With the international communication becoming better, except the verbal communication in daily life, we may come across many body languages. These body dialects can exhibit their ambiance or even substitute one word. Therefore, in order to comprehend the intercultural communication better, this dissertation first introduces the relationship between culture and language, then briefly clarifies what body gestures is and its function in intercultural communication, eventually, briefly analyses the distinctions of the same body language in different civilizations. Finally, the dissertation shows that when studying English language, one can't disregard the huge body gestures, it'll be helpful with our English review.
Key words: Language; culture; body gestures; intercultural communication
With the international communication becoming more and more frequently, Chinese people may have many chances to get in touch with foreigners. They always use many body languages with their discussion. It really is a funny phenomena. Shakespeare said "There's language in her sight, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks. " Indeed, these body language not only can make their term energetic, but also communicate the speaker's ambiance, or even substitute a phrase. What the body language means when they use for communication?This is actually the necessary knowledge of English study. Almost any body language is formed on the foundation of culture. Without understanding the real meaning of your body language, it'll embarrass or make fault. Therefore, this dissertation will analysis the distinctions of same body gestures in different civilizations and suggest to study English on the idea of understanding their culture.
The definition of "culture" is innovating as time passes. In the western world, initially it was used to describe some ability of person which signify a form of work. Then "culture" used to describe the real achievement of any instructed person. And in 1952, a e book of Alfred L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn called Culture. A Critical Review of Principles and Meanings was provide a general definition predicated on more than 160 types of culture's explanation which was identified by modern east and west academic group. And in China, its so this means was that with the understanding of all phenomena of real human social, govern the globe with instructing and inspiring. Within the Confucian principle, "wen" not only means expression, but also refer to all the guidelines of etiquette and music in general. In ancient Oriental, "culture" recommended guiding people with ethics. Culture is a intricate theory and changing with individuals social. However, the word "culture" is mostly found in three basic senses:
Excellence of tastes in the fine arts and humanities, also called high culture
An integrated style of real human knowledge, perception, and tendencies that depends after the capability for symbolic thought and social learning
The set of shared attitudes, prices, goals, and techniques that characterizes an institution, business or group
Language is quite thinking and communicating tool of individual. With vocabulary people will keep and pass individual civilization achievement. In general, any land has its language. It really is a notable character of a country and has long history. Language is meticulously related to thought. It is the carrier and exhibition form of thought. Terms is a social phenomenon with stableness and nationality. Though many pets or animals can make sound to express their feeling or deliver note, these does sound are regular without change. Only person have language and can combine all the does sound which have no meaning to become meaningful morpheme, then put these morphemes mutually in many ways to form utterance. Using infinite changing form expressing infinite changing so this means.
Culture and vocabulary are mutual dependence and can not be separated. Language is part of culture, it is the media of culture communication. We use terms to converse, and language is basically influenced by culture.
The marriage between culture and terminology is on the foundation of land. A nation produces language, at the same time produces culture. Edward Sapir thought that terms can not can be found without culture. The "culture" we talk about is public custom and opinion. It can determine our life structure. Linguistician Palmer said that dialect faithfully demonstrates all the history and culture, game and enjoyment, opinion and prejudice of an nation. As a part of nation's culture, language reflects the country's visage, at the same time, language reflects this content of culture as form.
Language is the important carrier of culture. Other companies such as historical site, book, or painting, only show part or perhaps a area of culture. But words stores everything of culture comprehensively. Terms consists of voice, vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary, especially the notional expression, bear the key responsibility of holding culture. Time goes by, and many new words are coming into being, such as "virtual floating", means netizens put their worries and secrets in the virtual bottle without knowing who will get it. All of these are anonymous. And "kickback", the original of this word is usually that the International Olympic Committee will open up an ethics research into Issa Hayatou over allegations the African basketball official required kickbacks from FIFA's ex - marketing organization. But these new words barely possible become part of culture. Only those vocabulary undeniable fact that integrate in to the bottom life deeply, chosen and beaten up by history, type in the basic region vocabulary is the sign of language have an effect on culture profoundly. For example, Buddhism have been spreaded about 2000 years. Some words like free, retribution, disengagement, hell are coming from Buddhism. These words have previously integrated into Chinese language become part from it.
