Different Games, Different Rules

Book Name : Different Games, Different Rules_x000D_
Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other

By by Haru Yamada, Deborah Tannen

Sub Title : Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other

Written by : by Haru Yamada, Deborah Tannen

Subject Category : Business and Commerce

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Japan and the United States are in closer contact politically and economically than ever before, yet in many ways our nations are as far from mutual understanding as ever. Misconceptions and miscommunications between East and West continue to plague this important relationship, frustrating the best efforts of both cultures to work together. Stereotypes abound: Americans see Japanese as evasive and inscrutable, while Japanese see Americans as pushy and selfish. What causes these persistent misunderstandings, and what can be done to avoid them?Fluent in both languages and at home in both cultures, Haru Yamada brings an insiders perspective and a linguists training to this difficult question, illuminating the many reasons why Americans and Japanese misunderstand one another. Social organization, she explains, shapes the way we talk. Because American and Japanese cultures value different kinds of social relationships, they play different language games with different sets of rules. In America, for instance, Aesop's fable about the grasshopper and the ants ends with the ants scorning the foolhardy grasshopper. In Japan, however, the story has a very different ending: the ants invite the grasshopper in to share their winter meal, as they appreciate how his singing spurred them on during their summer labors. In the difference between these two endings, argues Yamada, lies an important lesson: Americans, because of their unique political history, value independence and individuality, while Japanese value mutual dependency and interconnectedness. The language of both cultures is designed to display and reinforce these values so that words, phrases and expressions in one language can have completely different connotations in another, leading to all manner of misunderstanding. Yamada provides numerous examples. In Japan, for instance, silence is valued and halting speech is considered more honest and thoughtful than fluid speech, while in America forthright, polished speech is valued. Likewise, the Japanese use word order to express emphasis, while Americans use vocal stress: a listener unaware of this difference may easily misunderstand the import of a sentence. In a lucid and insightful discussion, Yamada outlines the basic differences between Japanese and American English and analyzes a number of real-life business and social interactions in which these differences led to miscommunication. By understanding how and why each culture speaks in the way that it does, Yamada shows, we can learn to avoid frustrating and damaging failures of communication.Different Games, Different Rules is essential reading for anyone who travels to or communicates regularly with Japan, whether they are scientists, scholars, tourists, or business executives. But as Deborah Tannen notes in her Foreword to the book, even those who will never travel to Japan, do business with a Japanese company, or talk to a person from that part of the world, will find the insights of this book illuminating and helpful, because the greatest benefit that comes of understanding another culture is a better and deeper understanding of one's own. Oxford University Press; April 1997 ISBN 9780198025528 Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format Title: Different Games, Different Rules Author: Haru Yamada; Deborah Tannen (other) Imprint: Oxford University Press Subject categories Business and Commerce > Business Economics > Commerce Language Arts & Disciplines > Communication Social Science > Anthropology > Cultural Political Science > International Relations Language Arts & Disciplines > Linguistics Business > Management Professions and Applied Sciences Social Sciences ISBNs 0198025521 9780195094886 9780198025528 9780190282554 In The Press "For those who have enjoyed Deborah Tannen's books, such as You Just Don't Understand and Gender and Discourse, Yamada's book will provide an in-depth example of Tannen's style of discourse analysis. For the cross-cultural worker t

About The authore

Haru Yamada is Senior Lecturer of Linguistics at the University of Westminster, London. She is the author of American and Japanese Business Discourse: A Comparison of Interactional Styles and a number of articles on international communication.

Related subjects

Business and Commerce - Business Economics - Commerce Language Arts & Disciplines - Communication Social Science - Anthropology - Cultural Political Science - International Relations Language Arts & Disciplines - Linguistics Business - Management Professions and Applied Sciences Social Sciences

ISBN

0198025521 - 9780195094886 - 9780198025528 - 9780190282554

In The Press:

"For those who have enjoyed Deborah Tannen's books, such as You Just Don't Understand and Gender and Discourse, Yamada's book will provide an in-depth example of Tannen's style of discourse analysis. For the cross-cultural worker traveling in Japan, it is certainly a wealth of information." --SIL Electronic Book Reviews "Different Games, Different Rules is an insightful analysis of why Japanese and Americans, despite the best of intentions, often misunderstand each other. In easy-to-understand prose and with clear examples, Dr. Haru Yamada illustrates the mutual assumptions, the unconscious strategies, as well as the different mechanics of the two languages that form the barriers to better communication. In showing us ways to improve communication with each other, she also provides a key to improved understanding ourselves. Informative and immediately useful for any person involved in Japanese-U.S. dealings."--Norio Ohga, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation "Yamada makes clear the close connection between a country's culture and its language and how cultural differences can create misunderstanding and mistrust during negotiations between companies and countries. This insightful and very useful book should be required reading for government officials and corporate executives in both Japan and the United States."--Tatsuro Toyoda, former President,and current senior Advisor, Member of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation "Many others have offered analysis, opinion, and advice on this complex subject, but none have shed more light."--Walter G. Hoadley, Executive Vice President, Bank of America "Dr. Yamada offers an engaging analysis of the differences between American and Japanese communication styles. Rich in insights on navigating the minefield of cross-cultural communication." --Y. Kobayashi, Chairman, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. "It is marvelously well written. It is witty, engaging, academic, and at the same time, very personal." --Seiichi Makino, Journal of Japapnese Studies

Imprint

Oxford University Press