign cultural language segments into the linguistic consciousness of foreign students. The article is aimed at monitoring the multilingual diversity and the strategic repertoire of learning new foreign languages in the multicultural environment of the host country based on the data obtained as a result of a free associative experiment using the «adaptation in the country and region of education» stimulus. The results of the study indicate that the reactions to a complex stimulus obtained in a phased experiment made it possible to identify a core universal for the phased dynamics of adaptation in the structure of the field model of the associative layer of the concept and describe the content of cognitive features formed by the reactions. The analysis of verbal representations demonstrated the motivation for the use of communicative response strategies by foreigners and the specifics of embedding in a foreign cultural environment.

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Since the time of the Soviet Union, the Russian education has been recognized to be meeting the highest international standards. And until now, it has remained attractive not only for young people from the states of the post-Soviet space, but also for representatives of the far abroad. One of the largest flows of applicants is noted from India, a state which traditionally interstate relations have been maintained with at various levels. Getting an education in a foreign country is associated with objective conditions for expanding the cultural and linguistic landscape, which encourages building intercultural communication in the natural environment and incorporating foreign cultural segments into the worldview [1].

The globalizing and general civilizational potential of the Russian language serves as a guide of multiculturalism, an aggregator of multicultural values and a link of the ethno-socio-cultural post-Soviet and intercultural space. In terms of the number of speakers in the world, the Russian language ranks the eighth one, and the fourth one in terms of its status in international organizations [2. P. 1195–1196]. The growing importance of ethnic languages, which have the status of a second state language in each region, increases the parameters of multicultural diversity in the complex interconnectedness of world languages and cultures.

Bibliographic review

Knowledge of the national language of a host country is one of the most important factors that contribute to intercultural adaptation [3–5]. A significant number of works are devoted to identifying stereotypes about the Russians and Russia in the linguistic consciousness of foreigners [6–9].

In modern interdisciplinary research, psycholinguistic expertise techniques serve as a powerful tool for penetrating into individual, group and collective linguistic consciousness, among which various types of associative experiments are the most in demand [10–17]. A number of studies reflect the specific features of the individual’s worldview verbalization when teaching the language of a host country to foreign students [18–22].

The studies of E.I. Goroshko, V.A. Pishchalnikova, Yu.A. Borisova, Z.M. Khizroeva are devoted to a detailed consideration of the conditions for conducting various types of psycholinguistic experiments, the selection of respondents, the criteria of analysis and the methods of interpretation of the results obtained [23–26].

The problems of the functioning of bilingualism and the specifics of the implementation of communicative tasks in various types of discourse through the Russian and Ossetian language codes were raised in the works of scientists [27]. In recent communicative research on the problems of the post-Soviet language space and the functional potential of the Russian multilingual landscape, the issue of pragmatics of switching language codes has been put on the agenda [28–31].

Material and research methods

The material for the study is the data obtained as a result of conducting three stages of an associative experiment among 400 male and female Indian students aged from 18 to 28 years. The first group consisted of foreign students of the first and second years of study, taking into account the preparatory department (2019–2022), the second — the third and fourth years of study (2017–2019), the third — the fifth and sixth years of study (2015–2017). The students were asked to give answers in English, Russian, Ossetian or other languages, depending on the degree of proficiency, to the stimulus “adaptation in the country and region of education.”

The undertaken research is based on the method of the free associative experiment, contextual analysis and interpretation of verbal associations, methods of conceptual modeling and linguistic and cultural commentary, code switching technique and analysis of communicative strategies in polylingualism, since the Hindus operate with a certain set of native and state languages, have multi-level knowledge of the English and Russian languages.

The purpose of the study is to identify the dynamics and trends of multicultural adaptation of foreign students based on the analysis of associates received for the declared stimulus.

Results and discussion. Stimulus analysis «adaptation in the country and region of education» (Eng.) // «адаптация в стране и регионе получения образования» («adaptatsiya v strane i regione polucheniya obrazovaniya» ‒ Rus.)  is based on a macrostructural model of the concept of the same name, the core zone of which is the encyclopedic component and the field of interpretation, expressed by the zone of value judgments. Nuclear reactions identified step by step during the experiment amounted to 2150 reactions.

