In order to better identify and understand the differences between Japanese and English, the task of giving walking directions was used. Japanese and American public facilities (10 each) were randomly chosen from which to collect data over the phone in order to examine these differences based on the following five communication styles: 1) politeness, 2) indirectness, 3) self-effacement, 4) back-channel feedback (Aizuchi), 5) and other linguistic and cognitive differences in relation to space and giving directions. The study confirmed what the author reviewed in the literature: Japanese are more polite, English speakers tend to give directions simply and precisely, Japanese prefer pictorial information and most Americans prefer linguistic information, Japanese is a topic-oriented language and also an addressee-oriented language. The information revealed from this study will help Japanese learners develop important skills needed for developing proficiency in the target language and also teach important differences between the two languages.
College and Department
Humanities; Center for Language Studies
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Barney, Keiko Moriyama, "Identifying and Understanding the Difference Between Japanese and English when Giving Walking Directions" (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. 4427.
giving directions, Japanese, cross-culture, communication styles, politeness, indirectness, self-effacement, back-channel feedback, Aizuchi, word order, topic orientedness, addressee orientedness