Solution Manual
Book Title
Communication Between Cultures 8th Edition

978-1111349103 Chapter 08 Part 1

June 2, 2020
Verbal Messages:
Exchanging Ideas Through Language
Chapter Eight focuses on the interrelationship between language and culture. The importance
and function of language is explained, as well as the connection between language and the
meanings it represents. Before addressing issues related to language and intercultural
communication competence, the authors differentiate between translators and interpreters while
offering recommendations and advice. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the benefits of
learning a second language.
I. Importance of language
II. Functions of language
A. Social interaction
B. Social cohesion
C. Expressions of identity
III. Language and meaning
A. What is language?
1. Accent
3. Argot
4. Slang
C. Conversational taboos
2. Northeast Asian cultures
a. Chinese
b. Korean
c. Japanese
3. Arabic
4. English
V. Interpreting and translating
A. Interpretation
B. Translation
C. Cultural considerations in interpretation and translation
D. Working with interpreters and translators
2. Dialect knowledge
3. Specialized terminology
VI. Communication technology and language
VII. Language and intercultural competence
A. Improving interpersonal interactions
2. Speech rate
4. Attend to nonverbal behaviors
5. Checking
B. Second language benefits
VIII. Summary
Activity 8-1: Words are outside, meanings are inside
This activity highlights the interconnection between language, meaning, experience, and culture.
Because people come to interactions with different perceptions about the world, they will not
have exactly the same meaning when they hear a word or phrase. Even among culturally similar
individuals, meanings will differ. The maxim “meanings are in people” refers to the notion that
words do not hold meaning; people hold meaning.
This exercise asks students to reflect on what meanings they hold of certain words and how those
meanings might differ from those held by people of other cultural groups. Ask students to
characterize what they think the terms listed below mean by using each term in a complete,
“illustrative” sentence. Instructors should add terms that would be especially suited for this
exercise and/or their particular class. By “illustrative” we mean a definition that vividly
illustrates or characterizes to students what these terms mean. For example, for the word
“teenager” someone might write: “Someone who doesn’t listen to their parents, doesn’t trust
anyone over thirty, and believes s/he is invincible.” After students write a sentence for each term,
ask them to share their responses with a group of their classmates.
affirmative action democratic bigot gay preacher
heterosexuality feminist sexist communism capitalism
conservative liberal atheist
Activity 8-2: Cant/dialect, jargon/branding, argot, and slang
This activity demonstrates not only the connection between language and culture, but also the
differences between cant, jargon, argot, and slang. Students should gain an understanding of
what each term means and how it is or is not specific to a certain cultural group. On the day of
the exercise, have students individually or in pairs write definitions for the words listed on the
following page, which can be duplicated to give each student a copy. Then divide the class into
small groups of four to six students. Each group should generate several definitions for each
word. Once each group has constructed as many definitions as possible, share the answers from
the key provided.
Possible discussion questions following the exercise:
Which words were you unable to define? Which words were you able to define?
Why are these words generated and used by a particular co-culture? How do they
function for a co-culture? Can you think of other words that these co-cultures use?
What experiences have you had where you did not understand the English that
was being spoken because of the use of cant, jargon, argot, or slang?
What other co-cultures have a distinct cant/dialect, jargon/branding, or argot?
What are some examples?
Cant/Dialect, Jargon/Branding, Argot, and Slang
Term Definition
2. demo
4. first chair
6. off case
8. Bottom Woman
10. can
12. Mary Jane
14. scrub
16. bitchin
18. John Wayne
20. slum
22. flat backer
24. bug juice
26. mustangs
28. high ‘n tight
30. shift
32. bonbon
34. oiled
36. float
38. chicken coop
40. seat covers
42. one L’s
44. 86
45. grat
2. demo musical release before a CD argot musicians
4. first chair person in 1st chair of each argot musicians
5. header part of a combine that argot wheat farmers
collects the grain
7. swallows prostitutes cant prostitutes
9. jam cocaine cant drug users
11. Harry heroin cant drug users
13. transformer person who changes gang cant gang members
14. scrub a man without material wealth argot/slang African Americans/
15. T the debate issue of topicality, argot debaters
17. Phat very cool argot/slang African Americans/
no one in particular
19. Donnicker bathroom or toilet argot carnival workers
21. PT physical training jargon/argot soldiers
23. merchant someone who exploits cant prisoners
fellow inmates
25. 2-top table for two people argot restaurant workers
27. macking flirting with another person argot/slang African Americans/
no one in particular
29. GL ticket general ledger ticket in a bank jargon bankers
30. shift when the opposing team argot debaters
32. bonbon attractive gay man argot gay men
34. oiled drunk cant street people
36. float taking a trip or tour of duty argot soldiers
38. chicken weigh station argot truckers
40. seat covers having women in the truck argot truckers
42. one L’s first year law school students argot law school students
44. 86 no longer available on the argot restaurant workers
45. grat gratuity or tip argot restaurant workers
Activity 8-3: Language, values, and worldviews
This activity demonstrates how a speaker’s cultural values and world view are reflected in
his/her words choices. Clearly, what members of a society choose to talk about and how they talk
1. What do Chief Sealthl’s people value? Give several examples from his speech to
2. How does he perceive nature and the role of humans on earth? What examples
support your answers?