The first stage of the experiment  (1st and 2nd years of study)

Cognitive feature «food» (397).

English-language reactions (353):

I mostly buy Indian spices for food; I never tried any Ossetian food; Here we eat таук. In India, we call it shawarma; I buy things in bazar, like carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, parsley and some spices; I cook rice, chicken gravey, egg gravey; I miss mostly here Indian dishes like our chay, samosa, jalebi, egg rolls, litti chokha and spices; First ossetian food I ate was kartochka and pure; We eat at KFC and Burger King; bland food; ossetian pies; The spices in the markets are very expensive; alcohol; They ate many different soups; Now I eat some Russian dishes.

Russian-language reactions (41):

The Russians drink tea without milk — Russkiye chay bez moloka p’yut; The cook in the hostel prepares Indian dishes — Povar v obshchezhitii gotovit indiyskiye blyuda; I cook my own food — Ya sama gotovlyu yedu; I brought spices from India and cook Indian dishes — Ya privezla spetsii iz Indii i gotovlyu indiyskiye blyuda; The spices here are of poor quality — Spetsii zdes’ plokhogo kachestva; I eat at Pizza and at Burger King — Ya yem v Pizza i v Burger King; there are no Indian fruits such as guava, jackfruit, sapodilla — net indiyskikh fruktov, takikh kak guava, dzhekfrut, sapodilla; Russian people drink a lot of beer — Pivo mnogo p’yut russkiye lyudi; There are no products for cooking national food — Net produktov dlya prigotovleniya natsional’noy pishchi; I ate Russian fish (herring), potatoes — Ya yel russkaya ryba (selodka), kartoshka; I buy Indian spices — Ya pokupayu indiyskiye spetsii; No Indian spices in a shop — Net indiyskiy spetsi v magazin.

Ossetian-language reactions (3).

Ossetian pie with potato filling — kartofchyn.

Cognitive feature «cultural events» (316). English-language reactions (298):

On our Diwali holiday we are not allowed to use fireworks and this is a big problem; There are no difficulties regarding the celebration of our national festivals; Woman’s day; Victory day; 9 May; Russia has very different cultures, some cultures are similar to India.

Russian-language reactions (18):

We celebrate Indian Independence Day and Republic Day in our hostel — My prazdnuyem Den’ nezavisimosti Indii i Den’ Respubliki v nashem obshchezhitii; I miss our festivals and culture — Ya skuchayu po nashim festivalyam i kul’ture; Christmas — Rozhdestvo; Christmas party — Rozhdestvenskaya vecherinka; New Year — Novyy god; New Year on the 31st — Novyy god 31-go chisla; I know about the Russian New Year and Orthodox Christmas — Ya znayu pro russkiy Novyy god i pravoslavnoye Rozhdestvo; Day of the soldiers — Den’ soldat; Russia Day Den’ Rossii; Ossetian Victory Day — Den’ Pobedy Osetii. I love traditional Ossetian dances — Ya lyublyu traditsionnyye osetinskiye tantsy; They have a unique culture — U nikh unikal’naya kul’tura; I attended concerts where I could get acquainted with the culture, life and traditions of North Ossetia — Yа pobyval na kontsertakh, gde smog poznakomit’sya s kul’turoy, bytom i traditsiyami Severnoy Osetii; I really like Russian culture — Mne ochen’ nravitsya russkaya kul’tura; there are few festivals — malo festivaley; Russian culture has a long and rich history, steeped in literature, ballet, painting and classical music — Russkaya kul’tura imeyet dolguyu i bogatuyu istoriyu, propitannuyu literaturoy, baletom, zhivopis’yu i klassicheskoy muzykoy; interesting culture and traditions —– interesnaya kul’tura i traditsii; Ossetian dance — osetinskiy tanets.

Ossetian-language reactions (0).

