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The Research of Body Language Intercultural Communications


With the international communication becoming deeper, except the verbal communication in lifestyle, we may encounter many body languages. These body dialects can point out their ambiance or even substitute one sentence. Therefore, to be able to understand the intercultural communication better, this dissertation first presents the partnership between culture and words, then briefly points out what body gestures is and its own function in intercultural communication, subsequently, briefly analyses the distinctions of the same body gestures in different cultures. At last, the dissertation shows that when studying British terminology, one can't ignore the huge body gestures, it will be helpful with our English analysis.

Key words: Vocabulary; culture; body language; intercultural communication

I. Introduction

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 conversation. It is a funny phenomena. Shakespeare said "There's terms in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her feet speaks. " Indeed, these body language not only can make their word exciting, but also exhibit the speaker's feelings, or even swap a word. What the body dialect means when they use for communication?This is actually the necessary understanding of English study. Almost any body gestures is developed on the foundation of culture. Without understanding the real meaning of the body language, it'll embarrass or make blunder. Therefore, this dissertation will analysis the differences of same body gestures in the various civilizations and suggest to study British on the idea of understanding their culture.

II. Literature review

2. 1 Culture and language

2. 1. 1 Culture

The classification of "culture" is developing as time passes. In the western, initially it was used to spell it out some capacity of person which signify a form of function. Then "culture" used to spell it out the real accomplishment of an instructed person. And in 1952, a book of Alfred L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn known as Culture. A CRUCIAL Review of Principles and Meanings was give a general definition based on more than 160 varieties of culture's definition which was recognized by modern east and western world academic circle. And in China, its interpretation was that with the knowledge of all phenomena of human social, govern the globe with instructing and inspiring. Within the Confucian strategy, "wen" not only means term, but also refer to all the guidelines of etiquette and music in general. In ancient Chinese language, "culture" meant guiding people who have ethics. Culture is a intricate notion and changing with real human social. However, the term "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses:

Excellence of tastes in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture

An integrated design of individuals knowledge, notion, and patterns that depends after the capacity for symbolic thought and cultural learning

The set of shared attitudes, prices, goals, and routines that characterizes an organization, business or group

2. 1. 2 Language

Language is the key thinking and connecting tool of individual. With dialect people will keep and pass individuals civilization achievement. In general, any land has its own language. It is a notable identity of a nation and has long background. Language is meticulously related to thought. It's the carrier and exhibition form of thought. Vocabulary is a cultural phenomenon with balance and nationality. Though many pets or animals can make audio to express their feeling or deliver meaning, these tones are regular without change. Only person have terminology and can incorporate all the may seem which may have no meaning to become meaningful morpheme, then put these morphemes alongside one another in lots of ways to form utterance. Using infinite changing form to express infinite changing so this means.

2. 1. 3 The partnership between terms and culture

Culture and terminology are mutual dependence and can't be separated. Terms is part of culture, it's the marketing of culture communication. We use words to converse, and language is basically inspired by culture.

The romantic relationship between culture and words is on the foundation of nation. A region produces language, at the same time produces culture. Edward Sapir thought that language can not can be found without culture. The "culture" we speak about is cultural custom and perception. It can decide our life framework. Linguistician Palmer said that terms faithfully demonstrates all the history and culture, game and enjoyment, belief and prejudice of any nation. As part of nation's culture, vocabulary reflects the nation's visage, at the same time, language reflects the content of culture as form.

Language is quite carrier of culture. Other providers such as historical site, book, or painting, only show part or even a place of culture. But words stores everything of culture comprehensively. Terminology consists of tone, vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary, especially the notional phrase, bear the important responsibility of taking culture. Time passes, and many new words are getting into being, such as "virtual floating", means netizens put their concerns and secrets in the electronic container without knowing who will get it. Many of these are anonymous. And "kickback", the initial of this term is usually that the International Olympic Committee will open up an ethics exploration into Issa Hayatou over allegations the African soccer official had taken kickbacks from FIFA's previous marketing company. But these new words rarely possible become part of culture. Only those vocabulary idea that integrate in to the bottom level life deeply, chosen and beaten up by history, enter in the basic country vocabulary is the sign of language have an impact 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 dialect semiotic system itself, language strategy, thought and expression, and language learning. Land culture is decided by the meaning of vocabulary. Different culture custom and mentality have definitively function to it. Such as "dragon", the american folks have no favor to it, they thought it is monster, cruel person, are a symbol of devil. But in ancient Chinese culture it means the child of heaven and the emperor, lucky and honorable. The guide content and way of culture are determined by the culture's person and person's culture. For instance, Cantonese can't see snow for your year, so they don't distinguish snow and snow in notion. The northman say " ", and Cantonese say "". However the Eskimo who are in arctic pole always contact with snow and also have a perceptive. You will find more than 20 kinds of words used to spell it out different snow. As the carrier and express tool of thought, terms promote the development of thought, on the other palm, language is fixed by thought. For instance, China say "", that is "" and "", looking into the physics function of "" and "±". But in English, there is certainly "railway train", check out the move way of "rail" and "track".

