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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / Исследовательская работа "Британский этикет"

Исследовательская работа "Британский этикет"

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  • Иностранные языки

Поделитесь материалом с коллегами:

МБОУ лицей № 4 г. Данкова

Лицейское научное общество

«Синяя птица»

Конкурс исследовательских работ

«Первые шаги в науку»

Секция: языкознания.

Great Britain and Russia: Are we different or alike?

Авторы проекта:

Пересыпкина Екатерина

Данилин Иван

8 класс

Руководитель проекта:

Ростова Оксана Евгеньевна

Учитель английского языка

г. Данков

2016 г.



What is etiquette? The origin of the word “etiquette”……………………………..4

Types of etiquette…………………………………………………………………..5

British etiquette and customs………………………………………………………7

DOs and DONT’s in England……………………………………………………..11

English speech etiquette…………………………………………………………..12

Some aspects of Russian behaviour ……………………………………………..14

DOs and DONT’s in Russia………………………………………………………16

Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………….17

Application ……………………………………………………………………….18



Every culture across ages has been defined by the concept of etiquette and accepted social interaction. However, it is the British – and the English in particular – who have historically been known to place a great deal of importance in good manners.

So, the object of our research has become English Etiquette and good manners in Britain.

The aim of our work is to improve students’ cultural background concerning British social etiquette in order to study general rules of behavior that will make ourselves feel at ease in Britain.

We set ourselves the following tasks:

  • To select information about English Etiquette and study different aspects of their behaviour;

  • To compare British and Russian good manners;

  • Etiquette;

  • To make a conclusion about general rules of behaviour.

The ways of research are

  • To select information;

  • To analyze information;

  • To make questionnaire;

  • To summarize information.

We pull out the hypothesis:

If we know some distinctive features and similarities of social etiquette of Britain and Russian, we can just accept the rules, set in these countries and make ourselves feel at ease in any of these countries; show the respect to the culture and make a good impression on people around us.

The practical value of the work is evident. It is very important and useful. It can help to raise culture awareness of students and make them realize the importance of studying traditions, customs, social behaviour and good manners of both countries to be well bread, understand each other’s cultures better and perfect the international relationships.

What is etiquette?

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition: “The customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”


Whilst the English penchant for manners and socially appropriate behaviour is renowned across the world, the world etiquette to which we so often refer actually originates from the French etiquette – “to attach or stick”. Indeed the modern understanding of the word can be linked to the Court of the French King Louis XIV, who used small placards called etiquettes, as a reminder to couriers of accepted `house rules` such as not walking through certain areas of the palace gardens.

Etiquette is being explained by other English researchers like:

  • approved norms of behaviour and ceremonies, normal for respectful society

  • the system of rules and norms, which regulate social and professional behaviour of people

  • keeping to good manners, understanding and sympathy to the other people

  • the system of private communication, able to ease communication for people and minimize conflicts

Etiquette is defined as a set of agreed-upon social customs to make those around you to feel comfortable. It is based on the premise that in our interactions we should always be mindful of others. It is black-bone of polite society, equips one with the tools one needs for any situation, and frees us from worry so that we may be at our best. Respect for others and common sense are at the roof of all etiquette guidelines.

Types of Etiquette

1. Court Etiquette – strictly regulated order and ways of behaviour established at the courts.

2. Diplomatic Etiquette – rules of behaviour of diplomats and other officials in contacts with each other at different diplomatic meetings, visits, negotiations.

3. Military Etiquette – the code of general army rules, norms, and ways of behaviour of servicemen in the all field of activity.

4. Civil Etiquette – totality of rules, traditions, and conventions followed by the people communicating with each other.

5. Modern Etiquette – regulated behaviour in everyday life and at work, in public places and in the street, at different formal and informal meetings.

6. Business Etiquette – rules of businessman’s behaviour, dressing and writing in all spheres of their activity.

7. Netiquette – a set of rules for behaving properly online (taking into account rules for communicating in intercultural space).

8. E-mail Etiquette – a set of rules of writing e-mail letters properly.

9. Wedding Etiquette – traditional rules of proper behaviour, dressing, table service, etc. at weddings with reference to customs and conventions.

