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如何在留学文书创作中把握中西方思维差异?

来源:澳际教育 作者: 张志莉 浏览量:

  你是否曾想过,为什么中国人觉得创作留学文书尤其难?为什么很多DIY的学生到了文书环节变得一筹莫展,不知所措而被迫仓促求助留学专业人士?很多人曾告诉我,“因为不了解,所以不自信。” 对!我这里结合文书的具体事例,针对于“大家的种种不了解和不确定”重点谈谈,希望更多的申请者在软实力打造方面能够赢得招生官的青睐!

  张志莉 美国高端文书专家(与她交流)

  工作经验七年之久

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  很多人不了解中西方截然不同的思维方式,价值观和独特的文化&理念,然而这些恰恰是决定你留学文书创作中思路,角度和内容的关键。

  1. 思维方式的差异(我要咨询)

  比如说:西方人喜欢开门见山,最重要的先说,是直线思维的方式(Linear Thinking Mode),而我们中国人习惯迂回表达,最重要的放在最后说,是一种曲线思维方式 (Curvilinear Thinking Mode)。

  例:In one landscaping design competition, I came to realize that the good designer did not only highly value people’s aesthetic demand for variety and originality but also emphasized on the rationality and functional features to adjust measures to the local conditions. I once engaged in a demanding renovation project, trying to design a huge, dirty garbage mountain near the 4th Ring Road in Beijing into a functional park. The garbage mountain has slopes with grades over 60 degree. The tough issue in front of us was how to design the proper routes in the garden to ensure tourists’ security. In one group discussion, I put forward that we may design the twisting hillside roads around the steep garbage mountain to reduce the climbing difficulty. Also taking account of the variety and richness of the activities in the garden, we made three unique and human-centered park routes for driving all-terrain vehicles, riding bicycles and hiking. At the crossing point of three different roads, we planned to build the overpass to ensure the safety of tourists and maximum of the space. (中国人往往喜欢将划线段落放在最后一段来总结。但是招生官阅读文章的时间很短,首段或段首的表达尤其需要注意。这个规律同样可以在TOFEL和GRE作文范文中直观体现到。)

  The realm of finance is where my overwhelming interest lies and my long-cherished aspiration establishes. I could not forget my confusions or surprises when racking my brain for days, figuring out the strategies to make use of the ups and downs of stock market either in ”Trader Cup” Investment Simulation Competition or in China Galaxy Securities Company Ltd. I could not forget my excitement and fulfillment when using my financial knowledge to handle the difficulties I encountered in People’s Bank of China, Yanjiao Branch. I could not forget my ardent yearning to be fostered in your practice-oriented Finance program that is well tailored to me when visiting your websites. All these feelings direct me to keep stride forward on the road of finance and fulfill myself in the investment risk and risk control one day. (开篇第一段。目的明确坚定。因为会计研究生项目的实践性很强,很多申请者都是为了更好的就业,所以,开门见山提目标很值得借鉴。(注:李同学UIUC金融研究生录取。我还清楚地记得学生结束面试后第一时间打电话告诉我面试官明确提出她的文书非常精彩,对她印象深刻!)

  2.价值观的差异

  英美人思想中实用主义价值观占主导地位。他们注重事物的客观性,强调事实和真理。在语言表达中非常看重信息的准确性,客观性和具体性。而我们中国人非常讲究中庸之道,语言表达上很多“一些,大致,很多,过几天,差不多”这样含糊的词汇。了解到这一点,我们在文书创作中在表达上稍微注意下,就会有很好的效果。

  例:I made sound performance in academics, ending up with high scores of some required courses. [Top X%? in class or in department? which year? 这里的high很模糊,读者不清楚high指的是班里还是系里排名,Some课程具体指哪些课程?在哪一年?]写出来会不会一目了然,进而体现你的专业过硬?必修课有哪些只有自己清楚,录取委员很可能不会为了清楚了解这一点而去查你的成绩单必修课有哪些。做一个细心体贴的创作者。] 其实,文书中到处都会涉及到这些细节问题,你注意到了,你的文章也就更让真实可信,更有说服力。

