Linguistic Expression of Politeness in the Chinese Culture

In: Social Issues

Submitted By blaine
Words 1930
Pages 8

The origin of the Chinese culture derives from the Mainland China. This culture is the world’s oldest and most complex civilizations with the history of more than 5,000 years. According to Wikipedia, “Chinese culture (Chinese: 中華文化) is a broad term used to describe the cultural foundation, even among Chinese-speaking regions outside of mainland China.” It is a broad term that covers almost all the aspects of life and the Chinese culture is considered very rich. Culture is defined as “the ideas, beliefs, and customs that are shared and accepted by people in a society” (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 1995).
In every culture, one aspect is considered essential and that is politeness. It goes the same with the Chinese culture where politeness is hardly regarded and one element under politeness is highly crucial, which is the importance of ‘face’ or face work.
Politeness is best expressed as the practical application of good manners or etiquette. Politeness can vary from one culture to another and what is considered polite in one culture might be considered not in another. Politeness includes behaving and speaking correctly with consideration of other people’s feelings. For example, giving your seat to a disabled person in the LRT.
Since culture is considered the institution of life, politeness is highly dependent on its culture. It goes the way the culture goes and it shapes the society under that particular culture through the family up-bringing and also education. Politeness can be divided into three main elements which are the importance of ‘face’, terms of address and also speech acts.

It is known that the ‘face’ or mian in its Chinese term is very important in the Chinese culture. Every Chinese, from the individuals that holds the highest position to the ones with the lowest in the society has a ‘face’ to…...

Similar Documents

Study of the Politeness Principle in Chinese and English Cultures

...comparative study of politeness between English and Chinese cultures.Po- liteness Can be realized in a number of ways, among which the use of language is an important one.With the develop- ment of pragmatics in the past years, language is used to show-politeness and also the differences between different lan- guages and cultures. Key words: Politeness principle;Culture difference 一、 Introduction Minimize the expression of beliefs which express dis- Politeness as a social phenomenon can be observed in praise of other; maximize the expression of beliefs which all languages and cultures, it has long been made an and express approval of other.Other may not be the person di- important object of study in linguistics.The really serious rectly addressed, someone or something dear to humor but study of politeness in the Western linguistic circles can be her. traced back to the German Romantic Movement in the 4.The Modesty maxim early 1920s.In recent years, along with the rapid movement Minimize the expression of praise of self; maximize towards pragmatics, politeness has become the central the expression of dispraise of self. theme.As a common social phenomenon, politeness is not 5.The Agreement maxim only a universally highly valued virtue, also a widely but Minimize the expression of disagreement between self employed strategy to realize tactful and effective communi- and other; maximize the......

Words: 1475 - Pages: 6

Chinese Culture

...Introduction chinese culture Chinese culture is one of the world’s oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a huge geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces. Important components of Chinese culture includes art,cuisine, festival and etc. People in the culture Identity Throughout history, many recognized ethnic groups have been assimilated into neighboring ethnicities or disappeared without a trace. At the same time, many within the Han identity have maintained distinct linguistic and regional cultural traditions. The term Zhonghua Minzu has been used to describe the notion of Chinese nationalism in general. Much of the traditional identity within the community has to do with distinguishing the family name. Values Most social values are derived from Confucianism and Taoism. The subject of which school was the most influential is always debated as many concepts such as Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism and many others. Reincarnation and other rebirth concept is a reminder of the connection between real-life and the after-life. In Chinese business culture, the concept of guanxi, indicating the primacy of relations over rules, has been well documented. Chinese Language The Chinese language (汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ; 华语/華語 Huáyǔ; 中文 Zhōngwén) is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees.[4] Originally the indigenous......

Words: 3890 - Pages: 16

Chinese Culture

...September 2012 Making Friends in China As with any culture to be successful in China socially, one needs to understand the manners and etiquettes that the culture follows. Many cultures have changed greatly over the centuries, but China’s remains very similar to its roots around the family and authoritarian. Unlike western cultures, much of the Chinese etiquette continues to be very rigid. Understanding and putting into practice the manners and etiquettes of Chinese culture will help a person to create new friendships, rather than enemies, and be accepted by more people within the country. These manners and etiquettes cover behavior in public, dining, conducting business, and even gift giving. In public Chinese people are very formal in their behaviors. Public displays of affection such as kissing, hugging, making eye contact, or hand holding are strongly discouraged; however, hand holding amongst friends of the same sex commonly occurs. Personal space is given very little concern within China, especially during national celebrations when most people go out, and the streets become very crowded from the largest cities to the smallest rural villages. People meeting will often shake hand and/or bow to each other, regardless of their acquaintance level. A Chinese person will typically avoid making eye contact. Making eye contact may be considered rude and signify anger or defiance. When meeting someone new Chinese people will often ask about a person’s age, marital......