Cognitive feature «communication problems» (190):

English-language reactions (154):

(The) Russian language is difficult. Some teachers don’t understand me because I don’t know Russian. Very few people speak English well. Russians don’t know that much English. Very few of them know English language. Everything is easy, except the Russian language.

Russian-language reactions (36):

The Russians don’t know English — Russkiye ne znayut angliyskiy yazyk; I don’t understand what the Russians and Ossetians are saying because they speak fast — Ya ne ponimayu, chto russkiye i osetiny govoryat, potomu chto oni govoryat bystro; I do not know Russian well, so now I have some difficulties — Ya plokho znayu russkiy yazyk, poetomu seychas u menya voznikli nekotoryye trudnosti; I love the rise of the Ossetian language — Obozhayu voskhozhdeniye osetinskogo yazyka; Poor knowledge of the Russian language is my big problem — Plokhoye znaniye russkogo yazyka — eto moya bol’shaya problema.

In the initial period of the language adaptation, as evidenced by the analysis of the received reactions, the Indians used only the English language code or provided a translation of English-language answers into Russian through an electronic translator, which in some cases led to a distortion of the meaning of the statement: Ya skuchayu po nashim festivalyam (instead of prazdnikam; under the influence of English festival “festival, holiday”). Literal translation: «Russkaya kul’tura imeyet dolguyu i bogatuyu istoriyu, propitannuyu literaturoy, baletom, zhivopis’yu i klassicheskoy muzykoy»; the original: “Russian culture has a long and rich history, steeped in literature, ballet, painting and classical music”.

The indicators of the start of the process of assimilation of individual Russian lexemes were the insertion of the Russian onyms transliterated in Latin into the sentences in English: I buy things in bazar; I like our chay; I ate kartuchka and pure (pyure). The word таук is recorded as the first Russian-language lexical interference: Here we eat таук.

The following example of fossilization (persistent spelling errors) is the most frequent for all types of surveys among Hindus: lit. transl. «Obozhayu voskhozhdeniye Osetinskogo yazyka»; the original — “I like the ascent of the Ossetian language”. After correcting the spelling, the semantic integrity of the alleged statement was restored: “I like the accent of the Ossetian languageMne nravitsya osetinskoye proiznosheniye»).

There are attempts to descriptively renominate words that have not yet taken root in the Indian lexicon — russkaya ryba Russian fish (instead of “herring”); simplified spelling of frequent lexemes of household subjects in the Ossetian language — kartofchyn instead of kartofdzhyn “Ossetian pie with potato filling”. There are examples of constructing sentences in Russian according to the English syntactic structure: Net indiyskiy spetsi na rynok.

Sociocultural aspects of the adaptation of foreign students are primarily due to the need to adjust to a different food scenario with its characteristic synergy of the Russian and Ossetian food cultures in the North Caucasus. Indian students of the first year of study do not yet differentiate between the Ossetian and Russian cuisines, considering potatoes to be an Ossetian dish. The avoidance strategy due to the rejection of other people’s eating behavior manifests itself in isolationism, fear of integration and is compensated to some extent by visiting international fast food chains — KFC, Pizza and Burger King. On the other hand, the underlying reasons for such preferences are the lack of brightness and richness of food in Russia, in contrast to the Indian national cuisine.

The students of the initial period of study consider the Russian cuisine to be tasteless — “bland food”. They face difficulties in acquiring authentic Indian spices and are in dire need of the national fruit. Since the Indians who come to Russia, as a rule, come from poor families who also pay for education, they assess the level of residence in the country of study as excessively high.

Attitudes towards alcohol are different in the states of India, since some of them have introduced a “dry law”. Even taking into account the fact that beer is the most common drink in their homeland, the Indians note the excessive, from their point of view, consumption of strong alcoholic beverages and beer in Vladikavkaz.

Accepting and understanding the ethnic richness of the Russian culture, the Indians experience psychological stress due to the lack of festivals and the ritualized component of life with numerous national holidays.

