Languages & Cultures of East Asia
Trad 101, Sections
18-19-20-21 Fall 2000
Lecture Outline, 10/9/00 - Cross-cultural Communication (1)
Japanese: nn, ee, soo, hai
Korean: ne, ung, uung
Chinese: uhm, a, ao, ai=, en=, eh
English: uh-huh, hmm, yeah, really, right
Head movement, laughs,
chuckles.....combination of these
Japanese, Korean: produced within the sentence which is being
English, Chinese: produced after the sentence is finished
Back-channel response transfers across cultural boundaries
Japanese style back-channel
response in English
English style back-channel response
Japanese - Mindless agreement; Inappropriate rushing?
feelings based on the English
Are Japanese speakers more attentive?
English speakers are attentive -
quietly but actively listening
Japanese speakers are attentive -
verbally marking it/overtly active
English speakers more polite and less interactive/aggressive
than Japanese speakers?
Japanese people quiet
(reticence)? Americans loud?
Different in different areas of
Trouble spots in cross-cultural communication
Want to show modesty
Don't confront people (complaining)
Don't say no overtly (negotiating)
Don't talk back to your superior
How to fix the problems?
Cultural evolution (modernization)?
Desire for communication
Try to understand similarities and differences (both culture and
Assume the best
Look for other perspectives
The right question: How to make it work?