Cultural differences


Lost in Translation

I came across this recently from The English Teachers Collective, and it struck me as very apt and funny. I think I often use “I would suggest…” and “Very interesting” with the meanings indicated. It would be amusing to add some other cultures, e.g.
What the Germans say: “I do not think your idea will work.”
What the Germans mean: “I do not think your idea will work.”
What the British understand: “She does not think my idea will work and has contempt for me as a person.”

I am trying to learn some Japanese language and culture at the moment, and am definitely seeing similarities to British. Both cultures seem to prefer it if facts are referred to obliquely so as to allow the other person to infer them; direct statements are considered rude and abrasive. Maybe it’s an island thing.

Any comments from the non-British people in my lab? Can you figure out what I am saying?

3 thoughts on “Cultural differences

  1. Usually yes. I say things directly, and I do get into trouble usually. However, it works out long term.
    (btw.. I had the ‘with respect…’ and the ‘brave idea’ thing. Pretty much sums it up!)

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