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ERIC Number: ED191328
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Difficulty of Intercultural Communication between Americans and Japanese. Doshisha Literature No. 29.
When a Japanese speaks to an American, the former changes his concepts into signs with associations based on Japanese culture, while the latter translates those signs into concepts with associations based on American culture. Thus, without understanding American patterns of association, no Japanese can communicate with an American effectively unless the American happens to understand Japanese culture. When an American and a Japanese communicate and the American takes the initiative, the Japanese is frightened at the prospect of being communicatively invaded. If the Japanese takes the initiative, the American is annoyed at the prospect of never getting beyond formalities. The Japanese is at a disadvantage in such a situation, since the traditional isolation and homogeneity of his/her country has encouraged the development of communicative conventions that do not lend themselves to intercultural contexts. Several theories of cross-cultural communication are briefly discussed, communication between the two cultures is schematized in several diagrams, and a number of the cultural aspects of Japanese and American communication are listed. (JB)
Descriptors: Communication Problems, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Background, Cultural Differences, Foreign Culture, Japanese Culture, North American Culture
Department of English, Doshisha University, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 602 (600 yen)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Doshisha Univ., Kyoto (Japan).