  例:In your ** program, I can also widen my horizon and expand my way of thinking, which will definitely help with solving cases, particularly foreign cases. [through doing what? HOW you will widen my horizon and expand my way of thinking? 这里句子中缺细节,表达的信息不够充分,有种说半句含半句的感觉,没有针对对方项目特色展开来说,对方不清楚你是否了解该项目,是否真心喜欢该校。所以,文书中注重客观事实很重要。]

  3. 独特的理念&文化(我要咨询)

  西方人文化价值里强调自我,推崇个人奋斗,他们强调的“美国梦“就是个人英雄主义的最好体现。中国人集体意识比较强,从小就学会要有集体荣誉感,追求民族的团结和社会的和谐。“中国梦”绝对是集体梦想的体现。我们在语言表达方面喜欢从更高,更宏观的角度思考问题 可很多学生往往写个人陈述时,从很大的角度入手,笼统泛泛地谈对某个行业的认识(尤其是本身对行业没有独到或深入见解直接使用百度搜集的信息)时,很失败。但如果结合自己的真实经历,从一个小点入手,逐步深入,会更精彩。

  例:The inspiring and exhilarating speech on the expectation for the youth delivered by UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon at ******** University infected and touched me profoundly while I was learning there as a visiting student. It remains fresh in my memory how he highlighted that our young generation is supposed to be helpful global citizens, being closely concerned with the world’s problems, adjusting ourselves to new ideas and circumstances around us and trying to energetically seek solutions together. Here, I cannot help thinking of one of the passions of Bertrand Russell-his unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. This great man’s genuine and passionate love for people far and beyond thelinesinstilled in many the outlook for a better world. Though neither can I bring remarkable changes to people in materials nor can I bring people something thought-provoking in soul, one thing is certain: I will keep making efforts to help others and achieve my life meaning in behavior, making a difference to others’ lives. In fact, I have already embarked on devoting my time to the public sector and will try to continue in my lifelong career path. (这种结合自我经历,娓娓道来,更让人了解了你经历的同时也了解了你的思想。) 注:杨同学 MPP/MPA 录取院校: University of Chicago, Brown, USC, Cornell, NYU, Georgetown, University of Maryland, University of Pittsburgh)

  而且,中国特色表达还有大而空的特点。这尤其在推荐信中注意!想想你中小学的老师评语,语言干练,抽象成套路。要知道那些评语是老师基于对你长期的观察和了解。但是对你一无所知的招生官读起这些大而空的表扬,会不会不相信?他们更喜欢通过一些实例或故事来亲身感受你的某些优秀特质。先考虑你希望在对方面前树立什么样的形象。 独立?个性?优秀?有想法?找好切入的角度后来安排你的故事。

  例:I’d like to focus on *****’s strong abilities of investigation and analysis. Till now, I still clearly remembered that he once served as the team leader in Bird Appreciation Project (ecologic project) along Dongting Lake. He was absorbed in taking the soil samples, measuring soil species richness and making clear of the ecologic condition. And **** gave us a wonderful presentation in the end. I think that the capable youth will also perform well in the future surveys or researches. (这个例子就很好。有理有据!这是张同学申请文书中的段落,被Emory University 本科统计录取)

  再有,中英属于两种截然不同的语系,中国特色的语言表达或独特的文化在语言中有各种体现,我们有义务解释给读者。

  例:

  To pursue more in-depth biological knowledge, I entered Tongji University, Project 211 & 985 University granted by the government funds to research in China. [What are Project 211 and 985? To a foreigner who may not be familiar with China, it’s a bit confusing! 当你不确定如何准备传达特色词汇的信息时,推荐参照维基百科或业内惯用的表达方式会好些。这里需要提醒的是,中国博大精深的成语,歇后语,格言等在表达的时候一定要注意它真正的含义,尽量将涉及到的中国文化等做适当解释]

  “知己知彼,方能百战不殆!”从根本上了解了中西方的差别后,我想你大概清楚怎样才能写好一篇好文书了。

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