3. What conclusions might you draw about Chief Sealth’s method of speech
4. How does his choice of words reflect the culture of his people?
Chief Sealthl’s Letter to the President*
The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or
sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the
sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore,
every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory
and experience of my people.
We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our
veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear,
the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the
body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our
ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in
the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's
murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children.
So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with
all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last
sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep
it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the
meadow flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother?
What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are
connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a
strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth
is to heap contempt on its creator.
Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild
horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of
many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be?
Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say good-bye to the swift pony and the
hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.
When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a
cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of
the spirit of my people left?
We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it
as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the
land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.
As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also
precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White
Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all.”
* Retrieved from http://www.csun.edu/~vcpsy00h/seattle.htm
Possible discussion questions following the exercise:
What are the predominant images in the speech? What do these images tell you
about what Chief Sealthl’s people think is important? What do the images tell you
about their environment, their experiences, what they would die for?
In what ways are humans and the earth described as interconnected?
How do you think the U.S. government and white settlers viewed the relationship
between humans and the earth?
Can you think of examples in speeches given by people of dominant U.S. culture
that illustrate the values and world view at that time? Examples from speeches
given by individuals of other cultural groups?
Activity 8-4: Idiomatic expressions
This activity demonstrates the difficulty in explaining and translating idioms to people who do
not come from the same culture. Students will learn that idioms are culture-bound and that
knowing a language such as English does not ensure that one will understand all the idioms of
the English language. This activity can be carried out in several ways.
One approach is to have students generate their own list of idioms and explain their definitions.
In this case, divide the class into groups of four to six students and ask them to generate as many
U.S. idioms they can think of. This may be difficult at first because idioms are a natural,
unconscious part of conversation. It might be wise to give a few examples to get students started.
Each group should then try to explain each idiom as though they were explaining the idiom to
someone from another culture. Having international students in your classroom will enhance this
exercise, because many of them may not be familiar with all American idioms. Students will
discover that many idioms are difficult to explain since native speakers of any language know
the idioms of their culture intuitively through years of usage.
A second way to carry out this activity is to use the handout on the following page that lists
English idioms from three societies: the U.S., Great Britain, and the Bahamas. Ask students to
first explain what the U.S. idioms mean. Again, international students may act as “judges” who
determine whether the explanation of an idiom is adequately clear. Then ask students to try to
define the idioms of Great Britain and the Bahamas. Which ones do they know? Which can they
accurately guess the meanings of? Which do they not understand at all? Give them the
definitions to the British and Bahamian idioms and discuss possible reasons why these idioms
were constructed the way they were.
Possible discussion questions following the exercise:
Why is it difficult to explain idioms from our own culture?
How do you think idioms are formed?
Why do they cause a great deal of trouble for non-native speakers?
Can you think of any idioms from the U.S. that you did not understand in the past
but now do? Could these idioms have been regionally based?
How did you come to understand each of these idioms? Did you ask for an
explanation, or was the meaning clear because of the context in which the idiom
was used?
Idiomatic expressions in English:
United States
bite the dust
blow off steam
bone to pick
blow the whistle on
bored to tears
bread and butter
break the ice
brush off
beat around the bush
change one’s tune
chip on one’s shoulder
climb on the bandwagon
face the music
fair-weather friend
fed up
fine-tooth comb
get one’s feet wet
get through one’s head
feet on the ground
give up the ship
go against the grain
go to pot
in the family way
in the long run
keep your shirt on
land on ones feet
make no bones
neither here nor there
on the fence
on the whole
pay the piper
read between the lines
scratch the surface
save one’s breath
miss the boat
take a back seat
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
applaud to the echo
in bad odour
to be on (off) the beam
chop and change
as cold as charity
have a crow to pluck (pick)
die in harness
dree one’s weird
hang on a person’s lips
come to heel
feel like a giant refreshed
of the first water
go to one’s account
not as green as he’s
cabbage looking
help a lame dog over a stile
a pretty pass
improve the occasion
have one’s knife in a
late in the field
lose the day
merry as a cricket
with might and main
grasp the nettle
put in one’s oar
from pillar to post
pink of perfection
to stump up
lose caste
United Kingdom (KEY)*
applaud to the echo: to acclaim and clap loudly, so that one rouses echoes.
in bad odor: in disfavor, in disrepute.
to be on/off the beam: to be on or off the point, to be relevant or irrelevant.
chop and change: to be constantly changing, generally used derogatorily.
come to heel: to show humble and complete obedience.
feel like a giant refreshed: to feel physically or morally strong after something has
as cold as charity: lacking in signs of warm emotion.
have a crow to pluck (pick):to have a complaint or criticism to make.
die in harness: to die while still actively engaged in the course of one’s regular
dree one’s weird: to endure with philosophic resignation about what may happen
in the future (“weird” is used here in place of fate).
hang on a person’s lips: to listen closely to; similar to hang on a person’s every
go to one’s account: to die.
not as green as he’s cabbage-looking: not so simple as one might think; not such
a fool as he looks.
help a lame dog over a stile: help a person deal with a difficulty with which
he/she is incapable of coping.
a pretty pass: a serious state of affairs.
improve the occasion: to seize every advantage one can out of the circumstance.
have one’s knife in a person: to be constantly finding occasions for complaining
about or blaming a person.
late in the field: late on the scene.
lose caste: to forfeit one’s social position by doing something that is regarded as
socially discreditable.
lose the day: to be defeated.
merry as a cricket: extremely cheerful.
with might and main: with all one’s power.
grasp the nettle: to tackle a difficulty or danger boldly.
put in one’s oar: to intervene in action or discussion.
shilly-shally: to vacillate, waver, be undecided, hesitate.
from pillar to post: to move from one place or resource to another.
pink of perfection: the highest degree of what is perfect of its kind.
to stump up: to pay money.
* Collins, V. H. (1958). A Second Book of English idioms. London, UK: Longmans, Green
and Company.
The Bahamas
bitch up
get burned up
butter for fat
that’s chalk
cheek somebody up
clap somebody up
cold in the arm, leg
curry-favor someone
cut up with someone
cut your grass
decide your mind
what the diggins
dive up
doggy after someone
draw hand
eat off someone
fowled of doing something
pick up gap seed
grind somebody up in your heart
in quest
keep somebody hot
land somebody off
lay on your chest/stomach
make him know
make your break
mix fool with sense
one mind tell me
own something to somebody
pick somebody’s mouth
pick up for somebody
pitch a stink
poke death with a stick
rap someone up
The Bahamas (KEY)*
bitch up: to ruin or spoil; to frustrate.
broad-speaking: plain-speaking, outspoken.
get burned up: to become exhausted through physical exertion.
butter-for-fat: like for like; similar to tit-for-tat.
That’s chalk: that’s inevitable; a foregone conclusion; slang for that's great.
cheek somebody up: to be impertinent to somebody.
clap somebody up: to applaud somebody; similar to applaud to the echo.
cold in the arm, leg: an inflammation of the arm or leg.
curry-favor someone: give somebody an unfair advantage because of personal
connections; curry somebody’s favor.
cut-up with someone: to flirt.
cut your grass: to usurp someone else’s prerogative or exclusive right or
decide your mind: to make a decision.
what the diggins: an exclamation of surprise.
dive up: to dive into the water and bring something up.
doggy after someone: to follow someone about constantly.
don’t-care-‘f-I: not caring, especially about social norms.
draw hand: to make a leading or beckoning gesture.
eat off someone: to eat at someone else’s expense.
fowled of doing something: engaged in doing something.
pick up gap seed: to gather information for gossip.
grind somebody up in your heart: to bear a grudge against somebody.
in quest: to admit defeat in playing cards or marbles.
keep somebody hot: to be at a person’s heels, getting in his/her way.
land somebody off: to drop someone off from a car or boat.
lay on your chest/stomach: to cause indigestion or nightmares (of food eaten late
at night).
make him know: to scold or punish.
make your break: to seize an opportunity to do what one has been wanting to do.
mix fool with sense: to attempt to deceive someone by interspersing lies with the
one mind tell me: to have a vague contradictory feeling (that something would
happen, etc.).
own something to somebody: to confess something to somebody.
pick somebody’s mouth: to get information by engaging in seemingly casual
pick up for somebody: to take somebody’s side of the argument.
pitch a stink: to object vehemently, cause a commotion.
poke death with a stick: to court danger, to tempt fate.
rap someone up: to applaud someone, especially for a generous donation to a
* Holm, J. A. (1982). Dictionary of Bahamian English. New York: Lexik House Publishers.
