Features of speech behavior in different countries

Features of speech behavior in different countries

In the life of modern society, the role of communication is growing more and more, especially the role of intercultural communication. Intercultural communications arise in various fields of activity: business, tourism, culture, science, features of politics, etc. Therefore, in order for communication with representatives of different countries to be successful, it is necessary to know the national characteristics of their speech behavior, both verbal and non-verbal.

  • “National communicative behavior in its most general form is defined as a set of norms and traditions of communication of the people.”
  • “Verbal communicative behavior is a set of norms and traditions of communication, regulating the requirements related to the topics and characteristics of the organization of communication in certain communicative conditions.
Verbal communication
  • Non-verbal communicative behavior is a set of norms and traditions that regulate the requirements for non-verbal signs used in the communication process (body language — gestures, facial expressions, gaze, postures, movement, physical contact during communication, signals of distance, choice of the place of communication, location relative to the interlocutor, etc.), and also includes a set of involuntarily expressed symptoms of conditions and attitude towards the interlocutor and a set of communicative significant social symbols characteristic of this society.”

From the point of view of V. A. Maslova, verbal communicative behavior consists of several dominant communicative traits for a given people, which manifest themselves regardless of who, when, with whom, where, etc. speaks, as well as the rules that apply in standard communicative situations (meeting, greeting, acquaintance, gratitude, acquaintance, farewell, communication at a party, in an institution, on the phone, etc.). You can see more https://travelingtourism.com/

Maslow pyramid flat vector illustration

The dominant features of the communicative behavior of the people are such features of communication that are manifested in representatives of this people in all or in most communicative situations, that is, ideally-regardless of the specific situation of communication, the topic of communication, the composition of communicants, etc.

In the dominant features of communicative behavior, the most striking national features of communication of a particular people are manifested. For example, let us take a few countries.


“English communicative behavior is characterized by such dominant features as low volume; laconic speech; a high level of self-control in communication; emotional restraint; high level of household politeness; non-categorical communication (the British do not like to speak definitely, do not like to say clearly “yes” and “no”); anti-conflict orientation of communication (they try to carefully avoid statements that could cause disagreement, dispute or conflict); a high level of thematic taboo of communication, strict thematic regulation of communication in most situations, etc.”

Features of verbal behavior

  • In verbal communication, the British behave respectfully towards the interlocutor, emphatically polite regardless of the circumstances, courteously, try to use speech formulas correctly. Even with disapproval, the people of England etiquette cannot do without appeals like “Dear Sir”. The British avoid personal topics in communication, keep a certain distance. This is largely determined by traditional English conservatism, which is followed unconsciously.
Respectfully communication behavior

Features of non-verbal behavior

  • The non-verbal communication of the British is characterized by the desire to keep a significant distance – their social distance is from 1 to 3.5 m. The concept of personal space is important for the British, which they consider even the place temporarily occupied by them. The British rarely use a handshake, and touching hand to hand is considered a sign of special closeness. The British often try to take free poses, including in public places. When meeting the British, many compliments and smiles are always used.


“The dominant features of French communicative behavior are: outward friendliness, smile, demonstrative cheerfulness; a high level of self-control in communication, a high level of household politeness; discussion as a priority in communication; the desire to avoid requests to strangers and comments to them; the prevalence of extreme assessments in communication; a significant amount of contact replicas in the structure of the dialogue (it can’t be, etc.); the prevalence of gallantry over politeness; admissibility in communication of allusions to personal life; the desire to shine in a conversation (the silent one condemns himself to social death); high ease of oral communication; the important role of jokes, wit in conversation; inadmissibility of physical contact with the interlocutor in a public place, etc.”

A minimum social distance in communication Unsplash License

Features of verbal behavior

  • In French verbal communication, refined politeness, the use of various speech clichs in conversation are combined with emotionally and freethinking. When conducting a dialogue, the French often interrupt the interlocutor with their own statements, showing by this their interest in discussing important issues. The French are encouraged to have table conversations, since eating for them is a kind of certain ritual. In communication, the French constantly use words of gratitude. They try to conduct all negotiations in French, even if they are fluent in foreign languages.

Features of non-verbal behavior

  • For non-verbal communication, the French are characterized by a minimum social distance in communication, but when communicating with unfamiliar people, they try to maintain a certain distance, active gestures. Handshakes are considered mandatory; their absence speaks of distrust and violation of intimacy in communication. The French smile at everyone, even complete strangers. The French are very negative about gestures from another culture, especially American ones.


The dominant features of Chinese communicative behavior are: the importance of subordination for communication, high restraint, poorly expressed individualism, a demonstration of respect for the interlocutor, exaggeration of the partner’s position in communication, the practical nature of communication.

Communication gap abstract concept vector illustration. information exchange, understanding, effective communication, body language, feelings and expectations

“The characteristic features of the speech behavior of the Chinese are a high degree of politeness, attention to the interlocutor, lack of categoricalness and restraint in the expression of emotions. Fear of offending, offending, burdening another person is a characteristic feature of Chinese speech behavior. The Chinese try to restrain the expression of their emotions. Even if it is unpleasant for them, it is bad, they do not show it. A figure of approval is often used by the Chinese to help establish emotional contact with listeners.”

Features of verbal behavior

  • The Chinese consider it their duty to show each other deep respect, to emphasize that they consider the interlocutor a developed and cultured person, even if this does not correspond to reality. In communication, they are simple and direct. They do not hide the details of their private life; they openly discuss them in the presence of relatives and even strangers. As a rule, neighbors know everything about each other. A Chinese man can ask a new acquaintance about age, marital status, having children, etc.

Features of non-verbal behavior

  • For the Chinese, during communication, the distance between the interlocutors is tiny — 30-40 cm. If the Chinese communicate one-on-one with unfamiliar people their posture remains motionless, and their voice approaches a whisper. During communication, the Chinese avoid the gaze of the interlocutor. A handshake is accepted only among partners of equal social status, higher-ups are often greeted with a polite bow, and the Chinese can use a handshake when meeting people who are unfamiliar or have not seen for a long time in a situation of interaction at the official level. When greeting, a smile is necessary for Chinese people.

Thus, (in this way) for a full-fledged communication with residents of different countries, it is necessary to know not only their language, culture, traditions, bt also take into account the national characteristics of verbal and non-verbal behavior.

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