Transcript Analysis: Transcultural Communication

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Introduction The following transcript analysis is based on an interaction of a business meeting between Australian and Indonesian company representatives, where they have met each other for the first time. I will identify, analyse and discuss the transcultural communication difficulties encountered between these two representatives. In addition to the identification of these difficulties, I will propose solutions. Difficulties were found due to the difference in cultural values and communication practices of two participants, which affected their use of politeness strategies as well as the rapport management. Identified issues and possible reasons One of the major issues found in this interaction is that two participants had different expectations…show more content…
In their interaction, the choices of behaviour and language use gave rise to relational misunderstandings. First of all, face threatening behaviours are observed in positioning self and other due to the wrong usage of politeness strategies. Jonathan and Batara are representatives of the each company and therefore, they see themselves as being at the same social level (-P), which has a distance (+D) since they have ever met before. That is, they are expected to have a deference face system, where they would treat each other as equals and use a relatively high concentration of independence (negative) politeness strategies out of respect for each other and for their professional position (Scollon, Scollon & Jones, 2011). However, the strategies used in the interaction have not always been negative politeness strategies. For example in line 1, Jonathan addressed Batara with his first name, which is usually used more in solidary relationships (-D). This is because it is common to address business client with their first name in order to build an equal relationship in Australian business culture (Bargiela et al., 2002). On the other hand, in Indonesian culture, where rank and status are very important, it is usually polite to address each person using his/her title plus full name or first name such as Mr Batara. Therefore, Jonathan’s noun addressing might have caused in offending Batara. Two participants differ in their assessment of face strategies, and it could be perceived by both participants as a difference in power. Secondly, the topic choice by Jonathan is considered to be a right threatening behaviour. Jonathan opened up the conversation bringing up the issue of why the fax had not been read by Batara in line 14. This may be because Jonathan believed that it was an obligation for Batara to read the

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