Activity 8-5: Two Kenyan case studies
This activity illustrates how the same word or phrase can have very different meanings for
individuals from different cultures. Students will understand that simple, taken-for-granted words
and phrases in one culture can pose a problem in an intercultural interaction if different meanings
are ascribed to the same verbal message. This activity can be done in groups or individually. Ask
students to read the following case studies and answer the questions that follow. Both case
studies deal with interactions between a Kenyan and an individual from the U.S. To assist
instructors in debriefing students, a short explanation of the case study is provided at the end of
this activity.
Case #1
Joanna was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya who had recently arrived at her site. She was
anxious to meet the people of her community and spent her first few days riding a motorcycle
through the hills near her house. While riding she stopped to talk with a Kenyan man named
Kimani. They had a pleasant conversation, and Kimani asked if they could talk again sometime
because he was anxious to hear more about the U.S. Joanna was eager to establish some
friendships while in Kenya and told Kimani that she was glad to have found a friend. Kimani
stopped by Joanna’s house the next day and stayed for several hours. Soon, Kimani was visiting
Joanna regularly and bringing her small gifts. Joanna quickly realized that Kimani wished to
develop more than a friendship with her. She decided to discuss their relationship with him.
Joanna: “Kimani, I think we need to talk about our friendship.”
Kimani: “Yes,” Kimani replied.
Joanna: “I think you might want something more than I do; you know, something more
Kimani: “You said you wanted us to be friends, right? That’s what I want too.”
Joanna: “I guess I don’t quite understand Kenyan customs yet. Do you bring gifts to your
friends every time you visit them?”
Kimani: “If I want to have a girlfriend, someone special, I do.”
Joanna: “But I thought you just wanted us to be friends.”
Kimani: “That’s right, I do. I want us to be friends. That’s why I am visiting you and
bringing you gifts.”
What word is the cause of Joanna and Kimani’s confusion?
Explain why they are miscommunicating.
How would you continue the dialogue to solve this intercultural dilemma?
Case #2
Michael, a Peace Corp volunteer, had just arrived at his school in Kenya. He was assigned to
teach science at a rural high school. Charles, one of his students, visited him one Friday
afternoon after school, and they had a nice conversation while drinking tea. As Charles was
leaving, Michael waved to him and said, “See you later!” The following Monday, Charles
approached Michael appearing confused.
Charles: “Mwalimu, I was waiting for you Friday evening, but you never came.”
Michael: “Was I supposed to meet you somewhere, Charles?”
Charles: “Well, I thought you were going to visit me at my home.”
Michael: “Really? I don’t remember telling you that.”
Charles: “Friday afternoon you said that you would see me later, so I thought
that you would come visit me later that evening.”
Michael: “Charles, I don’t remember telling you that. Are you sure I said that?
What phrase is the cause of Charles and Michael’s confusion?
Explain why they are miscommunicating.
How would you continue the dialogue to solve this intercultural dilemma?
Debriefing the exercise:
The first case study dealt with the word “friend” and the different meanings for “friend” being
used by Joanna and Kimani. The word “friend” can have additional meanings for Kenyans
besides denoting an individual with whom one has a platonic relationship (the typical U.S.
definition.) For many Kenyans, to say someone of the opposite sex is their friend can also mean
that they are having a romantic or intimate relationship with that person.
The second case study focused on the use of the common U.S. leave-taking phrase, “See you
later!” Charles was probably not familiar with this idiomatic expression and took the phrase
literally. Michael did not even remember having used this phrase, because he said it almost
unconsciously and was using it strictly to mean “good-bye” or “until we meet again.”
Possible discussion questions following the exercise:
Why do people attribute different meanings to the same word or phrase?
What role does experience and culture have in ascribing meaning to words and
How do these case studies support the idea that language and experience are
inextricably linked?
What often happens when idioms are taken literally? Can you think of greetings,
farewell phrases, and other small talk “niceties” that are used in your culture?
What might they mean to someone who does not come from your culture?

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