Topic Reading-Vol.2868-2/17/2020

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Topic Reading-Vol.2868-2/17/2020

英語で世界を知ろう!Topic Reading

2020/02/17 Topic Reading-Vol.2868-2/17/2020

Dear MEL Topic Readers,

How reading the air keeps Japan going?

Japan is often referred to as a high context country where both verbal and nonverbal communication is indirect. There, it is essential to read from small communication gestures and less direct messages. Messages are often not spoken or expressed but rather implied and are expected to be inferred. In other words, one is expected to read the air. That doesn’t sound so communicative to those whose culture is low context where direct verbal communication and other non-verbal expressions play a big role like America. For example, when your host asks you if you want another cup of tea in Japan, it could mean it’s time for you to leave. You may not simply say, “No thank you,” but should say, “Oh, I stayed too long to bother you.” Yes, it could a cue to urge you to leave depending on the situation and relation with the host.

In order to read the air, you definitely want to understand the situation first. Looking around to find what and how others are doing is one thing. Another way is to find the real intention of the speaker by looking into their eyes. Also, picking up on non-verbal cues along with other non-verbal communication helps you to understand what the person is implying. It is so cultural, situational, and contextual that even young or non-sensitive Japanese don’t get it right. That may be one of the reasons Japanese aren’t good at speaking English.

Enjoy reading the article and learn to read the air.

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200129-what-is-reading-the-air-in-japan

MEL School 三鷹
電話:0422-27-5366
住所 〒181-0013 東京都三鷹市下連雀3-33-13 三鷹第二ビル101
営業時間:電話受付15時~17時 定休日:日曜日

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