To understand the culture of English countries is the top step of British study. The research of terminology and culture is divided into "language & culture" and "language in culture". So culture is divided into two part: big culture and small culture. (Bright, 1976) Here is a form:


Big culture

other ethnic phenomena


Verbal language

Small culture

Non-verbal language

Body vocabulary is quite part of non-verbal terminology. Non-verbal dialect and culture are learned behaviour and social custom that rich in long history history. The relationship between both have these heroes in someone like Samovar etal's eye: culture and non-verbal vocabulary can't be divided. Many non-verbal dialects are the result of learning culture. The shaping and impacting of non-verbal behaviour are always chose by determinate culture environment. It is very important to understand the relationship between culture and non-verbal terms. (Samovar etal, 1981) Samovar thought that through understanding the essential represent mode of some culture's non-verbal dialect, we can search people's behaviour and attitude. Through non-verbal words mode can understand a sort of culture's value system. Through the research of non-verbal vocabulary can exclude the small ethnocentrism. The best reasonable signification of exploring the relationship between culture and non-verbal words in intercultural communication is to solve the culture turmoil in non-verbal terminology. People always do not realize the training of their own culture, but very hypersensitive with other culture's non-verbal terms and easily produce misunderstand. Price the whistle, the culture turmoil helped bring by non-verbal terminology is serious than that helped bring by verbal vocabulary. Because non-verbal vocabulary always is the appearance of sensibility and feeling. Samovar submit that to resolve the non-verbal language culture conflict in international communication should bear in mind the follow three concepts when understand this is of other culture's non-verbal language:

1. When pay attention to the behaviour of your non-verbal language cannot ignore that we now have manifold non-verbal terminology cooperative work in real communication.

2. Anyone cannot list and summarize all the non-verbal terminology in virtually any culture. But if we can understand exactly the information of some usually used non-verbal words under the international communication environment, it will be beneficial 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 message of non-verbal dialect should avoid modal or only notice superficies. Make sure to keep in mind that any non-verbal dialect does not appear lonesome, nor deliver any meaning consciously. Pay special attention to that when review spanish, international communication activity, and international research, for the need of communicating, learning and researching, people have to produce a summation and generalization of the non-verbal terminology of the same country and the same words nation to sum up some representative non-verbal dialect. However, in real communication, people must discover that the non-verbal terminology in the same country and land are not just the same. Even in the same area, it is differ in a large number of ways between your people in different occupations, different age ranges and different culture levels. Such as for example America which is famous for multinational immigrant living along, their non-verbal dialect are incredibly hard to be dependable. So as the different British country, the differences are usually more further.

III. Body language

3. 1 Definition

Body terminology is a way of communication that body moves which use mind, eyes, throat, hands, arm, ft. or other areas of your body to express people's thought and emotions. Cosmetic expressions, attention contact and other postures and gestures will be the frequently used body movements. In an over-all sense of phrase, body language includes facial appearance, in a narrow sense of expression, body language only includes this is expressed by body and four limbs. The assortment of body gestures was advanced by Ruesch and Kees in 1956 according to the basic element of non-verbal dialect. It involves sign language, action vocabulary, and object language. The other range was advanced by M. Knapp in 1978 through the analysis of some important researching and literatures. Which can be body action and kinesics behavior, physical characteristics, touching behaviour, paralanguage, proxemics, artifacts, environmental factors. Consequently, Jensen advanced another assertion: body motion and gestures, attitudes toward time, attitudes toward space, general habits in communication.

The research of body language can trace back to Aristotle in Greek. The formally research was start from Darwin. In his 1872 publication The Manifestation of the Emotions in Man and Animals submit that man and animals have many similar expressions. The systemic research of body language must come first Ray Birdwhistell. His 1952 booklet Introduction to Kinesics submit the idea of kinesics. Made your body language turn into a coding system like verbal terminology to study the relationship between body movements and communication.