10. Flag Etiquette – traditional ways in which the national flag is respected, and how the flag is to be used.

11. Teatime Etiquette – rules of behaviour and service while tea taking time.

12. Pet Etiquette – etiquette suggestions for pet owners to follow to make other more comfortable with their pet; also rules that animals should be taught by their owners from the first weeks for proper behaviour with humans.

13. Dining etiquette – behaviour rules of making restaurant reservations, using napkins, silverware and dinnerware, serving food, passing dishes, and using table manners .

14. Funeral Etiquette – rules of expressing love, respect, grief and appreciation for a life that has been lived to a person who has lost someone.

15. Golf etiquette – set of rules and practices designed to make the game of golf safer and more enjoyable for golfers and to minimize possible damage to golf equipment and courses.

16. Speech Etiquette – a micro system of nationally specific set of communication formulae for establishing contact between the interlocutors in a definite tonality. As speech etiquette can be used in different communicative situations it is suggested to distinguish two subtypes within this type:

British Etiquette and Customs

English etiquette consists of courtesy, correctness, imperturbability, attentiveness and tolerance. There is a proper way to act in most situations and the British are sticklers for adherence to protocol.

1) Visiting.

In most houses in Britain, the doors are usually kept closed. It is customary to visit people at a pre-arranged time and day. As a generalization, people are not comfortable if you just drop in.  Nevertheless, if someone says to drop in at anytime, feel free to do so as long as it is not in the middle of the night.

When you go into someone’s house, do take your hat off (men only). It is impolite for men to wear hats indoors especially in churches. Nowadays, it is becoming more common to see men wearing hats indoors. However, this is still seen as being impolite, especially to the older generations

2) Form of Greeting

In Britain the handshake is the common form of greeting. When you meet people for the first time, it is normal to shake hands. A firm handshake is the norm; there are no issues over gender in Britain. The usual formal greeting is ’How do you do?’ and a firm handshake, but with a lighter touch between men and women.

How do you do?’ is a greeting not a question & the correct response is to repeat ‘How do you do?’ You say this when shaking hands with someone.

In Britain, unlike some other European Countries, It is not unusual to embrace or kiss the other person (unless they are family or a very close friend). The British might seem a little stiff and formal at first but after a while they will relax as you get to know each other.

Avoid prolonged eye contact when you meet people for the first time, as it might make them feel uncomfortable. In Britain, there still some protocol to follow when introducing people in a business or more formal social situation. Introduce a younger person to an older person, that is, introduce a person of lower status to a person of higher status. When two people are of similar age and rank, introduce the one you know better to the other person.

3) Gift Giving Etiquette.

During Birthday and Christmas celebrations, it is common for the British to exchange gifts between family members and close friends. The gift need not be expensive, but it should usually demonstrate an attempt to find something that is related to the recipient’s interests. When invited to someone’s home,  it is normal to take along a box of good chocolates, a good bottle of wine or flowers. I have found from experience that the British love chocolates.

4) Queuing

Queuing is a unique part of the British culture. People in Britain usually form a queue or a single line in a shop, or when they want to buy a ticket with the intention of allowing those who arrived first to be served first. It is advisable to take your place in the queue and not try to muscle your way to the front as this may annoy other people in the queue. If you are really in a desperate hurry, people will always let you through to the front if you politely ask.

5) Punctuality.

The Brits are generally punctual, especially the Scots. The Brits consider it rude and impolite if you turn up late for an appointment.  Punctuality is very important in business situations. In most cases, the people you are meeting will be on time. Call even if you will be 5 minutes later than agreed. If you have been delayed or cannot make the appointment, then make an effort to contact the person to let them know. It is a good idea to telephone and offer your apologies. Here are some situations when you are obliged to be on time, as well as some situations when it is advisable: 

  • For formal dinners, lunches, or appointments you always come at the exact time appointed.

  • For public meetings, plays, concerts, movies, sporting events, classes, church services, and weddings, it's best to arrive a few minutes early.

  • You can arrive any time during the hours specified for teas, receptions and cocktail parties.

