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Editorial
english version

Despre socul cultural

de Alina Tacu
cadru universitar, traducator autorizat pentru Ministerul Justitiei

www.mdsdesign.ro/alina_tacusau e-mail:alina_tacu@yahoo.com


Acest numar este ilustrat cu picturile lui Corneliu Dumitriu, detalii la redactie

      "Primul lucru pe care va trebui sa-l faceti cind intrati in casa este sa va stergeti picioarele. Este semn de respect fata de gazda. Feriti-va sa laudati prea mult frumusetea fetei de masa sau a servetelelor pentru ca indata va veti trezi cu ele in brate drept cadou."
      "Cam asa incepe cursul de instructaj al unui grup de turisti gata sa plece in aventura unei vizite a oraselelor mici din nordul Rusiei. De la inceput sint avertizati in legatura cu gesturi, semne sau fraze care trebuie evitate.
      "Multi oameni nu cunosc termenul de soc cultural. Aceasta ignoranta se datoreaza lipsei de confrutare directa cu situatii inedite. Este stiut faptul ca in interiorul fiecarei tari obiceiurile sint diferite de la zona la zona. "Cite bordeie atitea obiceie" spune o vorba inteleapta la romani. Cind depasim deja granitele tarii, ceea ce ar fi putut sa fie acceptabil si de inteles chiar in zonele diferite ale aceleiasi tari devine semn criptic sau ofensa pe alte meleaguri.
      "Pe terasa unei berarii din centrul Bratislavei, in Slovacia, daca doresti doua beri si le comanzi ridicind aratatorul si mijlociul, te trezesti cu trei beri si un zimbet larg si usor hitru din partea chelnerului. Apoi afli nedumerit ca semnul doi trebuie sa-l faci aratind degetul mare si aratatorul.
      "Sa nu te puna pacatul ca aflat in vizita in Grecia sa saluti din entuziasm vreun bastinas cu palma ridicata. Vei fi urgent admonestat, in cel mai bun caz, sau chiar atacat. Gestul cu pricina este o mare ofensa.
      "Ajuns in Bulgaria, ceri doua langosha pe care nu le vrei cu zahar. Dai din cap energic in semn de "nu" cind vinzatorul iti arata sita cu zahar dar te trezesti cu doua langosha complet albite de pudra dulce. Ti se explica: gestul de negatie se face invers, cum ar fi "da" la noi.
      "In fine, esti invitat in Japonia de o gazda generoasa la o cina cu sushi si sake incalzit. Un deliciu. Termini, surizi fericit, multumesti cu vreo trei arigato goziemashita (multimesc frumos), mai dai o data din cap a apreciere, iti freci miinile si constati cu stupoare ca gazda te priveste dezamagita. Intr-o japoneza accelerata se adreseaza interpretului, acesta te intreaba daca ti-a placut masa, tu, nelamurit tocmai spui ca ai incercat din rasputeri sa-ti arati multumirea iar scena se incheie cu salvatoarea explicatie: daca ti-a placut intr-adevar trebuie sa-ti exprimi satisfactia printr-un rigiit fericit. Reiei, te straduiesti, scoti un sunet vag, gazda e fericita si seara se termina cu bine.
      "Acestea sint doar citeva exemple de situatii in care e posibil sa fii pus daca nu esti avertizat. Sa retinem ca fiecare cultura este diferita si ca limba, si ca obiceiuri. Cel mai bun lucru pe care poti sa-l faci inainte de a pleca in vizita peste hotare este sa te documentezi in prealabil. Daca nu gasesti suficient material, fii mereu cu ochii in patru si vezi cum fac ceilalti.




About the Cultural Shock

by Alina Tacu
authorized translator for the Ministry of Justice

www.mdsdesign.ro/alina_tacu sau e-mail: alina_tacu@yahoo.com

      "The first thing you have to do when entering the house is to clean your shoes. It is a sign of respect towards the hostess. Do not praise too much the beauty of the table cloth or the napkins because you will immediately have the hostess giving them to you as a present".
      This is how a training course starts for a group of tourists ready to leave for an adventurous trip to small villages in the Northen part of Russia. From the beginning they are warned about gestures, signs or phrases they should avoid.
      Many people are not familiar with the term "cultural shock" This ignorance is due to the fact that they have never been confronted with peculiar situations. It is well known that customs and habits differ even in parts of the same country. "As many customs as cottages in the same village", is a Romanian old saying.
      When we leave the country, though, what could have been accepted or understood within the same borders can become criptical sign or offence in other countries.
      On the terrace of a beer house in Bratislava, Slovakia, if you want to order two beers making the sign "two" with the pointer and the middle, you get three beers and a large, funny smile from the waiter. Then you find out puzzled that you are supposed to make the sign two using the thumb and the pointer.
      Do not say hello to anyone in Greece by showing the spread palm. You will make everybody angry, in the best case or, in the worst you will be attacked. This gesture is extremely offensive.
      Getting to Bulgaria you ask for two langosha without sugar. You energetically make the sign "no" with your head when the shop assistant points to the sugar tray, but you get two langosha generously spread with sugar powder. Somebody explains: the negation sign made with the head is the other way round.
      Finally, you are in Japan and get an invitation to a dinner with sushi and warm sake. You finish, smile happily, say arigato gosiemashita (thank you very much) for three times, rub your hands in stisfaction but you still read disappointment on the face of your hostess. In a quick Japonese she adresses the interpreter who asks you if you enjoyed the dinner. You try to explain that you made the best to show your satisfaction until the situation is cleared up: you have to express your satisfaction through a happy blurb. You do so and the evening successfully ends.
      These are only a few examples of situations in which you could be put if you are not warned in advance. We have to keep in mind that every culture is different. The best thing to do is to read a lot about the particular customs and habits of the country you are going to visit. If this is not enough try to keep your eyes wide open and see how the others do it.
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