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Chapter 7 Written Communication Patterns
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Written Communication Patterns International English Writing Tone and Style Letter Formats Facsimiles (Fax) Electronic Mail ( ) Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall What percent of outgoing international correspondence is sent in English? 97% in English 1% in French, German, and Spanish Percentages for incoming correspondence –96% in English –4% in French, German, and Spanish
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall What are lexical errors? Content errors; errors in meaning. Examples of lexical errors: We baste (based) this conclusion on our research. Thank you for your patients (patience). Our office will be closed on this wholey (holy) day. With your aide (aid), we will soon have our office fully staffed.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall What are lexical errors? The results will be worth the weight (wait). Since you plan to visit an ant (aunt) in New York, perhaps we could meet at your convenience. According to the senses (census), the number of exported trucks has declined in the last decade.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall What are syntactic errors? Errors in the order of the words in a sentence. Native speakers of a language will discover syntactic errors in a sentence more readily than lexical errors. In Spanish, for example, the noun is given first, then adjectives follow. Example: Paseo del Rio (River Walk)
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Know Your Reader In spite of all the trade between the United States and the Far East, Americans fail to study even common Asian customs and business practices. Consider one of the most popular words in the English language - you. U.S. people try to personalize writing by taking the you approach. But in some other countries, such as Japan, people do not like this personal touch. They believe that writers should refer to their company: Would your company be interested in this plan? Not Would you be interested in this plan?
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall International English Use the 3,000 to 4,000 most common English words. Uncommon words, such as onus for burden and flux for continual change, should be avoided. Use only the most common meaning of words. The word high has 20 meanings; expensive has one. Choose words with singular rather than multiple meanings.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Select action-specific verbs and words with few or similar alternate meanings. Use cook breakfast rather than make breakfast; use take a taxi rather than get a taxi. Avoid redundancies (interoffice memorandum), sports terms (ballpark figure), and words that draw mental pictures (red tape). International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Avoid using words in other than their most common way, such as making verbs out of nouns (impacting the economy and faxing a message). Be aware of words that have a unique meaning in some cultures; the word check outside the U.S. generally means a financial instrument and is often spelled cheque. International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Be aware of alternate spellings in countries that use the same language; e.g., theatre/theater, colour/color, and judgement/judgment. Avoid creating or using new words; avoid slang. Avoid two-word verbs, such as to pick up; use lift. International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Use the formal tone and maximum punctuation to assure clarity; use no first names in letter salutations. Conform carefully to rules of grammar; be careful of dangling participles and incomplete sentences. Use more short, simple sentences than you would ordinarily use; avoid compound sentences. International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Clarify the meaning of words with more than one meaning. Adapt the tone of the letter to the reader if the cultural background is known; e.g., use unconditional apologies if that is expected in the readers culture. Try to capture the flavor of the language when writing to someone whose cultural background you know. International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Remember also: To avoid acronyms (ASAP), emoticons ( ), and shorthand (4 representing for). That numbers are written differently in some countries; for example, 3,000 may be written as or International English
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Tone and Writing Style Tone and writing style are more formal and traditional in other countries than in U.S. companies. Good news messages in the U.S. use the direct approach. In the U.S. bad news messages use the indirect approach. Latin Americans avoid bad news completely.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall In the U.S.: –End negative letters on a positive note. –Avoid apologies. In France: –Use formal beginnings and endings; endings tend to be flowery. –Apologize for mistakes and express regret for any inconvenience caused. In Japan: –Begin letters with a comment on the season. –Present negative news is a positive manner. Tone and Writing Style
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Letter Formats Preferred styles in the U.S. are Blocked and Modified Blocked with standard or open punctuation. The French use the indented style; they place the name of the originating city before the date. The format of the inside address varies. In the U.S. the title and full name are placed on the first line, while in Germany the title (Herr) is on the first line and the full name on the second line.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall The street name comes after the number in the U.S. but before the street number in Germany, Mexico, and South America. Dates are written differently also. In the U.S. dates are written month/day/year (May 5, 2---); in other cultures, they may use the 5th of May, 2--- or 5 May Letter Formats
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Salutations and closings are more formal in many other countries. Salutations for German letters would be the English equivalent of Very Honored Mrs. Jones; complimentary closings would often be the English equivalent of Very respectfully yours. The Japanese have a traditional format beginning with the salutation followed by a comment about the season/weather; then comes a remark about a gift, kindness, or patronage; they close with best wishes for the receiver's health or prosperity. Letter Formats
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Examples of Japanese Seasonal Greetings March: –Spring has just begun, but the cold winds of winter are still with us. June: –Rice paddy fields are ready to be planted. August: –Indian summer is still around this week. November: –The tree on the boulevard is bare of leaves.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall How an address is written shows the relationship: In Asian cultures, the family is the basic unit and society as a whole is the larger family: JAPAN, Tokyo Hachioji-shi Shimoyuki Nanyodai Nakamura, Yoko In the West, the individual is most important and the self is the key: Mr. John R. Smith 2350 Walnut Road Memphis, TN U.S.A.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Facsimiles (FAX) Fax may be more dependable than the mail in many cultures. Fax would be written as you would write a letter. Use a transmittal sheet so the operator knows to whom the FAX is directed, the sender, and the total number of pages.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall International Electronic Mail (E- Mail) Use a memorandum format; no inside address. Observe proper courtesy, including addressing the receiver by name in the opening sentence. In your introductory , include some phrases such as hello in the customers language.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall International Be positive, cheerful, and honest; avoid humor. Avoid dwelling on cultural differences. Use short, simple sentences; avoid abbreviations, contractions, possessives, slang, jargon, or idioms; show humility; be deferential.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall International Do not ask questions starting with the word why; such questions require that readers defend their positions. Be generous with compliments. Do not express anger. If you make a mistake, apologize (even when you may feel you are not at fault). Do not assign blame.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Résumé and Job Search Information In the U.S., a one- to two-page résumé is preferred; include personal information, job objective, educational background, work experience, references, and a cover letter. Exclude age, religion, gender, marital status, or a photo. In Germany, résumés are pages including: copies of diplomas, photo, employment verification, names of parents, family, religious affiliation, financial obligations, and professional activities.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall In France, the résumé includes: a cover letter, photograph, family information, age, hobbies and foreign language expertise. Age discrimination is common and legal. Résumés in China contain personal information: age, gender, and marital status. In the United Kingdom, the résumé is one or two pages; it does not include a photo, family information, military service, or any other personal information. Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall In Spain, the résumé is two pages in letter form including: chronology of experience, military service, education, family information, professions of parents, clubs, and professional objective; picture is acceptable. Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Canadians want résumés with educational background, work experience, skills, achievements, and references Important to select key words and industry jargon Need a cover letter Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Chinas résumés contain personal information which comes first Then job objective, education, and employment history Specialized training includes computer skills and language competencies and follows education Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall Résumés in the Netherlands include work experience and education Letters of recommendation and school grades may be requested later Personal questions may be asked during the interview Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall South Koreas résumés include work experience and education Details of achievements and duties should be included Résumé and Job Search Information
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
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