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The Analysis of Body Language Intercultural Communications


With the international communicating going closer, except the verbal communicating in day-to-day life, we may meet many organic structure linguistic communications. These organic structure linguistic communications can show their temper or even replace one sentence. Therefore, in order to understand the intercultural communicating better, this thesis foremost introduces the relationship between civilization and linguistic communication, so briefly explains what organic structure linguistic communication is and its map in intercultural communicating, later, briefly analyses the differences of the same organic structure linguistic communication in different civilizations. At last, the thesis suggests that when analyzing English linguistic communication, one ca n’t disregard the immense organic structure linguistic communication, it will be helpful with our English survey.

Cardinal words: Language ; civilization ; organic structure linguistic communication ; intercultural communicating

I. Introduction

With the international communicating going more and more often, Chinese people may hold many opportunities to acquire in touch with aliens. They ever use many organic structure linguistic communications with their talk. It is a amusing phenomena. Shakespeare said “ There ‘s linguistic communication in her eyes, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her pes speaks. ” Indeed, these organic structure linguistic communication non merely can do their word lively, but besides express the talker ‘s temper, or even replace a sentence. What the organic structure linguistic communication means when they use for communicating? This is the necessary cognition of English survey. Any sort of organic structure linguistic communication is formed on the foundation of civilization. Without understanding the true significance of a organic structure linguistic communication, it will abash or do error. Therefore, this thesis will analysis the differences of same organic structure linguistic communication in the different civilizations and suggest to analyze English on the premiss of understanding their civilization.

II. Literature reappraisal

2.1 Culture and linguistic communication

2.1.1 Culture

The definition of “ civilization ” is germinating as clip base on ballss. In the West, at first it was used to depict some ability of individual which represent a signifier of act. Then “ civilization ” used to depict the existent accomplishment of a instructed individual. And in 1952, a book of Alfred L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn named Culture. A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions was give a general definition based on more than 160 sorts of civilization ‘s definition which was identified by modern E and west academic circle. And in China, its significance was that with the apprehension of all phenomena of human societal, regulate the universe with instructing and inspiring. In the Confucian construct, “ sebaceous cyst ” non merely means word, but besides refer to all the regulations of etiquette and music in general. In ancient Chinese linguistic communication, “ civilization ” meant steering people with moralss. Culture is a complex construct and altering with human societal. However, the word “ civilization ” is most normally used in three basic senses:

Excellence of gustatory sensation in the all right humanistic disciplines and humanistic disciplines, besides known every bit high civilization

An incorporate form of human cognition, belief, and behaviour that depends upon the capacity for symbolic idea and societal acquisition

The set of shared attitudes, values, ends, and patterns that characterizes an establishment, organisation or group

2.1.2 Language

Language is the of import thought and pass oning tool of human being. With linguistic communication people can maintain and go through human civilisation accomplishment. In general, any state has its ain linguistic communication. It is a noteworthy character of a state and has long history. Language is closely related with idea. It is the bearer and exhibition signifier of idea. Language is a societal phenomenon with stableness and nationality. Though many animate beings can do sound to show their emotion or present message, these sounds are regular without alteration. Merely individual have linguistic communication and can unite all the sounds that have no significance to go a meaningful morpheme, so put these morphemes together in many ways to organize vocalization. Using infinite altering signifier to show infinite altering significance.

2.1.3 The relationship between linguistic communication and civilization

Culture and linguistic communication are common dependance and can non be separated. Language is portion of civilization, it is the media of civilization communicating. We use linguistic communication to pass on, and linguistic communication is mostly influenced by civilization.

The relationship between civilization and linguistic communication is on the foundation of state. A state produces linguistic communication, at the same clip produces civilization. Edward Sapir thought that linguistic communication can non be without civilization. The “ civilization ” we talk about is societal usage and belief. It can make up one’s mind our life construction. Linguistician Palmer said that linguistic communication dependably reflects all the history and civilization, game and amusement, belief and bias of a state. As a portion of state ‘s civilization, linguistic communication reflects the state ‘s countenance, at the same clip, linguistic communication reflects the content of civilization as signifier.

