Culture, Etiquette


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Culture, Etiquette

  1. 1. Culture, Etiquette and Language Use Tso, Wei-fung National Taipei University
  2. 2. Culture <ul><li>The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs of a particular group of people at a particular time. </li></ul><ul><li>(Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary) </li></ul><ul><li>The beliefs, way of life, art and customs that are shared and accepted by people in a particular society. </li></ul><ul><li>(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English ) </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is “ everything people learn to do ” . </li></ul><ul><li>----Seelye, American linguist </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Origin of International Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>European Feudal society in the Middle Ages </li></ul><ul><li>British imperial court </li></ul><ul><li>colonized America </li></ul><ul><li>America (George Washington) </li></ul><ul><li>the rest of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Power/status solidarity/rapport </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Etiquette Language use </li></ul><ul><li>(verbal/non-verbal) </li></ul><ul><li>Politeness </li></ul><ul><li>Culture determines etiquette and language; language reflects culture and etiquette. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Linguistic Realization of Politeness <ul><li>Greetings </li></ul><ul><li>Requests </li></ul><ul><li>Tag questions </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation </li></ul><ul><li>Gift giving </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Greetings </li></ul>
  7. 7. Greetings <ul><li>Function </li></ul><ul><li>“ Phatic communication” </li></ul><ul><li>Empty questions to enhance solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>--acknowledge the presence of others </li></ul><ul><li>Begin communicative interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Continue the interaction </li></ul>
  8. 8. Greetings <ul><li>Neutral : factors common to both speaker and addressee: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nice day.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Frost tonight.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ About time the trains were cleaned.” </li></ul><ul><li>Self-oriented : factors personal to speaker: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hot work, this.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I do like a breath of fresh air.” </li></ul><ul><li>Other-oriented : factors specific to addressee: </li></ul><ul><li>“ That looks like hard work.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Do you come here often?” </li></ul><ul><li>※ Anglo-American greetings are used to create impressions of social equality and camaraderie. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Greetings—non-verbal <ul><li>Eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Handshakes </li></ul>
  10. 10. Eye Contact <ul><li>“ When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson </li></ul><ul><li>Make it and keep it! </li></ul><ul><li>Good eye contact also shows you are paying attention to others. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Eye Contact— When to Look <ul><li>Begin as soon as you engage someone in a conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue it throughout the conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to maintain direct eye contact as you are saying &quot;good-bye.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Eye Contact— Where to Look <ul><li>An imaginary triangle </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine an inverted triangle in your face with the base of it just above your eyes. The other two sides descend from it and come to a point between your nose and your lips. </li></ul><ul><li>Socially, the point of the triangle drops to include the chin and neck areas. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Eye Contact— How long to Look <ul><li>About 80 - 90 percent of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Less than that can be interpreted as discomfort, evasiveness, lack of confidence or boredom. </li></ul><ul><li>When you stare longer, it can be construed as being too direct, dominant or forceful and make the other person uncomfortable. </li></ul><ul><li>It's okay to glance down occasionally as long as your gaze returns quickly to the other person. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid looking over the other person's shoulders as if you were seeking out someone more interesting to talk with. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Handshakes <ul><li>Ingredients of a Good Handshake </li></ul><ul><li>Make eye contact and smile. </li></ul><ul><li>Hold the person's hand firmly. </li></ul><ul><li>Shake web-to-web, three times maximum. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain constant eye contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Radiate positive aura. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Handshake Blunders <ul><li>Controller </li></ul><ul><li>Sandwich </li></ul><ul><li>Dead fish </li></ul><ul><li>Limp fingers –Shaking the tips of the finger may be perceived as a lack of self confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Energetic arm pump - Can sometimes be perceived as insincere. </li></ul><ul><li>Extending your arm with your palm facing down - This may be seen as disrespectful. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Cultural variations in handshakes <ul><li>In the U.S. , the handshake is most often “effusive”. There are several pumps of the arm, and a strong grip delivers an unspoken message of confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>In France , one pump is considered sufficient, and the pressure is generally lighter. </li></ul><ul><li>A light, lingering handshake is generally more favored in Latin America , and to withdraw the hand too quickly could be interpreted as an insult. </li></ul><ul><li>In Japan , a formal bow usually precedes the handshake. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Handshake video <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(meeting Pepsi race car driver, Jeff Gordon) </li></ul>
  18. 18. The touchy business of touching <ul><li>Touch Don ’ t Touch Middle Ground </li></ul><ul><li>Middle East counties Japan France </li></ul><ul><li>Latin American countries United States China </li></ul><ul><li>Italy Canada Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Greece England India </li></ul><ul><li>Spain & Portugal Scandinavia </li></ul><ul><li>Some Asian countries Other northern </li></ul><ul><li>Russia European countries </li></ul><ul><li>Australia Estonia </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Requests </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Orientation-based analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Hearer-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Could you pass the salt? </li></ul><ul><li>Speaker-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>I think I am going to put some salt in the stake. </li></ul><ul><li>Speaker- and hearer-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>So, do we have the salt around ? </li></ul><ul><li>Impersonal </li></ul><ul><li>I wonder where’s the salt ? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Requests— mitigation devices <ul><li>Syntactic downgraders or mitigation: </li></ul><ul><li>a. Interrogative </li></ul><ul><li>Could you give me a ride? </li></ul><ul><li>b. Negation </li></ul><ul><li>Excuse me. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind dropping me home? </li></ul><ul><li>c. Past tense </li></ul><ul><li>I wanted to ask for a favor. </li></ul><ul><li>d. Embedded “if” clause </li></ul><ul><li>I would appreciate it if you give me a ride home. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Requests— mitigation devices <ul><li>Pragmatic mitigation: </li></ul><ul><li>a. Consultative devices (indirectly asking for cooperation) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think I could borrow your lecture notes from yesterday? </li></ul><ul><li>b. Understaters (minimizing request) </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tidy up a bit before I start? </li></ul><ul><li>c. Hedges (avoiding commitment) </li></ul><ul><li>It would really help if you did something about the kitchen. </li></ul><ul><li>d. Downtoner (signaling possibility of noncompliance) </li></ul><ul><li>Will you perhaps be able to drive me? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Requests Used by Children (Cross-cultural Comparison) <ul><li>Hungarian children: </li></ul><ul><li>a. making direct commands and requests </li></ul><ul><li>b. making a distinction between familiars (friends, family, neighbors) and strangers in selecting linguistic alternatives </li></ul><ul><li> akjal (“give”) </li></ul><ul><li> tessek szives lenni adni </li></ul><ul><li>(“Please to be kind to give”) </li></ul><ul><li>c. When initial requests were denied, they resorted to intensified demands, repetition of requests, and forms of begging. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Norwegian children </li></ul><ul><li>In general, they favored indirect means both to initiate and repeat requests. </li></ul><ul><li>a. need statements </li></ul><ul><li>jeg er sa torst (“ I have so thirst”) </li></ul><ul><li>b. interrogatives </li></ul><ul><li>kann du hjelpe meg (“Can you help me?”) </li></ul><ul><li>C. hints </li></ul><ul><li>kann du fiune litt saft (“ Can you find a little juice?) </li></ul><ul><li>They distinguished between familiars and strangers . </li></ul><ul><li>They often attempted to enlist an adult’s aid in obtaining their goals. When requests were denied, they either give up or repeated their requests in even more indirect styles. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Tag Questions </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Tag questions can be used to perform referential functions—to assert the information given by the speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>The weather in California is quite pleasant this time of the year, isn’t it? </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Tag questions also serve as facilitative devices in conversations, providing an addressee with an easy entrée into a conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Susan: Andrew this is our new neighbor, Frank. Andrew has just changed jobs, haven’t you ? </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew: Yes, I am now a well-paid computer programmer instead of a low-income administrative assistant. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Invitation </li></ul>
