Politeness - a Comparison Between Chinese and English

3483 WordsMay 26, 200514 Pages
Table of contents 1. Introduction 2 2. Politeness – a theoretical approach 3 3. the concept of limao 4 4. Request strategies 4 4.1. Request strategies in Chinese 4 4.2. Request strategies in English 5 5. Forms of address 6 5.1. Forms of address in Chinese 6 5.2. Forms of address in English 7 6. Chinese: Politeness across social groups 8 7. Conclusion 9 References 11 1. Introduction In many parts of this world, former existing borders are removed and people move closer together. It has to be admitted that most of the time this happens due to economical reasons, and the phenomenon of mass media has to be mentioned in this context as well. Therefore it becomes even more important to be able to…show more content…
Modesty should prevent a person from acting selfish and snobbish, so it could be translated as the term "self-disparagement". Attitudinal warmth means self-demonstration of kindness, consideration, and hospitality to others. Finally, refinement refers to behaviour towards others meeting certain standards. Mentioning these four aspects of limao it is essential to notice that polite behaviour can occur in both verbal and non-verbal forms. Talking about verbal behaviour of Chinese, being polite in content has to be distinguished by being polite in manner, since it is possible to criticise somebody (being impolite in content) in a gentle way (being polite in manner). 4. Request strategies 4.1. Request strategies used in Chinese language As Lee-Wong (2000: 108) observes, native Chinese speakers tend to favour a direct bald on-record form of request strategy type. A very popular form of uttering requests is the so-called ba-construction, e.g. "Ba che jie wo" / ‘Car, could you lend me'. Besides, action verbs as ‘lend', ‘give', ‘get', or ‘change' etc. are used frequently: "Huan shuang kuaizi" / ‘Change a pair of chopsticks'. As illustrated in these examples, utterance meaning and sentence meaning are almost identical when requests are made in Chinese. In other words, requests are usually expressed with a minimal number of words. This leads to
Open Document