Notes on Intercultural Communication

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Genetics, Cultures and Body Odor

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Body Odor / ABCC11

Introduction

There are two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine sweat glands, which are found throughout the skin, and apocrine sweat glands, which are found in the armpits and groin. Eccrine sweat glands produce sweat that is mostly water and salt, and it does not contribute very much to body odor. Apocrine sweat contains proteins and lipids; when bacteria on the skin metabolize apocrine sweat, they produce body odor. The earwax glands (ceruminous glands) are a form of apocrine gland. (…) Some people have earwax that is wet, sticky and yellow or brown; other people’s earwax is dry, crumbly and grayish. Variation at a single gene determines which kind of earwax you have; the allele for wet earwax is dominant over the allele for dry earwax. The allele for dry earwax appears to have originated by mutation in northeastern Asia about 2,000 generations ago, then spread outwards because it was favored by natural selection. It is very common in eastern Asia, becomes much less common towards Europe, and is rare in Africa. Earwax type is not used very often to illustrate basic genetics, but unlike most human characters that are used (tongue rolling, attached earlobes, etc.), it really is controlled by a single gene with two alleles. . (…)

MYTHS OF HUMAN GENETICS by JOHN H. MCDONALD

Read full text online here or download pdf there

(retrieved 20.01.2013 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=myths%20of%20human%20genetics&source=web&cd=14&cad=rja&ved=0CEcQFjADOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bio-logisch-nrw.de%2FMyths_of_Human_Genetics__Tongue_Rolling.pdf&ei=wib8UOezFMnYtAaFuYDQAg&usg=AFQjCNFEZd0CAl1L9hrf5_JZmjyAs)

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Apocrine Gland Secretion and Body Odor

(…) Martin et al. (2010) performed chemical analysis of axillary sweat samples from 25 individuals with different ABCC11 538G-A genotypes, including 18 Asian participants (11 AA homozygotes, 5 AG heterozygotes, and 2 GG homozygotes) and 7 Caucasian participants (2 AG heterozygotes and 5 GG homozygotes). Levels of 3 glutamine conjugates that are precursors for key body odorants were below detection limits in all participants with the AA genotype but were present in all AG and GG individuals, indicating that ABCC11 is essential for secretion of amino-acid conjugates of relevant axillary odors.

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Mapping of Apocrine Gland Secretion

By a functional assay, Yoshiura et al. (2006) determined that cells with allele A showed a lower excretory activity for cGMP than those with allele G. The allele A frequency showed a north-south and east-west downward geographic gradient; worldwide, it was highest in Chinese and Koreans, and a common dry-type haplotype was retained among various ethnic populations. These results suggested that the allele A arose in northeast Asia and thereafter spread through the world. The 538G-A SNP was the first example of DNA polymorphism determining a visible genetic trait.(…)

Read the full text online here or download pdf there.

(both retrieved 21.02.2015 at http://www.omim.org/entry/117800)

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World Overview ABCC11

site an frequency of allels A27 of ABCC11 among different ethnic populations

Read the document online here or download full pdf there.

(retrieved 20.01.2013 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=das%20ohrenschmalz%20als%20rassenmerkmal%20und%20der%20rassengeruch&source=web&cd=11&ved=0CDAQFjAAOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fge.tt%2Fapi%2F1%2Ffiles%2F50GjGkI%2F0%2Fblob%3Fdownload&ei=FK77ULKmLo_otQaVvoCgBg&usg=AFQjCNEG–tL)

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Additional Material

Human Olfactory Communication

Abstact:

Nonhuman animals communicate their emotional states through changes in body odor. The study reported here suggests that this may be the same for humans. (…) The finding suggests that there is information in human body odors indicative of emotional state. This finding introduces new complexity in how humans perceive and interact. (…)

Human Olfactory Communication of Emotion by Chen D. and Haviland-Jones J.

(retrieved 21.05.2015 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11153847)

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Read the full research as pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 21.05.2015 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CFYQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rci.rutgers.edu%2F~baljones%2FHuman%2520Olfactory.pdf&ei=FrJdVeCFH8yVsgHs5oCgBg&usg=AFQjCNEZZU3iIyp2aNjbNP3SilgIbEpKqg&bvm=bv.93756505,d.bGg)

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(Posted 21.05.2015)

Chinese Language

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Introduction to Chinese Language

“Western languages are ruled by law. Chinese language is ruled by man.”

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The Basics about Chinese Language

 

Formation of Chinese characters

The origin of the Chinese antique script is very long and there are not enough documentary resources about its history. Chinese characters can be traced to a time when people made records in their daily life by tying knots in ropes or strings. The most accepted legend is that the inventor of Chinese writing was a minister named Ts’ang Chieh, who recorded the history in the court of Emperor Huang Ti, the first king of China.

People in different regions of China speak differently, including such dialects as Mandarin, Min Nan, Hakka, Cantonese, etc. But while certain characters may be pronounced differently depending on the dialect, the meaning and the written Chinese language is the same for everyone. Mandarin is the official spoken language of the People’s Republic of China.

There are three elements in a Chinese character: image (form), sound, and meaning. There are also six principles that used to define and explicate the characters:

1. Pictograms (象形)

Pictograms are words formed from things which can be drawn (such as animals, a person, or objects.)

pictograph

2. Simple Indicatives (指事)

Simple indicatives are words formed from things that cannot be drawn (such as directions or numbers.)

simple

3. Compound Indicatives (會意)

Compound indicatives are words formed to be understood easily after the pictograph and indicatives are formed.

compund

4. Phono-semantic Compound Characters (形聲)

A phono-semantic compound character represents a word that is formed from another word to which it is similar, with additional signs or characters added to make the new character. The word is pronounced like one of the original words.

phono-semantic-compound

5. Borrowed Characters (假借)

A borrowed character was originally borrowed from another word that was pronounced the same (a homophone).
For example, the character 來 lái depicts the wheat plant and meant wheat in ancient times — it was a pictogram. Because the words for wheat and to come were pronounced the same, the character 來 was then borrowed to write the verb to come. The pronunciation of the original word meaning wheat has changed in modern times to mài (now written 麥), and the original homophony between the two words has disappeared.
6. Derived characters (轉注)
Derived characters represent words that share the same root word or meaning.
For example, the characters 老 lǎo (old) and 考 kǎo (a test) are the most commonly cited examples of derived characters, which come from a common etymological root but differ in that one part is changed to indicate a different pronunciation and meaning.

6. Derived Characters (轉注)

Derived characters represent words that share the same root word or meaning.
For example, the characters 老 lǎo (old) and 考 kǎo (a test) are the most commonly cited examples of derived characters, which come from a common etymological root but differ in that one part is changed to indicate a different pronunciation and meaning.

(retreived 07.10.2016 at http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/mandarin1/4535)

Read more online here or download pdf here.

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Radicals

Every Chinese character has a radical or is itself a radical. There are 214 radicals today.
For example, 女 is the character for woman. It is also the radical for many female things: 姐姐 = little sister, 妈妈 = mamma, etc.

Radicals are used to tell something about the meaning of the character, such as is made of metal, is tall, etc.

Radicals are also used to look up characters in a dictionary. To find a character you look for the radical in a radical list. When you have found your radical you count the remaining number of strokes in the character. With this information it is now possible to find the character.

people

animal

actions

home

(retreived 07.10.2016 at http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/mandarin1/4537)

Read more online here or download pdf here.

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Strokes and stroke order

All Chinese characters build up from basic strokes. The simplest ones have only one stroke while the more complex ones can have more than 20–30 strokes. The strokes are to be written in the right order and in the right way. It is important to follow these rules.

