アメリカと日本のコミュニケーションスタイルの最大の違い [高文脈文化 VS 低文脈文化] (パート1)

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この記事は日本語と英語で読めます。 最初は英語で、その下が日本語翻訳。
英語能力に応じて、読む順番をご自由にお決めください。

 


The no.1 communication style difference between the U.S. and Japan [High-context vs. Low-context cultures] (Part 1)


Consider the following questions:


1. In your native language, are subjects necessary for the sentence to be grammatically correct?


2. When refusing an invitation or declining an offer, do you usually include the word “no” in your refusal?


3. In your country, is being straightforward and transparent considered a good thing, considerate?


4. When you need to write to a business partner to let them know of a decision you’ve made, do you make sure to state your decision clearly in the very beginning of the email, then move on to explanations?


5. Do you believe that we, as individuals, are defined more by who we decide to be than by the influence of our surroundings?


Responses to the questions above will vary according to culture and personal preferences, and the more “yes” you’ve given, the more likely you are to feel at home in a "low-context culture"!


How much does communication depend on context? High- vs. low-context cultures


People from the same culture will usually share a similar preference for a more or less direct communication style. In his 1976 book Beyond Culture, the American anthropologist Edward T. Hall studied these preferences across countries and ranked cultures on a one-dimensional scale going from “low-context” to “high-context.”



A high-context culture relies a lot on “context” for communication, i.e. on what is not being said or non-verbal cues. A low-context culture, on the other hand, encourages direct, straightforward communication where “everything that needs to be said should be said.”

A number of sociologists have since applied Edward T. Hall’s methodology and found the lowest-context culture in the world to be the United States, while the highest-context culture appears to be Japan. In the next post, we’ll discuss what makes a culture more or less reliant on context for communication, and focus on one manifestation of the low- vs. high-context distinction.

Does your experience match the finding that Japan is high-context and the U.S. is high-context? Give your opinion in the comment section below!

Learn more about intercultural communication by practicing business communication in our Business Emails class and through our English CVs & Cover Letters session!



 

アメリカと日本のコミュニケーションスタイルの 最大の違い [高文脈文化 VS 低文脈文化] (Part 1)


以下の質問を考えてみてください:


1. あなたの母語では、文法的に正しい文であるためには主語が必要ですか?


2. 招待や申し出を断る時、あなたは大抵の場合「いいえ」という言葉を断りの文に含めますか?


3. あなたの国では、短刀直入で率直あることは良いことで、思いやりがあると考えられていますか?


4. あなたが決めた決定事項を伝えるために、ビジネスパートナーにEメールを書く場合、Eメールの冒頭にかならずその決定を明確に書き、その後で説明に移るようにしますか?


5. 私たちそれぞれは何者であるか、周囲の影響で決められたというよりは、むしろ、主体的に自分自身が決めたと思いますか?


上記の質問への回答は、文化や個人の考え次第で異なってきます。 あなたの答えに「はい」が多ければ多いほど、あなたは「低文脈」の文化に慣れ親しんでいると言えます。


コミュニケーションはどのくらい文脈によって決まるのでしょうか? 高文脈文化 vs. 低文脈文化