Culture has effect on terminology semiotic system itself, words principle, thought and expression, and vocabulary learning. Region culture is decided by the meaning of vocabulary. Different culture tradition and mentality have definitively function to it. Such as "dragon", the american people have no opt to it, they thought it is monster, cruel person, are a symbol of devil. However in ancient Chinese culture it means the kid of heaven and the emperor, lucky and honorable. The reference content and way of culture are determined by the culture's person and person's culture. For example, Cantonese can't see snow for the whole year, so they do not distinguish ice and snow in strategy. The northman say " ", and Cantonese say "". But the Eskimo who stay in arctic pole always connection with snow and have a perceptive. You can find more than 20 kinds of words used to spell it out different snow. As the carrier and express tool of thought, vocabulary promote the introduction of thought, on the other side, language is fixed by thought. For instance, Chinese say "", that is "" and "", looking at the physics function of "" and "±". But in English, you can find "railway train", look into the move way of "rail" and "track".
To understand the culture of British countries is the key step of British study. The study of terminology and culture is split into "language & culture" and "language in culture". So culture is divided into two part: big culture and small culture. (Bright, 1976) This is a form:
other social phenomena
Body terms is the top part of non-verbal language. Non-verbal words and culture are learned behaviour and communal custom that abundant with long history history. The partnership between both have these characters in someone like Samovar etal's eye: culture and non-verbal vocabulary can not be divided. Many non-verbal languages are the consequence of learning culture. The shaping and impacting of non-verbal behaviour are always determined by determinate culture environment. It is vital to understand the partnership between culture and non-verbal words. (Samovar etal, 1981) Samovar thought that through understanding the basic represent mode of some culture's non-verbal terminology, we can search people's behavior and frame of mind. Through non-verbal terminology method can understand sort of culture's value system. Through the study of non-verbal terminology can exclude the slim ethnocentrism. The best reasonable signification of researching the relationship between culture and non-verbal vocabulary in intercultural communication is to solve the culture turmoil in non-verbal dialect. People always do not realize the training of their own culture, but very sensitive with other culture's non-verbal terminology and easily produce misunderstand. Price the whistle, the culture issue helped bring by non-verbal words is serious than that helped bring by verbal dialect. Because non-verbal terminology always is the appearance of sensibility and feelings. Samovar submit that to solve the non-verbal terms culture turmoil in international communication should bear in mind the follow three rules when understand this is of other culture's non-verbal words:
1. When focus on the behaviour of an non-verbal language cannot ignore that there are manifold non-verbal vocabulary cooperative work in real communication.
2. Anyone can not list and identify all the non-verbal words in any culture. But if we can understand exactly the information of some usually used non-verbal language under the international communication environment, it'll be helpful to understand the necessary information.
3. Only understand our culture's non-verbal terminology first, can we understand other culture's behaviour.
Under international communication, to recognize the meaning of non-verbal terminology should avoid modal or only notice superficies. Be sure to keep in head that any non-verbal language does not show up lonely, nor deliver any subject matter consciously. Pay special focus on that when review foreign language, international communication activity, and international research, for the need of communicating, learning and researching, people have to make a summation and generalization of the non-verbal terminology of the same country and the same words nation last but not least some representative non-verbal terms. However, in real communication, people must find that the non-verbal vocabulary in the same country and region are not only the same. Even in the same area, it is differ in thousands of ways between the people in different occupations, different age ranges and different culture levels. Such as America which is well-known for multinational immigrant living mutually, their non-verbal words are very hard to be steady. So as the various English country, the variations will be more further.
Body language is a way of communication that body actions which use mind, eyes, neck of the guitar, hands, arm, ft. or other parts of your body to express people's thought and emotions. Facial expressions, attention contact and other postures and gestures are the commonly used body motion. In a general sense of word, body language includes facial manifestation, in a slim sense of term, body gestures only includes this is portrayed by body and four limbs. The range of body gestures was advanced by Ruesch and Kees in 1956 based on the basic component of non-verbal terms. It involves signal language, action language, and object terminology. The other selection was advanced by M. Knapp in 1978 through the research of some relevant researching and literatures. Which have been body action and kinesics behaviour, physical characteristics, coming in contact with behaviour, paralanguage, proxemics, artifacts, environmental factors. Consequently, Jensen advanced another affirmation: body movement and gestures, attitudes toward time, behaviour toward space, basic practices in communication.
The research of human body language can track back again to Aristotle in Greek. The formally research was beginning from Darwin. In his 1872 e book The Expression of the Thoughts in Man and Pets put forward that man and animals have many similar expressions. The systemic research of body gestures must come first Ray Birdwhistell. His 1952 book Launch to Kinesics submit the idea of kinesics. Made the body language turn into a coding system like verbal terminology to study the relationship between body motion and communication.
