Functioning of tolerance phenomenon in contrastive linguistics

The phenomenon of tolerance is widely analyzed in theoretical literature where different issues of ethics, morality, politics, social work, education etc. are discussed. It is obvious that tolerance is a complicated social value, which ambiguity gives both positive and negative connotations. It is important to understand tolerance as an essential space between public and personal values. Tolerance development is possible in the way of dialogue and understanding that one has to tolerate and respect other’s limits. This article analyzes linguocultural characteristics of the concept of tolerance


The greater part of the world’s population is affected on one way or another by the impact of globalization. Globalization processes influenced the economy, politics and culture of countries. Economical contacts are expanding, national borders are being erased, and the world market is enlarging. In this situation how can we develop the principles of neighborhood living? �ow can we learn to communicate with people of different faiths, of different cultural values and ways of life? The answer to these questions is to be tolerant and follow the principles of tolerance.

One of the topical and acute problems of our time – the problem of tolerance – is illustrated in the article. The interest of the world community towards the problem of tolerance intensified at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries. The United Nations proclaimed 1995 as a year of tolerance; at that time its active discussions began in the press, on television, international and regional conferences.

In the number of cultures, a word «tolerance» is synonymous to the word «patience»: lat. tolerentia; German – toleranz; French – tolerance.

In the process of historical and cultural development, the understanding of tolerance and patience had lots of changes. Society is changed; there were various ideas in different levels of development. In Kazakh language the following lexical unit is not illustrated. The word «tolerance»is not given in the dictionaries of XVIII-XIX centuries. It implies that it is a loanword, which is new. In the dictionaries of 90-s, lexeme toleration is presented in the following ways: 1)the state of the body when it is unable to synthesize antibodies in response to antigens; 2 the ability of the body to tolerate the adverse effects of an environmental factor; 3) tolerance to other people’s opinions, beliefs, ideas and behaviors (Krysin, 1988: 624).

Addressing to tolerance, today, it is necessary to clarify the meaning which is embedded in this term. The meaning of this word used in everyday situations is easily captured from the context. But the next dictionaries of L.P. Krysin «Толковый словарь иноязычных слов» and V.K. Kharchenko«Сло варь богатств русского яяяззыыыккааа»» are really iiinn---teresting, while here, the interpretation of words are based on the definition of writers creating unique examples of expressive usage:

  1. «Tendency to take points of views, ways of acting and feeling which are different from ours. In particular, religious tolerance allows freedom of conscience. But impatience entails the inquisition or suppression of religious minorities in a particular country. Toleration –moral principle, linked with the elementary respect to moral personality (Bale, Walter). Also it is the evidence of high intelligence, while relation with beliefs and practices that differ from ours always enriches the mind. Nowadays political tolerance is the fundamental problem, not the religious beliefs. It is mostly expressed by the existence of a legal political opposition that is part of the same parliament. Relations with opposition should be characteristic of «dialogue», ability to enrich and enlighten the government activity, but not of misunderstanding and hostility (censorship, systematic criticism or vice versa indifference to criticism). Politically, tolerance is the opposite of addressing violence and political abuse. The so-called philosophy of tolerance recognizes the principle of equality between people (regardless of race, religion and country); its goal – to establish «dialogue» relations, in order of force correlations, its maximum – to understand others viewpoints always. Tolerance implies benevolence or «generosity», because only it can revive sympathy (Rene Descartes)» (Krysin, 2006: 944).
  2. «Patience, benevolence. Tolerance can be exercised through detachment, indifference and stoicism, but in other cases – through curiosity and enthusiasm of people (M. Walcer).

In «Dictionary of foreign languages» the concept of tolerance is also defined as «patience to others viewpoints, beliefs, behaviors, indulgence towards anything or anyone». In the same dictionary, there are also two more definitions in which biosocial sounds appear – 1) complete or partial absence of immunological reactivity of the organism; 2) the ability of the body to tolerate the adverse effects of a particular environmental factor.

In «A large illustrated dictionary of foreign words» there is not simply a passive, rather negative, focus of the concept associated with the absolute «loss of spasticity to the production of antibodies» (Grishina, 2003: 787).

