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Re: Why Japanese never say no? 2014/2/23 02:11
Well,from few native speaker comments above, i feel like we are asking something that native speakers could not give it to us and do not want to do it for us. Welcome to the world of ambiguity...

One thing for those native speakers who do not want to change/adjust your way of expressions...you lose the effectiveness of communication and you can't complain that later. Don't complain that foreigners do not understand you. Don't complain that your business partners do not know what you want. Don't complain that your wife/husband (if he/she is a foreigner) never knows how you feel.
by ps (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Why Japanese never say no? 2014/2/28 11:18
I understand your feeling because I spent a long time in the western culture and I feel frustrated in the same way when I am dealing with my wife who's never even stepped out of not just Japan but Tokyo 23-wards except for short trips.

I want to come back to my older post in this thread about high context (HC)and low context (LC)cultures. In a LC culture, it is up to the speaker to make oneself understood. In a HC culture, there is a much larger responsibility on the part of the listener to understand what the speaker is trying to communicate.

In athropological theory, when a HC person and LC person try to communicate, the HC person has to adjust his/her communication for the LC person to be able to communicate.

However, for an HC person who is used to the HC style of communication where the listner will pick up signs, judges how the other must be feeling, etc. a person from the LC culture can be pretty annoying because you have to spell out everything about how you feel for them to understand you.

It's like being used to a high performance type-ahead function and having it turned off.

So, what ps is saying is true, the HC Japanese person has to adapt the LC communication style to get through to the LC person. But you must also understand that it takes extra effort for the HC person to do that.

If the HC person is going overseas or working in a LC culture company, he should make the extra effort. Making that extra effort to be nice to visitors is also OK.

But for someone to come to Japan and be accepted as a member of the group, demanding the HC people to adjust to the LC style will be consiered arrogant. You will have to try to learn the HC communication style. I have seen many westerners be able to make that adjustment so it is not impossible.

That's why some people consider dealing with foreigners as "mendokusai"(tiring, annoying, bothersome) because they are used to relying on the listner for their "enhanced" listening ability.
by Harry Takeuchi rate this post as useful

Re: Why Japanese never say no? 2014/2/28 13:11
Harry Takeuchi

Agree with you that both HC & LC need to adjust ourselves.

Anyway, I feel uncertain/unclear in the messages HC communicating with me all the time.

Will it happen among those HC themselves? LOL I just wonder if there are chances that they misinterpret each other.
by ps (guest) rate this post as useful

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