Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category
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.
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.
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”.
Happy Chinese New Year!
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.
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.
One of my favourite words: xǐhuan – to like…
Now I got a little further in conversation.
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。
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。
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).
(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”.
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。
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。
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.
… on my knees.
(retrieved 12.12.2012 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkvGhSDFo6s / http://www.sexymandarin.com)
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 。
Study Droid: nice DIY flashcards for Android smartphones.
Individualism – Collectivism and Accountability in Intergroup Negotiations
However, for those who place a high emphasis on collectivism, cooperative behavior and harmony with others, especially with persons with whom one is similar, is normative and is likely to ensure positive evaluations in accountable negotiations.
In the low-accountability condition, those who had high levels of collectivism reported less cooperative intentions and behavior, and achieved lower outcomes, as compared to representatives with low levels of collectivism.
However, the current research suggests that negotiators’ behavior depends both on the nature of the negotiation situation, as well as on negotiators’ collectivism. Applying this to cross-cultural investigations, this suggests that broad generalizations about the negotiation styles of cultural groups, which does not take situations into account, are likely to be inappropriate.
Michele J. Gelfand / University of Maryland at College Park
Anu Realo / University of Tartu, Estonia
Journal of Applied Psychology , 1999, Vol. 84, No. 5, 721-736 – retrieved 08.12.2011 from http://www.bsos.umd.edu/psyc/gelfand/index.html
Interpersonal Communication Theory of Schulz von Thun (Four Sides Model)
Friedemann Schulz von Thun (*06.08.1944) enlarges the Watzlawick Model of communication by adding two more layers: the Self Revealing Layer and the Appeal Layer. These four Layers shape the Square of Communication (Kommunikationsquadrat):
Content Layer (CL) aka Sachebene (facts)
Relationship Layer (RL) aka Beziehungsseite (what I think of you)
Self Revealing Layer (SRL) aka Selbstkundgabe (who I am)
Appeal Layer (AL) aka Appellseite (what I want you to do)
Get his material here or download a pdf from Schulz von Thun directly here. For more information please visit his website http://www.schulz-von-thun.de/ or check his portrait at the Akademie für Konflikttransformation.
German users may refer to additional information on his website.
Deutschsprachige Besucher finden hier weiterführende Informationen.
“Muender und Ohren” / Tongues and Ears – Applications of Schulz von Thun`s Theories
Chinese Ears and Chinese Tongues
„Words cannot express a thought completely“ noted Confucius about the I Ging. He was aware of the limitations of language. For expressing a thought, Confucius needs the impression (picture), the character (logograph) and finally adds his finding (or taking action).
Chinese characters are logographs. That logographs derived from images or pictographs. Some Chinese logographs are still similar to the pictograph. Read more about Chinese and western characters at Logographs and Phonographs – Visualisation of Language
Logographs are not meant to express a thought precisely or distinguish different approaches. A single character can have different meanings, so it needs a lot of imagination, or active listening to understand a message. Sentences need to be “encoded” or interpreted by the recipient. (See E.T. Hall – High Context Cultures.) To understand the specific content it needs additional information (context).
Chinese Sender / Chinese Tongue
Content Layer (less distinct) In Chinese culture the Content layer needs additional information to understand. It is influenced by other layers more than in German culture. When the Content Layer leaves space for different interpretations (in respect of other layers), it harbors the risk of misinterpretations. Words are chosen more carefully for leaving enough space for the recipients.
Relationship Layer (highly distinct) How a content is delivered may also indicate the relationship between the sender and recipient. For making sure, that the CL is completely understood, the RL must be taken into account. The same content can have very different meanings depending on the recipient. Relationships have a long perspective (Long Term Orientation) and should be treated with priority.
Self Revealing Layer (less distinct) Harmony in Asia means a well structured hierarchical system in a “natural balance”. In order to keep this balance, a Chinese sender tends to avoid the Self Revealing Layer. Stressing the Self Revealing Layer indicates a deep gap between the sender and recipient or used as harsh critic. (It is still perilous in most parts of Asia to express personal political ideas in public.)