In a psychological literature, definition of tolerance has another semantic sound. In «A large psychological dictionary» (Zinchenko, 2000: 210) tolerance is defined ambiguously:

  • The setting of liberal acceptance in others behavior patterns, beliefs and values;
  • Ability to endure stress without serious harm;
  • Drug tolerance.

Thus, the etymological significance of tolerance lies in the fact that it is understood as a spasticity to withstand or resist stress, the harmful effects of the environment, the drugs, the ability to take the point of view of another individual. I would like to note that the compilers of the dictionaries indicate the fact that tolerance can carry both a positive charge and an active color (the emergence of spasticity to resist any attempts to restrict human, including personal, freedom), and a negative charge (unnatural abstinence, the kind of grinding of teeth with humility with the behavior, others beliefs and values).

In «Philosophical encyclopedic dictionary» tolerance is determined as «patience to views of a different kind» and is a sign of «self-confidence and consciousness of the reliability of their own positions, a sign of an open-minded ideological trend that is not afraid of comparison with another point of view and does not avoid spiritual competition» (Ilichev, 1997: 399). For the first time we meet with an active position of the person in the processes connected with the manifestation of tolerance in thinking, defending one’s own point of view, relations with others and the world as a whole, in behaviors and views. This can appear in the following processes:

  • Cognition and recognition of one’s self «I» (positions, viewpoints, outlooks) and positions of others;
  • Identifying tactics of behavior and dialogue with others;
  • Interaction with others in absolute automation (to be with others and at the same time to keep own «I»);
  • Analysis of interaction results.

A definition characteristic of tolerance is modified in the Preamble of the UN Charter: «… be tolerant and live together, in peace with one another, as good neighbors»(Journal of Declaration, 1996:1).

�ere, the lexeme receives not only an effective, socially active coloring, but also is viewed as a condition for successful socialization (integration into the public relations), consisting in the ability to live in harmony both with oneself and with the

world (microand macro environment). �armony of relations implies, first of all, respect to each other. This kind of semantic determination of toleranceis offered by the American vocabulary «American

�eritage Dictionary»: «Tolerance – ability to recognize or practice recognition and respect the beliefs and actions of others». This reference to the American dictionary is provided by the Maltese researcher Kenneth Wayne in the article «Education and tolerance ». In his article the scientist comes to the conclusion that the definition of tolerance in the American dictionary is incomplete, since this «not just the recognition and respect for the beliefs and actions of others, but the recognition and respect of other people who are different from ourselves, the recognition of social and ethnic groups» (Pogodina, 1997: 16).

Thus, the concept of tolerance, although identified by most sources with the concept of patience, has a more vivid active focus. Tolerance – not passive, unnatural conquest of others opinions, views and actions; not submissive patience, but an active moral position and a psychological readiness for tolerance in the name of understanding and correlation between ethnic and social groups, in the name of positive interaction with people of a different cultural, national, religious and social environment.

In linguistics interest to the word tolerance has become apparent only in the last decades of the XX century, and at present time, the circle of the main problems and issues are actively investigating, and whose solution is to be forthcoming in the near future. Main features of tolerance are identified based on the analysis of works. Among the most important, scientists call the following: «mental inner strength», «responsibility», «aspiration to extinguish the conflict, to reach a compromise», «the ability to find common ground in different points of view», «indifference», «alternative to violence and non-violence », «respect of other person’s viewpoint» and etc.


As we know, language, being a universal mean of speech-communication, has its most important functions: communicative, expressive, thoughtshaping and regulating [8, 38]. In this connection, it seems natural that language (also linguistics) cannot remain indifferent to global processes related to the phenomenon of tolerance. Despite the increased interest of linguists in the phenomenon of tolerance, in linguistic science, in the last few years there have appeared works in which the phenomenon, understanding and concept «tolerance» are systematically considered. The articles of N.A. Kupina and K.N. Muratova are interesting among the linguistic studies of the phenomenon of tolerance, in which an attempt is made to conceptualize the interpretation of tolerance in the texts of V.V. Vysotsky (Kupina, 2003: 297).