8-basic-strokes

(retreived 07.10.2016 at http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/mandarin1/4538)

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The strokes are to be written in a certain order. There are very few rules but it is important to spend time learning them since they make it easier to remember the character. Your characters will also look better if you write them correctly. In China calligraphy is a highly regarded art form.

Note that there are additional rules when rules conflict. For example, rules may conflict when one stroke is to the bottom and left of another. Also, the last rule may conflict with other rules, however the overriding rule is top to bottom.

stroke-order

(retreived 07.10.2016 at http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/mandarin1/4539)

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Material above copied from an online learning textbook http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/mandarin1/cover produced by the UNC School of Education http://www.learnnc.org.

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Most Common Chinese Words

1.的
[de] grammatical particle marking genitive as well as simple and composed  adjectives; 我的 wǒde: my; 高的 gāode: high, tall; 是的 shìde: that’s it, that’s right;  是…的 shì…de: one who…; 他是说汉语的. Tā shì shuō Hànyǔde. He is one who  speaks Chinese
2.一  
[yī] one, a little; 第一 dì-yī first, primary; 看一看 kànyīkàn have a (quick) look at  [yí] (used before tone #4); 一个人 yí gè rén one person; 一定 yídìng certain; 一样 yíyàng same; 一月 yíyuè January  [yì] (used before tones #2 and #3); 一点儿 yìdiǎnr a little; 一些 yìxiē some
3.是
[shì] to be, 是不是? shìbushì? is (it) or is (it) not?: 是否 shìfǒu whether or not, is (it)  or is (it) not?
4.不
[bù] not  [bú] (used before tone #4): 不是 bú shì isn’t
5.了
[le] verb particle marking a new situation or a completed action; 你来了! Nǐ láile!  You have come! 我累了! Wǒ lèile! I’ve gotten tired! 那好了! Nà hǎole! That’s OK  (now)! 我只请了一位客人. Wǒ zhǐ qǐngle yí wèi kèren. I invited only one guest.  [liǎo] end, finish, settle, dispose of, know clearly, to be able, (=了解 liǎojiě)  understand, comprehend: 了了 liǎoliaǒ clearly understand, settle (a debt/etc.), to be  intelligent: 了了 liǎole to be over/ended/finnish/settled; 你卖不了! Nǐ mài bùliǎo!  You will not be able to sell (it)!

View more documents from zhang qiang (retrieved 05.01.2013 at http://www.slideshare.net/zqonline/read-links-about-chinese-culture-go-to-main-index-go-to

Read the complete list of the most common Chinese words in 2009 online here or download pdf there.

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现代汉语常用字表》(Table of Frequently Used Contemporary Chinese Characters) 常用字 (2500) (2,500 Most Frequently Used Characters) 笔画顺序表 (In the Order of Number of Strokes)


一画 (one stroke)

一 乙

二画 (two strokes)

二 十 丁 厂 七 卜 人 入 八 九 几 儿 了 力 乃 刀 又

三画 (three strokes)

三 于 干 亏 士 工 土 才 寸 下 大 丈 与 万 上 小 口 巾 山 千 乞 川 亿 个 勺 久 凡 及 夕 丸 么 广 亡 门 义 之 尸 弓 己 已 子 卫 也 女 飞 刃 习 叉 马 乡

(…)

十画 (ten strokes)

耕 耗 艳 泰 珠 班 素 蚕 顽 盏 匪 捞 栽 捕 振 载 赶 起 盐 捎 捏 埋 捉 捆 捐 损 都 哲 逝 捡 换 挽 热 恐 壶 挨 耻 耽 恭 莲 莫 荷 获 晋 恶 真 框 桂 档 桐 株 桥 桃 格 校 核 样 根 索 哥 速 逗 栗 配 翅 辱 唇 夏 础 破 原 套 逐 烈 殊 顾 轿 较 顿 毙 致 柴 桌 虑 监 紧 党 晒 眠 晓 鸭 晃 晌 晕 蚊 哨 哭 恩 唤 啊 唉 罢 峰 圆 贼 贿 钱 钳 钻 铁 铃 铅 缺 氧 特 牺 造 乘 敌 秤 租 积 秧 秩 称 秘 透 笔 笑 笋 债 借 值 倚 倾 倒 倘 俱 倡 候 俯 倍 倦 健 臭 射 躬 息 徒 徐 舰 舱 般 航 途 拿 爹 爱 颂 翁 脆 脂 胸 胳 脏 胶 脑 狸 狼 逢 留 皱 饿 恋 桨 浆 衰 高 席 准 座 脊 症 病 疾 疼 疲 效 离 唐 资 凉 站 剖 竞 部 旁 旅 畜 阅 羞 瓶 拳 粉 料 益 兼 烤 烘 烦 烧 烛 烟 递 涛 浙 涝 酒 涉 消 浩 海 涂 浴 浮 流 润 浪 浸 涨 烫 涌 悟 悄 悔 悦 害 宽 家 宵 宴 宾 窄 容 宰 案 请 朗 诸 读 扇 袜 袖 袍 被 祥 课 谁 调 冤 谅 谈 谊 剥 恳 展 剧 屑 弱 陵 陶 陷 陪 娱 娘 通 能 难 预 桑 绢 绣 验 继

(…)

二十二画 (twenty-two strokes)

Full table of 2500 most frequent Chinese characters in the order of strokes as .pdf here and a full table of secondary frequent Chinese characters in the order of strokes as .pdf here.

(Collected by Haiwang Yuan in 2003, retrieved 01.05.2012 at http://www.wku.edu/~haiwang.yuan/Chinese102/tableofchinesecharacters1.htm and http://www.wku.edu/~haiwang.yuan/Chinese102/tableofchinesecharacters2.htm, 05.12.2012 noted a broken link)

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Additional Material

Processing Characters and Colours

HENRIK SAALBACH and ELSBETH STERN / Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2004, 11 (4), 709–715 / Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

Download the full pdf here.

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Faciliation of Mandarin tone perception by visual speech

Obviously we do not only interpret audible, but also visible informations in talking. The Acoustical Society of America did some interesting research on that. “Interestingly, tone-naïve listeners outperformed native listeners in the Visual-Only condition, suggesting firstly that visual speech information for tone is available, and may in fact be under-used by normal-hearing tone language perceivers, and secondly that the perception of such information may be language-general, rather than the product of language-specific learning.”

(retrieved 05.01.2013 at http://asadl.org/jasa/resource/1/jasman/v131/i2/p1480_s1?isAuthorized=no)

Get a summary as .pdf here.

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About Chinese and Western Characters please visit Logographs and Phonographs – Visualisation of Language

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(revieved 07.10.2016)

Learning Chinese Language

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Learning Chinese Language or The Journey is the Destination

After the first experience in communicating with Asian colleagues I was convinced, that most of our misunderstandings would be about the poor English. So I decided to learn Chinese language… My first words were 八 (bā – eight) and 〇 (líng). We were unloading a container and had to sort the boxes according to the numbers written on. My boxes were number 8 and 0.  It took me about a year to understand, that those “misunderstandings” were not about the language – it was all about the culture.

But the more I learned from Asian cultures, the more I was aware that the language is a key to a culture. So I got a self-learning book and began to learn Chinese language. Soon I found out, that intonation plays a key role in the meaning of words. I went out and bought another book, this time with a CD inside.

First encounter with learning Chinese language (self-learning)

In the mornings, when I was sitting in the bus to my working place, I listened to the recording and improved my intonation (I am a Laofutze, my dad is a Laofutze and we do not care for appearing stupid in public – except for the only aesthete of the family). And after a full working day with great Chinese business partners I simply was too tired of anything Chinese.After about six months my efforts in learning Chinese language faded out.

