The kinship dialects
are utilized by both English and Chinese individuals, however the terms of
family kinship are utilized for relatives in English. While with regards to
Chinese dialect, they are utilized for relatives, as well as for non-relatives.
Also, the Asian kinship terms are way complex than the ones used by the English
people. For instance, in Chinese, “da bo” (eldest brother of father), “er jie”
(second elder sister), “san ge” (third elder brother) are often used, while in
English, “sister”, “uncle”, “grandma” are used alone or even before their first
names (Yin, 2009). According to Tillit
& Bruder (1993, p. 15), in the case of an American, it is
likely to switch from a formal address to an informal one, but the superior in
either position or age has to be the one to give permission to this.
Greetings. According to Marsih
(2010), in various cultures, questions like “how are you”, “were are you
going”, “have you eaten”, and so many others can and are commonly used to greet
people, but these questions are not necessarily real questions as the answers to them are
considered to be ritualistic. It is called ritualistic because for instance
someone asks how you are doing, you do not have to share all your feelings to
him/her. A simple “I am fine” is all that is needed, an a little small talk. In
most Western or English speaking countries, talking about politics or the
weather is considered as small talk.
The way people greet
and their consideration of small talks may be different in each language. For example, in some Asian countries like
China and Indonesia, the expression “where are you going” is considered as a
way of greeting, but a German or most Westerners may see this as being overly
curious (Mulyana 2004, p. 132).
Acceptance/ refusal of offers. This also differs in
various cultures and countries. Most
European or Westerners would accept or refuse an offer with a “yes/no, thank
you”, whereas some Asian countries like Indonesia are likely to say something
rather than yes/no since they find it difficult to use a direct response like
the Westerners. Whereas in Chinese, it is their culture for a guest to refuse
an offer for at least thrice before accepting it just to be seen as polite, and
if they happen to be the host, they would make an offer severally just to sure
if the guest really doesn’t want what is been offered (Mulyana, 2004, p.
It could be concluded from the above that the
Chinese see it as being impolite or greedy if they accept an offer at
once. Similarly, in India, Taiwan and
some parts of the Arabic-speaking countries, it is seen as impolite to
hurriedly accept when food is offered (Holmes 2001, p. 276).
Reprimand. To reprimand simply
means to caution someone, or to call them to order. This, just like the
previous sub-headings also differs in various cultures. In Thailand and
probably some other Asia countries, it is considered rude and impolite to
caution or reprimand a person publicly as it leads to face loss, whereas it is
accepted in some Western countries like Germany.
Talking about business. Preferable times to
have a business meeting are different in most cultures. The British people do
not mind talking about their business deals while having lunch or having a
drink, whereas the Japanese consider lunch to be a time for resting, and for
this would rather not have any business meetings during this time. The Germans
prefer to have business meetings and talks just before dinner, whereas the
French would rather be well fed before any talks of business and meetings
Western business people are often very relaxed while disagreeing
with each other because they believe that it is possible for them to quickly
resolve whatever the problem may be simply by appealing to principles. It is
therefore, it is alright to criticise each other if they believe that they have
the ability and accurate reasons for it. The other party is however likely to
push down whatever pride that they have got and listen. For the Westerners are
to subdue their emotions, and abstract principles in this way, they need to
believe in the legitimacy of these principles.
However, Chinese people, do not.
They believe that in order to get along with each other, they must continue
to sustain peace by regarding the feelings and pride of their partners, as well
as honouring their superiors.