Linguistic Expression of Politeness in the Chinese Culture

In: Social Issues

Submitted By blaine
Words 1930
Pages 8
Introduction

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.

Discussion
“Face”
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…...

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