Value of “mentality” and “mental” concepts in Russian, nglish and French
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AbstractThe article dwells on the cognitive-national sphere which is the subject of attention of researchers nowadays. One of the concepts that are difficult to detect, includes the concept of mentality, because it is not structured and is a kind of predisposition, the inner person's willingness to act in a certain way. The origin and formation of the concepts "mentality" and "mental" in Russian and foreign humanities are considered in this article. With this purpose vocabulary definitions on the material of Russian, English and French dictionaries and the researchers` points of view in the given languages are analyzed, and an attempt is made to identify common and different features inherent in these concepts. The method used is a conceptual analysis. In addition, we aim to identify what the correlation of "mentality" and "world view", "mentality" and "national character" concepts are. The volume of concepts "mentality" and "mental" considered in this article on the material of dictionary definitions and various Russian and foreign scientists` points of view, is different in Russian, English and French. In the Russian language, in general, they talk about the mentality of a group of people or whole nations, whereas the French can talk about the mentality of one person, and, to mean by mentality a moral behaviour of an individual. In English, the concept "mentality" has a volume greater than in the other two languages. In English mentality, in contrast to the Russian concept, can have a negative evaluation (e.g. I can`t understand the mentality of these people). By mentality can be understood a degree of intelligence (low, medium, high) and characteristics of the mind (e.g., bourgeois mentality). The Russian "mental" is basically identical with the French "mental" (belonging to the mental activity that uses intellectual ability). However, the French adjective has a different value than the Russian one, that is, "pertaining to mental activity in regard to the health and perhaps its pathological aspects". In English, the concept "mental" has the meanings: 1) relating to the total emotional and intellectual response to the human world around us; 2) referring to the intellectual rather than emotional activity; 3) related to mental disorders; 4) intended for the care or for the treatment of patients with mental disorders, which are absent in the corresponding Russian concept. In modern humanities the concept "world view" gradually recedes into the background and is replaced by the concept "mentality". National mentality implies stereotypes of consciousness, while the national character means psychological patterns of behaviour ofpeople. The data of this small study demonstrate the need for the further research of the concepts "mentality" and "mental" and their representation in languages in order to identify the features of the national consciousness of different peoples.