Re: Dropping the you? The Asian response to imperative voice.
Which leads me to a followup question: My Chinese colleagues have always told me that they simply accept Western style as a fact of life and deal with it. Yet none of them responded to my question with an enthusiastic "yes, and your Western style is so much more efficient and enjoyable than our circular/inductive/whatever Asian style of rhetoric that we wish everyone wrote that way in [Chinese, Japanese, etc.]". So perhaps they're just being polite.
In Japan it is impolite to respond negatively to an offered suggestion.
If you were to ask, "Would you care for another helping of roast beef?"
and the reply was, "Yes, but perhaps a little less this time," there
might be an expectation (shown only in inscrutable body language or in
hesitancy of speech) for you to understand the reply to mean, "No
thanks, I'm stuffed."
It can be worse, particularly in business, where an American salesman
asks a Japanese customer for his order, and is told, "Yes, we want
that, maybe sometime soon," while the actual message is, "No, we
have quite enough and do not need any more right now."
This cultural difficulty leads to Americans seeing Japanese as liars
and Japanese seeing Americans as callously rude.
Now all I'm reporting is as it was 20 years ago, but I rather doubt
it's changed much.
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re: you or he/it: From: Sean Hower
Dropping the you? The Asian response to imperative voice. (was: Re: you or he/it): From: Geoff Hart
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