Second encounter with learning Chinese language (language-tandem)

Since we have a certain amount of Chinese citizens in the town I live in, it was easy to find a Chinese person, who would like to exchange language skills. After several attempts I gave up due to the inefficiency. Teaching a language requires more than speaking it.

Third encounter with learning Chinese language (learning Chinese online)

I came in contact with Ms. Clary Xue, who did an academic research on learning Chinese online. Unfortunately I was too late to take part on this research, but we kept contact. After some months I booked an introduction to Chinese learning InspiringChinese.com . Since Ms. Xue is located in Beijing, we communicated on different online based platforms. The online interactive whiteboard is a great help.

BTW: got a tablet meanwhile. Improves my life.

Lesson 1

Ms. Xue checked my skills first. Guess she found some basic ideas about intonation and Pinyin. After one lesson I had a set of vocabularies to cover the first words on a formal encounter. For communication we used VOIP and an interactive online whiteboard. The lesson included “homework” and documentation, which I received a few hours later by email.

Lesson 2

After repeating the previous lesson we started with new words. Ms. Xue has a defined curriculum and enlarged my vocabulary to the first sentences. Now I can introduce myself as well as other people. Chinese obviously people like relations, so often a title is attached to the family name (“laoshi Xue” for “teacher Xue”).

There are words for each member of the family, like younger brother “didi” or older sister “jiejie”. In the internet I even found the word “xiaojiuzi” for “younger brother of the wife”.

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Happy Chinese New Year!

http://chinese-new-year-cards.blogspot.com

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Lessons 5 & 6

In these lessons Ms. Xue had a hard time with me. Due to personal circumstances I could not focus well on the lessons. Some days later I received an audio file as a review of the previous lessons.

Lesson 7

As a customer of Deutsche Telekom (which provides my telephone and internet line), I sometimes can make phone calls and surf the internet. In trying to improve this state, an engineer of the Deutsche Telekom began his job shortly before the lesson and interrupted it later on.

Today we went through simple conversations. I learned how to invite someone and to make an appointment. Ms. Xue introduced me to the word “le”, which indicates a completion of an action.

Lesson 8

One of my favourite words: xǐhuan – to like…

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Lesson 9

Now I got a little further in conversation.

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One year later…

历史 的 茶 在 德国

在 德国 我们 知道 茶  250 年 以前. 中国人 在 Java 卖 茶 给 荷兰人。 250 年 以前 啤酒 最 safe drink。 1750 年 茶 也 是 safe drink。开水 对 身体 很好。 德国的 政府 不 喜欢人们 喝 茶。 钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。

220px-Friedrich_Zweite_Alt

Frederick / Friedrich II 岁 68)

他的 外祖父 去 英国。 他 married 王后  Anne 也  是 国王。 他的 名字 George I.

1750 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialization (The „Königlich Preußische Asiatische Compagnie in Emden nach Canton und China – Imperial Prussian Asian Company in Emden/Germany to Guangdong and China” founded in 1751 already was 股份 公司!一半 shareholders 是了 荷兰人。

Koenig_v_preussen

词 “tea” (德语 “Tee”) 去 广东语 (caa4/taa4)。 欧洲人 说 “tea” 即使 我们 卖 给 广东。 “Tea” 去 跟 船。 别的 国 卖 茶 在 丝绸之路 (silk road)。 俄国人 也 阿拉伯人 说 “Chai” (Tshai). 他们 卖 给 中国 北方。 中国 北方人 说 茶叶 [茶葉] cháyè (tea leaves).

220px-Men_Laden_With_Tea%2C_Sichuan_Sheng%2C_China_1908_Ernest_H._Wilson_RESTORED

(Europeans transported the tea by ship from southern China, so they also took the Cantonese “taa4”. Other countries transported the tea by land, so they bought in northern China and adopted the Mandarin spelling “chaye”.

1840 英国人 作 茶 在  印度 and grew there with industrial methods for a much cheaper price. They combined an Indian tea-plant with a Chinese one and achieved a tea according to Indian climate.

有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多量 的 茶.

1920 it became popular for young people to go to a “Tanztee” (“Dance-Tea”). 和 茶 和 跳舞。 That young people 跳舞 Charleston and Foxtrott, which was scandalous that time. 1926 我的 外祖母  met 我的 外祖父  at a “Tanztee”.

Berlin, Tanztee im "Esplanade"

在 德国 我们 迟到 茶  250 年 以前.    知道(zhīdào)

中国人 在 Java 卖了 察 茶 to the 荷兰人。

卖(mài)茶(chá)给(gěi)荷兰人(hélánrén),or: 卖给(màigěi)…茶(chá)

以前 1750 啤酒 最 safe drink。1750年(nián)以前(yǐqián)….

1750 也 茶 是 safe drink。 1750年(nián)茶(chá)也(yě)是(shì)….

德国的 政府 不 喜欢了人们 喝 茶。 不(bù)喜欢(xǐhuan)

钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。 去(qù)了(le)

Boiled 水 很好 身体。

开水(kāishuǐ)对(duì)身体(shēntǐ)很好(hěnhǎo)。

1750 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 到(dào)了(le)德国(déguó)

这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialisation  是(shì)

1840 英国人 作 茶 在  印度 。生产(shēngchǎn):produce

有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多amount of 茶.

喝(hē)差不多(chàbuduō)量(liàng)的(de)茶(chá)

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Sexy Mandarin

sexy mandarin

~

sexymandarin_charly_bit_my_finger

… on my knees.

(retrieved 12.12.2012 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkvGhSDFo6s / http://www.sexymandarin.com)

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Hans im Glück

幸 运儿 / 汉斯 很 高兴

很都 年 以前 有 一个人, 他 叫 汉斯 。 汉斯 工作了 七 年. 现在 他 要 去 在 他的 妈妈家。

他的 老板 给 了汉斯很多 的 金子, 汉斯 的 妈妈 家在 很 远.。汉斯 很 高兴。

在城市 很 热,有人和马,(or 有人卖马), 汉斯 买了一匹 马。 汉斯 很 高兴。可是他 不会 骑马, 汉斯 不 喜欢 马了。

他 看到了 牛。 他 觉得 牛 比 马好。 牛 有 牛奶 和 肉。 他 用马 换了 牛。 汉斯 很 高兴。但是 这头 牛 没有 奶。

ìng yùn ér / hàn sī hěn gāo xīng

hěn dōu nián yǐ qián yǒu yī gè rén , tā jiào hàn sī 。 hàn sī gōng zuò le qī nián . xiàn zài tā yào qù zài tā de mā mā jiā 。

tā de lǎo bǎn gěi le hàn sī hěn duō de jīn zǐ , hàn sī de mā mā jiā zài hěn yuǎn .。hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。

zài chéng shì hěn rè ,yǒu rén hé mǎ ,(or yǒu rén mài mǎ ), hàn sī mǎi le yī pǐ mǎ 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。kě shì tā bù huì qí mǎ , hàn sī bù xǐ huān mǎ le 。

tā kàn dào le niú 。 tā jué dé niú bǐ mǎ hǎo 。 niú yǒu niú nǎi hé ròu 。 tā yòng mǎ huàn le niú 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。dàn shì zhè tóu niú méi yǒu nǎi 。

在 城市 有 人 和 猪在一起。 汉斯 觉得 猪 最好。 他 用 牛 换了 猪。 汉斯 很 高兴。

在 城市 另一个 人 说: “你 从 小偷那里买了猪, 如果 国王 你 看到, 你 有 麻烦。 如果你用猪换鹅,就没问题了!” 汉斯 很 快 用猪换了 鹅。 他 很 高兴。

