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Business across Cultures

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Before doing business abroad it is important to understand the social and business culture of a country in which you are going to operate. The following are just a few of do’s and don’ts for business people visiting a foreign country:

s In the USA, it is polite to look people in the eye, to offer your hand, and to smile;

s In France people shake hands much more than Americans or most Europeans; if you fail to shake hands, you may be considered rude;

s In Japan and Korea bowing, rather than shaking hands, is usual behaviour;

s In Turkey, your coat should be buttoned when you are with superiors;

s Never discuss business over dinner in France;

s Don’t pass documents with the left hand in Saudi Arabia;

s Don’t expect written contracts in most Moslem countries;

s Don’t expect the contract with South Korean businessmen to spell out all the details. Written contracts are typically documents that change as conditions do;

s In Japan it’s very important to get everyone’s opinion. Patience is a prime factor in their culture. They also avoid saying “no” directly;

s Offer gifts in Japan. The Japanese enjoy giving and receiving beautifully presented gifts;

s Do not bring liquour to an Arab house. For many Arabs, alcohol is forbidden by religious law;

s In China expensive presents are not acceptable and cause great embarrassment. Give a collective gift from your company to theirs;

s In British restaurants a tip is included in the bill. In some Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Spain, the customer is expected to pay a little extra for satisfactory service;

s Don’t criticize royalty in Great Britain;

s In Arab countries, don’t admire an object openly. The owner may feel obligated to give it to you.

s Thus, if you are aware of the customs of the country you are visiting, you will not cause offence or be offended.

 

 

Exercises in Word Study

 

Ex.1. Form nouns from the following verbs:

fail, consider, behave, avoid, embarrass, criticize, expect, offend, admire.

 

Ex.2. The following words can be used in more than one way. Underline the correct part of speech for each word as it is used in the text.



1. visit a) noun b) verb
2. smile a) noun b) verb
3. offer a) noun b) verb
4. shake a) noun b) verb
5. bow a) noun b) verb
6. cause a) noun b) verb
7. tip a) noun b) verb
8. bill a) noun b) verb
9. present a) noun b) verb

 

Ex.3. Give the English for:

обговорювати ділові питання; передавати документи; письмовий контракт; пояснювати всі деталі; звичайна поведінка; терплячість; пропонувати подарунок; дорогі подарунки; збентеження; чайові; рахунок (за послуги); образити когось; бути ображеним; звичаї країни; правила поведінки.

 

Ex.4. Match words from list A with words from list B that have a similar meaning:

A B
custom gift operate spell out rude behaviour avoid expensive tip extra gratuity costly evade impolite conduct explain in detail act habit additional present

 

Ex.5. Find suitable opposites to the following words:

rude; cheap; buttoned; to succeed; patience; to permit; acceptable.

 


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