Body Dialect of Julius Fast is a representative work that displays the research reaction to body language. This book is known as the summation of the scientist's research in the body language field. From then on, body language becomes a boundary knowledge and produces new research effect continuously.
According to estimates, human body can find out more than 270, 000 types of good posture and movement. This is a lot more than the audio made out by body. These postures and activities' meaning are incredibly intricate. Some are definite and materials as some are standard and blurry. Some are used to converse as some are used to self-express. Some are expressing emotion subject matter as some are reflecting character and attitude. So the sort of body language is highly complex.
The body gestures classification method of Ekman and Friesen has important effent in non-verbal words communication educational circles. Corresponding to all the movement's origins, use and code, they divided individual face and body's continuous motion into five parts:
1. Symbolic movements: these actions have clearly meaning, such as the gesture communicate "OK" and "triumph". Symbolic movements always used to substitute verbal language. In general, they have particular culture character. For instance, the activity means "suicide", in Japan, people use palm to simulate dagger to thrust the stomach, and in America, people use hands to simulate a firearm shot temple.
2. Illustrative movement: these types of motions cooperate with verbal vocabulary directly to describe this is of the talking. For example, to point out a sentence, identify a thought, suggest a material, depict a space romance, characterize a thing's tempo and quickness, portray a phenomena, describe a body motion, clarify a sentence's meaning, etc.
3. Sentiment revealing movements: mainly through cosmetic expression to show emotion or disposition, of course the other part of body can also point out these emotion. Exhibit the emotion can do it again, exaggerate, deny the verbal words, or may be no romance with it. Exhibit the feeling always deliver the meaning of communication unconscious, but also can utilize it in communicating conscious.
4. Modulation movements: this type of movement is utilized for keeping or modifying the discussion in the face-to-face chat. It drops a hint that the speaker can keep chatting, repeat again, make clear further, speak fast or more lively, let other folks have a discussion, etc. In recent years, people focus on the study of the turn-talking in chat. "Turn-talking" means that revealing to the opposite part "I want to talk"; preventing the loudspeaker changing this issue; requesting the other aspect to give me a speaking chance; let the other side keep talking; telling the others that "I've finish my discussing" and "you can speak". The usually used activity is head and eye activity.
5. Adaptable movements: Ekman and Friesen split it more further: 1). Self-adaptable activity: this kind of motion always happen on personally, such as, keeping own hand, massaging side, grabing, scratching, clutching, nipping, whisking or gathering the cloth. In general, the feelings is more disconcerting, the very actions are more distinguished. Picking nasal and wiping sight belong to this type. 2). Transformational versatile movement: this type of movement take place in the connect with other people. Such as, getting or providing, attacking or safeguarding, close or away. Leg movement can respond that encroach, footsie or episode. Shaking side or feet means fidgety that the person want to avoid talking. 3). Object adaptable activity: this kind of movement always relate to the using of material, such as smoking and writing.
As the necessary communication tool, body language has important function in intercultural communication. Bradford J. Hall(2002) summarized the mainly function of body language language:
1. Repetition: Body language can reinforce the verbal words by repeating the verbal concept nonverbally, such as by using a gesture, it can help the device understand the note easily. For example, when someone ask you where is the restaurant, you can point a certain path when you say, " the restaurant is north the collection. " Or we point to the question on the publication we just ask.
2. Substitution: Body language may be used to replace some verbal vocabulary to provide a certain meaning. When your friend meet a unfortunate thing that produce him weep, you can provide him a hug. This is stronger than any calming words.
3. Contradiction: Body language sometimes can betray the presenter by mailing contradictory communication to the verbal language. The body dialect is often thought to be the powerful term than the spoken words. For instance, we can't keep our face from blushing even say we don't anxious or we can not slow down our heartbeat if we are scared. And the professor can find students is wandering from the eyesight even though his sight are staring the blackboard. So the body gestures is reliable than the verbal terms sometimes.
4. Accentuation: It could force the power when you add a body gestures with your conversation than only use verbal language. Whenever you apologize to someone, if an apology show you face, this can make your apology more conviction. Furthermore, body language can provide a supplement to the verbal vocabulary. In a few countries, you can up you thumb as the same time you provide a admiration to friends and family for his good performance.
5. Regulation: Your body vocabulary also helps us to regulate the situation of the talking. For instance, when we desire a peaceful, we can put our finger on our lip.
Here contrast someone languages that usually used but have different interpretation. If you use a very terrible body language, this might bring a badly result.
