Publication details [#59421]

Wyse, Marion. 2014. Developing a method for cross-cultural dialogue with Chinese: A report on the process. Language and Dialogue 4 (3) : 404–424.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


China is inviting foreigners into what was a closed society. Few are prepared for what they meet. This article hopes to help with an updated method of dialogue produced by Xiamen University’s doctoral class in Cultural Linguistics, using the “Dialogue Decalogue” of Dr. Leonard Swidler and the Harvard Negotiation Project as models developed in Mediterranean-based cultures. After re-defining ‘negotiate’ and ‘dialogue’, the group examined the five preconditions and found little that matched Chinese assumptions. They then restated Swidler’s ten steps to include Chinese assumptions using linguistics and historical precedent.The language barrier is formidable, and the habit of closing out ‘outsiders’ runs deep. The hermeneutic of suspicion must be applied to anything learned due to the tendency of a Chinese to say what s/he thinks the conversation partner wants to hear. This is viewed as non-productive by Mediterranean-based cultures.