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文化差异(Culture Difference): 真实还是礼貌? Truth or Courtesy ?

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     Just as the degree of individual freedom that exists in America seems loose and therefore uncomfortable to many visitors . In many countries , people will tell you what they think you want to here , whether or not it is true。. To them , this is the polite thing to do. To Americans it is considered con。fusing -even dishon。est。 -to avoid telling the true fa。cts. even if avoiding the truth is done only t。o be polite . It is helpful to remembe。r that different c。ultures consider some matters more important than others . Wit Am。ericans , however, trust and truth are most important. One of the worst tings that can be said。 about someone。 in America is that " you cannot trust him"

    Considering such differences in values among the many cultures of the w。orld , it。 i。s natural that misunderstan。dings [1] will occur . "How far is it to the next town ?" an American asks a man standing by the edge of a road . In some countries , becaus。e the man realizes the traveler is。 tired and eager to reac。h the next village, he will politely say , ' Just down the road ". e。 thinks this is more encouraging ., gentler , and therefo。re t。he answer the traveler wants to hear. So the American drives alone for many more hours before he comes to the village. The traveler is angry , feeling "tricked". He thinks that the man has purposely lied to him because he must have kno。w quite will well what the dis。tance was.
    If a visito。r to the United States asked an American standing at the edge of a ro。ad how far the next town was, the American would think i。t dishonest if he said it was near when he knew it was really 24 miles away. Although he。 , too , would be sympathetic with the tired traveler , he。 would say, "You have a long way to go yet ;。 it is at least 24 miles mor。e. " The traveler might be disappointed , but he would know what to expect, and t。here would be no misunderstanding.

[1] misunderstanding    n. 误会, 误解


Excerpted from " A Guide to U.S.A. ", edited by Li Yang, Li Yi, published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.




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