Language is the of import bearer of civilization. Other bearers such as historical site, book, or picture, merely demo portion or even a corner of civilization. But linguistic communication shops all the information of civilization comprehensively. Language consists of voice, vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary, particularly the fanciful word, bear the of import duty of transporting civilization. Time base on ballss, and many new words are coming into being, such as “ practical natation ” , means netizens put their concerns and secrets in the practical bottle without cognizing who will acquire it. All of these are anon. . And “ kickback ” , the original of this word is that the International Olympic Committee will open an ethics probe into Issa Hayatou over allegations the African football functionary took kickbacks from FIFA ‘s former selling bureau. But these new words barely possible become portion of civilization. Merely those linguistic communication fact that integrate into the bottom life deeply, chosen and washed out by history, enter the basic state vocabulary is the mark of linguistic communication affect civilization deeply. For illustration, Buddhism have been spreaded about 2000 old ages. Some words like free, requital, detachment, snake pit are coming from Buddhism. These words have already integrated into Chinese become portion of it.

Culture has consequence on linguistic communication semiotic system itself, linguistic communication construct, thought and look, and linguistic communication acquisition. State civilization is decided by the significance of vocabulary. Different civilization tradition and outlook have definitively map to it. Such as “ firedrake ” , the western people have no favour to it, they thought it is monster, barbarous individual, base for Satan. But in ancient Chinese civilization it stands for the boy of Eden and the emperor, lucky and honest. The mention content and manner of civilization are decided by the civilization ‘s individual and individual ‘s civilization. For illustration, Cantonese ca n’t see snow for the whole twelvemonth, so they do non separate ice and snow in construct. The northman say “ a†°??? ” , and Cantonese say “ e›???? ” . But the Eskimo who live in north-polar pole ever contact with snow and have a perceptive. There are more than 20 sorts of words used to depict different snow. As the bearer and express tool of idea, linguistic communication promote the development of idea, on the other manus, linguistic communication is restricted by idea. For case, Chinese say “ c?«e?¦ ” , that is “ c?« ” and “ e?¦ ” , looking into the natural philosophies map of “ c?« ” and “ ?±? ” . But in English, there is “ railway train ” , look into the move manner of “ rail ” and “ path ” .

To understand the civilization of English states is the of import measure of English survey. The research of linguistic communication and civilization is divided into “ linguistic communication & A ; civilization ” and “ linguistic communication in civilization ” . So civilization is divided into two portion: large civilization and little civilization. ( Bright, 1976 ) Here is a signifier:

linguistic communication

Large civilization

other cultural phenomena


Verbal linguistic communication

Small civilization

Non-verbal linguistic communication

Body linguistic communication is the of import portion of non-verbal linguistic communication. Non-verbal linguistic communication and civilization are learned behaviors and societal usage that rich in long history heritage. The relationship between both have these characters in person like Samovar etal ‘s eyes: civilization and non-verbal linguistic communication can non be divided. Many non-verbal linguistic communications are the consequence of learning civilization. The defining and impacting of non-verbal behaviors are ever decided by determinate civilization environment. It is really of import to understand the relationship between civilization and non-verbal linguistic communication. ( Samovar etal, 1981 ) Samovar thought that through understanding the basic represent manner of some civilization ‘s non-verbal linguistic communication, we can seek people ‘s behavior and attitude. Through non-verbal linguistic communication manner can understand a kind of civilization ‘s value system. Through the research of non-verbal linguistic communication can except the narrow ethnocentrism. The most realistic meaning of researching the relationship between civilization and non-verbal linguistic communication in intercultural communicating is to decide the civilization struggle in non-verbal linguistic communication. People ever do non recognize the acquisition of their ain civilization, but really sensitive with other civilization ‘s non-verbal linguistic communication and easy bring forth misunderstand. Worth the whistling, the civilization struggle brought by non-verbal linguistic communication is serious than that brought by verbal linguistic communication. Because non-verbal linguistic communication ever is the look of esthesia and emotion. Samovar put frontward that to decide the non-verbal linguistic communication civilization struggle in international communicating should retrieve the follow three rules when understand the significance of other civilization ‘s non-verbal linguistic communication:

1. When wage attending to the behavior of a non-verbal linguistic communication can non disregard that there are multiplex non-verbal linguistic communication concerted work in existent communicating.

2. Anyone can non name and depict all the non-verbal linguistic communication in any civilization. But if we can understand precisely the information of some normally used non-verbal linguistic communication under the international communicating environment, it will be helpful to understand the necessary information.

3. Merely understand our civilization ‘s non-verbal linguistic communication foremost, can we understand other civilization ‘s behavior.

Under international communicating, to place the message of non-verbal linguistic communication should avoid modal or merely notice superficies. Be certain to maintain in head that any non-verbal linguistic communication does non look lonely, nor present any message consciously. Pay particular attending to that when survey foreign linguistic communication, international communicating activity, and international research, for the demand of pass oning, analyzing and researching, people have to do a summing up and generalisation of the non-verbal linguistic communication of the same state and the same linguistic communication state to sum up some representative non-verbal linguistic communication. However, in existent communicating, people must happen that the non-verbal linguistic communication in the same state and state are non merely the same. Even in the same country, it is differ in 1000s of ways between the people in different businesss, different age groups and different civilization degrees. Such as America which is celebrated for transnational immigrant life together, their non-verbal linguistic communication are really difficult to be consistent. So as the different English state, the differences are more farther.

III. Body linguistic communication

3.1 Definition

Body linguistic communication is a manner of communicating that organic structure motions which use caput, eyes, cervix, custodies, arm, pes or other parts of the organic structure to show people ‘s idea and emotions. Facial looks, oculus contact and other positions and gestures are the normally used organic structure motion. In a general sense of word, organic structure linguistic communication includes facial look, in a narrow sense of word, organic structure linguistic communication merely includes the significance expressed by organic structure and four limbs. The mixture of organic structure linguistic communication was advanced by Ruesch and Kees in 1956 harmonizing to the basic constituent of non-verbal linguistic communication. It involves gestural linguistic communication, action linguistic communication, and object linguistic communication. The other mixture was advanced by M. Knapp in 1978 through the analysis of some pertinent researching and literatures. That are body gesture and kinesics behaviour, physical features, touching behavior, paralinguistic communication, proxemics, artefacts, environmental factors. Subsequently, Jensen advanced another statement: organic structure gesture and gestures, attitudes toward clip, attitudes toward infinite, general wonts in communicating.

The research of human organic structure linguistic communication can follow back to Aristotle in Greek. The officially research was get downing from Darwin. In his 1872 book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals put forward that adult male and animate beings have many similar looks. The systemic research of organic structure linguistic communication must come first Ray Birdwhistell. His 1952 book Introduction to Kinesics set frontward the theory of kinesics. Made the organic structure linguistic communication go a coding system like verbal linguistic communication to analyze the relationship between organic structure motion and communicating.

Body Language of Julius Fast is a representative work that reflects the research consequence of organic structure linguistic communication. This book is known as the sum-up of the scientist ‘s research in the organic structure linguistic communication field. From so on, organic structure linguistic communication becomes a boundary scientific discipline and produces new research consequence continuously.

Harmonizing to estimations, human organic structure can do out more than 270,000 sorts of position and motion. This is far more than the sound made out by human organic structure. These positions and motions ‘ significance are really complex. Some are definite and stuff as some are general and blurry. Some are used to pass on as some are used to self-express. Some are showing emotion message as some are reflecting character and attitude. So the kind of organic structure linguistic communication is really complex.

The organic structure linguistic communication categorization method of Ekman and Friesen has of import effent in non-verbal linguistic communication communicating educational circles. Harmonizing to all the motion ‘s beginning, use and codification, they divided human face and organic structure ‘s uninterrupted motion into five parts:

1. Symbolic motion: these motions have clearly intending, such as the gesture express “ All right ” and “ triumph ” . Symbolic motion ever used to replace verbal linguistic communication. In general, they have distinguishable civilization character. For illustration, the motion means “ suicide ” , in Japan, people use manus to imitate sticker to thrust the venters, and in America, people use manus to imitate a gun shooting temple.

2. Exemplifying motion: these sort of motions cooperate with verbal linguistic communication straight to explicate the significance of the speaking. For illustration, to stress a sentence, depict a idea, bespeak a stuff, picture a infinite relationship, qualify a thing ‘s beat and velocity, portray a phenomena, depict a organic structure motion, explicate a sentence ‘s significance, etc.

3. Emotion uncovering motion: chiefly through facial look to demo emotion or temper, of class the other portion of organic structure can besides show these emotion. Express the emotion can reiterate, overstate, deny the verbal linguistic communication, or may be no relationship with it. Express the emotion ever present the message of communicating unconscious, but besides can utilize it in pass oning witting.

