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导读:Unit 2 Culture and CommunicationReading I What Is CultureComprehension questions 1. Which of the definitions given above do you prefer? Why? Some may prefer a short definition, such as the one given by E. Sapir or R. Benedict, for it is highly genera

跨文化交际中英汉礼貌用语的差异
跨文化交际中英汉礼貌用语的差异

Unit 2 Culture and CommunicationReading I What Is CultureComprehension questions 1. Which of the definitions given above do you prefer? Why? Some may prefer a short definition, such as the one given by E. Sapir or R. Benedict, for it is highly generalized and easy to remember. Some may prefer a longer one, such as Edward T. Hall’s definition of culture, because it provides us with a more comprehensive understanding of culture and points out the all-pervasive impact of culture on human life in different dimensions. 2. What have you learned from those definitions about culture? Many things can be learned from those definitions, for each definition, though not without its limitations, tells us something very important about culture or certain aspect(s) of culture. 3. Do you agree that our lower needs always have to be satisfied before we can try to satisfy the higher needs? Even though this is generally the case, there will still be some exceptions. Sometimes people might prefer to satisfy higher needs, for instance, esteem needs, before their lower needs, such as certain physiological needs or safety needs are satisfied. 4. What examples can you give about how people of different cultures achieve the same ends by taking different roads? For example, everyone has to eat in order to live and this is universally true. However, to satisfy this basic need, people of various cultures may do it in very different ways: what to eat and how to eat it vary from culture to culture. 5. What behaviors of ours are born with and what are learned in the cultural environment? Instinctive behaviors are behaviors that we are born with and ways of doing things in daily life, such as ways of eating, drinking, dressing, finding shelter, making friends, marrying, and dealing with death are learned in the cultural environment. 6. What other cultural differences do you know in the way people do things in their everyday life? We can also find cultural differences in ways of bringing up children, treating the elderly, greeting each other, saving and spending money, and many other things people do in everyday life. 7. In what ways are the Chinese eating habits different from those of the English-speaking countries? We Chinese may enjoy something that is not usually considered as edible by the English-speaking people. Generally we prefer to have things hot and lay much emphasis on tastes. We tend to share things with each other when we are eating with others.

Reading II Elements of Communication Comprehension questions 1. What are the aspects of context mentioned above? One aspect of context is the physical setting, including location, time, light, temperature, distance between communicators, and any seating arrangements. A second aspect of context is historical. A third aspect of context is psychological. A fourth aspect of context is culture. 2. In what ways would your posture, manner of speaking or attire change if you move from one physical setting to another, for example, from your home to a park, to a classroom, to a restaurant, to a funeral house, etc? One’s posture, manner of speaking or attire change from being casual to formal gradually from home to a park, to a classroom, to a restaurant, to a funeral house, etc, according to different formalness and seriousness of these situations. 3. How do people acquire communication norms in their life? People acquire communication norms from their experiences in life. 4. What examples can you give to describe some Chinese norms in our everyday communication? For example, it seems to be a norm in China to address one’s boss by his or her title and never to express one’s disapproval directly to him or her. 5. How can we play both the roles of sender and receiver in communication? As senders, we form messages and attempt to communicate them to others through verbal and nonverbal symbols. As receivers, we process the messages sent to us and react to them both verbally and nonverbally. 6. Does the sender play a more important role than the receiver in communication? No, they are equally important for both of them are essential in the process of communication. 7. In what ways do the differences between participants make communication more or less difficult? Three especially important variables affecting participants which are relationship, gender, and culture make communication more or less difficult. 8. What is a symbol and what is a meaning? The pure ideas and feelings that exist in a person’s mind represent meanings. The words, sounds, and actions that communicate meaning are known as symbols because they stand for the meanings intended by the person using them. 9. How can meanings be transferred from one person to another? What problems may arise in this process? A message from one person is encoded into symbols and then decoded into ideas and feelings to another person. In this process of transforming include nonverbal cues, which significantly affect the meaning created between the participants in a communication transaction.

