121 Cross-Cultural Sensitivity 2


E: I know that we will be expected to chat and make small talk with our customers, but I'm worried I'm going to put my foot in my mouth.

P: There are a couple of topics that are considered "no-nos" in Western culture. It's best to avoid discussions on politics, religion and money.

J: Why is religion a sensitive topic?

聊天儿,to chat, 也可以说to make small talk. Emily担心跟客户聊天的时候会to put my foot in my mouth, 意思是说话不得体,讲错话。Paul说,在西方文化中,确实有一些话题是"no-nos"最好不要涉及的领域,包括政治、宗教和金钱。宗教为什么是敏感话题?

P: Well, there are a lot of religions and each one thinks very differently. Overall, it's an area that could cause trouble; so it's best to stay away from it.

J: When I visited Italy last year, I noticed a sign at a church asking people to remove their hats. Why is this necessary?

P: In some religious centers it's considered impolite to wear hats. Many Western people also think you should remove your hat when dining or in a more formal setting.

Paul解释说,不同宗教信仰的人,如果话不投机,就很容易出问题。So it's best to stay away from it,所以最好远离这个话题。 Jim问,为什么意大利有的教堂要大家摘掉帽子。Paula解释说,某些宗教认为戴帽子很不礼貌,It's considered impolite to wear hats, 而且在西方,正式场合和饭局一般都要把帽子摘下来。

J: You said money is off-limits as well. Can you explain?

P: In some parts of Asia, discussing salary amounts or how much you paid for something is an acceptable conversation topic, but in the West, people get very uncomfortable when discussing money.

E: That makes sense. Money can be a tricky subject.

金钱也是off-limits,禁区。在亚洲某些地方,工资收入可以是聊天的话题,但是在西方,问别人赚多少钱,往往会让人觉得不舒服。所以说,money can be a tricky subject.

P: Ok...a couple more important points: In some Asian societies, when you meet someone and you notice they have put on weight, you might say "Hey! You've gained weight!" But in the West, it's almost never appropriate to comment on someone's appearance.

J: But why? It's not a criticism; it's just an observation.

P: In the West it is viewed as a criticism. So don't comment on age or weight.

E: I think it's best to simply say, "You look well."

P: Yes....that would be perfect. Thank you all for your attention and we will meet again next week.

还有一点至关重要,见面千万别说,“你发福了!” That's a no-no. 西方人几乎从来不讨论别人的外表,还有年龄!Don't comment on age or weight.