Body Terminology of Julius Fast is a representative work that reflects the research result of body gestures. This booklet is known as the summary of the scientist's research in the body language field. From then on, body language becomes a boundary research and produces new research result continuously.

According to quotes, human body can find out more than 270, 000 varieties of pose and movement. That is far more than the sound made out by human body. These postures and moves' meaning are extremely complex. Some are distinct and material as some are basic and blurry. Some are used to speak as some are used to self-express. Some are expressing emotion subject matter as some are reflecting personality and attitude. So the sort of body gestures is highly complex.

The body gestures classification approach to Ekman and Friesen has important effent in non-verbal dialect communication educational circles. Regarding to all or any the movement's source, use and code, they divided individual face and body's ongoing motion into five parts:

1. Symbolic movements: these movements have clearly indicating, such as the gesture exhibit "OK" and "triumph". Symbolic motion always used to replace verbal language. In general, they have different culture character. For instance, the movements means "suicide", in Japan, people use palm to simulate dagger to thrust the belly, and in the us, people use hands to simulate a gun shot temple.

2. Illustrative movement: these types of activities cooperate with verbal dialect directly to demonstrate this is of the chatting. For example, to point out a sentence, identify a thought, signify a material, depict a space marriage, characterize a thing's tempo and speed, portray a phenomena, summarize a body activity, describe a sentence's meaning, etc.

3. Emotion revealing movement: mainly through cosmetic expression to show emotion or disposition, of course the other part of body can also point out these emotion. Exhibit the feeling can replicate, exaggerate, deny the verbal terms, or may be no romantic relationship with it. Express the sentiment always deliver the note of communication unconscious, but can also use it in communicating mindful.

4. Modulation movements: this type of movement is utilized for preserving or changing the discussion in the face-to-face converse. It drops a hint that the presenter can keep chatting, repeat again, make clear further, speak fast or even more lively, let other people have a converse, etc. Lately, people focus on the research of the turn-talking in chat. "Turn-talking" means that revealing the opposite part "I wish to talk"; preventing the presenter changing the topic; asking the other side to give me a speaking chance; let the other part keep talking; telling others that "I have finish my conversing" and "you can speak". The usually used activity is brain and eye movement.

5. Adaptable movements: Ekman and Friesen split it more further: 1). Self-adaptable activity: this type of activity always happen on personally, such as, positioning own hand, massaging hand, grabing, scratching, clutching, nipping, whisking or gathering the fabric. In general, the feeling is more disconcerting, the attractive actions tend to be more distinguished. Picking nasal area and wiping eyes belong to this type. 2). Transformational versatile movement: this kind of movement take place in the hook up with other people. Such as, taking or providing, attacking or safeguarding, close or away. Knee movement can react that encroach, footsie or invasion. Shaking hands or foot means fidgety that the person want to avoid talking. 3). Object adaptable motion: this type of movement always relate to the using of materials, such as smoking and writing.

3. 2 The function of body language in intercultural communication

As the necessary communication tool, body gestures has important function in intercultural communication. Bradford J. Hall(2002) summarized the mainly function of body gestures language:

1. Repetition: Body gestures can reinforce the verbal terminology by duplicating the verbal communication nonverbally, such as utilizing a gesture, it can help the device understand the subject matter easily. For example, when someone ask you where is the restaurant, you can point a certain way when you say, " the restaurant is north the catalogue. " Or we indicate the question on the book we just ask.

2. Substitution: Body gestures can be used to replace some verbal dialect to provide a certain so this means. When your good friend meet a miserable thing that produce him weep, you can give him a hug. This is more powerful than any relaxing words.

3. Contradiction: Body language sometimes can betray the presenter by mailing contradictory meaning to the verbal words. The body terminology is often thought to be the powerful term than the spoken words. For example, we can not keep our face from blushing even say we don't nervous or we can't decelerate our heartbeat if we are worried. And the instructor can find a student is wandering from the eyesight even though his eye 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 have a discussion than only use verbal language. When you apologize to someone, if an apology show on you face, this may make your apology more conviction. Furthermore, body language provides a go with to the verbal dialect. In some countries, you can up you thumb as once you give a admiration to friends and family for his good performance.

5. Rules: The body words also helps us to regulate the situation of our own talking. For example, when we desire a noiseless, we can put our finger on our lip.

IV. The evaluation of the variations of the same body language in different cultures

4. 1 The various interpretation of the same body gestures in various cultures

Here contrast someone languages that always used but have different interpretation. If you are using a very awful body language, this may bring a badly result.

