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Understanding Understatement

בניגוד לישירות שלנו הישראלים (והישירות היותר מנומסת של האמריקאים, גרמנים והולנדים למשל) סגנון התקשורת של הבריטים הוא סגנון עקיף ולכן יש לשים לב למה שלא נאמר – למה שנאמר בין השורות. זהו סגנון תקשורת הפוך ל'דוגריות' הישראלית.

הבריטים ידועים בשימושם ב-understatement, דוגמה לכך, מופיעה בתמונה של פוסט זה.

האמריקאים, לעומת זאת, ידועים בשימושם (בעיניי חלק מאיתנו, המופרז) ב-overstatement ומשתמשים לעיתים קרובות במילים 'גדולות' כמו: awesome, amazing, incredible וכיו'ב.

זיכרו שהבריטים הם ההיפך הגמור מכך.

When a brit says: "Oh, incidentally...", he means: the purpose of this meeting is..., the Israeli will hear: it's not really important

When a brit says: "I was a bit disappointed...", he means: I am annoyed that..., the Israeli will hear: it's not really important.

ועוד על מה חשוב לדעת כשעובדים עם אנגלים


Petra Schlerf, Farnham Castle / Expatica

Senior intercultural trainer Petra Schlerf points out some quirks of the British business culture and language used in the workplace.

If you're working in the UK, there are some quirks in British culture and language used in the workplace that can be easily misunderstood.

For anyone relocating to a new country, the different cultural values which are experienced always cause a few surprises. First time movers may not realise how important their own cultural values are and how they have shaped their views and perceptions about the world over time, nor how these values can potentially clash or cause misunderstandings with new friends and colleagues. For seasoned global travellers, each new culture will still bring new experiences and challenges. The only difference that experience of many new cultures will bring is speed of acceptance. For those moving to Britain, communication style often presents initial challenges. The British communication style is a curious mixture of direct communication when it comes to data, numbers and policy for example, yet on the other hand, any feedback, delegation to colleagues and general interaction is littered with indirect ‘suggestions’ and subtleties which often confuse.

Take for example the comment from a manager: “If you have time you may want to look into that…” Most people from countries like Germany, France the Netherlands or Scandinavian countries which practice direct communication styles, would not recognise this as an instruction for action. It takes time to learn to read between the lines and understand that the British manager really meant: “Please research that topic, as soon as you are able.” It is the British people’s focus on politeness that s