4. Transition motion: this sort of motion is used for keeping or seting the talk in the face-to-face talk. It drops a intimation that the talker can maintain speaking, repetition once more, explicate farther, speak fast or more lively, allow other people have a talk, etc. In recent old ages, people pay attending to the research of the turn-talking in confab. “ Turn-talking ” means that stating the opposite side “ I want to speak ” ; halting the talker altering the subject ; inquiring the other side to give me a speaking opportunity ; allow the other side maintain speaking ; stating the others that “ I have finish my speaking ” and “ you can talk ” . The normally used motion is head and oculus motion.

5. Adaptable motion: Ekman and Friesen split it more farther: 1 ) . Self-adaptable motion: this sort of motion ever go on on personally, such as, keeping ain manus, rubbing manus, grabing, rubing, seizing, pinching, whisking or garnering the fabric. In general, the emotion is more upsetting, the pretty actions are more distinguished. Picking nose and pass overing eyes belong to this sort. 2 ) . Transformational adaptable motion: this sort of motion take topographic point in the connect with other people. Such as, conveying or presenting, assailing or protecting, near or off. Leg motion can respond that encroach, footsie or onslaught. Shaking manus or pes agencies fidgety that the individual want to avoid speaking. 3 ) . Object adaptable motion: this sort of motion ever associate to the utilizing of stuff, such as smoke and authorship.

3.2 The map of organic structure linguistic communication in intercultural communicating

As the necessary communicating tool, organic structure linguistic communication has of import map in intercultural communicating. Bradford J. Hall ( 2002 ) summarized the mainly map of organic structure linguistic communication linguistic communication:

1. Repeat: Body linguistic communication can reenforce the verbal linguistic communication by reiterating the verbal message non-verbally, such as utilizing a gesture, it can assist the receiving system understand the message easy. For illustration, when person ask you where is the eating house, you can indicate a certain way when you say, ” the eating house is north the library. ” Or we point to the inquiry on the book we merely inquire.

2. Substitution: Body linguistic communication can be used to replace some verbal linguistic communication to present a certain significance. When your friend run into a sad thing that make him call, you can give him a clinch. This is more powerful than any soothing words.

3. Contradiction: Body linguistic communication sometimes can bewray the talker by directing contradictory message to the verbal linguistic communication. The organic structure linguistic communication is frequently regarded as the powerful word than the spoken words. For illustration, we ca n’t maintain our face from crimsoning even say we do n’t nervous or we ca n’t decelerate down our pulse if we are scared. And the instructor can happen a pupil is rolling from the eyesight even though his eyes are gazing the chalkboard. So the organic structure linguistic communication is dependable than the verbal linguistic communication sometimes.

4. Accentuation: It can coerce the power when you add a organic structure linguistic communication with your talk than merely utilize verbal linguistic communication. When you apologize to person, if an apology show on you face, this can do your apology more strong belief. In add-on, organic structure linguistic communication can supply a complement to the verbal linguistic communication. In some states, you can up you thumb as the same clip you give a esteem to your friends for his good public presentation.

5. Regulation: The organic structure linguistic communication besides helps us to command the state of affairs of our speaking. For illustration, when we need a quiet, we can set our finger on our lip.

IV. The analysis of the differences of the same organic structure linguistic communication in different civilizations

4.1 The different significance of the same organic structure linguistic communication in different civilizations

Here contrast some organic structure languages that normally used but have different significance. If you use a really atrocious organic structure linguistic communication, this might convey a severely consequence.

1. In China, up the pollexs means “ good ” to praise you are making a good occupation, assassin and so on. It is same in many states. If thumbs down agencies disagree, finish or you ‘re game over. But in Australia, no affair it up or down is obscene.

2. Stick out the index finger means “ wait a minute ” in America, but in Australia it means “ one more beer ” .

3. Stick out the small finger means fearful adult male in England as stake in America.

4. The “ V ” for triumph or peace mark in America if made with the thenar confronting inward is teasing or sneering in England. It is really violative to society ‘s ethical motives.

5. American people sometimes up caput, thenar confronting down, index finger across the pharynx, it means “ I ‘m full. I ca n’t eat any longer. ” But it means beheading in China.

