Avoiding Cultural Misunderstandings  文化誤解面面觀

James Baron

 

精英翻譯社轉自http://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0058/273542/web/

 

When living or traveling in a foreign country, you'll likely come across cultural differences. It's a good idea to understand these differences to avoid doing or saying the wrong things.

當你住在國外或是到國外旅行時,你很可能會遇到文化差異的情況。理解這些差異以避免做錯事或說錯話是個好主意。

 

Some cultural misunderstandings involve verbal communication. For example, in Taiwan and Japan, people are expected to be humble when they talk about themselves in social and work settings. However, in the United States, it's normal for a person to boast about his or her own abilities in order to get them noticed. Therefore, if you're applying for a job in the States, don't hesitate to stress your achievements.

有些文化誤解與口語溝通有關。例如,在台灣和日本,人們在社交以及工作場合談論自己時被期望要謙虛。但是在美國,為了讓自己受到關注,吹噓自己的能力是很正常的。因此,如果你在美國應徵工作,就儘管去強調你的成就。

 

Other differences involve body language. In East Asia, avoiding someone's eyes while speaking to him or her seems respectful, but to a Westerner, it could suggest dishonesty. Similarly, a weak handshake is fine in Chinese or Japanese culture but may imply a lack of character to Americans and Europeans.

其他不同的地方涉及肢體語言。在東亞地區,談話時避開對方的眼神似乎是一種尊重,但是對西方人來說,這可能意味著不誠實。同樣地,在中華或日本文化裡,握手欠缺力道並沒有什麼問題,但是對美國人和歐洲人來說可能意味著缺乏個性。

 

The use of hands can also cause misunderstandings. The thumbs-up sign indicates a job well done in the West but can be an insult in parts of the Middle East. In the West, sticking up your middle finger is an offensive gesture, but in Vietnam the middle finger is often used to point at things.

手勢的使用也會造成誤解。豎起大拇指的手勢在西方文化表示工作做得非常好,但在部分中東地區可能會是一種侮辱。在西方,比中指是非常冒犯的手勢,但在越南常用中指來指東西。

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