ERIC Number: EJ938063
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Do English Speakers Address Their Japanese Colleagues by Their First Name, while Talking in English in Japan?
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v28 n4 p355-377 Nov 2009
This study examines how English speakers address, and are addressed by, their Japanese colleagues in Japan, and the deciding factors and motivation for the choice of address-forms in a given context. The local norms of English and Japanese are also examined through interviews with 15 British and 15 Japanese office workers in their home countries, to investigate the differences between the two norms that may cause English speakers and Japanese difficulty when showing familiarity in cross-cultural interaction. For the actual analysis of the interaction in English between English speakers and Japanese, I examined two English language teaching TV programmes, and interviewed seven English speakers and four Japanese speakers working in Japan. The main analysis focuses on how English speakers employ address-forms with their Japanese colleagues at work, in English in Japan. The analysis shows that speaking in English does not always mean following English norms, and that English speakers often accommodate the address-form of their Japanese colleagues to local norms, i.e. "last name" + "san." This decision seems to be heavily influenced by not only the local context, but the Japanese speakers' English proficiency level. When Japanese colleagues are not ready to accept the use of their "first name," then English speakers' adoption of the local norms seems to be an effective approach to establishing solidarity, which seems to be crucial in a cross-cultural business context.
Descriptors: Familiarity, Foreign Countries, English, Native Speakers, Japanese, Intercultural Communication, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, English (Second Language), Work Environment, Television, Language Proficiency, Pragmatics, Business Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan