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新浪首页 > 新浪教育 > 《掌握英语口语》 > 12:DIRECTNESS & INDIRECTNESS

http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/11/16 18:38  中图读者俱乐部





  Chinese Proverb

  Think three times before you take action.


  A word dropped from the tongue cannot be brought back by four horses.


  American Proverb

  He who hesitates is lost.


  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.




  Dialogue 1: Don’t make noise!(别制造噪音!)

  Scene 1

  Jane: (knocks on her neighbor’s open window):Excuse me, it’s 11 o’clock already, and your high-pitched opera singing is really disturbing my sleep. Please stop your gargling noises immediately! I have an important job interview tomorrow morning, and I want to get a good night’s sleep. I really need this job to pay my rent!

  Diane: (resentfully)Well, this is the only time I can rehearse my opera! I’ve an important audition coming up tomorrow. You’re not the only one that is starving, you know. I also need to pay my rent. Stop being so self-centered!

  Jane: (frustrated):I really think you’re unreasonable. If you don’t stop your singing right now I’m going to file a complaint with the apartment manager.

  Diane: (sarcastically) OK. Do whatever you want. I’m going to sing as I please.

  Scene 2

  Mrs. Zhang: Your daughter has started taking piano lessons, hasn’t she? I envy you, because you can be proud of her talent. You must be looking forward to her future as a pianist. I am really impressed by her talent - every day, she practices so hard, for hours and hours, until late at night.

  Mrs. Yang: Oh, no, not at all. She is just a beginner. We don’t know her future yet. We hadn’t realized that you could hear her playing. I am so sorry you have been disturbed by her noise.


  Jane: (敲打邻居开着的窗户)请原谅,已经是11点了,你唱歌剧的声音太高,我睡不着。别在这里制造噪音了!我明天早上有个重要的面试,今天晚上得好好睡一觉。我真的需要这个工作赚钱来付房租!

  Diane: (气冲冲地)我只能在这个时间练习歌剧!明天我有一次重要的录音。并不是只有你一个人要工作。我也得付房租。别那么以自我为中心!

  Jane: (受挫)你这人真是不讲理。如果你现在不立即停唱,我就去公寓经理那儿告你一状。

  Diane: (嘲讽地)随便。我爱唱就唱。




  Dilogue 2

  When Chinese and Americans communicate there often are misunderstandings due to their differences in style of speech. A conversation between a Chinese husband (following indirect communicating rules) and an American wife (following direct communicating rules) illustrates these differences:

  Wife: Bob’sshavingsa party. Want to go?

  Husband: OK.

  Wife: (later) Are you sure you Want to go?

  Husband: OK, let’s not go. I’m tired anyway.

  In this conversation the husband interpreted the wife’s questions as an indirect indication that she did not want to go.









  Chinese prefer the indirect way of communicating style while Americans prefer the direct way of communicating style.




  Indirect messages allow you to express your desire with-out offending or insulting the one interacting with you, but often at the sacrifice of your own feeling. Instead of saying,“I am bored with the conversation,”you say,“It’s getting late and I have to get up early tomorrow,”or you look at your watch and pretend to be surprised by the time. Instead of saying,“This food tastes horrible,”you say,“This food tastes different.”Instead of saying,“You look terrible in this dress,”you are likely to say,“I like the dress you wore yesterday.”

  In comparison with indirect messages, direct messages allow you to express your desire with less consideration about the feeling of the people interacting with you. Instead of saying“I am so bored; I have nothing to do tonight,”to your boyfriend, you say forthrightly,“I’d like to go to the movies. Would you like to come?”Instead of saying“Do you feel like hamburgers tonight?”to your husband, you say,“I’d like hamburgers tonight. How about you?”





  Assessing Directness & Indirectness In Communication

  Below are 32 statements regarding how you feel about communicating in different ways. In the blank to the left of each item, indicated the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement. If you are unsure or think that an item does not apply to you, enter a 5 in the blank.

  Use the following key:

  Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Strongly Agree

  1. ___ I catch on to what others mean, even when they do not say it directly.

  2. ___ I show respect to superiors, even if I dislike them.

  3. ___ I use my feelings to determine whether to trust another person.

  4. ___ I find silence awkward in conversation.

  5. ___ I communicate in an indirect fashion.

  6. ___ I use many colorful words when I talk.

  7. ___ in argument, I insist on very precise definitions.

  8. ___ I avoid clearcut expressions of feelings when I communicate with others.

  9. ___ I am good at figuring out what others think of me.

  10. ___ My verbal and nonverbal speech tends to be very dramatic.

  11. ___ I listen attentively, even when others are talking in an uninteresting manner.

  12. ___ I maintain harmony in my communication with others.

  13. ___ Feelings are a valuable source of information.

  14. ___ When pressed for an opinion, I respond with an ambiguous statement /position.

  15. ___ I try to adjust myself to the feelings of the person with whom I am communicating.

  16. ___ I actively use a lot of facial expression when I talk.

  17. ___ My feelings tell me how to act in a given situation.

  18. ___ I am able to distinguish between a sincere invitation and one intended as a gesture of politeness.

  19. ___ I believe that exaggerated stories make conversation fun.

  20. ___ I orient to people through my emotions.

  21. ___ I find myself initiating conversations with strangers while waiting in line.

  22. ___ As a rule, I openly express my feelings and emotions.

  23. ___ I feel uncomfortable and awkward in social situations in which everybody else is talking except me.

  24. ___ I readily reveal personal things about myself.

  25. ___ I like to be accurate when I communicate.

  26. ___ I can read another person“like a book”.

  27. ___ I use silence to avoid upsetting others when I communicate.

  28. ___ I openly show my disagreement with others.

  29. ___ I am a very precise communicator.

  30. ___ I can sit with another person, not say anything, and still be comfortable.

  31. ___ I think that untalkative people are boring.

  32. ___ I am an extremely open communicator.

  Scoring: Reverse the score for items 4, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23,24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32. If your original score was 1, reverse it to a 7; if your original score was a 2, reverse it to a 6; etc. After reversing the score for those 14 items, simply sum the 32 items. Lower scores indicate lowcontext communication. Higher scores indicate highcontext communication.

  Source: Adapted from W. B. Gudykunst, Y. Matsumoto, S. Ting Toomey, et al.“Human Communication Research, 22(1996), 510-543.

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