6) Dining Etiquette

If invited to a person’s house for dinner, ensure you are punctual as already discussed. Do not sit down at once when you arrive. The host may show you to a particular seat. Table manners are Continental, i.e. the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
Do not rest your elbows on the table. When you finish eating, lay your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate. Remember If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.

If invited to a meal at a restaurant, the person extending the invitation usually pays. Usually Starters will be served first, followed by the main course, before dessert. When discussing business over dinner, be prepared to back up your claims with facts and figures. Brits rely on facts, rather than emotions, to make decisions.

7) Making Friends

As Mentioned in my post 10 British facts all international students should know, the Brits are generally friendly and open-minded. It usually takes some effort at first to build relationships, but once built it could last over a long period of time. One easy way to make friends is to chat with your school mates as the opportunity presents itself.  Attending activities and parties organized by the Student Union is another great way to make friends and meet new people.

Generally, the Brits are very reserved and private people and their women are accustomed to being independent. It is considered impolite to ask a lady her age. The two classic signs a lady would like to be left alone are reading a newspaper or listening to music through headphones. Only interrupt if you actually know the lady quite well.

In the UK It is deemed okay for a woman or young lady to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, unlike many parts of Africa.

8) Tipping

Tipping is not expected in the UK, in the way it is in the United States or Canada, but is much appreciated. It is not necessary to tip at all in taxis, but it is customary to round up to the nearest pound on metered taxi journeys, more as a convenience than a tip. On an airport journey in a booked minicab you might wish to tip two or three pounds if the driver helps with your bags. If taking a metered London taxi from Heathrow, the metered charge will be so high compared to minicabs, that this really is not necessary.

Some restaurants add on an ‘optional’ service charge to bills, of typically 10% or 12.5%. This should always be noted in the menu. If you are unhappy with the service you can ask for it to be removed. For parties of six or more the service charge is sometimes mandatory. If a service charge has been added onto your bill, you should NOT add any further tip

9) How to Behave in Public Places

It is impolite to stare at people in public places; and spitting in the street is considered to be very bad mannered. Also try not to pick your nose in a public place. If your nostrils need de-bugging, use a handkerchief.

Most members of the British public will happily provide you with directions if you approach them politely.  Make sure you are familiar with terms like roundabouts, level crossings, traffic lights, zebra crossings, bus lanes, contra flow, and, if using any of the motorways, traffic jams.

10) Body language and dress code
British people are not very keen on displaying affection in public. Hugging, kissing and touching are usually reserved for family members and very close friends. You should also avoid talking loudly in public or going to extremes with hand gestures during the course of communication. The British like a certain amount of personal space. Do not stand too close to another person or put your arm around someone's shoulder.

When it comes to clothes, there are no limits and restrictions on how to dress. Just make sure that you respect the general rules when in formal situations. Observation will reveal that people in larger cities dress more formally, especially in London. Men and women wear wools and tweeds for casual occasions. Slacks, sweaters and jackets are appropriate for men and women. Do not wear a blazer to work -- it is country or weekend wear. On formal occasions, always select an outfit that fits the dress code. When attending a holiday dinner or cultural event, such as a concert or theatre performance, it is best to dress formally.

11) Thank you/ I’m Sorry/ Please

The Brits say thank you a lot, even for minor things. If you accidentally bump into someone, say ‘sorry’. They probably will too, even if it was your fault! This is a habit and can be seen as very amusing by an ‘outsider’.

Sometimes the Brits say ‘cheers’ instead of thank you. You may hear ‘cheers’ said instead of ‘good bye’, what they are really saying is ‘thanks and bye’. There are no absolute rules about when to use polite terms, but you should certainly use them when shopping or addressing strangers.