在 别的 城市 他 看到 Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer 做 刀子 最好. Scherenschleifer 说: “我 有 很好 的 石头。 如果 你 有 石头 你 可以 总是 赚钱。” 汉斯 用 鹅 换了 石头,他 很 高兴。

zài chéng shì yǒu rén hé zhū zài yì qǐ 。 hàn sī jué de zhū zuì hǎo 。 tā yòng niú huàn le zhū 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xìng 。

zài chéng shì lìng yí gè rén shuō : “nǐ cóng xiǎo tōu nà lǐ mǎi le zhū , rú guǒ guó wáng nǐ kàn dào , nǐ yǒu má fán 。 rú guǒ nǐ yòng zhū huàn é ,jiù méi wèn tí le !” hàn sī hěn kuài yòng zhū huàn le é 。 tā hěn gāo xìng 。

zài bié de chéng shì tā kàn dào Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer zuò dāo zi zuì hǎo . Scherenschleifer shuō : “wǒ yǒu hěn hǎo de shí tou 。 rú guǒ nǐ yǒu shí tou nǐ kě yǐ zǒng shì zhuàn qián 。” hàn sī yòng é huàn le shí tou ,tā hěn gāo xìng 。

现 在 汉斯 到了 妈妈的城市附近。 天气很 热 , 汉斯 要 喝水。 在 河里他 喝水, 石头 丢了。 他 很 高兴, 因为, 现在 他 不 用带着石头去找妈妈。 汉斯 很 高兴。 在家里 汉斯 很 高兴。

xiàn zài hàn sī dào le mā mā de chéng shì fù jìn 。 tiān qì hěn rè , hàn sī yào hē shuǐ 。 zài hé lǐ tā hē shuǐ , shí tóu diu1 le 。 tā hěn gāo xīng , yīn wéi , xiàn zài tā bù yòng dài zhe shí tóu qù zhǎo mā mā 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。 zài jiā lǐ hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。

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Useful links:

Study Droid: nice DIY flashcards for Android smartphones.

Pinyin editor from Chinese-Tools for entering phonetic symbols.

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(reviewed 04.04.2013)

Communication Model of Paul Watzlawick

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Communication Theory of Paul Watzlawick (*25.06.1925 + 31.05.2007)

Watzlawick defined 5 different Communication Postulates (Axioms)

(…)

  • One cannot not communicate. Even silence already contains a message.
  • Human being communicate both digitally and analogically.
  • Relationship has content and a relationship aspect. Facts and data is transported on the “Content Layer”. How this message should be understood is transported via the “Relationship Layer”. The relationship layer is mostly is unconsciously transported by body language (especially facial expressions), gestures or the tone. Encoding and decoding of these information plays an important part in communication.
  • The nature of a relationship depends on how the two parties punctuate the communication sequence.
  • All communication is either symmetrical or complementary. Every communication string is circular. It is an interaction between two or more partners. Behavior is a reaction on a previous situation. It also is impulse, boost or reduction of further actions. If previous behaviors or messages dominate the way we communicate, it can cause conflicts.

(…)

(received 12.02.2014 at http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Theory/watzlawick/)

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Read more about the development of Watzlawick`s ideas by Schulz von Thun here.

(reviewed 12.02.2014)

Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Learning Chinese Language

with one comment

Funny video about how hard it is to learn Chinese language

Sheldon learning Chinese on Youtube.

“You just called Leonard a syphilitic donkey.”

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Or enjoy Sheldon speaking Chinese.

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Revised 01.04.2012

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions – Comparing by Cultural Parameters

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Gerard (Geert) Hendrik Hofstede (born 3.10.1928) defined a model of 6 cultural dimensions/indices to compare different cultures

Power Distance Index (PDI) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. (…)

Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. (…)

Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. (…)

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. (…)

Later added: Long-Term Orientation (LTO) versus short-term orientation.(…)

and the Indulgence or Restraint Index (IRI).

PDI-world-map-50

(retrieved 18.03.2018 at https://geerthofstede.com/culture-geert-hofstede-gert-jan-hofstede/6d-model-of-national-culture/)
“Culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others”.
geert hofstede
Video retrieved 13.08.2018 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBv1wLuY3Ko

See his website at: https://geerthofstede.com or read his essay online here or here.

For a short & handy ppt click here.

Download an introduction to Hofstede`s theories as pdf here.

For practical applications of Hofstede`s model see this page.

For Hofstede`s theories and their application on genetics click here.

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Hofstede’s Country Classification 25 Years later

Abstract: Nearly 3 decades have been passed since Hofstede (1980) collected the data used to classify countries by their underlying work-related structures. The present study, in which recent data from 9 countries and 4 continents was collected, is a re-examination of his country classifications. The results suggest that many shifts have occurred since Hofstede’s study in 1980. These shifts are related to some of the major environmental changes that have occurred.

(…)

Discussion: Overall, the findings of the present study suggests that there have been significant shifts in value classifications in some countries since Hofstede conducted his original study. Many of the countries examined in the present study showed a shift in ranking when compared with Hofstede’s original data. This finding underscores the fact that, although a nation’s work-related values are deep-seated preferences for certain end states. they are subject to change over the years as external environmental changes shape a society. Managers and scientists should use caution before attempting to use work-related values to understand human behaviour in organisations. At the least, managers should make an effort to determine the values currently prevailing and not rely on classifications or labels placed on cultures by researchers.

D. R. Fernandez, D.S. Carlson, L.P. Stepina, J.D. Nicholson at The Journal of Social Psychology, 1997, 43-54

Download the full article as pdf here.

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Geert Hofstede interview January 2013 (introducing the IRI – Indulgence or Restraint Index)

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IRI

(Retrieved at 06.06.2011 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBv1wLuY3Ko)

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About the practical application of Hofstede’s theories read this post: https://laofutze.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/applications-of-hofstedes-theories/

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(revised 13.03.2018)

Written by NoToes

09/01/2010 at 12:21

Posted in All Articles, China, Collectivism and Individualism, Communication, Communication in Different Cultures, Comparing Cultures, Cultural Dimensions, Emotions in Different Cultures, Hofstede, Intercultural Economy, Intercultural Management, Surveys, Time in Different Cultures, Tools / Software, Uncertainty Avoidance

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Perapera-kun Firefox Extension for Chinese Characters

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Perapera –  a helpful Firefox/Chrome extension for learning Asian Characters and navigate through Asian websites:

perapera

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(reviewed 09.04.2013)

Choosing a Foreign Name

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Choosing a Western Name

Gregory Mavrides from the Middle Kindom Life wrote an article about the differences between Chinese and English names and gives a guideline about how to choose a foreign name in China.

(…) Chinese names are very different from Western ones. For one thing, all Chinese names have a literal meaning, which is to say the characters that comprise a Chinese name have common meaning in the language. Most Western names do not have any actual or literal meaning and cannot be translated as such. Many of my Chinese students will ask me to suggest an “English name” for them and, then, upon hearing it, will immediately ask “What does it mean?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question is usually “It doesn’t mean anything!” (…)

Download the whole pdf here or here.

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Photo retrievet 18.11.2012 at http://onionjuggler.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/the-naming-of-students/dsc_0474/

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See the full post at Force Feeding Duck Style about the naming os students. The Force Feeding Duck Style actually is a great blog about a Westerner’s life in China.

~

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Su Fei (Sophie) does some interviews about the English names of Chinese people

There is more on YouTube  (keywords: “sexy beijing” or “sexybeijing”) or her website: http://www.sexybeijing.tv/new/default.aspx

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Choosing a Chinese name

老夫子 – Lao Fu Zi

Since I mentioned how Chinese people find their western names, here is an example of how a Westerner found his Chinese name. It is adopted from the phonetics of my family name. It has a double meaning. One meaning is that Lau Fu Zi was a Chinese philosopher. Since Chinese philosophy aims at being wise as a whole, it refers to my interest in learning about Asian cultures. The other meaning is a character from a cartoon “Old Master Q”, which was popular in the 70s.