1. In China, the thumbs means "good" to praise you do a good job, bravo and so forth. It really is same in many countries. If thumbs down means disagree, finish or you're game over. But in Australia, no matter it up or down is obscene.

2. Protrude the index finger means "hold out a minute" in America, however in Australia this means "one more beer".

3. Protrude the little finger means cowardly man in England as bet in the us.

4. The "V" for success or peace sign in America if made out of the palm facing inward is taunting or sneering in Great britain. It's very offensive to society's morals.

5. American people sometimes up brain, palm facing down, index finger across the throat, it means "I'm full. I can't eat any further. " But it means decapitation in China.

6. When Chinese people communicating with overseas people, the most antipathetic movement is using index finger point the others informal. Indeed, the activity is within bad taste and impolite to american people. This is reproof and rebuke.

7. Chinese men prefer to put practical other man's make for a long time. And Chinese female frequently take other woman's hands closely for very long time. These great shock the foreigners because they think about this gesture means homosexual.

8. When Chinese people obtain or send a cup of normal water or something special, they will use two hands to simply accept it to show appreciate and admiration. But American people don't value whether use one or two hands.

9. When chatting with American people Chinese like to put their hands crossed behind their rear or into their wallets. But these gestures make the American think you are covering guns in the hands.

10. Chinese language may scratch their noses when sense uncomfortable. This is confused the western people because in their culture this movement means "I'm telling a lie".

4. 2 Some embarrassing examples scheduled to misunderstanding of body language

Under the same culture, people may have misunderstanding because of the body language, even the various culture. Culture difference in different countries, so the body language can communicate different so this means. If we don't realize the other people's meaning, it will have misunderstanding and displeasure. For Illustrations:

Tom is the director of the American company in China. Recently, Li Lei, one of the Chinese language staff makes a blunder at work. He is very upset about what had occurred, so he comes to Tom's office to apologize. Coming into the office with smile. He says:" I feel terribly sorry for the mistake. I am here to make a sincerely apology to you and promise that it'll never happen again. " When he said this, the teeth always on his face. But Tom seems it is hard to simply accept and have him"Are you currently sure?" Li says " yes " with look. Tom is angry and says"You do not look sorry at all. In the event that you really feel sorry, how will you still smile?" Li feels so uncomfortable and does not really know what to do.

A Chinese learner Wangdan and her good friend, the American learner Judy who studys in China were on the path to store. They found a boy fell down on the floor. He tried out to stand up while the encircling people laughed. Thankfully he was okay. Judy was worried but found Wangdan was smiling too. She was very interested and asked" how will you laugh when another person fell down. The trend is to help him to stand up and ask him whether he was harm. " Wangdan said, " Because they know he was not hurt too much. " But Judy still couldn't understand. She said, "In my culture, if this was happen, we'd do not laugh. "

The former examples are about the "smile". In daily life we usually laugh, but in several culture, this normal movement can bring misunderstanding or even more serious results. When western people run into these situations, they will with solemn face to apologize or come to gaming system the son. Though giggle means happy, it's the symbol for folks in general, but in various culture, smiling in the communication will vary. The european people think giggle 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 cover, a good kind of evadable. So that it confuses the western people, they state it is too much to understand. In China, people sometimes use giggle to eliminate embarrassment, also means "never mind", and the individual laugh to self-mockery or play a tale. If the affair is very serious, people provides help but giggle out of courtroom. So for the folks who have no idea the meaning, this type of smile will make them unsatisfied even produce antipathy.

A Chinese learner visited a American family and directed present to your child of the family, when he beckon to the tiny boy, the boy cool off him.

The hand movements is very considerable and with infective. Every gesture has its particular function. In the event, the Chinese university student used Chinese gesture, which hand facing down and making a scratching action with fingers to beckon. That is different in the us which means to disappear completely. If they let someone to up close, their palm facing up or only move index finger. This is opposite to Chinese language and may bring Chinese people's repulsion.

V. Conclusion

After the briefly research of the evaluation of body gestures in intercultural marketing communications, we have a knowledge about the relationship between culture and terms, and the affect of body language in the communication. Your body language inside our daily life is incalculable. Every one may use his body to stand for himself. Body gestures is the same as verbal language to be the carrier of culture that may cause misunderstanding in the international communication because of culture difference. As an English major, to comprehend the culture of the target language is very important. Having the understanding of body gestures will be helpful to us in intercultural communication.

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