10. When are unintended or conflicted meanings likely to be created? Unintended meanings are created when the decoding person receives a meaning unrelated to what the encoder thought he or she was communicating. Conflicting meanings are created when the verbal symbols are contradicted by the nonverbal cues. 11. Which channels do you usually prefer in communication? Why? Of the five channels, some may prefer sight. As the old saying goes, words are but wind, but seeing is believing. 12. What examples can you find to show that one channel is more effective than others for transmitting certain messages? For example, when asking a lady for a date, a young man may wear an immaculate suit and spray some perfume to show that he highly values this date with her. In this case, sight and smell are definitely more effective than words for conveying that particular message. 13. What are the things that can create noises in the process of communication? Sights, sounds, and other stimuli in the environment that draw people‘s attention away from intended meaning are known as external noise. Thoughts and feelings that interfere with the communication process are known as internal noise. Unintended meanings aroused by certain verbal symbols can inhibit the accuracy of decoding. This is known as semantic noise. 14. What should we do to reduce the interference of noise in communication? When communicating with others, we should pay undivided attention to communication itself, avoiding being distracted by any external or internal noise. Besides, we should make sure that what we say is correctly understood by others and vice versa to prevent semantic noise from generating. 15. Why is feedback a very important element of communication? Feedback is very important because it serves useful functions for both senders and receivers: it provides senders with the opportunity to measure how they are coming across, and it provides receivers with the opportunity to exert some influence over the communication process. 16. What will you usually do when you receive negative feedback in communication? Open.Case Study Case 5 In China, it is often not polite to accept a first offer and Heping was being modest, polite and well-behaved and had every intention of accepting the beer at the second or third offer. But he had not figured on North American rules which

firmly say that you do not push alcoholic beverages on anyone. A person may not drink for religious reasons, he may be a reformed alcoholic, or he may be allergic. Whatever the reason behind the rule, you do not insist in offering alcohol. So unconscious and so strong are their cultural rules that the Americans equally politely never made a second offer of beer to Heping who probably thought North Americans most uncouth. However, what we have to remember is that cultures are seldom a strict either-or in every instance for all people and there are always individual differences. Probably this young Chinese nurse was very different from Heping or, unlike Heping, she may have known something about the American cultural rules and was just trying to behave like an American when she was in an American family. Case 6 When a speaker says something to a hearer, there are at least three kinds of meanings involved: utterance meaning, speaker’s meaning and hearer’s meaning. In the dialogue, when Litz said ‘How long is she going to stay?’ she meant to say that if she knew how long her mother-in-law was going to stay in Finland, she would be able to make proper arrangements for her, such as taking her out to do some sightseeing. However, her mother-in-law overheard the conversation, and took Litz’s question to mean “Litz does not want me to stay for long”. From the Chinese point of view, it seems to be inappropriate for Litz to ask such a question just two days after her mother-in-law’s arrival. If she feels she has

to ask the question, it would be better to ask some time later and she should not let her mother-in-law hear it.Case 7 Keiko insists on giving valuable gifts to her college friends, because in countries like Japan, exchanging gifts is a strongly rooted social tradition. Should you receive a gift, and don’t have one to offer in return, you will probably create a crisis. If not as serious as a crisis, one who doesn’t offer a gift in return may be considered rude or impolite. Therefore, in Japan, gifts are a symbolic way to show appreciation, respect, gratitude and further relationship. Keiko obviously has taken those used items from Mary, Ed and Marion as gifts, for she probably doesn’t know that Americans frequently donate their used household items to church or to the community. Mary, Ed and Marion would never consider those used household items given to Keiko as gifts. No wonder they felt very uncomfortable when they received valuable gifts in return.Case 8 As the Chinese girl Amy fell in love with an American boy at that time, it seems that she preferred to celebrate Christmas in the American way, for she wanted very much to appear the same as other American girl. She did not like to see her boyfriend feel disappointed at the “shabby” Chinese Christmas. That’s why she cried when she found out her parents had invited the minister’s family over for the

Christmas Eve dinner. She thought the menu for the Christmas meal created by her mother a strange one because there were no roast turkey and sweet potatoes but only Chinese food. How could she notice then the foods chosen by her mother were all her favorites? From this case, we can find a lot of differences between the Chinese and Western cultures in what is appropriate food for a banquet, what are good table manners, and how one should behave to be hospitable. However, one should never feel shameful just because one’s culture is different from others’. As Amy’s mother told her, you must be proud to be different, and your only shame is to have shame.

 
 

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