DOs and DON’Ts in England

  • Do stand in line;

  • Do take your hat off when you go indoor (men only);

  • Do say “Excuse me”, “Please” and “Thank you”;

  • Do Pay as you Go;

  • Do cover your Mouth when yawning or coughing;

  • Do Shake Hands when you are first introduced to someone;

  • Do say sorry if you accidentally bump into someone;

  • Do Smile – a smiling face is a welcoming face;

  • Do open doors for other people;

  • Do not greet people with a kiss;

  • Avoid talking loudly in public;

  • It is impolite to stare at anyone in public;

  • Do not ask a lady her age;

  • Do not pick your nose in public;

  • Avoid doing gestures such as backslapping and hugging;

  • Do not spit;

  • Do not ask personal or intimate questions

English Speech Etiquette

Speech etiquette takes an important place in spiritual culture formation and communication culture. Etiquette of each people is a specimen of respectful speech behavior of its society and the expressive means of people’s honour and decency.

Which topics are safe for small talk?

  • Introductions, e.g.“Hello. May I introduce myself? My name is Mark”

  • Travel, e.g.“Did you manage to find here OK?” or “Did you have a good journey?”

  • Family, e.g.“How is your family?” (but only if you already know about the person’s family)

  • Hospitality, e.g.“Can I get you something to eat or drink?”

  • The weather, e.g.“It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?”

  • Holidays, e.g.“Are you going anywhere this weekend?” or “Are you going anywhere on holiday this year?”

  • Nature, e.g.“The garden looks lovely, doesn’t it?”

  • Pets, e.g. “What a lovely dog. What is his name?” (British people love animals)

  • General news, e.g.“What do you think about the recent floods?” (but safer to avoid gossip and politics)

  • Films, e.g.“Have you seen the film Bridget Jones’s Diary?”

  • Work, e.g.“What sort of work do you do?”

  • Food, e.g.“I had a lovely Chinese meal last night – do you like Chinese food?”

  • General matters about person you are talking to, e.g.“Have you lived in this area long?”

  • General matters on subjects that interests the person you are talking to, e.g. cars, film stars etc.

Which topics should be avoided?

  • Age, e.g. “How old are you?”

  • Appearance or weight, e.g.“You seem to have put on some weight”

  • Personal gossip about somebody you know

  • Jokes that might offend

  • Money, e.g.“How much do you earn?”

  • Previous or current relationships, e.g.“Do you have a girlfriend?”

  • Politics, e.g.“Who did you vote for at the last election?”

  • Religion, e.g.“Do you believe in God?”

  • Criticisms or complaints, e.g. “Why is British food so bad?”

Some aspects of Russian behaviour

1) Meeting Etiquette

The typical greeting is a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact and giving the appropriate greeting for  the time of day. When men shake hands with women, the handshake is less firm. When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then alternating. When close male friends meet, they may pat each other on the back and hug.

2) Naming Conventions

Russian names are comprised of: First name, which is the person's given name. Middle name, which is a patronymic or a version of the father's first name formed by adding '- vich' or '-ovich' for a male and '-avna' or '- ovna' for a female. The son of Ivan would have a patronymic of Ivanovich while the daughter's patronymic would be Ivanovna. Last name, which is the family or surname. In formal situations, people use all three names. Friends and close acquaintances may refer to each other by their first name and patronymic. Close friends and family members call each other by their first name only.

3) Body Language

Russians are wary of anyone who appears insincere. Smile only when you mean it and are genuinely pleased to meet someone. Sitting with the bottom of your feet showing is considered rude. Whistling indoors is frowned upon as it is superstitiously thought to herald poor financial performance. The thumbs-up sign is acceptable as a positive gesture. When pointing, do not use a single finger but gesture with your whole hand. Bad posture and standing with your hands in your pockets are considered signs of laziness and should be avoided. Russians rarely display affection in public.

4) Dress

Russians tend to dress modestly and conservatively. The traveler should do likewise. Women usually wear subdued colors and long skirts rather than trousers. Short skirts and low-cut, revealing tops are frowned upon. Women should pay particular care to covering up when visiting historical or religious landmarks and buildings. In Orthodox churches, women should cover their heads with a scarf. Men should remove their hats when entering such buildings. As a rule, men should also dress in darker colors. For business meetings, a dark suit and formal shoes are required.

