30 september 2005

Japanese = sign language

Did you know that Japanese uses a lot of sign language? The following article (in Dutch) is very helpful if you want to do business with Japan...

Studenten die beginnen met het leren van de Japanse taal gebruiken daarbij
Nederlandse gebaren. Mensen gebruiken handgebaren om het verhaal te
ondersteunen. In het geval van de studenten is de woordenschat en kennis van de
grammatica te klein om een verhaal te kunnen vertellen. Dat blijkt uit een
onderzoek van Keiko Yoshioka. Ze promoveert hiermee op 6 oktober aan de
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
De studenten die meededen aan het onderzoek, moesten aan de hand van een stripverhaal zonder tekstballonnen een verhaal vertellen. "Het Japans kent geen werkwoorden die een actie weergeven, zoals huppelen of kruipen", stelt Yoshioka. "Daarvoor in de plaats hebben de Japanners veel gebaren." Ook kent de Japanse taal geen lidwoorden en werkwoordvervoegingen.
De hoofdpersonen in een verhaal worden 'weggezet' door Japanse vertellers. Iedere keer als het personage aangehaald wordt, verwijzen ze met een gebaar naar de plek waar ze hem hebben neergezet. In de Nederlandse taal worden alle personages juist telkens weer genoemd. "In het Nederlands zijn daar genoeg woorden voor", zegt Yoshioka. Het onderzoek wijst verder uit dat verschillende talen hele andere gebaren gebruiken.

26 september 2005

Lecture 1: a few links about "culture"

To help you with the definition of culture, I tried Google.

This is what came up... - if you don't want to click the link, I've made a selection for you. Here we go:

a particular society at a particular time and place; "early Mayan civilization"

the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group

acculturation: all the knowledge and values shared by a society

the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a

particular social group or organization; "the developing drug culture"; "the
reason that the agency is doomed to inaction has something to do with the FBI

The word culture comes from the Latin root colere (to inhabit, to cultivate,
or to honor). In general, it refers to human activity; different definitions of
culture reflect different theories for understanding, or criteria for valuing,
human activity. Culture is traditionally the oldest human character, its
significant traces separating Homo from australopithecines, and Man from the
Animals, though new discoveries are blurring these edges in our day. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture

a set of learned beliefs, values and behaviors the way of life shared by the
members of a society.www.saa.org/publications/sampler/terms.html

The accumulated habits, attitudes, and beliefs of a group of people that
define for them their general behavior and way of life; the total set of learned
activities of a people.odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/GEO/glossary.htm

Learned behavior of people, which includes their belief systems and
languages, their social relationships, their institutions and organizations, and
their material goods - food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines.www.mdk12.org/mspp/vsc/social_studies/bygrade/glossary.shtml

The reflection and prefiguration of the possibilities of organization of
everyday life in a given historical moment; a complex of aesthetics, feelings
and mores through which a collectivity reacts on the life that is objectively
determined by its economy. (We are defining this term only in the perspective of
creating values, not in that of teaching them.)www.bopsecrets.org/SI/1.definitions.htm

The shared values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, history, institutions,
and experience of a group of people. The group may be identified by race, age,
ethnicity, language, national origin, religion, or other social categories or

The collective body of understanding, belief and behavior among a given
group of people; depends on the human capacity for learning and transmitting
knowledge from one generation to another.www.apsu.edu/wet/whatis.html

Culture is a group's way of life including language, clothing, food and

a common way of life of a group of people www.uwlax.edu/mvac/PreEuropeanPeople/EarlyCultures/glossary.html

The civilization responsible for the creation of a work of art. Ex.
Egyptian www.art-and-artist.co.uk/art-terms.htm

The history, traditions, and social mores of an organization.www.customersurveystore.com/The_Process/Definitions/definitions.html
The complete way of life of a people: the shared attitudes, values, goals,
and practices that characterize a group; their customs, art, literature,
religion, philosophy, etc.; the pattern of learned and shared behavior among the
members of a group.www.digonsite.com/glossary/ag.html

Archaeologically, a human population that shared a similar economic life
style, activities and beliefs which can be recognized through the identification
of residual remains and artifacts which were left behind by the group.members.aol.com/artgumbus/glossary.html

The organization has built an interesting organizational culture, has a
strong set of values. (Result)ccs.mit.edu/21c/iokey.html

is a combination of organizational history, shared experience, group
expectations, unwritten or tacit rules, ethics, and social interactions that
affect the behavior of everyone in the organization. Culture is developed dejure
(organizational rules and pronouncements from upper management) and defacto
based on shared experience. Culture is a complex social structure. We
simultaneously participate in many cultures such as family, local, religious,
national, and organizational. One culture may permit an action, while another
forbids it.home.earthlink.net/~ddstuhlman/defin1.htm

Lecture 1: Introduction

I'd like to share with you my notes and thoughts after the first lesson of this course.

What is intercultural communication?
- What is communication?
- What does (inter)cultural mean?

In most handbooks, this is the definition of communication:

Communication is the exchange of information between at least two (groups of) people.

As you can see, three elements are very important in this definition:
- exchange
- information
- at least two

If one element is not there, you could not talk about communication whatsoever.

People have four basic skills at their disposal to successfully communicate with one another:
- reading
- writing
- listening
- speaking

Apart from these basic skills we also distinguish between verbal and non-verbal communication:
- verbal: words/sounds
- non-verbal: gestures, ...; (can anyone think of other examples? Feel free to add in the comment section).

As for the term culture the definition is somewhat problematic. In class, we defined culture as:
- indificiation of a group of people
- language
- place, nation
- time area
- traditions
- values
(anything to add? Use the comment section)

Think about this by next time: what makes your culture different from e.g. surrounding cultures? (e.g. Holland vs. Flemish culture; Portuguese vs. Spanish culture - Feel free to add before next week in the comments)