6. When Chinese people pass oning with foreign people, the most averse motion is utilizing index finger indicate the others insouciant. Indeed, the motion is in bad gustatory sensation and impolite to western people. This is reproof and reproof.

7. Chinese male like to set custodies on other adult male ‘s shoulder for a long clip. And Chinese female often take other adult female ‘s manus closely for long clip. These shock the aliens because they consider this gesture means homosexual.

8. When Chinese people receive or send a cup of H2O or a gift, they will utilize two custodies to accept it to demo appreciate and esteem. But American people do n’t care about whether usage one or two custodies.

9. When speaking with American people Chinese wish to set their custodies crossed behind their dorsum or into their pockets. But these gestures make the American think you are concealing guns in your custodies.

10. Chinese may rub their olfactory organs when experiencing uncomfortable. This is confused the western people because in their civilization this motion means “ I ‘m stating a prevarication ” .

4.2 Some embarrassing illustrations due to misconstruing of organic structure linguistic communication

Under the same civilization, people may hold misconstruing because of the organic structure linguistic communication, even the different civilization. Culture difference in different states, so the organic structure linguistic communication can show different significance. If we do non understand the other people ‘s significance, it will hold misinterpretation and displeasure. For Examples:

Tom is the director of an American company in China. Recently, Li Lei, one of the Chinese staff makes a error at work. He is really disquieted about what had happened, so he comes to Tom ‘s office to apologise. Entering the office with smiling. He says: ” I feel awfully sorry for the error. I am here to do a unfeignedly apology to you and assure that it will ne’er go on once more. ” When he said this, the smiling ever on his face. But Tom feels it is difficult to accept and inquire him ” Are you certain? ” Li says “ yes “ with smiling. Tom is angry and says ” You do n’t look sorry at all. If you truly experience sorry, how can you still smile? ” Li feels so abashed and does non cognize what to make.

A Chinese pupil Wangdan and her friend, the American pupil Judy who studys in China were on the manner to hive away. They saw a male child fell down on the land. He tried to stand up while the environing people laughed. Fortunately he was ok. Judy was worried but found Wangdan was smiling excessively. She was really funny and asked ” how could you laugh when person else fell down. Why do n’t you assist him to stand up and inquire him whether he was hurt. ” Wangdan said, ” Because they know he was non ache excessively much. ” But Judy still could n’t understand. She said, “ In my civilization, if this was happen, we would make anything but laugh. ”

The former illustrations are all about the “ smiling ” . In day-to-day life we normally smile, but in different civilization, this ordinary motion can convey misinterpretation or some more serious consequences. When western people come across these state of affairss, they will with grave face to apologise or come to comfort the male child. Though smile agencies happy, it is the symbol for people in general, but in different civilization, smiling in the communicating are different. The western people think smile ever means happy, high in liquors or believe something is amusing. But Chinese people frequently smile, because it non merely means tempers and satisfaction, besides means embarrassment and protection, even a sort of evadable. So it confuses the western people, they say it is excessively difficult to understand. In China, people sometimes use smile to extinguish embarrassment, besides means “ ne’er head ” , and the individual smile to self-mockery or play a gag. But if the matter is really serious, people will supply aid but laugh out of tribunal. So for the people who do non cognize the significance, this sort of smiling will do them unhappy even produce aversions.

A Chinese pupil went to a American household and sent nowadays to the kid of this household, when he beckon to the small male child, yet the male child back off him.

The manus motion is really abundant and with morbific. Every gesture has its peculiar map. In the instance, the Chinese pupil used Chinese gesture, which palm confronting down and doing a scratching gesture with fingers to wave. This is different in America that means to travel off. When they let person to shut up, their thenar confronting up or merely travel index finger. This is opposite to Chinese and may convey Chinese people ‘s repulsive force.

VA§ . Decision

After the briefly analysis of the analysis of organic structure linguistic communication in intercultural communications, we have a cognition about the relationship between civilization and linguistic communication, and the influence of organic structure linguistic communication in the communicating. The organic structure linguistic communication in our day-to-day life is incalculable. Every one can utilize his organic structure to stand for himself. Body linguistic communication is the same as verbal linguistic communication to be the bearer of civilization that may do misconstruing in the international communicating because of civilization difference. As an English major, to understand the civilization of the mark linguistic communication is really of import. Having the cognition of organic structure linguistic communication will be helpful to us in intercultural communicating.

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