5) Gift Giving Etiquette

Gift giving using takes place between family and close friends on birthdays, New Year, and Orthodox Christmas. If you are invited to a Russian home for a meal, bring a small gift. Male guests are expected to bring flowers. Do not give yellow flowers. Do not give a baby gift until after the baby is born. It is bad luck to do so sooner. Russians often protest when they are offered a gift. Reply that it is a little something and offer the gift again and it will generally be accepted.

6) Dining Etiquette
If you are invited to a Russian's house: Arrive on time or no more than 15 minutes later than invited. Remove your outdoor shoes. You may be given slippers to wear. Dress in clothes you might wear to the office. Dressing well shows respect for your hosts. Expect to be treated with honour and respect. Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served. This may be turned down out of politeness. Asking 'are you sure?' allows the hostess to accept your offer.

7) Table manners are generally casual. 

Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. The oldest or most honoured guest is served first. Do not begin eating until the host invites you to start. Do not rest your elbows on the table, although your hands should be visible at all times or will often be urged to take second helpings. It is polite to use bread to soak up gravy or sauce. Men pour drinks for women seated next to them. Leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates that your hosts have provided ample hospitality. Do not get up until you are invited to leave the table. At formal dinners, the guest of honor is the first to get up from the table.

DOs and DON’Ts in Russia

  • Do shake hands when you are first introduced to someone.

  • Do maintain direct eye contact.

  • Do kiss three times (female friends).

  • Do pat each other on the bag and hug (close male friends).

  • Do use first name, second name and last name in formal situation.

  • Do smile when you are pleased to meet someone.

  • Do dress modestly.

  • Do observe gift giving Etiquette.

  • Do offer to help the hostess with preparation or cleaning up after a meal.

  • Don’t use “affectionate” names with unknown people.

  • Don’t smile unless you mean it. In Russia, smiling lot can be seen as insincere.

  • Don’t display affection in public.

  • Don’t show the bottoms of your feet. It’s impolite.

  • Don’t stand around with your hands in your pockets.

  • Don’t point with your finger. Instead, point with your entire hand.

  • Don’t arrive no more than 15 minutes later than you are invited.

  • Don’t give a baby gift until after the baby is born.

  • Don’t begin eating until the host invites you to start.

  • Don’t rest your elbows on the table.


Are we different or alike?

We are alike and we have much in common in social etiquette. But English people are more reserved in manners, dress, speech, more disciplined, punctual, tolerant and polite. The Russians are more uninhibited despite the same norms and sometimes considered to be rather rude.

Good manners which help people become “nice to be with” and “to feel at ease” are what etiquette is all about.

Having studied the rules of behavior, speech etiquette, accepted in Britain and Russia, their habits, we can be aware of the norms of behavior, follow the rules of the country, show the respect to the cultures and perfect the international relationships.

Application (Survey)

29 poll participants were asked the questions:

Question 1: What is Etiquette?

90% poll participants give the right answer

10% poll participants don’t know exactly what it is.

Question 2: What types of Etiquette do you know?

20% poll participants know about such types of etiquette as court, diplomatic, speech, business, dining, gif giving, social (civil) etiquette.

80% don’t know anything about different types of etiquette.

Question 3: What English etiquette about?

25% poll participants know about some rules and good manners in Britain

75% poll participants don’t know what to answer.

Question 4: What is Russian etiquette about?

30% poll participants know about general rules of behaviour in Russia

70% poll participants don’t know what to answer.

Question 5: Are we different or like?

10% poll participants think that the British and the Russian etiquette are similar

40% poll participants think that they are a bit different

50% poll participants don’t know what to answer.

Question 6: Why is it important to study British etiquette?

60% poll participants don’t know what to answer.

40% poll participants give the following answers:

  • to behave correctly and follow the rules of the country

  • to feel comfortable and at ease in any country

  • to be polite and make a good impression on people around you

  • to change opinions of foreigners about the Russians for better

  • to learn the culture and keep traditions of the countries


  1. http://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/British-Etiquette/

  2. http://internationalscholarshipguide.com/10-british-etiquette-customs-shouldnt-forget/

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquette

  4. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/russia-country-profile.html

  5. http://www.ehow.com/about_6588927_social-etiquette-russia.html

  6. http://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table-etiquette/europe-e_dinner_etiquette/russian.html

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