Cultural diversity, with its inherent traditional diversity of languages in India, includes widespread proficiency in English, including its pidginized variant — mixtures of English, Hindi and other Indian languages and dialects. In this regard, passive or insufficient knowledge of English in Russia, despite the fact that a significant part of lectures for foreigners is given in English, complicates the inclusion of the Indians in the educational process. The reluctance at the initial stage of stay in Russia to actively learn the languages of the host country is fully consistent with the initial stage of the general psychological theory of migrants’ adaptation.

Understanding the dependence of academic success on the range of an individual language repertoire is still double-valued; on the one hand, the Russians do not speak English well enough, on the other hand, there is an awareness of their own problems in mastering the state language of another country.

The Indians are gradually included in the cultural context of the host country: in the mental construct “Russia and the Russians” the layer “North Ossetia and the Ossetians” is singled out in the process of getting to know the traditional culture of the Ossetians. Not all all-Russian and Ossetian holidays are differentiated in the new picture of the students’ world: there is a contaminated formation of the Victory Day of Ossetia and a simplification of the Day of the Soldier instead of the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland.

New Year celebration in India can take place four times a year; depending on the state, it falls on March 26, April 13–14, March 10, or Deepavali Day in November, so celebrating New Year in Russia on the 31st is a new experience for the Indians.

The second stage of the experiment  (3 and 4 years of study)

Cognitive feature «food» (305).

English-language reactions (169):

The food is different. There are very tasty Ossetian pies. Some foods are not available on the market. They drink a lot of tea instead of water. The food is totally different.

Russian-language reactions (121):

Food in Ossetia is not as tasty as in India, it’s very bland — Yeda v Osetii ne takaya vkusnaya, kak v Indii, ochen’ presnaya; Here, most of the food is cooked only in boiling water and with a small amount of spices — Zdes’ bol’shaya chast’ yedy gotovitsya tol’ko v kipyatke i s nebol’shim kolichestvom spetsiy; Here the food is not spicy — Zdes’ yeda ne ostraya; For food, I buy eggs, bread, butter and milk for breakfast — Dlya yedy ya pokupayu yaytsa, khleb, maslo i moloko na zavtrak; I buy flour, rice, vegetables. Here they drink tea without milk — Ya pokupayu muku, ris, ovoshchi. Zdes’ p’yut chay bez moloka; There are no Indian products in the market — Na rynke net indiyskikh produktov; Fast food in Russia is different — Fastfud v Rossii drugoy.

Ossetian-language reactions (15):

Osset. bread (dzul); Osset. sækær «sugar»; Osset. harbyz «watermelon»; Osset.

sudzag «bitter»; ualibah («Ossetian pie with cheese filling»); fychik («Ossetian pie with meat filling»); kabuskachyn («Ossetian pie with cabbage»).

Cognitive feature «communication problems» (265).

English-language reactions (130):

Now I can speak language and adapted to this environment; I understand lectures in Russian; I like to speak Russian.

Russian-language reactions (122):

The Russians speak very fast — Russkiye govoryat ochen’ bystro; I already speak Russian well because my Russian friends understand me — ya uzhe khorosho govoryu po-russki, potomu chto moi russkiye druz’ya ponimayut menya; There is a difference in languages in the city Yest’ raznitsa v yazykakh v gorode; a respectful form of greeting and a form of greeting for friends — uvazhitel’naya forma privetstviya i forma privetstviya dlya druzey; I remember some phrases — Ya zapominayu nekotoryye frazy; When I can’t speak a new word, Russian people help me, they understand me — Kogda ya ne mogu govorit’ novoye slovo, russkiye lyudi pomogayut mne, oni ponimayut menya; The Russian language is very difficult, but now I have adapted and understand it well — Russkiy yazyk ochen’ trudnyy, no seychas ya adaptirovalsya i khorosho ponimayu yego; There are many different languages here that I don’t understand — Zdes’ mnogo raznykh yazykov, kotoryye ya ne ponimayu; In the market, people use a different language — Na rynke lyudi ispol’zuyut drugoy yazyk; I really like the Ossetian language — Osetinskiy yazyk ochen’ nravitsya mne.