Watch online at  http://www.oldmasterq.com/

See here for merchandising: http://www.omqcomics.com/en/

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(…) 三 姓氏文化 Surname Culture

sān xìnɡ shì wén huà

1.“女”字旁

Ever thought why the Chinese character for surname is formed by a feminine character?

“ nǚ ” zì pánɡ

母系氏族社会 matriarchal society

mǔ xì shì zú shè hu

父系氏族社会 patriarchal society

fù xì shì zú shè huì

2.中国古人的姓名:姓、名、字、号,如唐朝诗人李白,姓李,名白,字太白,号青莲居士

The ancient Chinese name included 4 parts: family name, given name, zi and hao. For example, the famous poet in tang dynasty Libai, “li” is his family name, bai is his given name, and his zi is “taibai”, his “hao” is “qinglian jushi”.

(In ancient China, young man reaching the age of 20 and girls when they are going to marry, they will get a “biao zi4”. This is his or her formal name when they officially join the society. Literati and people who have a social position may have a “hao”.)

zhōnɡ ɡuó ɡǔ rén de xìnɡ mínɡ :xìnɡ、mínɡ 、zì 、hào ,rú tánɡ cháo shī rén Lǐbái ,xìnɡ lǐ ,mínɡ bái ,zì tài bái ,hào qīnɡ lián jū shì。

3.《百家姓》the book of family names.

李姓为最大姓 the surname “ li ” is the biggest surname in China now

《 bǎi jiā xìnɡ 》

lǐ xìnɡ wéi zuì dà xìnɡ (…)

(received from Ms. Li Yunfang  at 12.11.2012 from yolanda-smile@qq.com)

For the best introduction to Chinese culture ever download Ms. Li’s complete article as pdf here.

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reviewed 18.11.2012

How Language Influences our Thinking

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The Effect of Language upon Thinking

(…) Much of what has been written on this subject by professional linguists focuses rather narrowly on the question of whether the grammar of a language will influence the thinking of its speakers, without any attention being given to how vocabulary might influence thought. But obviously language is more than grammar, and so conclusions about language in general cannot be drawn from studies which deal only with questions of grammar. (…)

wilhalm von humboldt Wilhelm von Humboldt (* 22. Juni 1767 in Potsdam; † 8. April 1835 in Tegel)

(…) Man lives with objects [around him] mainly, or rather — as feeling and action depend on the ideas which he entertains about the objects — exclusively in the way in which language presents them to him. The very activity by which he spins language out from within himself eventually gets himself entwined in it, and every language draws a circle around the nation to which it belongs, and which one can only leave to the extent that at the same time one enters the circle of another. (…) Humboldt’s German is difficult to translate. By “lives” here he means “experiences life” and by “objects” he means items of objective reality or noumena in the Kantian sense. The sentence in the original German reads as follows: Der Mensch lebt mit den Gegenständen hauptsächlich, ja, da Empfinden und Handlen in ihm von seinen Vorstellungen abhängen, sogar ausschließlich so, wie die Sprache sie ihm zuführt. Durch denselben Akt, vermöge dessen er die Sprache aus sich herausspinnt, spinnt er sich in dieselbe ein, und jede zieht um das Volk, welchem sie angehört, einen Kreis, aus dem es nur insofern hinauszugehen möglich ist, als man zugleich in den Kreis einer andren hinübertritt. (…)

Wilhelm Von Humboldt, Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluß auf die geistige Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechts. Berlin: Druckerei der Könglichen Akademie, 1836. An English translation of the work is On Language: The Diversity of Human Language and its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind, translated by Peter Heath (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), recently reprinted as On Language: On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species (1999).

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mill John Stuart Mill (* 20. Mai 1806 in Pentonville; † 8. Mai 1873 in Avignon)

(…) Names [i.e. nouns] are impressions of sense, and as such take the strongest hold on the mind, and of all other impressions can be most easily recalled and retained in view. They therefore serve to give a point of attachment to all the more volatile objects of thought and feeling. Impressions, that when past might be dissipated for ever, are, by their connexion with language, always within reach. Thoughts, of themselves, are perpetually slipping out of the field of immediate mental vision; but the name abides with us, and the utterance of it restores them in a moment. Words are the custodiers of every product of mind less impressive than themselves. All extensions of human knowledge, all new generalizations, are fixed and spread, even unintentionally, by the use of words. (…)

John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation, 2 vols. (London: John W. Parker, 1843). For the discussion of language see especially Book 4, chapters 3-6. For quotations and page numbers I have used the one-volume edition published in 1858 by Harper & Brothers, New York.

The Effect of Language upon Thinking by Michael Marlowe; April 2004, Revised July 2011

Read the full article online here or download full .pdf here.

(retrieved 03.11.2013 at http://www.bible-researcher.com/linguistics.html)

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Mental Representations of Time in Chinese (Mandarin)

(..) People’s ideas of time differ across languages in other ways. For example, English speakers tend to talk about time using horizontal spatial metaphors (e.g., “The best is ahead of us,” “The worst is behind us”), whereas Mandarin speakers have a vertical metaphor for time (e.g., the next month is the “down month” and the last month is the “up month”). Mandarin speakers talk about time vertically more often than English speakers do, so do Mandarin speakers think about time vertically more often than English speakers do? Imagine this simple experiment. I stand next to you, point to a spot in space directly in front of you, and tell you, “This spot, here, is today. Where would you put yesterday? And where would you put tomorrow?” When English speakers are asked to do this, they nearly always point horizontally. But Mandarin speakers often point vertically, about seven or eight times more often than do English speakers.

(..)

Does treating chairs as masculine and beds as feminine in the grammar make Russian speakers think of chairs as being more like men and beds as more like women in some way? It turns out that it does. In one study, we asked German and Spanish speakers to describe objects having opposite gender assignment in those two languages. The descriptions they gave differed in a way predicted by grammatical gender. For example, when asked to describe a “key” — a word that is masculine in German and feminine in Spanish — the German speakers were more likely to use words like “hard,” “heavy,” “jagged,” “metal,” “serrated,” and “useful,” whereas Spanish speakers were more likely to say “golden,” “intricate,” “little,” “lovely,” “shiny,” and “tiny.” To describe a “bridge,” which is feminine in German and masculine in Spanish, the German speakers said “beautiful,” “elegant,” “fragile,” “peaceful,” “pretty,” and “slender,” and the Spanish speakers said “big,” “dangerous,” “long,” “strong,” “sturdy,” and “towering.” This was true even though all testing was done in English, a language without grammatical gender. The same pattern of results also emerged in entirely nonlinguistic tasks (e.g., rating similarity between pictures). And we can also show that it is aspects of language per se that shape how people think: teaching English speakers new grammatical gender systems influences mental representations of objects in the same way it does with German and Spanish speakers. Apparently even small flukes of grammar, like the seemingly arbitrary assignment of gender to a noun, can have an effect on people’s ideas of concrete objects in the world. (..)

Does Language Shape Thought?: Mandarin and English Speakers’ Conceptions of Time by Lera Boroditsky, Stanford University. download full .pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 31.10.2013 at http://www-psych.stanford.edu/~lera/papers/mandarin.pdf)

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Examples of spatiotemporal metaphors in Mandarin

The immediate and chronic influence of spatio-temporal metaphors on the mental representations of time in English, Mandarin, and Mandarin-English speakers by Vicky Tzuyin Lai (Neurobiology of Language Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands) and Lera Boroditsky (Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, US) – Front. Psychol., 09 April 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00142

Read the full .pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 31.10.2013 at www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?pdf=1&FileId=11690&articleId=28033&Version=1&ContentTypeId=21&FileName=fpsyg-04-00142.pdf)

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Lera “Groucho” Boroditzki is an assistant professor of psychology, neuroscience, and symbolic systems at Stanford University, who looks at how the languages we speak shapes the way we think. Her best known discovery is about the “Grammatical Gender”.

lera boroditsky

Read an introduction to Lera and her work at the Edge or visit her website at the Stanford University.

