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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 559
    #1

    the meaning of "Japanese people are acutely tuned into their social status..."

    Dear all,

    This is an exerpt from a web article titled "HOW TO SAY NO IN JAPAN"

    ....First it is important to understand why the seemingly simple task of saying “No” can be somewhat complicated in Japan. The underlying reason is related to how Japanese people are acutely tuned into their social status relative to whomever they are speaking....

    In the passage above, I don't understand quite well the meaning of the phrase in bold. Does this mean "Japanese people become very conscious(?) about their relative social status to the person they are speaking with?"

    OP

    • Member Info
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      • American English
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      • United States
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    #2

    Re: the meaning of "Japanese people are acutely tuned into their social status..."

    The author believes that Japanese people pay close attention to whether they are socially equal, superior, or inferior to people they interact with. Your understanding is correct.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,581
    #3

    Re: the meaning of "Japanese people are acutely tuned into their social status..."

    "Tune in" is an old television and radio expression. To find a TV or radio station was to "tune in" to it. You had to adjust knobs and antennas carefully (that is, tune the TV or radio) to get a good signal from the airwaves.

    So to tune in to something is to focus on it, give it attention, pay attention.

    To keep the expression "tune in" distinct, I write it "tune in to" rather than "tune into."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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