Mixed Russian-Ossetian reactions (13), of which there are 9 pure Ossetian reactions:

I remember some phrases, such as — Ya zapominayu nekotoryye frazy, takiye, kak: my heart — moyo serdtse (Osset. mæ zærdæ); Tsas kany? (“How much is?”); I do not understand the Ossetian language, only some words, for example, Ossetian. Salam! “Hello!”, Agas tsu! (“Hello!”), buznyg “Osset. thanks”, Kuyd u? Osset. How are you?”, mbal (Osset. æmbal “friend”), fsymar (Osset. æfsymær “brother”); I can say the words hadzar (Osset. hædzar “house”), fændag (Osset. “road”, zymæg (Osset. “winter”, læg (Osset. “man”).

Cognitive feature «cultural events» (232). English-language reactions (114):

Russian people love Indian culture, old Indian movies and music; I celebrate all national holidays in Vladikavkaz and I know many Ossetian holidays; I like Victory Day and the day of different nationalities in Vladikavkaz.

Russian-language reactions (99):

Caucasian dance, maybe I’m wrong in the name, but I have seen this traditional dance many times sam (simd) — Kavkazskiy tanets, mozhet byt’ ya oshibayus’ v nazvanii, no ya videl mnogo raz etot traditsionnyy tanets sam (simd); so many words of welcome and cultural words — tak mnogo slov privetstviya i kul’turnykh slov; I like Ossetian dances and clothes — Mne nravyatsya osetinskiye tantsy i odezhda; I like literature and science — Mne nravitsya literatura i nauka; Here people love their culture and language. They have little fun at the holidays — Zdes’ lyudi lyubyat svoyu kul’turu i yazyk. Oni malo veselyatsya na prazdnikakh; There is little use of fireworks here — Zdes’ malo ispol’zuyut feyyerverki; I drew attention to the cultural program — Ya obratil vnimaniye na kul’turnuyu programmu; Caucasian dances, Ossetian pies — kavkazskiye tantsy, osetinskiye pirogi; I saw their dances and traditional clothes — Ya videl ikh tantsy i traditsionnaya odezhda; Valery Gergiev — Valeriy Gergiyev; grove Khetag (a sacred place for the Ossetians) — roshcha Khetaga (svyashchennoye mesto dlya osetin); I went to the museum and saw the culture of the Ossetians there — Ya khodil v muzey i videl tam kul’turu osetin; interesting wedding traditions and beautiful costumes — interesnyye traditsii svad’by i krasivyye kostyumy; May 9, Victory Day — 9 maya, Den’ pobedy; Day of the city — Den’ goroda; Saint Khetag day — den’ svyatogo Khetaga; There are few sacred religious rites and traditions in Vladikavkaz — Malo svyashchennykh religioznykh obryadov i traditsiy vo Vladikavkaze; Teacher’s Day — Den’ uchitelya; Russian New Year — Russkiy novyy god; Christmas and February 23 — Rozhdestvo i 23 fevralya; Easter — Paskha; Russia Day and Victory Day, Women’s Day. I celebrate all holidays — Den’ Rossii i Den’ Pobedy, Zhenskiy den’. Ya prazdnuyu vse prazdniki.

Ossetian-language reactions (19):

New Year — Nog az; simd (the name of the Ossetian dance); kaft (Osset. iron. “Ossetian dance”).

The intermediate stage of the foreign students’ adaptation is characterized by the desire to expand the practice of communication in Russian, the knowledge of which increases the effectiveness of the socio-cultural integration of the foreign students and their self-esteem.

