Body Language Differences in Chinese and Western Culture

January 4th, 2010 by vivianwang

With the development of international trade and China’s  economy, we are getting in touch with foreign countries and foreigners much more frequently. So one of the most important question confronting with is how to communicate with foreigners, especially how to comprehend each other in non-verbal communication.

In my opinion, body language is the importance of non-verbal communication. As is known to all that we have obvious differences compared with western countries in culture and custom, and body language is one aspect. For example, westerners always keep a certain distance when they’re talking with others, but we Chinese like standing closed with each other. Westerners enjoy eye-contact much more than Chinese but Chinese admire respect, because we think gazing at the other people for a long time is impolite. Another example is that westerners usually lay open their hands to express “I don’t know”, but Chinese people often raise and shake their hands to deliver the same meaning. So from the examples above, I think we can conclude that body language has a great effect in non-verbal communication in cross-cultural interactions.

Body language is a kind of symbol and is also a solid expression of one’s culture. If we do not familiar with the body language when we are communicating with foreigners, we are likely to misunderstand others or interrupt the conversation. So we must understand the differences of body language between westerners and Chinese, be aware of the manners and the standards in order to avoid communicative barrier or even failure.

Chinese New Year — the Most Important Ceremony of China

January 4th, 2010 by vivianwang

Spring Festival is the first day of the first month in the lunar year. It’s the most lively and traditional festivals of Chinese custom. Spring festival has a very long history which originated from the sacrifice in the Shang period. It means that all manifestations of nature will recovery, the spring and a new round of sowing and harvest season will coming soon.

Before the New Year’s Eve, Chinese people will sweeping the dust of their house. It’s one of the customs. Then it’s time to prepare for our festival. All families will paste Spring Couplets and Paper-cuts and “Up-sided Fu” on their doors. Every family will go shopping for assorted candies, red melon seed, cumquat and various kinds of meat such as chicken, pork, seafood and so on.

On the New Year’s Eve most people will staying-up for the first of the New Year. We have family reunion dinner and watch the CCTV New Year’s Gala together .When the hand reaches 12, all the families will setting off Firecrackers in order to celebrate the New Year. And all the children will put on new clothes and gain gift money from elder members of a family.

The festive and lively atmosphere filled with not only in each household, but also filled the streets around. There are still lion dance (The lion is believed to be able to dispel evil and bring good luck), dragon dance (to expect good weather and good harvests), traditional opera, variety of shows and exhibition of lanterns. Until the Lantern Festival, the Spring Festival is fully ended.

Chinese Paper-cut

December 17th, 2009 by vivianwang

Paper-cut is one of the most popular and outstanding folk arts of China, it has a long history. That’s because the materials are easy to get and the effect is available. The Paper-cut can make kinds of images which is vividly and lovely so that we define it as graphic arts. Paper-cut can be see all through our nation and it has created different styles. It not only represents the aesthetic trend of Chinese but also implies the social psychology of our nation. The red paper stands for festivo and auspicious, and it also reveals the nature of Chinese culture.

The art of Chinese Paper-cut like the ivy which is archaic but thriving.


How to pronounce “z,c,s” and “zh,ch,sh,r” in Chinese Pinyin

December 2nd, 2009 by vivianwang

In my process of teaching, I found that to pronounce “z,c,s” and “zh,ch,sh,r” well is a very difficult thing for many students. They usually pronounce “z,c” as “s”, and pronounce “zh,ch,r” as “sh”. Or they often confound the six sounds. The reason is obvious that there are not consonant sounds like “z,c” or “zh,ch,r” in their mother language. The question is prominent especially, when the sounds above spelled with “i”.

However, my method to deal with the problem is not complicated. Putting the tip of your tongue against your lower teeth can make you pronounce “z,c,s” correctly and putting it against your upper teeth can make you pronounce “zh,ch,sh,r” correctly. And “s” is corresponded to[s]; “sh” is corresponded to [∫].

It’s not so difficult, doesn’t it?