Appeal Layer (highly distinct) Since the Relationship Layer plays such a dominant part in communication, personal wishes are not clearly said but expressed in appeals.
Chinese Recipient / Chinese Ears
Content Layer (less distinct) The unspoken additional context leaves space for different interpretations. A Chinese recipient would not react spontaneously to certain words, but rather to situations. Words itself represent only limited information for Chinese recipients. A Chinese recipient usually adds different sources for information (body language, situation, sound,…) by himself. The Content Layer is only one layer of others and represents only a part of the message. Other layers may play a more important part in understanding a message.
Relationship Layer (highly distinct) The way the content is sent plays an important role to understand the content itself. The content depends on the estimated value for the recipient and can vary.
Self Revealing Layer (less distinct) The way the sender stresses the Self Revealing Layer points at the recipient, and not to the sender. When stressed, than for pointing at the recipient, and not to the sender.
Appeal Layer (highly distinct) The Appeal Layer is highly developed in Chinese culture. The “Chinese Appeal Ear” notices all indirect expressed wishes to balance the relationship. It helps to understand the Content Layer and corresponds with the relationship Layer. Neglecting the Appeal Layer can lead to deep conflicts in relationships.
German Ears and German Tongue
German language is meant to express information very precisely. Grammar includes different conjugations and declinations for transporting as much information as possible in the most efficient way. It does not need additional information (context) to understand a specific message (See E.T. Hall – Low Context Cultures.)
German Sender / German Tongue
Content Layer (highly distinct) A German sender expresses himself as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings. In opposite to Chinese senders, language is not regarded as a source of misunderstandings. Abstract information can be expressed comparatively well defined. Clear words are regarded as honest and true. The Content Layer is also used for expressing “the unspeakable”. Criticism is widely used to show how much the sender cares.
Relationship Layer (less distinct) Relationships are shown in deeds and not in words. Being punctual or keeping promises is widely felt as a sign of sympathy, respect and honesty. Neglecting settlements can cause severe damage on a relationship.
Self Revealing Layer (highly distinct) Expressing (and/or discussing) personal thoughts and moods is often felt as “being close to someone”. It is essential for any relationship to share those personal matters. Different opinions are respected or appreciated.
Appeal Layer (less distinct) German senders usually do not respect the recipient’s situation. Messages are clear and usually do not content hidden messages. Therefore Germans are respected as trustful and honest, but also naive and awkward.
German recipient / German Ears
Content Layer (highly distinct) Germans tend to stress the Content Layer in communication. A German recipient focuses on this layer most, neglecting other layers. The content of a message can be understood without or a minimum of additional information. Small Talk is often seen as unpleasant and inefficient. Often German senders “hide” other layers within the Content Layer. Emotions or “unspeakable messages” are drawn into the Content Layer. “True and honest” words can be felt as insult, and often enough meant this way.
Relationship Layer (less distinct) The Relationship Layer is not very distinct in German culture. A relationship is often shaped on the Content Layer. Authenticity and reliability make a person trustful. Keeping settlements is a good way to show respect and/or sympathy.
Self Revealing Layer (highly distinct) German culture is highly influenced by the idea of individuality. Sharing very personal thoughts can be a good way to approach other individuals. A German recipient needs this information to establish a relationship. A person holding back personal thoughts is regarded as not trustful, hiding something or “being fishy”.
Appeal Layer (less distinct) On the Appeal Layer the German recipient is mostly numb. The ability of “active listening” is not much developed. It is hard for a German recipient to understand implicit messages. Not corresponding on the Appeal Layer is often felt as “cold” or impersonal.
(Adopted/translated from Lei Wang/Cologne, Münder und Ohren, 2008)
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/)
Read more about the development of Watzlawick`s ideas by Schulz von Thun here.
Choosing a Western Name
(…) 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!” (…)
Photo retrievet 18.11.2012 at http://onionjuggler.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/the-naming-of-students/dsc_0474/
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.
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
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/
(…) 三 姓氏文化 Surname Culture
sān xìnɡ shì wén huà
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the best introduction to Chinese culture ever download Ms. Li’s complete article as pdf here.