  29. 30. What’s on an invitation card? <ul><li>The occasion </li></ul><ul><li>The host/hostess </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Place </li></ul><ul><li>Date </li></ul><ul><li>RSVP </li></ul><ul><li>BYOB </li></ul>
  30. 31. RSVP <ul><li>From the French, “Répondez, s’il vous plaît,” or, “Please reply.” </li></ul><ul><li>Reply promptly, within a day or two of receiving an invitation. </li></ul>
  31. 32. How to respond? <ul><li>RSVP and no response card </li></ul><ul><li>Response Card </li></ul><ul><li>RSVP with phone number </li></ul><ul><li>RSVP with e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Regrets only </li></ul><ul><li>No reply requested? </li></ul>
  32. 33. <ul><li>Gift Giving </li></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>A gift is a social gesture that may be expected in some countries, and could be considered a bribe in others. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Know the gift guidelines for the country you’ll be vi siting <ul><li>Malaysia and Paraguay : a bribe; only after establishing relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore: Government employees are not allowed to accept gifts. </li></ul><ul><li>The United States: T he acceptable dollar value is limited to $25. </li></ul><ul><li>Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines: need to focus on the gracious style used to present and receive them </li></ul>
  35. 36. Similarities and differences in gift-giving cultures: <ul><li>In Asia and the Middle East only use your right hand, or both hands, to offer or accept a gift. In Japan and Hong Kong, use both hands. </li></ul><ul><li>In Singapore a recipient may “graciously refuse three times” before accepting your gift. But in Chile, gifts are accepted and opened immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>In Indonesia, small gifts are given on a frequent basis. </li></ul>
  36. 37. Religion is a factor to consider in gift-giving: <ul><li>Pork is prohibited in the Jewish and Muslim religions, so you wouldn’t select a gift made from pig skin. </li></ul><ul><li>Another prohibition for the Muslim faith is alcohol. </li></ul><ul><li>In India, don’t offer a gift made from cowhide. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Hosting a meal is always a good gift. <ul><li>People in the U.S., Brazil, England, Panama, and Peru enjoy being invited guests for a meal. </li></ul><ul><li>The Greeks look forward to an evening of fine dining. </li></ul><ul><li>In China, plan a banquet, especially if you are being honored with one. </li></ul><ul><li>Should you receive a gift, and don’t have one to offer in return, this is a good reason for planning to host a meal. It becomes your reciprocal gesture. </li></ul>
  38. 39. General Gift Categories <ul><li>Sharp Objects </li></ul><ul><li>In many cultures, items with a sharp edge symbolize the severing of a friendship or relationship. In these cases, you wouldn’t select a knife, pair of scissors, or a letter opener for a gift. </li></ul>
  39. 40. Locally Produced Products <ul><li>If a country is known for producing a particular product, don’t offer that item as a gift. </li></ul><ul><li>Good examples are: leather and wine in Argentina; leather in Brazil and Uruguay; beer and wine in Germany; wine in France and Italy; vodka in Russia and Poland; scissors in Finland; and silver in Mexico, because it’s considered too common. </li></ul>
  40. 41. Liquor <ul><li>A quality bottle of liquor or wine always makes a good gift for someone who drinks alcohol, unless the person lives in a region noted for producing the product or the person has a Jewish or Muslim background. </li></ul>
  41. 42. Chocolate <ul><li>Universally, this is a good choice. Because it can be boxed in various sizes, it also works if you need a gift for a large group. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s even kosher chocolate for you to give to your Jewish friends. </li></ul>
  42. 43. Flowers <ul><li>Flowers can be frequently used as a gift, especially if you’ve been invited to someone’s home. You may want to bring flowers with you to the house, send them prior to the dinner party, or have them sent the following day as a ‘thank you’. </li></ul><ul><li>In Europe, the old European tradition of always giving an odd number of flowers is still followed today (all except 13 which is considered unlucky). </li></ul>
  43. 44. Flowers— continued <ul><li>In some cultures red roses are frequently considered romantic. Funeral associations frequently occur with lilies or calla lilies, chrysanthemums, Frangipani, white roses, marigolds, carnations, heather, and white or purple flowers. In some Latin countries, yellow flowers symbolize contempt. </li></ul>