Words: 1219 - Pages: 5

Japanese Culture V.S. Chinese Culture

...ESSAY Imagine we are walking on a crowded street in Japan; we could hardly differentiate a Japanese passerby from a Chinese passerby. An obvious reason fact for this is that both Japan and China mainland are within the same geographical area in which they are very much influenced by each other on their living lifestyles. Another reason for that is because Japanese and Chinese were interrelated in their history. In the first centuries A.D based on the Julian calendar, Japanese imported ranges of sources of ideas, production techniques and sets of material from China mainland. Stearns (2000) –‘Thus, the Japanese developed a very unique civilization from a blend of their own culture and a selective importation and conscious refashioning of the Chinese influences.’ The selecting and blending process of these two types of culture had thus resulted in the existence of both similarities and differences between them. Both Japanese and Chinese have identical features in their lifestyle, but they are very much differentiated in their diet as well as clothing. Since Japanese and Chinese are Asians, they inherited some similarities in their lifestyle in the aspect of collectivism, high-context culture and also high-power-distance which are believed to have an impact on communication as mentioned by Devito (2005). As a matter of fact, Japanese and Chinese, both practice the concept of collectivism, which can be said as a group work. Collectivism emphasizes on group goals, and success is...

Words: 2965 - Pages: 12

Chinese Culture

...Chinese Culture Susan Appling Intro to Sociology Feb-10-2012 Chinese culture is one of the world’s oldest and most complex. There is a large area that the culture is dominant, Eastern Asia. Customs and traditions vary between towns and cities. Visual arts, martial arts, literature, music and cuisine are all parts of the Chinese culture. There are many ethnic groups throughout the region. Many have disappeared or joined with other groups. Much of the traditional identity within the community has to do with the Family name. Different periods of history have different names for the positions within society. Each imperial period are similar, with government and military officials ranking high in the hierarchy? Chinese society was organized into a hierarchic system of socio-economic classes known as the four occupations. This system didn’t cover all social groups while the lines between each group became blurred since the commercialization of Chinese culture. Traditionally the family has been the most important unit of society. A traditional family consists of, head of household, his sons, their wife and children, often living under one roof. In some small villages all families had the same surnames or last names and could make up an entire village. Land was the main form of wealth in traditional China. Health care was poor and nonexistent for most peasants. After the Communist revolution in 1949 the conditions improved. Private ownership of land was abolished...

Words: 998 - Pages: 4

Chinese Culture

...Confucius was one of the greatest Chinese philosopher, teacher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental ethics, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. Confucius was born in 551 BC and his birthplace was in Zou, Lu State - near Shang Dong Province. He was born into the class of 士, Shi, between the aristocracy and the common people. Throughout his early life, he has built a considerable reputation through his teaching, and he came to be appointed to the minor position of governor of a town. Eventually, he rose to the position of Minister of Crime. The Confucius theory of ethics as demonstrated in 礼 Li, which refer to all actions devoted by a person to build the ideal society. 义 Yi, which means doing the right things for the right reason. 仁 Ren, comprises seriousness, generosity, sincerity, diligence and kindness. Ren is the virtue of completely fulfilling one’s responsibilities toward others. One of his most famous teachings was a variant of the Golden Rule, 己所不欲,勿施于人 what you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others. This Golden Rule is considered a Chinese example of humanism, it is teaching us to be a good person, do right things for right reason and be responsible to others. I watched a movie last night called The Butler, the story was about this butler – Cecil has served 8 American Presidents and the deeper side of this movie was about the African –......

Words: 583 - Pages: 3

Chinese Culture

...LE BRAS BIANCHI Oceane CHINESE CULTURE China is a very interesting country with a lot of values, way of life, cultural traditions and customs differed from western countries. In first we will see the filial piety, which is a very important value for Chinese people, the origins and how it is nowadays and in second time, we will see the taboos in China in different categories. To beginning, it is important to know what is the filial piety to talk about that, filial piety means to be good to one's parents; to take care of them, to engage in good conduct not just towards them but also outside the home so as to bring a good name them and ancestors; to perform the duties of one's job well so as to obtain the material means to support them as well as carry out sacrifices to the ancestors. You have to do not be rebellious; show love, respect and support; display courtesy; ensure male heirs, uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise them, including dissuading them from moral unrighteousness; display sorrow for their sickness and death; and carry out sacrifices after their death. It supposed to be the normal behavior for all people around the world, but in China, the origin is very deep and ancient. It is a a concept originating with Confucianism that outlines the way in which family members should interact with each other. It is based on a hierarchical relationship, in which parents and older family rank more highly than children and younger family members, and men......