Linguocultural aspect of the problem of tolerance is examined in the works of S.G. TerMinasova, N.A. Kupina, O.A. Mikhailova (2002), M.Ya. Glynovinskaya (2003), N.I. Formanovskaya (2003). In any act of communication for its participants is being their culture, the culture of the family, social status, ethnos and etc. That’s why,

S.G. Ter-Minasova believes, «languages should be studied in indissoluble unity with the world and the culture of people speaking these languages» (TerMinasova, 2000: 72). �ence, in the linguocultural aspect, tolerance can be regarded as a category embracing all components of the triad «language

  • nation – culture». The study of the category of tolerance on the part of linguoculturology assumes, in the opinion of scientists, the isolation of several components:
  • The study of essence, nature and features of speech communication;
  • A study of the current state of the cultural and speech situation in society;
  • Definition of communicative rights and duties of native speakers;
  • Making recommendations «linguistic therapy» (Sternin, 2001: 58-65).

Lexeme «толеранттылық» in lexicographic sources of the Kazakh language

In modern linguistics, the method of analyzing vocabulary definitions is one of the most popular and widespread ways of describing the means of objectifying the concept in order to obtain an idea of its content in the mind of the nation. «In the dictionary article directly the picture of the world itself is presented, which consists of human experience, knowledge in various fields, spheres of activity», – notes

N.A. Krasavsky (Prohorova, 2003: 342). In other words, dictionaries represent to us the whole body of man’s knowledge of the world; they represent the verbalized human notions, the concepts that make up the essence of the picture of the world.

In dictionaries of the Kazakh language the word «толеранттылық»is represented in physi cal, medical and moral values. In the dictionary of psychological terms the following definition is

given to the given word (Oxford dictionary, 2001: 56): «Қайсыбір жағымсыз факторға жауап әрекеттің болмауы не бәсеңсуі, оның әсеріне сезгіштің төмендеуінің нәтижесі. Мыс., алаңдауға толеранттылық қатерлі жағдаятқа эмоцияныңүнқатутабалдырығыныңкөтеруінен көрінеді, ал сырттай – ұстамдылықтан, сабыр сақтаудан, бейімделушілік мүмкіндіктері төмендетпесінен, жағымсыз әсерге ұзақ уақыт төзуге қабілеттіліктен байқалады» («Absence or weakening of response to any adverse factor as a result of a decrease in sensitivity to its effects. For example, tolerance to anxiety manifests itself in increasing the threshold of emotional response to a threatening situation, and externally in restraint, self-control, the ability to endure adverse effects for a long time without reducing the adaptive capacity»).

Interesting is the fact of translating the word

«toleration» into Kazakh as «сарабдалық» (calmness, endurance): Сенім-пікірге, позицияларға және қимылдарға, оларға бұрмаған не ұнатпаған кездің өзінде бөгет жасамауға дайын тұру. Сарабдалықтың құндылығы мынада деп саналады: жақтырмау әу бастан болғанымен, тіпті араласу мүмкіндігі бола тұрып, ол үшін күш те жетерлік бола тұрып, килігу жасалмайды. Килігу көз жеткізерлік уәжден бастап, құқыққа кереғар зорлыққа дейін қамтитын етек-жеңі далиған ұғым болғандықтан, сарабдалдық шекарасы да бадырайып тұрмайды (Ayagan, 2006: 78).

The psychological meaning is most fully described in the National Encyclopedia of Kazakhstan:

«Толеранттылық, төзімділік – адамның әлеуметтік өмірдегі, тұрмыс тіршіліктегі әр түрлі процестерге, қоғамдағы әр түрлі қайшылықтарға барынша сабырлы және орнықты қарым-қатынасы. Адамның жеке өмірінде, қоғамның дамуында кездесетін көптеген қиындықтар, үйлесімсіздіктер, ауытқулар объективтік сипаттағы заңды құбылыстар. Олар тұлғаның жеке өміріндегі, әлеуметтік субъектінің рухани жетілу барысындағы қажетті асулар, маңызды баспалдақтар. Қиындықтарды жеңе білу адамның әлемге деген қатынасының белгілі бір оңды бағытта, құндылықтық бағдарда қалыптасуында негіз болады. Сонымен қатар осы қатынастардың негізінде дүниетанымдық жүйеде мағыналық негізге шынайы руханилықпен, мәнділікпен көмкерілген құрылымдарды қалыптасуына мүмкіндіктер ашылды. Толеранттылық адамның дүниеге