Examples of resorting to a translation strategy are minimized. The mental lexicon is replenished with Ossetian words and expressions that are repeated in communicative situations of communication, found on signs, advertisements or price tags in stores, in the Russian transliteration or a simplified spelling: Tsas kany? instead of Osset. Tsas kæny? “How much is it?”; kabuskachyn instead of Osset. kabuskaadzhyn “Ossetian pie with cabbage”; fychik instead of Osset. fydzhyn “Ossetian pie with meat filling”; sam instead of Osset. and Russian simd “national dance”. As the following study confirms, the leading channel for the perception of the foreign language speech among the Indian students is the auditory one. The statement cited by the respondents as a reaction to the stimulus is a clear confirmation of the conclusion made: <…> maybe I am mistaken in the name of the dance, but I have seen this traditional dance many times myself (simd) — mozhet byt’, ya oshibayus’ v nazvanii tantsa, no ya videl mnogo raz etot traditsionnyy tanets sam (simd).

The inclusion of the foreign students in the context of the Russian-Ossetian bilingualism in situations of everyday and interpersonal communication is due to the fact that the Indians audibly differentiate dialects of the Ossetian language. Among the names of everyday foodstuffs in the Ossetian language freely used by the Indians are dzul “bread”, sækær “sugar”, ualibakh (instead of the Ossetian uælibækh) “Ossetian pie with cheese filling”; there is a lexeme harbyz “watermelon”, which the informants associate with cognates in Hindi tarbuuz “watermelon” and kharbuuzaa “melon” in the Slavic transcription.

Ossetian greeting formulas — Salam! “Hello!”, Agas tsu! (Osset. Ægas tsu!

“Hello!”), Kuyd u? “How are you?” — and the appeal to a man in North Ossetia fsymar (Osset. æfsymær “brother”) in the respondents’ answers testify to the coincidence of family values among the Indians and Ossetians. The analyzed associates mark the depth of the process of adaptation of the Hindus to the pragmatics of the sociocommunicative system in Vladikavkaz.

The factor of a long stay in a new socio-cultural environment actualized the adaptive mechanisms of anticipation among the Indians as representatives of a low-context and polychronic culture. While maintaining the unconditional priority of their own identity with its inherent values, the Indians state differences in habits and traditions (neutral appraisal) and positively evaluate the features of the Russian and Ossetian cultures that appeal to the representatives of India as a multilingual and multicultural state. The greatest admiration of the Indians is caused by the national and ethnic holidays, as well as by the fact of many years of friendship between India and Russia.

Fast food in Russia was one of the disappointments for the Indians, since the international fastfood system in India, on the one hand, is focused on traditional food preferences — fried dough with sauces and seasonings, on the other hand, various types of local food, national fast food. Reaction sudzag “Osset. bitter, peppery” among the above associates is not accidental: the Indians tend to share cooked dishes with neighbors, teachers, classmates who characterize the Indian food as too peppery with the word sudzag.

Knowledge of cult characters of world culture, Ossetians by origin (Valery Gergiev), the names of the Russian and Ossetian holidays and participation in them during university events or communication with classmates demonstrates a significant integration of Russian and Ossetian worldviews into the mentality of the students from India.

The third stage of the experiment  (5th and 6th years of study)

Cognitive feature «food» (156). Russian-language reactions (92):

I cook various Indian dishes myself — Ya gotovlyu sam raznyye indiyskiye blyuda; Sometimes I buy pies with potatoes or cabbage — Inogda ya pokupayu pirozhki s kartoshkoy ili kapustoy; Ossetian cheese is very tasty — Osetinskiy syr ochen’ vkusnyy; Sometimes we make Maggi soup, add rice or something else — Inogda my delayem sup Maggi, dobavlyayem ris ili chto-to yeshche; Here caviar is very expensive and the Russians eat it raw — Zdes’ ikra ochen’ dorogaya i russkiye yeye yedyat v syrom vide; Our people do not eat fish caviar, they allow them to be fish — U nas lyudi ne yedyat ryb’yu ikru, oni pozvolyayut im byt’ ryboy.

Ossetian-language reactions (64):

tsakharajyn (“Ossetian pie with beet leaves”); adjin (“Osset. sweet”); I like tsikht “Ossetian cheese” with bread — Ya lyublyu tsykht «osetinskiy syr» s khlebom.

English-language reactions (0).

Cognitive feature «communication problems» (106): Russian-language reactions (72):

I understand some Ossetian words — Ya ponimayu nekotoryye osetinskiye slova.

