Australia and China are known to be different in almost every characteristic According to Hofstede’s Cultural dimensions. These two countries are different in all the five aspects, which are, individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and long term orientation. Begin with China; Chinese people are very collectivism as they like to do things in group, high in power distance as inequality is considered to be normal and low score in uncertainty avoidance as they like to live with rules and instruction. China is masculinity and highly long term oriented society. On the other hand, Australians got the second-highest score in term of individualism, thus low score in power distance, as they believe in egalitarianism. They ranked high in uncertainty avoidance because they view unexpected situation as a challenge. Lastly, they are masculinity and short-term orientation society (China - Geert Hofstede, n.d.).
If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree, said Michael Crichton (Quotes About History, n.d.). As to look into Australian and Chinese communication style, history is the most important thing that reflects people’s lifestyle, including the way they communicate with each other. Therefore, to begin, I would like to first emphasis on both countries’ history of how it affected the way people converse.
In 1770 James Cook, came to Australia with his ship, claimed the country as the British Crown and Britain decided to use Australia as a colony for convicted prisoners. On 26 January 1788, the British royal navy arrived at the Sydney Harbor with around 1500 people, including 750 criminals to the colony (Life in Australia, 2007). Since then, 26 January is considered as the national day of Australia. Thus to the indigenous Australians, they regard this day as the Day of Mourning as they believe that it denoted the maltreatment of white settlers who took away their land, culture, and human rights (Aboriginal Day of Mourning, n.d.). At the present time, Australian people are open-minded and relax. They are mostly get used to the sarcasm as they used to be satirized for the origin of their country. People find it is common to use sarcasm as a joke (Expectation of the Australian workplace, n.d.).
As in China, Confucius has always been a powerful tool leading almost every aspect of Chinese people’s life, such as, moral, political, cultural and social principles (Wang et al., 2005). Chinese Confucianism is solidly believed that self-fulfillment can be obtained in a harmonious, yet hierarchical structure in social (Ikeda, n.d.). The most common theory being practiced in Chinese society is “Ziqian Zunren”, which means being humble and respect others (Shi, Hu, & Wang, 2010). The most important characteristics to be considered in having a conversation with Chinese people are implication behind verbal and non-verbal, listening rather than speaking, and consideration of another party’s face.
At this point, the differences of how people in these two countries communicate are clearer as we look into their histories. To give a clearer picture, in accordance with Tannen’s article the content in the following paragraph will indicate about what topic is considered to be polite or impolite in Australia and China, and also the meta-message between verbal and non-verbal of Australian people and Chinese people.
The first meeting is known to be extremely significant because it can leave a lifetime impression. To Australian, people highly trust in egalitarian, which means that they believe that people are equal and should be equally treated without emphasize on the status or knowledge of the person (People, culture and lifestyle, 2012). As the consequence one must be careful about not giving the impression that one is better than others by not talking about one’s status and achievement (Access...