ISSN 1563-0223 Eurasian Journal of Philology: Science and Education. №2 (170). 2018 157

қатынасындағы қарапайым шыдамдылықпен біршама биікке көтерілген деңгей. Өйткені шыдамдылық адамның табиғи қасиеттерінің маңызды көрінісінің бірі болса, төзімділік осы щыдамдылықтың сабырлықпен астасқан сапалыф көрінісі болып табылады. Шыдамдылыққа табиғи қайсарлық, табиғи рухтың мықтылығы көмектессе, төзімділікке парасаттылықпен зерделіктің, ақыл мен руханилықтың өзара бірігуі негіз болады. Сондықтан толеранттылық ешқашанда пенденің кез келген шешімге басын шұлғып, қисынсыз әр нәрсеге көнгіштік танытуымен, принципсіз іс-әрекеттерімен, қоғамды бұзушыларды қолдауымен айқындалмайды. Ол адам үшін негізінен ақиқаттың шынайы жолына, тұлғалық жетілудің биігіне баратын алғашқы баспалдақ іспетті. Толеранттылық өзінің дүние танымдық көкжиегіне құрамдас бөлік еткен адам ақ пен қараның, жақсы мен жаманның, парасаттылық пен зұлымдықтың ара жігін ажыратуға мүмкіндік алады. Ол үнемі әділеттіктің ақ жолына түсуді өзіне мақсат етіп қояды» (Nurgaliev, 1996: 423).

In the Russian-Kazakh medico-pharmacological dictionary: the lexeme «толерантность» is translated as «төзімділік, шыдамдылық» (толерантностьиммунная – иммунды төзімділік, толерантность к лекарствам – дәрілерге төзімділік)(Ahmetov, 2000: 78).

This word is found in the bilingual KazakhRussian, Russian-Kazakh terminological dictionary in the field of medicine: «толерантность» –

«толеранттық» (Vorkachev, 2004: 98). In other branches of science and technology, culture and economy, tolerance is translated into different concepts. For example:

In the field of record keeping and archival science: tolerance is the translation of the word


In the field of history: tolerance is the translation of the word «шыдамдылық», and «төзімділік» means endurance;

In the field of ecology: tolerance is the translation of the word «шыдамдылық», and «төзімділік»

  • endurance;

In the field of biology: «төзімділік, шыдамдылық» – «ттооллееррааннттннооссттьь, ууссттооййччии-вость»;

In the field of economy and finance: the term

«шыдамдылық» is translated by the lexeme tolerance.

As can be seen from all of the foregoing, in the Kazakh scientific picture of the world, the word tolerance is used in the values of stability, consistency, endurance. The general meaning of this concept is conveyed by three lexemes – «толеранттылық, төзімділік, шыдамдылық». It is quite possible that the main reason for this situation can be called insufficient understanding among Kazakh speakers of tolerance about the absence of the word tolerance in modern explanatory dictionaries.

Thus, tolerance appears as a conceptual category, the content of which is multilayered and not clearly defined in the modern scientific picture of the world.


The concept of tolerance is becoming a general civilizational concept, and acquires increasing importance for Kazakhstan and other countries. At present, English society is confronted with various manifestations of political, ethnic, religious intolerance. In Kazakhstan, despite the absence of acute ethnic conflicts, there are problems associated with the solution of the language issue and the optimization of interethnic relations in a multiethnic environment. The solution of these issues guarantees not only political but also economical stability in the context of integration of Kazakhstan into the world community.

To sum up, the extraordinary capacity of the concept of tolerance should be noted. Its substantive side is constantly updated, replenished, affecting all new aspects of human relationships. In its content, concept of tolerance is intertwined as a psychological entity, as a moral attitude, and also as a spectrum of different types of behavior and interpersonal relationships.