Ossetian-language reactions (34):

ahuyrmæ (“to the study”); khakhta (khækhtæ “mountains”); tsomut (“let’s go”); Tsas kæny? (“How much is it?”); dzuryn (“to speak”); Uary (“It’s raining”); iu (“one”); dyuuæ (“two”); ærtæ (“three”); nom (“name”); zymæg (“winter”).

Mixed Russian-Ossetian reactions (14), of which there are 5 pure Ossetian reactions:

There are many common words in Hindi and Ossetian, such as harbyz (“Osset. watermelon”), das (Osset. dæs “ten”), nana (“Osset. grandmother”)Yest’ mnogo obshchikh slov v khindi i osetinskom, takiye kak, kharbyz («Osset. arbuz»), das (Osset. dæs «desyat’»), nana («Osset. babushka»); I immediately remembered the words dokhtyr and horz (“Osset. good”) — Ya srazu zapomnil slova dokhtyr («Osset. vrach») i khorz («Osset. khoroshiy»); A shop is called (in Vladikavkaz) dukani — Magazine nazyvayetcya (vo Vladikavkaze) dukani.

Cognitive feature «cultural events» (183). Russian-language reactions (119):

Nart epic — Nartskiy epos; Alans — alany; City of dead — gorod mertvykh; Kosta Khetagurov _ Kosta Khetagurov; I saw Ossetian dances on Mira Avenue — Ya videl osetinskiye tantsy na prospekte Mira; Independence Day — Den’ nezavisimosti; Russia Day — Den’ Rossii; City Day (Vladikavkaz) — Den’ goroda (Vladikavkaza).

Ossetian-language reactions (64):

khongæ (the name of the national Ossetian dance); K’ona (musical group of Ossetian chants and musical instruments); Dzheorguyba (“Ossetian holiday in honor of St. Uastirdzhi — the patron of men and travelers”); Cherysty rygas! (“Christ is Risen!”); Nog azy horzæx uæ uæd! (“Happy New Year!”).

English-language reactions (0).

With a deeper acquaintance with the language area of North Ossetia, the Indian students realized the closeness of Hindi and Ossetian as the languages of the IndoIranian branch, which gave rise to the strategy of language comparison as a technique for memorizing new words. The students stated that the semantics and / or Slavic graphics and the pronunciation of a number of words in Hindi and Ossetian are almost similar. For example, there are such lexemes as dæs / das “Osset., Hind. ten”, nana “Osset. grandmother” / “Hind. maternal grandfather”, dada “Hind. paternal grandfather” / “Osset. elderly man, grandfather”, baba “Osset. grandfather” / “Hind. a respectful form of address to the father and elderly respected men”. The Indians easily memorize multilingual cognate words: Osset. dokhtyr / Rus. doktor / English doctor, Osset. nom “name” / Eng. name; Osset. khorz / Rus. khoroshiy “good”; Osset. dyuuæ / Rus. dva “two”; Osset. zymæg / Rus. zima “winter”.

The effectiveness of the foreign students’ integration into the bilingual sociocultural environment of Vladikavkaz is evidenced by the functional use of the Russian language, a more detailed acquaintance with the Ossetian history and art, the use of the ritual Christian exclamation Chyrysti raygas! “Christ is Risen!” and congratulatory formula Nog azy horzæh uæ uæd! “Happy New Year!” in Ossetian; as well as the inclusion in the lexicon of everyday colloquial expressions: tsomut “let’s go”; Tsas kæny? “How much is it?”; ahuyrmæ “to the study”; Uary “It’s raining.” It should be noted that the climate in North Ossetia seems to be quite humid for the Indians.

A kind of shock for the Indians was their acquaintance with such cultural gaps as red and black caviar, which the Russians eat, since, on the one hand, the salmon does not spawn in Indian waters, and, on the other hand, it is not customary for the Indians to eat caviar, as it seems to them to be a “raw” form.