Here is an interesting video of a speech she did: Lera Boroditsky – Beyond the Physics: How Languages Help us Construe & Construct

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(reviewed 06.07.2016)

What Germans think about Chinese

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What Germans think about Chinese and Chinese think about Germans

对你来说什么“最中国”? 最“中国”? 人们一起做所有的事,从不单独做任何事,这也许是一种典型的中国方式。人总在社会中,总在一起。如果有一些自己的想法的话,那就最好不说出来,而只说别人认为自己应该说的话——但这并不一定是对方想听到的话。

Read more at the Deutsch-Chinesisches Kulturnetz at http://www.de-cn.net/zfa/zhindex.htm

See also there, what the Chinese think about Germans (nur auf Deutsch): http://www.de-cn.net/zfa/deindex.htm 😉

Chinese artist Yang Liu did an excellent job in using this pictographs to explain the differences between Chinese and German culture. http://www.yangliudesign.com/

Guanxi

Problems

The full set is available here.

Hofstede`s Cultural Onion

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Gerard (Geert) Hendrik Hofstede (born 3 October 1928) created the model of the „Cultural Onion“

Hofstede`s Onion Model of Culture


Unfortunately, the nice intercultural website where I got the pic from was closed down: http://homepages.rtlnet.de/krkarwoth/priorities.html (retrieved 28.08.2009, disappearance noticed 22.11.2012). Sorry for this.

It is made of 3 layers around a core. The core stands for the values of a certain culture, which is not moving a lot. It mostly remains the same. Even if something seems to be outdated, it still can subconsciously play a role in the present. That includes individuals as well as groups.

~

The first layer around the core is described as rituals. A ritual can be the way of personal hygiene (most Asians shower in the evening, Europeans in the morning). German people like to shake hands often, Malay tenderly touch the fingertips and then point it to the heart. Those rituals are changing slowly.

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The second layer around the core are the „heroes“. A hero can be a fictive person, but has influence on the culture. A nice example is Dracula (written by Bram Stoker, published 1897). Since this book was published, many people in Western world developed a fear about Vampires, even if it never existed in their culture before. It also can be national heroes, photo-models or scientists – all people, who play a role-model in that society.

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The third layer is about the symbols. Nowadays most symbols appear as brands like BMW, Apple or Louis Vuitton. Those symbols usually move according to the momentary fashion.

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All three layers can be trained and learned through practices except for the core: the inner cultural values (Good vs. Bad, dirty vs. clean, ugly vs. beautiful, unnatural vs. natural, abnormal vs. normal, paradoxical vs. logical, irrational vs. rational).

For further information about the core, please refer to The Core of Hofstede’s Onion Model.

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Hofstede also developed the Model of the 5 Cultural Dimensions https://laofutze.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/hofstedes-cultural-dimensions-2/

Download an introduction to Hofstede`s theories as pdf here or see further info about Hofstede at https://laofutze.wordpress.com/category/hofstede/

Practical approaches of Hofstede’s theories see at https://laofutze.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/applications-of-hofstedes-theories/

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reviewed 13.09.2013

E.T.Hall – High Context Communication vs. Low Context Communication

with 6 comments

High Context Communication and Low Context Communication

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The Context

The context gives additional information, which is necessary to encode the whole situation / background of a given information.

high context low context

(retrieved 10.05.2014 at http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrbaldw/372/Values.htm)

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High Context

An example for High Context Communication would be the question, where my (the editor’s) black pepper is. A high context information would be: above my micro-wave. Those people, who know me, my apartment and my kitchen can immediately find the pepper. Their context is to know who I am, where I live, where my kitchen is and where micro-wave. Without the context (additional information) there is not enough information to encrypt the proper meaning.

In high context communication an information can have different meanings according. It needs additional information to encode (understand). Speaking in examples is also a high context information.

  • Less verbally explicit communication, less written/formal information
  • More internalized understandings of what is communicated
  • Multiple cross-cutting ties and intersections with others
  • Long term relationships
  • Strong boundaries- who is accepted as belonging vs who is considered an “outsider”
  • Knowledge is situational, relational.
  • Decisions and activities focus around personal face-to-face relationships, often around a central person who has authority.

(quoted from Culture at Work http://www.culture-at-work.com/highlow.html)

(retrieved 12.09.2013 at http://www.culture-at-work.com/highlow.html)

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High Context Communication is also common in many Western countries

The table sheds light on just how difficult it can be for a foreigner to understand what the British really mean when they’re speaking – especially for those take every word at face value. Phrases that prove the trickiest to decipher include ‘you must come for dinner’, which foreigners tend to take as a direct invitation, but is actually said out of politeness by many Britons and often does not result in an invite. The table also reveals that when a person from Britain begins a sentence “with the greatest respect …’, they actually mean ‘I think you are an idiot’.” (Alice Philipson in The Telegraph 02 Sep 2013)

WHAT THE BRITISH SAY WHAT THE BRITISH MEAN WHAT FOREIGNERS UNDERSTAND
I hear what you say I disagree and do not want to discuss it further He accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect You are an idiot He is listening to me
That’s not bad That’s good That’s poor
That is a very brave proposal You are insane He thinks I have courage
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to justify yourself Think about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally/ by the way The primary purpose of our discussion is That is not very important
I was a bit disappointed that I am annoyed that It doesn’t really matter
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense They are impressed
I’ll bear it in mind I’ve forgotten it already They will probably do it
I’m sure it’s my fault It’s your fault Why do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinner It’s not an invitation, I’m just being polite I will get an invitation soon
I almost agree I don’t agree at all He’s not far from agreement
I only have a few minor comments Please rewrite completely He has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options I don’t like your idea They have not yet decided
(retrieved 30.09.2013 at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10280244/Translation-table-explaining-the-truth-behind-British-politeness-becomes-internet-hit.html)

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Low Context

A good manual is an example of low context communication / information. No other information is necessary to understand it. In low context communication an information has only one single meaning. No additional information is necessary to encode (understand) the meaning.

  • Rule oriented, people play by external rules
  • More knowledge is codified public, external, and accessible.
  • Sequencing, separation–of time, of space, of activities, of relationships
  • More interpersonal connections of shorter duration
  • Knowledge is more often transferable
  • Task-centered. Decisions and activities focus around what needs to be done, division of responsibilities.
(received 10.05.2014 at http://www.culture-at-work.com/highlow.html)

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High Context vs. Low Context

Take a look how members of high and low contextual cultures see themselves and their opposites:

High Context Communication

  • polite
  • respectful
  • integrates by similarities/harmony
  • not direct
Low Context Communication

  • open
  • true
  • integrates by authenticity
  • direct
High Context claims Low Context

  • impolite
  • “cannot read between the lines”
  • naïve
  • no self discipline
  • too fast
Low Context claims High Context

  • hiding information
  • not trustable
  • arrogant
  • too formal
  • too slow

For an example how a low context culture interacts with a high context culture as the Chinese, please visit GlobThink: http://globthink.com/2009/06/24/indirect-communication-and-indirect-leadership-in-asia/ Unfortunately this link is broken / not existing anymore (reviewed 12.12.2012)

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Applications of Hall`s Theories about the Context