Tolerance becomes the basic concept of Kazakh and English culture. This is facilitated by the conditions of democratization of society, integration of Kazakhstan into the world space, familiarization with the world standards. Concept «tolerance» is a borrowed concept for Kazakhstan. The direct translation of the word can bemisunderstood, but the whole notion and its peculiarities are found from the history.



  1. AlefirenkoN.Ph. (2004). TeoriyayazykaVodnyikurs [Theory of language]. M.: Akademiya, 368 p. (in Russian)
  2. Ahmetov M.A. (2000). Kazakhsko-russkyi, russko-kazakhskyi slovar. Medicina [Kazakh-Russian, Russian-Kazakh terminalogical dictionary]. Almaty, 482 p. (in Russian)
  3. Ayagan B. (2006). Kazakhstan. Ulttykenziklopediya [Kazakhstan. National encyclopedia / chief editor B.Ayagan]. Bas redakciyasy, 704 p. (In Russian)
  4. Vorkachev S.G. (2004). Schastiekaklinguvoculturnyi concept [�appiness as a linguocultural concept]. M., ITDGK «Gnosis», 236 p. (in Russian)
  5. Grishina I. (2003). Bolshoyillustrirovannyislovarinostrannyhslov: 17000 slov [Dictionary of foreign words: 17000 words]. М.: ООО «IzdatelstvoАSТ», 957 p. (in Russian)
  6. Deklaraciyaprincipovtolerantnosti, resoluciya 5.61 GK UNESCO. (1995). htm. – 1995. (in Russian)
  7. Zinchenko V. (2000). Bolshoypsihologicheskyislovar [Psychological dictionary]. M., 363 p. (in Russian)
  8. Krysin L.P. (2006). Tolkovyislovarmnogoyazychnyhslov [Explanatory of borrowongs]. M., EXPO, 944 p. (In Russian) Kupina N.A., Muratova K.N. (2003). Bytovayaiideologicheskayatolerantnost’ v hudojestvennom mire Vladimira Vysotskogo.
  9. Philosovskyieilingvoculturologicheskieproblemytolerantnosti: kollectivnayamonographiya [Ideological tolerance in art world of Vladimir Vysotskyi. Philosophic and libguocultural issues of tolerance: collective monography]. Ekaterinburg: IzdatelstvoUraskogouniversiteta, 305-325 p.(in Russian)
  10. Nurgaliev R.N. (1996). Philosophic slovar. Redkollegiya R.N. Nurgaliev, G.G. Akmambetov, Zh.M. Abdildin [Philosiphic dictionary]. Almaty: Kazakh Enciclopediyasy, 525 p. (in Kazakh)
  11. Oxfordkyskashasozdigi. Sayasattanu (2001) [Oxford Shorten Dictionary]. Almaty: Z�S�S «Kazakhstan» printing house, 371 p. (in Russian)
  12. Pogodina A.A. (1997).Problemytolerantnosti v sovremennom mire. KannetWein Obrazovanieitolerantnost [Problems of tolerance in modern life]. Vyssheeobrazovanie v Evrope, 16 p. (in Russian)
  13. Slovarinostrannyhslov (1988) [Dictionary of foreign words]. M.: Russkyiyazyk, 624 p. (in Russian)
  14. Sternin I.A. (2001). Metodikaissledovaniyastrukturikoncepta. Metodologicheskie problem sovremennoilingvistiki [Methodology of a concept structure research]. Nauchnoeizdanie, pod red. I.A. Sternina, 58-65 p. (in Russian)
  15. Ter-Minasova S.G. (2000). «Slova, slova, slova…» [Words, words, words … Language, culture, intercultural communication].
  16. Mir russkogoslova, 72-83 p. (in Russian)
  17. Philosophskiienciclopedicheskiislovar (1997). [Encyclopedic philosophic dictionary]. M., 497 p. (in Russian) Prohorova A.M. (2003). Encyclopedicheskiislovar [Encyclopedicslovar’]. M., 131p. (in Russian)
Magazine: KazNU BULLETIN
Year: 2018
City: Almaty
Category: Philology