While studying in Vladikavkaz, it is especially popular the Ossetian cheese tsikht, due to the similarity of taste with the product added to most Indian dishes. In this regard, Ossetian pies with cheese (uælibækh), as well as with cheese and beet leaves (tsækhærajyn) have expanded the food picture of the world of the foreign students.

The Ossetian word adjyn “sweet” was fixed in the lexicon of the Indians thanks to the comments of their friends and acquaintances in Vladikavkaz, whom they treated to national desserts, extremely sugary and sweet, according to the inhabitants of Vladikavkaz.


Summing up the final results of the study, we note that the students from India have shown strategic flexibility, integrating into the unique cultural and linguistic landscape of the North Ossetian region. The dynamics of adaptation began with the methods of translation from international English into Russian to maintain communication at the first stage of education and reached the inclusion in the Russian-Ossetian bilingualism at the third stage of education, i.e. the fifth or sixth years of stay in the republic. The basis for deepening the language resources and expanding the codes of the communicative repertoire was linguistic kinship, reliance on the auditory channel for the perception of someone else’s speech, and individually applied interlingual comparison techniques.

Thus, the core of the associative layer of the concept “adaptation in the country and region of education” was made up of the cognitive features “food”, “cultural events” and “communication problems”. The most frequent reactions are for the nuclear feature “food” (858 in total) — 46% — 397 reactions (1st stage of training), 36% — 305 reactions (2nd stage of training), 18% — 156 reactions (3rd stage of training). The second position with the lowest frequency in the core is occupied by the cognitive feature “cultural events” (731 in total) — 43% — 316 reactions (1st stage of training), 32% — 232 reactions (2nd stage of training), 25% — 183 reactions (3 learning stage). The third position in terms of the frequency of reactions is occupied by the cognitive feature “communication problems” (561 in total) — 34% — 190 reactions (stage 1 of training), 47% — 265 reactions (stage 2 of training), 19% — 106 reactions (stage 3 training).

The largest number of reactions are presented in English (1218 in total) — 66% — 805 reactions (1st stage of training), 34% — 413 reactions (2nd stage of training), 0% — 0 reactions (3rd stage of training). The number of answers in Russian and their lexical and grammatical characteristics increase as it is mastered (total — 720) — 13% — 95 reactions (1st stage of training), 47% — 342 reactions (2nd stage of training), 52% — 283 reactions (3rd stage of training). The smallest number of reactions was recorded in the Ossetian language as a regional component (154 in total) — 2% — 3 reactions (1st stage of training), 31% — 47 reactions (2nd stage of training), 67% — 104 reactions (3rd stage of training).

At the first stage of learning, English dominates — 89% (805 reactions), an insignificant number of learned Russian lexemes is recorded — 10.97% (95 reactions) and background perception of Ossetian — 0.03% (3 reactions). At the second stage of training, English also remains the basic language — 48% (413 reactions), but the number of reactions in Russian increases significantly — 40% (342 reactions) and answers in the Ossetian language increase — 12% (104 reactions). The third stage of learning is characterized by complete adaptation to the Russianspeaking environment, which has manifested itself as the absence of reactions in English — 0% (0 reactions), the predominance of answers in Russian — 95% (283 reactions) and the further inclusion of the Ossetian language in the multilingual set of Indians — 5% (104 reactions).


About the authors

Tatiana Yu. Tameryan

North Ossetian State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: tamertu@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0532-2538

Dr. Sc. (Philology), Professor, Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages for Non-Language Specialties, Faculty of International Relations

44-46, Vatutin Str., Vladikavkaz, Russian Federation, 362025

Irina A. Zyubina

Southern Federal University

Email: iazyubina@sfedu.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1265-8366

PhD (Philology), Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Linguistics and Professional Communication

105/42, Bolshaya Sadovaya Str., Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, 344006

Marina R. Zheltukhina

Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University

Email: zzmr@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7680-4003

Dr. Sc. (Philology), Professor, Professor of the Russian Academy of Education, Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Professor of the English Philology Department

27, Lеnin Ave., Volgograd, Russian Federation, 400005


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