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  • Hmm. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.

  • Hi. James from engVid.

  • I've often said that learning language,

  • a foreign language is great. In this case, you're learning English, so congratulations.

  • But a lot of students, they learn the language, and they kind of forget about the culture,

  • like it doesn't really matter. Being an English speaker, I was born in England, and the culture

  • from England is very different from the culture from Canada, even though they are closely

  • related. So if you can imagine the cultural difference between someone from, say, China

  • and Canada, that would be fantastically different.

  • Well, as they say, as much as we're different, we're the same. But in this case, I want to

  • do a lesson on eight differences in culture

  • that if you're learning the language, which would be important.

  • Now, what I've done is shown the difference between the East and the West,

  • because frankly, you may be from the Middle East or Asia,

  • and you want to do business with Canadians or Americans or British people,

  • and you should see what we think are important.

  • And as well, this helps out English-speaking people about how we should communicate with

  • you when we're trying to teach you English. You like that? Let's go to the board.

  • We have Mr. E, here. He wants to eat his... Let's see. What should he eat? I'm going to

  • suggest that he has a pizza, because that's easy to draw, and anybody who knows me knows

  • I'm a terrible drawer.

  • There you go.

  • Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. He's having a piz-... Pepperoni pizza.

  • What would you suggest he eat with? A knife or a fork, or chopsticks?

  • Well, it seems obvious:

  • Use your hands. See, when you understand, you can manipulate or use things to your advantage.

  • Let's go to the board.

  • We'll start out with the West, which is where we are. All right? In the West, we say

  • "respect is earned". That means I cannot give you respect or look up to you until you have done something

  • to show me that you deserve my respect or I should give it to you. Just because you

  • say: "Hello, my name is" doesn't mean anything. You have to say:

  • "Hello, my name is, and I have done these things."

  • Because of that and if you do something that helps me, I will give you my respect.

  • Okay? In the East, it's a little different. In the East, what we say is:

  • "respect is due to hierarchy". Hierarchy? Well, just like the word says, think "high",

  • okay? The higher you are-okay?-the higher position you have. So if I come in and say:

  • "I am Generalissimo Kareer." You go: "Oh, I must give you great respect", in the East,

  • just because I am the General. I don't have to be a good General; I just have to be a

  • General. You must give me respect. Well, in the West, you'd have to be a good General

  • that's done a lot of good things.

  • Okay, number two:

  • open debate is encouraged. If you're going: "What is open debate?"

  • Open debate is conversation,

  • but it's more conversation where two ideas are conflicting or they don't

  • go together. You think A, they think B. So you don't both agree necessarily. Maybe you

  • think: "I don't agree with this person, or I don't like everything they say",

  • so you have a debate, which is a conversation to try and change each other's mind. Okay?

  • Open debate in the West is encouraged. If you don't like my idea, I'll say: "Why? What's wrong

  • with it? Why don't you come up with something? Tell me what you think, or tell me what's

  • wrong with my ideas." The challenge, we think, brings a greater result. In other words, if

  • you talk to me and we have a really good open debate, things should be better at the end

  • of the debate. Let's look at the East. In the East, open debate and confrontation is

  • avoided. Partly, this is because in the East... Remember we talked about hierarchy? There's

  • a level or layers? Well, if you question someone and they are on a higher level, you are not

  • showing them the respect they deserve, so it is almost better to do your debate... Or,

  • not even debate, but questions in a less public area. So it is not open debate; more of a

  • private thing with you and that person, and even then, you shouldn't really question them,

  • but ask questions of them. Okay? That's number two.

  • Number three, let's look at individual success and material success. In the West, they matter,

  • it's important. Yes, who I am is important, but it's who I am, just myself.

  • Have I done well in school? Have I made a lot of money? Have I bought a lot of things?

  • If so, I am good and I'm very successful, and this is great. Okay?

  • It sounds normal, until we consider

  • in the East, success is group success. That means: Yes, I've done well, but: How is my

  • brother? How are my parents? How is my sister? Is my family doing well?

  • If your family is not doing well, you cannot claim to be successful in the East. So they look at not even just

  • the family, but your society. Is your country doing well? Is your city doing well? If your

  • whole country is doing well, you are successful. If they are not, things are not good. While

  • in the West, it doesn't matter. Look at Donald Trump. Okay.

  • [Laughs].

  • If you don't know who he is, please watch The Apprentice and My Failure to be President, if you watch those

  • two movies or programs, you'll see what I'm talking about. Anyway. Where are we?

  • Next, let's go back here. Vocal leadership. In the West, we like our leaders to talk,

  • talk, talk, and tell you: "I'm the leader, listen to me because I'm the one who knows

  • what's going on. I am the important one. You should know this. I'm the leader. I make the

  • most, I talk the most. And look at me."

  • In the East, leadership is silent. It's not that

  • the leaders won't speak, they speak, but remember it's about group success? They will talk more about:

  • "We have done this, we are doing this. We, as a society or a group, are coming forward.

  • I am proud of my people." Versus: "I did it, and I'm the one."

  • Okay? So the leadership is a little bit more silent.

  • They say: "We lead from behind",

  • which is we lead, but we let the people take the credit or get the... Get praised.

  • While in the West, I stand in the front and I should get the praise, because I've done it. Okay?

  • Where are we now? Let's go down to five, which is strange: law more important than the relations.

  • In the West, we have what's called "the letter of the law". If the law says do this, you

  • must do this. It doesn't matter if you're my mother, my father, my brother, a good uncle

  • or a good friend. What does the law say I have to do? That is more important, that comes

  • first. In business relationships, let's say. Not necessarily family, but especially in

  • business relationships, we love contracts. We love to have the piece of paper, we like

  • to have the writing, because that tells us what I'm supposed to do and what you're supposed

  • to do, and everything's organized so there's no questions.

  • In the East, we notice relationships

  • are more important than the letter of the law.

  • This is true and not true. In the West,

  • we used to be more like this, but in the East it's still so, which is: When we shake hands,

  • that is the bond. The contract shouldn't be necessary. We... They do it because it is

  • the modern world, but they look at you as a person. If they don't trust you, they don't

  • care about the paper. What is the relationship like? Is it a good relationship? Then they

  • will sign the paper because they trust you, and they know that what you say they believe

  • will happen, not what the paper says. While in the West, we point to the paper and say:

  • "You have to do it because the paper said it. I don't need a relationship with you."

  • So in the East, they will try and actually make relationships, go out for dinner, meet

  • you in maybe your home just to get to know you so that they know when you say something,

  • they can believe it or trust it.

  • In the West, recent accomplishments matter.

  • An "accomplishment" is a deed or a goal. You

  • have done this, and you can show people: "Look what I have done. I have made a million dollars.

  • I have built a house. I have finished school and graduated."

  • They care or we care about recent. What have you done today?

  • Or Janet would say: "What have you done for my lately?"

  • We want to know what you've done today. We don't care about 20 years ago, that was 20 years ago.

  • Maybe you were a great movie star 20 years ago.

  • Tom Cruise, what have you done recently? Mission Impossible, what?

  • Okay. You know what I'm saying. Right?

  • When you look at that, we're looking at today. What matters is today. And it's true.

  • The sun comes up today. If you died 10 years ago, you don't matter anymore.

  • But today, what are you doing?

  • Talk to me about that. In the East, it's a little different. They like to look at you

  • might say character. Remember we talked about relationships? They look at what you've done

  • in the past because they believe what you did before-okay?-is what you're going to do

  • in the future. They think:

  • "Okay, if you've always been a good person, even if you make a mistake today,

  • you've been a good person, you'll probably be a good person again in the future."

  • Or if you're a bad person, you've always been bad: Just because you're good

  • today doesn't mean you're going to be good forever. And between those two differences,

  • you might say: "Wow, that's a really big world difference", because one seems to be based

  • on just the here and now with no thought to the future and no caring about the past. But

  • in some ways, in the West, we're more apt to... We're more able to say:

  • "Hey, look, if you change and want to be a better person,

  • we'll support that because we look at what

  • you're doing now. Maybe you were bad before, but you're good now. We give you a chance."

  • Well, in the West... The Eastern way of looking at it, if you were bad before, you're probably

  • still bad and shouldn't be trusted. Which is better? I don't know. Okay.

  • Now let's go to number 7: results matter. In the West, it's not what you were thinking about.

  • I wanted to help my friend who was on drugs,

  • and he was really, really, really, really needing them, so I bought the drugs so he would feel better.

  • That's my intention.

  • In the West, if that person dies, you can go to jail because: "Hey, he died."

  • But you would say: "I was trying to help them."

  • And we would say: "We don't care. What you did, what happened, the result was, that's what matters."

  • Okay?

  • If you look at the East, it's difference.

  • They talk about: "What were you trying to do?

  • What was in your head at the time? We know the person maybe died

  • because they took too many drugs, but you were trying

  • to kill them? No. You were trying to make them feel better,

  • to relax them, to make their life easier.

  • Oh, okay, well, that makes everything different."

  • And this goes back to the relationship thing.

  • If you have a relationship, there's a trust built in, so they look for your intention

  • and they go on that. Well, in the West because we're looking at what's happening now, the

  • result matters. What happened in the end? That's all that matters.

  • One last, one way to look at is here: exact time. What does that mean?

  • In the West,

  • 12 o'clock means 12 o'clock.

  • In the East, 12 o'clock means

  • 12 o'clock or 12:10, around that. Okay?

  • It's approximate. That's an important one, because if you have to meet somebody

  • from the West, especially if they're from Germany, meet at 12 o'clock. If they're from

  • maybe China or maybe, I don't know, Laos, 12:05, you'll be okay. All right?

  • Now, I want to do a test to see if you understand the cultural differences.