Words: 3036 - Pages: 13

Chinese Culture

...Dara Murphy 112519063 Chinese Culture Essay: There are many different aspects to Chinese culture that make it so broad and interesting. I will be focusing mainly on the more modern features to the culture and how it has changed from the traditional culture. Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures out there today. I personally find the culture as a whole very interesting and intriguing and I extremely enjoyed learning about the ancient culture that is still ever so prominent today. It consists of many old traditions that have been carried forward into the twenty- first century. Customs and traditions do vary as your travel through the many town villages and also through the twenty- two provinces. Some of the different aspects that make up the Chinese culture that I will be discussing in this paper are the Chinese Cuisine, The one child policy, Famous Chinese Festivals, Chinese Horoscopes, Superstitions, a little bit on the Chinese Arts and Music both traditional and modern. The one thing that everybody is very familiar with is Chinese food. Nearly every human being has experienced it. What I have personally realized that on a recent trip to China, the food couldn’t have been more different. Instead of the usual sweet and sour chicken I was presented with jellyfish and ducks feet. I experienced one of the four main types of Chinese cooking, Shandong Cuisine. It consists mainly of very rich proteins such as shark fin and white funguses. There are four main......

Words: 1790 - Pages: 8

Chinese Culture

...Loss of Face Among Chinese Businesspeople in Intracultural and Intercultural Business Interactions Peter W. Cardon and James Calvert Scott Abstract Problem: No systematic research has been conducted about loss of face in Chinese business culture. General research questions: What causes Chinese businesspeople to lose face when conducting business intraculturally and interculturally? Setting: People’s Republic of China. Participants: 34 Chinese businesspeople from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Methods: Structured open-ended interviews. Main findings: In intracultural business the major causes of loss of face were public criticism and rejection, with mild responses to loss of face except when subordinates caused superiors to lose face and sometimes when a peer caused another peer to lose face. In intercultural business the major causes of loss of face were foreigners’ arrogance, politics and international events, and foreigners’ criticism, with most responses to loss of face being minor. Recommendations: Recommendations are provided for businesspeople operating in the Chinese environment and for researchers conducting investigations about face in Chinese business culture. IS RESEARCH ABOUT LOSS OF FACE among Chinese businesspeople relevant for American business educators? “International business is an area of the business education curriculum that commands center stage in today’s global economy,” reported the National Business Education Association in...

Words: 10138 - Pages: 41

Chinese Culture

...Chinese culture China has about five thousand years history which is a long period of time. The Chinese civilization was growing with these periods of time and it will continues greater than ever. Many wars and unhappiness were happening during this period. Although, the time has passed, the histories and the civilizations have not passed. These family virtues, serious, working attitudes, sense of justice and the great Confucian tradition have been deeply assimilated into the Chinese people. Some Chinese traditions are different from Mongolian’s. The Chinese culture has many special characteristics which are very interesting for people to learn. The family life is very important for every Chinese. Chinese families are very close-knit. Children tend to stay with their parents even after they get married and have children of their own, so that you often see three or four generations living under the same roof, unlike other cultures where the kids that have grown up try to get as far away from the parents as possible. However, everyone is well organized within this compact family each member of the family help each other when there is any problem and they will suffer together. The family life is quite different from Western’s.  Deeply rooted in Chinese culture is a system based on ethics, morals, hierarchy and behavior. In the Mongolian culture, a sincere thank you or a thank you note is an acceptable way to extend appreciation. However, in China, a more tangible form of......

Words: 345 - Pages: 2

Chinese Culture

...Shan Zhou   TD N  Chinese culture    The Chinese economic reform began in 1978,ever since then,China opened up to foreign  investment,China's amazing economic growth for the past years was due to the cheap  labour,large resources and huge quantity of production.With the increasing of economics,  Chinese people were aware of the fact”made in China”couldn't bring this country to one of   the top countries in the world as the ancient China uesd to be.So,China invested a lot of  money into developing new technology.Only in the year of 2005,the country filed over  170,000 patents.The new identity”made by China”will change Chinese brands' image and  change the Chinese manufacturing model to promote the economic growth.  If your want to be successful for doing business in China,your have to understand Chinese  culture.Many Chinese are quite superstitious,they use divination tool such as “Feng Shui”to  juge whether they can purchase the business location or not. Because the bad”Feng Shui”  could bring the misfortune.(They like to put some rare rocks or some animal status to  promote fortune,if you saw something strange in their house,don't touch them,you could  break the miracle of Feng Shui!)  If you want to get along with Chinese people,you have to understand 3 main definitions:    ‐''Guan Xi''‐Relationships or Connections  ‐''Saving face''  ‐''Gift giving'' ......