Website Design in High and Low Context Cultures

Parameter: Tendency in HC Cultures Tendency in LC Cultures
Animation High use of animation, especially in connection with images of moving people Lower use of animation, mainly reserved for highlighting effects e.g., of text
Promotion of values Images promote values characteristic of collectivist societies Images promote values characteristic of individualistic societies
Individuals separate or together with the product Featured images depict products and merchandise in use by individuals Images portray lifestyles of individuals, with or without a direct emphasis on the use of products or merchandise
Level of transparency Links promote an exploratory approach to navigation on the website; process-oriented Clear and redundant cues in connection with navigation on a website; goal-oriented
Linear vs. parallel navigation on the website Many sidebars and menus, opening of new browser windows for each new page Few sidebars and menus, constant opening in same browser window

MacDonalds CN

Link to the current Mc Donald’s Website in China

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High Context Cultures

Japan
Arab Countries
Greece
Spain
Italy
England
France
North America
Scandinavian Countries
German-speaking Countries

Low Context Cultures


MacDonalds DE

Link to the current website Mc Donad`s Germany

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(…) Meanwhile, it’s rolling out a new social media campaign, asking consumers to share favorite moments at the store, and it made a massive ad buy on Baidu, China’s main search engine, this weekend. The new togetherness message doesn’t mean China is phasing out global slogan “I’m Lovin’ It.”

“What we’ve done is give a layer of context to the ‘it’ — why are you lovin’ it?'” said Agatha Yap, senior marketing director for McDonald’s China.

Read the full article here or download as pdf here.

(retrieved 21.05.2014 at http://adage.com/article/global-news/mcdonald-s-a-local-touch-chinese-store-decor/292702/)

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M;rs. Martina Wuertz published “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Websites from High-Context Cultures and Low-Context Culture“, which gives an interesting idea of applications of Hall`s model. Download pdf “Cross-Cultural Analysis of Websites from High-Context Cultures and Low-Context Culture” here.

For more info about website design in different cultures see how AM+A used Hofstede`s framework for analysing website design in different cultures/countries. Download pdf here or visit the website http://www.amanda.com

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Monochrone / Polychrone Times

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Polychrone time

  • no fixed schedule
  • flexible
  • different tasks at one time
  • short term orientated
Monochrone time

  • has a fixed schedule
  • inflexible
  • one task at a time
  • long term orientated

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Western cultures intend to have a monochrone time (mono=single / chrone=time). Time is used as a single line, where all events are lined up. Asian and African cultures intend to have a polychrone conception of time (poly=different / chrone=time). Events happen simultaneously in a polychrone conception of time.

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Dialogue – when two time systems collide

Mr. Paul Rosen is the international sales representative for his computer equipment company. His most recent trip takes him to China,where he is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Patrick Chang.

Mr. Rosen and his training team arrived in Beijing three days ago for a scheduled appointment with Mr. Chang. However, Mr. Chang has not yet met with Mr. Rosen or his team. Finally, a call to Mr. Rosen’s hotel room indicates that Mr. Chang is prepared to meet with him. When Mr. Rosen arrives at the location, he is asked to wait outside Mr. Chang’s office. As he waits, he notices many people entering and leaving Mr. Chang’s office at a very quick pace. The hallways of this building are a hustle and bustle of activity, with people shuffling in and out of many rooms. Finally, after several hours, Mr. Rosen is called in to meet Mr. Chang.

Mr. Rosen: Ah, Mr. Chang, it’s so good to finally see you. Gosh, I’ve been waiting for days. Did you forget our appointment?

Mr. Chang: Hello, Mr. Rosen. Please sit down. Everything is fine?

Mr. Rosen: Actually no … (Phone rings) … the problem is …

Mr. Chang: Excuse me … (Takes the phone call and speaks in Chinese. After several minutes he concludes the phone conversation) Yes, now … everything is fine?

Mr. Rosen: Well, actually, I’ve got a small problem. You see, the computer equipment you ordered…(A staff person enters the room and hands Mr. Chang something to sign.)

Mr. Chang: Oh, excuse me… (signs the document) Yes, now, everything is fine?

Mr. Rosen: As I was saying … all of the computer equipment you ordered is just sitting on a ship at the dock. I need your help in getting it unloaded. I mean, it’s been there for two weeks!

Mr. Chang: I see … This is no problem.

Mr. Rosen: Well, if it sits in the heat much longer, it could be damaged. Could I get you to sign a worksgroups to have it unloaded by Friday?

Mr. Chang: There is no need for that. The job will get done.

Mr. Rosen: Well, could we set up some kind of deadline? You see, I have a staff of people here waiting to train your people on the equipment. I need to let them know when it will be ready. How about this Friday? Could we do it then? My people are here now, and they’re waiting to begin training.

Mr.Chang: Dont worry. We have been living quite well without those equipment for years. If necessary, we could wait for several weeks. That’s not the problem.

There is little chance that Mr. Chang will sign any kind of workgroups for Mr. Rosen. Mr. Rosen is also distressed by the constant interruptions. To Mr. Chang, Mr. Rosen is in too much of a hurry. Mr. Rosen is monochronic, whereas Mr. Chang operates from a polychronic time orientation.

Get the full pdf here or visit the website.

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Proxemics

Proxemics is the theory, that people from different cultures have different (imaginary) spaces around them. Link: http://www.edwardthall.com/

See more about E.T.Halls Concept of Personal Space at E. T. Hall – Proxemics (Understanding Personal Space)

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(reviewed 10.05.2014)

Parameter: Tendency in HC Cultures Tendency in LC Cultures
Animation High use of animation, especially in connection with images of moving people Lower use of animation, mainly reserved for highlighting effects e.g., of text
Promotion of values Images promote values characteristic of collectivist societies Images promote values characteristic of individualistic societies
Individuals separate or together with the product Featured images depict products and merchandise in use by individuals Images portray lifestyles of individuals, with or without a direct emphasis on the use of products or merchandise
Level of transparency Links promote an exploratory approach to navigation on the website; process-oriented Clear and redundant cues in connection with navigation on a website; goal-oriented
Linear vs. parallel navigation on the website Many sidebars and menus, opening of new browser windows for each new page Few sidebars and menus, constant opening in same browser window

Culture Influences Brain / Cultural Differences in Perception

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Partly incorporated by the later post Arrow, Circle, Spiral and Cylinder – Different Conceptions of Time and History: Culture influences Brain

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MIT imaging shows culture influences brain function

Asians and Westeners had to answer questions about absolute quantities (is, is not, how many?) or relative qualities (bigger than, higher than, more red than,…)

It became obvious, that Western people have to spend more energy to render relative judgments (bigger than, lower than, …) than Asians. Vice versa it showed, that Asians needed more energy rendering absolute judgments (is or is not).


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IMAGE / TREY HEDDEN, MCGOVERN INSTITUTE FOR BRAIN RESEARCH

TechTalk by MIT (Mass. Institute for Technology), volume 52, No. 14 (30.01.2008), J. Gabriell and T. Hedden from the Mc Govern Institute

Download the full pdf here, the article is on page 4 below.

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How Asians and Westerners look at Faces

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(…) Western society is very individualist. Asian societies are much more collectivistic (…) Western approach to facial recognition is piece-by-piece and intimate. The East Asian approach is both more formal and holistic: peripheral information is gathered

(…). We tested some Chinese who had been in Glasgow for three or four years, and you see a clear difference between them and those who just arrived (…). That really demonstrates that it’s not genetic. It’s experience. (…)

Retrieved 14.01.2011 from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/08/culture-shapes/
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Read the full research article “Culture Shapes How People See Faces” online here or download as pdf here.