1. In China, in the thumbs means "good" to compliment you do a good job, bravo and so forth. It is same in many countries. If thumbs down means disagree, finish off or you're game over. However in Australia, no matter it up or down is obscene.
2. Protrude the index finger means "put it off a minute" in the us, but in Australia it means "one more beverage".
3. Protrude the tiny finger means cowardly man in England as bet in America.
4. The "V" for triumph or peace register America if made out of the palm facing inward is taunting or sneering in Great britain. It is very unpleasant to society's morals.
5. American people sometimes up head, palm facing down, index finger across the throat, this means "I'm full. I cannot eat any more. " Nonetheless it means decapitation in China.
6. When Chinese people interacting with international people, the most antipathetic activity is using index finger point the others everyday. Indeed, the activity is within bad flavour and impolite to western people. That is reproof and rebuke.
7. Chinese male like to put practical other man's make for a long time. And Chinese female frequently take other woman's hand closely for long time. These surprise the foreigners because they consider this gesture means homosexual.
8. When Chinese language people obtain or send a glass of normal water or a gift, they will use two hands to simply accept it showing appreciate and admiration. But American people don't value whether use a couple of hands.
9. When chatting with American people Chinese language like to put their hands crossed behind their back or to their storage compartments. But these gestures make the American think you are covering guns in the hands.
10. China may scrape their noses when feeling uncomfortable. This is confused the western people because in their culture this movements means "I'm revealing to a lie".
Under the same culture, people may have misunderstanding as a result of body language, even different culture. Culture difference in several countries, so the body language can share different interpretation. If we don't realize the other's meaning, it has misunderstanding and displeasure. For Cases:
Tom is the manager of any American company in China. Just lately, Li Lei, one of the Chinese staff makes a blunder at work. He is very upset in what had occurred, so he involves Tom's office to apologize. Going into any office with laugh. He says:" I feel terribly sorry for the miscalculation. I am here to make a sincerely apology for you and guarantee that it will never happen again. " When he said this, the giggle always on his face. But Tom feels it is hard to simply accept and have him"Have you been sure?" Li says " yes " with giggle. Tom is irritated and says"You don't look sorry in any way. If you sense sorry, how can you still laugh?" Li seems so uncomfortable and does not really know what to do.
A Chinese university student Wangdan and her friend, the American college student Judy who studys in China were on the way to store. They observed a boy fell down on the floor. He attempted to operate while the encircling people laughed. Thankfully he was fine. Judy was bothered but found Wangdan was smiling too. She was very inquisitive and asked" how will you laugh when another person fell down. Why don't you help him to operate and have him whether he was injured. " Wangdan said, " Because they know he had not been harm too much. " But Judy still couldn't understand. She said, "In my own culture, if this was happen, we'd do not laugh. "
The former illustrations are about the "smile". In daily life we usually smile, but in different culture, this ordinary movement can bring misunderstanding or some more serious results. When european people come across these situations, they will with solemn face to apologize or come to gaming console the young man. Though smile means happy, it is the symbol for individuals generally, but in several culture, smiling in the communication are different. The traditional western people think smile always means happy, high in spirits or think something is funny. But Chinese language people often smile, since it not only means humours and satisfaction, also means embarrassment and protection, a good kind of evadable. So it confuses the traditional western people, they say it is too much to comprehend. In China, people sometimes use giggle to eliminate humiliation, also means "never mind", and the person giggle to self-mockery or play a tale. But if the affair is very serious, people provides help but giggle out of court docket. So for the individuals who have no idea the meaning, this kind of smile can make them disappointed even produce antipathy.
A Chinese university student visited a American family and delivered present to the kid of this family, when he beckon to the tiny boy, the boy back off him.
The hand activity is very considerable and with infective. Every gesture has its particular function. In the event, the Chinese college student used Chinese gesture, which hand facing down and making a scratching action with fingertips to beckon. This is different in the us that means to go away. If they let a person to up close, their hand facing up or only move index finger. That is opposite to Chinese and could bring Chinese people's repulsion.
After the briefly examination of the evaluation of body gestures in intercultural communications, we have a knowledge about the relationship between culture and terminology, and the impact of body language in the communication. Your body language inside our daily life is incalculable. Everyone can use his body to symbolize himself. Body language is equivalent to verbal terms to be the carrier of culture that may cause misunderstanding in the international communication because of culture difference. As an British major, to understand the culture of the prospective language is vital. Having the knowledge of body language will be helpful to us in intercultural communication.