Objectives Objectives Inviting Inviting Dining Out habits Dining Out habits Gifts Gifts Offers Offers Compliments Compliments Language Appropriateness Language Appropriateness Group Task Group Task Social Interaction
By the end of this unit, you should be able to recognize various cultural differences in daily social interactions across cultures, such as: offering an invitation, the acceptance or declining of that invitation; entertaining guests; presenting and receiving gifts; offering and accepting compliments.
Questions for group discussion: 1. Is the husband or wife included when one is invited to a dinner in China? 2. What about in the West? Is the spouse included in the dinner invitation?
Different Inviting Expectations Expectations about when spouses should be included in invitations differ between China and the West. Generally speaking for invitations to any meal taking place in the evening, both husband and wife will be included. Here in China, however, it is quite common for only the husband or wife to be invited to a meal, either in work units or between friends.
In China, when having guests, the hostess will prepare as many dishes as possible in case the guests should be hungry or rather in order to show their hospitality for the guests. The host /hostess will feel very embarrassed if they find that there is not much or nothing left on the table. And the guests, unless insist, might also expect the respect shown by the numbers of dishes offered on the table, though it might not be quite necessary as a matter of fact. Meals in China
In the West, there's usually only one main course plus two other side dishes, a salad and vegetable, followed by a dessert, rather than many dishes. Food proportions are usually prepared and served so each guest has a comfortable amount to eat, without having a large quantity remaining. Meals in the West
Most people in the West don't like to give detailed explanations why they're declining an invitation. Their explanations are usually short and simple, such as " I’m sorry, I can’t get away. ” or “ I’m tied up the whole week.” or “I'm already busy that night”. Differences in Declining an Invitation
Differences in Declining the Invitation However, a Chinese-speaker’s explanation, on the other hand, tends to be more detailed and longer to assure the person who invites that he’s really got something important to do and he usually makes clear what he is going to do.
Differences in Declining the Invitation The purpose of doing so is ‘to give the other person face’, to reassure the other person of our esteem for them. Thus, if a Chinese gives a detailed explanation to an English native speaker who issues an invitation, the English native speaker may feel that the detailed explanation is not really necessary. Conversely, the English native speaker’s short, un-detailed explanation may strike us Chinese as a bit impolite if we are unaware of their customs.
When someone suggests going for a meal at a restaurant, who is going to pay the bill in China? What about in America or the West? Dining Out Habits Questions:
Footing the Bill Foot the bill: to pay (an amount of money) when the bill is presented e.g.: His parents footed the bill for his course fees. They refused to foot the cost of the wedding. The company will foot her expenses.
Dining Out in the West When dining out with friends, in America and England it is quite common for friends to _____ the cost of the meal _______between them, to go______, or ____ the bill, which implies ______ between friends. share equally Dutch split equality
Dining Out in the West Why go Dutch? To grab the bill when with friends and refuse to let them contribute may seem to suggest that they are too poor to pay their own. Another part of the reason is to avoid giving financial burden over only one.
Dining Out in China In China, the one who invites should pay. Or if there is no specific one makes the suggestion, then at the end of the meal, the group members normally will fight over paying the bill, for it might be regarded as mean or miser to pay for oneself.
Drinking in a Pub When meeting at a pub for drinks, a popular pastime in England, each person in the group will take it in turns to buy his round,asking everyone what they would like and then going to the bar to get the drinks. Those who don’t buy a round when it is their turn are frowned upon.
Questions: What to take in the West or in China when visiting friends? How are the gifts accepted in the West? How are the gifts accepted in China? Differences in Accepting Gifts
Bringing Gifts in China In China, it is quite _______to present _______ bottles of wine rather than one. Apart from being more generous even numbers of gifts suggest_________. As to types of gifts, ______ is common one to bring with when visiting a family. usual fruit two good luck
Bringing Gifts in the West However, things are quite different in the West. Guests invited to dinner in the West frequently bring _____bottle of wine with them. One is quite enough, two are of course welcome but _______and not expected. As they are expected to be consumed at the meal bringing two might even give the impression that the giver is a ______ drinker who fears she will not have enough to drink. Taking _____to such an occasion is unusual. Traditionally gifts of fruit are thought of as only appropriate for visits to people who are_____ one unusual heavy fruit ill.
Differences in Accepting Gifts In the West, it is regarded as polite to open ______as soon as they are given to you to express ___________. In China, the situation is quite the________. Normally we Chinese feel that if you open the gift as soon as it is given, you might _________the person who gives the gift and you might be thought ______. So Chinese people tend to open the gifts_____ the visitors have left. appreciation gifts embarrass reverses after greedy
What’s more, many people send gifts without _______ them, and if they wrap them, they usually tell the receiver____________, and the receiver will ______the sender and put the gift aside without __________ them since they already know what is inside. Differences in Accepting Gifts unwrapping thank what is inside wrapping
Differences in Accepting Offers Questions: How do people in China accept the offer? How do people in the West accept the offer?
Accepting Offers in China When being offered, in China, people’s reply "no" doesn't simply mean no. Chinese people are brought up to initially decline the offer to show politeness and courtesy, since they don't want to create a problem for a busy host or hostess. Nevertheless, even after declining, the guest is still expecting the offer, so obviously this refusal isn't real, but a way of being polite.