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Citation: Blais C, Jack RE, Scheepers C, Fiset D, Caldara R (2008) Culture Shapes How We Look at Faces. PLoS ONE 3(8): e3022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003022 Editor: Alex O. Holcombe, University of Sydney, Australia Received June 12, 2008; Accepted July 30, 2008; Published August 20, 2008 Copyright: ß 2008 Blais et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This study was supported by The Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council (ESRC) (RES-060-25-0010). REJ was supported by a PhD studentship awarded by ESRC (PTA-031-2006-00192), CB by a PhD studentship provided by the Fonds Que ́cois de Recherche en Nature et Technologies ́be (FQRNT) and DF by a FQRNT post-doctoral fellowship. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. * E-mail: r.caldara@psy.gla.ac.uk, retrieved 14.01.2011 from http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003022

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How Asians and Westerners look at Emotions (Facial Expressions are not universal)

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How Asians and Westerners Encode Emotions~

Here, we report marked differences between EA (East Asians) and WC (Western Caucasian) observers in the decoding of universal facial expressions. EA observers exhibited a significant deficit in categorizing ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘disgust’’ compared to WC observers. Also, WC observers distributed their fixations evenly across the face, whereas EA observers systematically biased theirs toward the eye region. A model observer revealed that EA observers sample information that is highly similar between certain expressions (i.e., ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘surprise’’; ‘‘disgust’’ and ‘‘anger’’). Despite the apparent lack of diagnostic information, EA observers persisted in repetitively sampling the eye regions of ‘‘fear,’’ ‘‘disgust,’’ and ‘‘anger.’’

Download the .pdf here or online here.

Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal
Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal – Rachael E. Jack,, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Caroline Blais, Christoph Scheepers, Philippe G. Schyns, and Roberto Caldara,, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, 1Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, 2Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi), University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, 3Départment de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada ,Received 12 May 2009; revised 12 July 2009; accepted 13 July 2009. Published online: August 13, 2009. Available online 13 August 2009.
Current Biology –  Volume 19, Issue 18, 29 September 2009, Pages 1543-1548: retrieved 19.02.2011 under http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-4X0FH86-5&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F29%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=afe59a73a6b115faacec22215d993939&searchtype=a

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The Stroop Effect on Morphosyllabic (Asian) and Alphabetical Readers (Western)

Stroop Effect

(1) No interference: Green Red Blue Purple Blue Purple (2) Interference: Blue Purple Red Green Purple Green

In psychology, the Stroop effect is a demonstration of the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., “blue,” “green,” or “red”) is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word “red” printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color. The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first published the effect in English in 1935. The effect had previously been published in Germany in 1929. The original paper has been one of the most cited papers in the history of experimental psychology, leading to more than 700 replications. The effect has been used to create a psychological test (Stroop Test) that is widely used in clinical practice and investigation.

(Wikipedia, retrieved 08.01.2011)

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Stroop Effect on Morphosyllabic and Alphabetical Readers

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Twenty-three Chinese and 24 German undergraduate students were tested in a Stroop paradigm with the following stimuli: color patches, color-neutral words (e.g., friend printed in yellow), incongruently colour-associated words (e.g., blood printed in blue), and incongruently colour words (e.g., yellow printed in blue). Results revealed no differences in German and Chinese students’ response times to colour patches. Chinese participants, however, showed longer colour naming latencies for neutral words as well as for colour words and colour-related words. No differences between German and Chinese participants were found when print colour latencies for neutral words were subtracted from print colour latencies for colour words and colour-related words. This result does not support theories which suggest that for morphosyllabic readers there is a direct route from orthography to the semantics of a word. We rather argue, with reference to dual route models of reading, that access from print to phonology is faster for morphosyllabic than for alphabetic readers, and therefore interference caused by conflicting phonologies of colour name and written word will be stronger in Chinese readers than in German readers.

HENRIK SAALBACH and ELSBETH STERN / Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2004, 11 (4), 709–715 / Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

Download the full pdf here.

See “How Language influences our Thinking” or “Choosing a foreign Name” or search the Category “Language“.

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Updated 14.01.2011

MIT imaging shows culture
influences brain function

Cool translation software

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ImTranslator: nice plugin or the IE and Firefox for instant translations from and to most languages. It is absolutely free.

Simply mark the phrase, right mouse click and there you have. Includes automatic language recognition.

Free download at: http://imtranslator.net/plugin-tr.asp

Logographs and Phonographs – Visualisation of Language

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Pictographs / The Origin of all Characters

Chinese and Western characters both derived from pictographs. Traffic signs are pictographs. They express a complex meaning by a picture (Greek “picto” = picture and “graph” = sign). Pictographs can be understood throughout all languages.

pictograph 4 riders Saddle Rock Ranch

(retrieved 12.01.2013 at http://www.nps.gov/nhl/DOE_dedesignations/graphics/SRRPSpictographs.JPG)
(Pictrograph from Saddle Rock Ranch Pictograph Site in California USA)

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Logographs

Asian characters are called logographs (deriving from Greek “logos” = meaning and “graph” = sign). These characters are not necessarily linked directly to their pronunciation.

The separation of meaning and pronunciation allows different languages to use the same set of characters. 

Te character for “Bird” ist still similar in Chinese as well as in Japanese:

traditional Chinese

simplified Chinese

Japanese

More Logographs

Chinese character for door (men2) It looks like a symbol for a door with movable hinges on the left side.

During the times, the pictographs changed the shape. This is the character for sun (ri4).

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Development of Chinese Characters

Retrieved 08.01.2011 from http://blog.chinesehour.com/?p=589

More info about Chinese Language in here.

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Phonographs

 

Western characters are called phonographs (Greek “phono” = sound and graph=sign). They show the spelling but do not represent the meaning. A foreign reader may pronounce a word, but not understand the meaningThe English word “Hut” has a very different meaning in German language (“Hat”).

Western Characters also derived from pictographs. The European Phoenicians (1000 – 500 BC) used the first types of characters as we still have now.

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D for “Dalet”, which means Door (looks like the triangle entrance of a tent)PhoenicianD-01

A for “Aleph”, which means Ox (looks like two horns or a plow)

A

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Development of the Phoenician alphabet

200px-Phoenician_alphabet.svg

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Development of the Greek Alphabeth

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 Development of the Latin Alphabet

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Western Mathematics is based on Arabic Numerals

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(reviewed 07.10.2016)

Accidental Humour

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Engrish – cool website with a treasure of what can happen to the English language.

http://www.engrish.com/category/chinglish/

suspicious-supermarket

Very suspicious, Dr. Watson!

beware-of-unreal-things

Still my favorite.

For a scientific background about this kind of humour, please check this:

Accidental Humor in International Public by Mohammed Farghal

Dept. of English, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Abstract

This paper examines accidental humor as it manifests itself in international public notices displayed in English. It shows that accidental humor, just like intentional humor, essentially stems from script opposition and script overlap (Raskin, 1985). However, it lacks intentionality, which plays a key role in contrived humor. In this way, accidental humor is based on the interaction between the text and the receiver, apart from the producer. In particular, accidental humor in interlingual communication is the output of the producer’s language incompetence in the target language, whereas it is the result of the producer’s landing in unintended ambiguity in intralingual communication. In such humor, therefore, the initiator infringes one or more maxims of conversation (Grice, 1975), unlike intentional humor, where the joke teller exploits conversational maxims for communicative purposes, in order to generate conversational implicature and, subsequently, laughter. (…)

Read his full article here:  http://www.immi.se/intercultural/nr12/farghal.htm

The Immigrant Institutetfrom Sweden offers a large database about different aspects of intercultural research.

Links: http://www.immi.se/intercultural/links.htm

Articles: http://www.immi.se/intercultural/authors.htm