Words: 384 - Pages: 2

Chinese Culture

...Chinese Culture(中国传统文化) Ghulam Abbas Kan (3115999115) Email School of Electronic and information Xi’an Jiaotong University. INTRODUCTION: Culture itself is a relatively large concept. Generally speaking, culture is a kind of social phenomenon, and it is the product of people's long-term creation. At the same time, it is a historical accumulation of social history. The general culture is the sum of all the material and spiritual wealth created by human beings. Exactly speaking, culture refers to a country or a nation's history, geographical conditions, traditions, customs, way of life, literature, art, normative behavior, ways of thinking, values, and so on. According to the definition of British anthropologist Edward teller, culture "includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and as a member of the society the ability and habits that complex whole". Its core is as spiritual products of all kinds of knowledge, this matter is spread. Culture is a phenomenon peculiar to human beings. Culture is created by people, being unique.The culture is the product of human social practice. Chinese traditional culture is the civilization evolution and exchange integrated a reflect the national character and style of the national culture is nation in the history of all kinds of thoughts and ideology of the overall characterization, refers to the living in the area of Chinese nation and the ancestors created and inherited from generation to......

Words: 2632 - Pages: 11

Chinese Culture

...Comparison and contrast of the main streams of Chinese philosophy: Taoism and Buddhism Student Name: Hanbo Wang Student ID: 102780389 Instructor: Jennifer Jiang Buddhism and Taoism are two major religions at every dynasty. Even today, with the great development of science and technology, they still have a great number of believers. Taoism, originated in China at the Eastern Han Dynasty and Buddhism, came to China from India around 6th century B.C., together have shaped Chinese life and thought for thousands of years. Although they have many points in common but the differences are crucial. When I was in middle school, my father put a scripture of Buddhism on the wall of my room. The name of that scripture is “Xin Jing”; it is means that to arrive the other shore of wisdom. That was my first time to know about Buddhism; but I could not understand the “Xin Jing” scripture until I graduated from high school; since I did not interested in any philosophy theory until I was in high school. When I was in high school, I got in touch with the Taoism from its famous major scripture, “Dao De Jing”. After I read about Taoism, I found that the philosophy contains a lot of wisdom in it; I can have different understanding of our world every time I read it through. For Taoism, I would rather interpret it as a theory that focus on the way to find our inner peace rather to discover what the world is. It introduced people its main idea as Tao. A Tao can be the rule of a......

Words: 907 - Pages: 4

Chinese Culture

...against people. The only country that would want a treaty with China was the Soviet Union. Communism was feared throughout the western world and here was the world’s most populated nation turning to communism. “In December 1949, Mao met Stalin in Moscow. They signed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance. This treaty gave China money and technical assistance to modernize her industry.” (Rogers) Though the money received from Russia was minimal, Russia did provide many engineers to boost China’s industry and therefore her economy. Influenced by the Russian engineers, and also by the success of Stalin’s Five Year Plans, “China introduced her own Five Year Plan in 1953.”(Britannica) Mao had toured China and concluded that the Chinese people were capable of anything and the two primary tasks that he felt they should target was industry and agriculture. Mao announced a second Five Year Plan to last from 1958 to 1963. This plan was called the Great Leap Forward. The Great Leap Forward planned to develop agriculture and industry. Mao believed that both had to grow to allow the other to grow. Industry could only prosper if the work force was well fed, while the agricultural workers needed industry to produce the modern tools needed for modernization. To allow for this, China was reformed into a series of communes. By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes. The speed with which this was achieved was astounding. In 1959, things......

Words: 2339 - Pages: 10

Chinese Culture

...Domenico Sano 1997 REL2000 04/15/2012 Chinese Culture; Taoism doctrine and religion  Chinese culture involves many different religions and philosophies. A peculiarity of Chinese religions is that they are mutually exclusive and can be taken simultaneously for different functions throughout life. Each town has the religion inherited from the ancestors. This aphorism is widespread in China more than in other countries.  Scholars say that primitive religion of the Chinese, and people leaving near them, was the ancestor worship, and the force of nature, which they thought themselves endowed with spirits.  Confucianism and Taoism precisely these two primitive religions have obviously permeated both philosophical and religious systems more important in Chinese history. Taoism was created about 2500 years ago in China.  Since its inception it has two complementary aspects: one related to social life, human relations, moral values and the government, on the other hand the mystic, which aims to transcend daily life and society, to obtain a higher plane of consciousness and become a sage, a visionary who has managed to merge and understand the universe.  The sage is related in the spiritual and earthly events.  Unites both aspects: the intuitive wisdom and practical knowledge or contemplation and social life. The Chinese for its tranquility compares with the image of the wise and their movements with the King’s image. In the sixth century BC, Chinese philosophy was developed in......

Words: 1850 - Pages: 8