Accepting Offers in China So the host will keep offering, and ignore the polite declining. This tradition of the host's continuing to offer and the guest's continuing to decline, asking the host not to bother, is a habit that shows courtesy and politeness in the eyes of the Chinese.
Accepting Offers in the West In the West, people get used to accepting the offer directly, "no" means no, "yes" means yes.
Questions for group discussion: How do most people tend to respond to compliments in China? How do most English native speakers tend to respond to compliments? Differences in Compliments
Normally, when hearing compliments, a typical Chinese reaction is to show________ and humility by saying such words:“na li,na li”, or “cha de yuan” (far from good). Such attitudes towards praise and compliments are considered to be _________ and are regarded as_______. virtues appropriate modesty Differences in Compliments
When commenting on a purchase, Chinese people often ___ or __________ tell whether the price is cheap or expensive and often the exact price. Many Westerners feel it ________ to talk about the price of possessions. voluntarily ask repulsive
Guessing Relationships When people talk to one another, the way they talk is usually affected by the speaker’s or listener’s social status or role. They may speak formally, less formally or intimately, and by listening to their conversation, it is often possible to figure out their relationship.
Guessing Relationships Useful Expressions: Clearly Terry and Anne are friends. This can be seen from the way they talk to each other and the informal expressions they use, such as … It seems likely that Mr Wild is a university lecturer and James is a student. This can readily be deduced from what is said and the manner in which it is said.
Formally Inviting We were wondering if you and Mary would like to come to have dinner with us. If you could manage, we’d like to attend our speech contest on Thursday morning. May I have the pleasure of your company at dinner? Perhaps you’d care to come to a party on Saturday. We should be delighted if you could spend an evening with us.
Accepting a Formal Invitation What a delightful idea. Thank you. That’s really very kind of you. We’d be delighted to accept your invitation. That would give us the greatest of pleasure. It would give us great pleasure to enjoy Christmas with you.
Declining a Formal Invitation That’s very kind of you, but owing to a prior appointment, I won’t be able to come to meet your friend. Much to my regret, I wouldn’t be able to attend your party this Saturday. Much as I should like to, but I’m afraid I won’t be free next Sunday. What a pity, I’m afraid I’ve already got something fixed up for then.
Informally Inviting Betty and I will throw a dinner this weekend, we’d like you to come. Can you come over and join us? I’d very much like you to come to our dinner party. We’re having a dance on Sunday. I hope you make it. We’re having a party this weekend. Will you join us?
Informally Inviting Come and see me next Friday. Like to come to our fancy dress party? What about meeting my wife? Why don’t you come on a holiday with us? You must join us for lunch. How about having a drink with me this afternoon? Do join me for a coffee.
Accepting an Informal Invitation All right then! Great, I’ll count on it! /I won’t say no! I’d love to join you for lunch. /Look forward to. Ok. /Lovely. /Rather!/ I’d love to! Well, good for you! / You bet!
Declining an Informal Invitation No, I don’t. Sorry I can’t. But thanks anyway. No, I wouldn’t.
Accepting a General Invitation I would very much. Thank you. I’d like nothing better. I’d like to. It would be very nice to attend your wedding ceremony. I’ll be a little late, is that ok? Thank you. I’d love to very much. That sounds a very nice idea. I do very much. Thank you.
Declining a General Invitation I’m afraid I can’t come tomorrow. I’m terribly sorry, I don’t think I can. That’s very kind of you, but I have an appointment Friday evening.
Formal Compliments I really must express my admiration for your competence. I think you deserve the highest praise. If I may say so, the crispy fried duck is delicious. I like to express my admiration for your generosity. May I say how charming you look?
Responding to Formal Compliments How kind of you to say so. That’s very kind of you, but in all truth I feel the credit should go to Mr Harrod. I appreciate your remarks, but I honestly don't think it was anything to shout about.
Informal Compliments I like the design! I love your coat! I say, I like your brooch. I’ve got to hand it to you; you really did a good job.
Just look at it. Isn’t that amazing! Mm! You look great. Wonderful! Your presentation is smashing. Now that’s absolutely super! Informal Compliments
Paying Compliments I do envy you. You are so beautiful! I do think that’s charming. I must say the soup is really very good. I should say this shirt matches your trousers fabulously. Its’ an unforgettable experience. It’s lovely! It’s so brilliantly beautiful! Oh, how nice.
Paying Compliments Oh, isn’t that lovely! Oh, wouldn’t that be nice! That’s a very nice hairstyle you’re wearing. The hat suits you very well. You have a good taste. You look really wonderful in that blue skirt. You look very smart.
Responding to Compliments Do you really think so? I’m very glad you like it / think so. It’s very nice of you to say so. Oh, thank you, but I have a lot to learn yet. Thank you, but it’s not really all that good. Thank you very much for saying so. That’s very kind of you.
You are divided into groups of five or six, one is supposed to be the host or hostess who is holding a dinner party, and the others would be either the Chinese guests or English speaking guests. Provide some probable problem situations concerning compliments, politeness, hospitality, gifts, and some offensive questions etc. And there should be a bilingual speaker. He or she might help offer some interpretations or explanations to both sides when some misunderstandings occur. Simulation game: Dinner Party