Silence during intercultural communication: a case study

Misa Fujio (Tokyo Fuji University, Tokyo, Japan)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 1 December 2004


This is a case study of USA‐Japan intercultural communication, analyzing a one‐hour meeting between a US manager, a Japanese manager and a Japanese junior staff member of a US company operating in Japan. The study focuses on miscommunication caused by pragmatic transfer from Japanese, especially relating to silence, the ambiguity of “yes”, and different strategies of politeness between the US and Japanese managers. It is also discussed how both native and non‐native speakers should make their approach in order to understand each other and co‐construct the conversation in intercultural communication in an age when English is becoming a global language and could be separated from the cultures of English‐speaking countries.



Fujio, M. (2004), "Silence during intercultural communication: a case study", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 331-339.

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