字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Hi everyone, I'm Susie from the UK, welcome back to my channel. I've been thinking about something recently, and I wanted to talk about it and hear what you think. In Malcolm Gladwell's book 'Outliers' he talked about transmitter vs receiver oriented languages. In the book he wrote: Western communication has what linguists call a "transmitter orientation" that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. Within a Western cultural context, it holds that if there is confusion, it is the fault of the speaker. But Korea, like many Asian countries, is receiver oriented. It is up to the listener to make sense of what is being said. I thought this was fascinating. In English, you're expected to make yourself clear as the speaker, but in Chinese, the listener might be expected to do some more work to try and understand you. Do you guys agree with this? I have a lot of questions and feelings about it. My initial feeling is that there might be some truth to it. In my own experience, it does feel like sometimes I might be explaining something to someone from an Asian country, and there's a moment of clear acknowledgement of understanding, just a head-nod or something, and then I feel that anything I'm saying after that point is just unnecessary. There isn't too much explanation that's needed. Another thing is that when it comes to essay writing, I think there's a clear difference between Chinese and English logic. I've been helping a student with her PhD project, and there have been loads of occasions when we're reading her writing, and I'll say 'it feels like there's a step missing here' Or 'you haven't fully explained the relevance of this or the connection to the next part.' Her supervisors and I often use the words 'vague' or 'unclear'. And she's usually shocked, because she's like "I think it's very clear" or "the reader should know exactly what I'm saying!". And it's quite interesting to me, because on the one hand, I can totally see what she means, that the meaning should be guessable, or that it might be so obvious that it's not even worth spelling out. But on the other hand, in PhD writing the convention is that you have to be as specific as possible, so that you make your meaning clear. I guess this has become the convention and probably goes back to the Greeks. Especially in writing, you have to spell everything out and make it crystal clear for the reader. You have to be very scientific and logical about it, don't miss any steps in your thinking, even if it seems obvious to you, you want to leave no room for misinterpretations. That's how to write well in English anyway. Another thing that seems to demonstrate this transmitter vs receiver difference to me is that someone else from Taiwan told me they find it easier to read English books than Chinese books, because in English books the authors takes you through step by step, like a clear story. The logic helps the reader follow through bit by bit. I thought that was quite interesting that they said that even though it's their second language, there's something about the logic that makes it easier to follow in English. Now obviously that's just one person so you'll have to point out if I'm going majorly wrong here. I'm still learning about Chinese logic in writing, but it seems like maybe the rules are just less defined. You don't have to start each paragraph with a topic sentence, introducing the point of that paragraph, and you don't have to only keep 100% relevant points in that paragraph. It seems like you can be a bit more poetic and, especially in the introduction, you can talk about the 'big picture' for a lot longer. The 'big picture' is quite a big deal actually. If we're generalising, it seems like western logic is more about details, and Eastern writing is more concerned with big picture stuff. So those are just my observations. These language differences made me think of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. This hypothesises that the structure of a language shapes or limits the way speakers perceive the world. It's been hotly debated for a long time in linguistics. I personally think it's a chicken and egg debate. On the one hand, it's not like you can only think of something if that thing has a word in your language, but on the other hand there are some studies that suggest different languages influence the way people think about things, especially at a young age. I'll link some down below. It really depends on what we mean by thought as well. Some people have quite clear inner monologues that only exist in terms of words, but I don't really have that, my thoughts are more like feelings or impressions. Are yours like that? Maybe the differences in the languages are to do with the differences in the way we think. In the book “The Geography of Thought” by Richard Nisbett he talks about the cognitive differences between North East Asians and Westerners. Now of course when we talk about Asians and Westerners, it's all generalising, and I think these generalisations will hold less and less true as the concept of 'nationality' becomes more arbitrary, but to summarise very briefly, in Western thinking, first of all, being unique as an individual is seen as something desirable. People like to feel in control in environments where their choices lead to desirable outcomes. They work towards personal goals and achievements, and relationships can actually get in the way of those achievements sometimes. Your identity is seen as static, meaning you can move from group to group and setting to setting and still mostly be the same person. On the other hand, in Eastern thinking, there's less focus on personal goals and self-aggrandisement, and collective goals are generally more important. It's not particularly desirable to be individually distinctive. Being in harmony with your surrounding network is a strong predictor of personal wellbeing, and relationships are valued over identity, because your identity doesn't come from yourself but from the context and influences you're exposed to. This obviously relates to Buddhism, Taoism and other philosophies that were born in the East. Choices affecting outcomes is seen as oversimplistic, and when it comes to relationships and the concept of self, in Japanese, the word for 'I' literally changes based on the context. These distinctions can be distilled into 2 kinds of categories: object-focus versus context-focus, or analysis versus holism. Now we can see where the essay-logic differences come from. In western writing, underlying assumed validity isn't enough to prove that it's true. This might make English writing easier to read in some ways, as the reader is guided through step by step, but there is a flaw in my opinion, because if the larger context isn't taken into account as much as possible, major mistakes can be made. In one of Nisbett's studies, they used this example: All things made of plants are healthy. Cigarettes are made of plants. Therefore, cigarettes are healthy. Within this paragraph alone, the logic follows. But we're of course missing something, which is the wider context. I think it's useful to just be aware of this when we go about our lives. After all, the history of these two different regions was completely different. If we look at Greek philosophy, which is seen as part of the foundation of western thinking, Aristotle generally saw objects as categorisable and knowable, and the Greeks looked for underlying principle and patterns in science. Arguments, debates and battles were an important part of life. The Eastern way of thinking, on the other hand, was strongly influenced by Confucianism, which was all about relationships and shifting identity depending on context. If we recall the Yin-Yang symbol from Taoism we can also see the appreciation of contradiction in Eastern thinking. Different backgrounds, different languages, different ways of thinking, maybe. So what came first, linguistic differences or cognitive differences, and are these concepts even still applicable or are they becoming outdated? Let me know what you think. Thanks for watching. I'm Susie and I'll see you next time!