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  1. #11

    Re: Culture of silence

    I would expect to find as many differences – re attitude to silence – among US & Brit people as between the two as nations – impossible research of course.
    There is a mythology of 'national cultures' which accentuates differences between nations and virtually ignores international aspects of human culture. So, the answer is 'Some do and some don't'.

  2. AlainK

    Re: Culture of silence

    "Speech is silver, but silence is golden":
    We have exactly the same proverb in French (la parole est d'argent, mais le silence est d'or).
    Even if it came to Britain in William the Conqueror's suitcases, the fact that it is still used in English shows that silence, at least on some occasion, is more valuable than speech.
    I found this very interesting article:

    From the Egyptians to shakespeare, it seems a lot of different cultures valued silence.

    So I'll speak no more...


  3. #13

    Re: Culture of silence

    Firstly,I love the culture of USA.I think there should be little slience when conversing,especially the young guy.But in some situation,such as upset,slience is seem to be necessary.

  4. #14

    Re: Culture of silence

    Quote Originally Posted by AlainK View Post
    "Speech is silver, but silence is golden":
    Here is another one, apparently attributed
    to Plato:
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

    By this I mean no offense to either culture.
    I love American and British humor although
    they are different. In fact I crave it.
    In general, I found Americans to be more
    humorous in short casual conversations,
    whether waiting for the elevator, or waiting in the
    line at the grocery store.

  5. DavyBCN's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Wales
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      • Rwanda

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 346

    Re: Culture of silence

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol View Post
    There are ways in which British and Americans differ- the British are less likely to start up conversations in certain sittuations, like elevators, where we'll happily travel in complete silence, which Americans seem to start talking.
    I have experienced the same thing since moving from the UK to Barcelona. Here it is normal to say hello and goodbye to everyone when you/they enter and leave a lift. A big culture shock, second only to people doing the same thing (but normally only in office blocks) when entering or leaving the toilet.

    The noise level in places like restaurants here is awesome, with everyone appearing to talk at the same time. I think it is a cultural thing based on the fact that life is lived outside the home here much more than the UK, and there is a completely different concept of what may be termed "private space". Because people generally have more limited home space, and young people often live at home up until the mid 30s, the only way to find privacy is often to go out. The subjects of conversations in public places are often very personal, and I have heard much more than I ever wanted to about people's medical problems.

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