Wednesday Seminar: Do you think Norwegians are less polite than the Japanese? A case of making requests

Nazuki Kobayashi from the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen, Norway, will give a talk on communication styles in Norwegian and Japanese

Norwegians are generally perceived to prefer direct and explicit communication and it is characterized by expressions such as “rett på sak” (to the point) and “å kalle en spade for en spade” (to call a spade a spade). On the other hand, Japanese communication is traditionally described as vague and indirect. The Japanese value “ishin denshin” (heart-to-heart communication, understanding each other without talking). We have even a saying, “Ichi o kiite juu o shiru” (Hearing one and understanding ten).

My PhD project examines whether these communication styles apply when Norwegian students and Japanese counterparts make a request in their respective L1 in diverse situations. Based on the data collected from nine request situations, I will present how request are made by these two groups.


Nazuki Kobayashi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Foreign Languages, the University of Bergen.


Olga Solovova
Published May 25, 2019 10:53 AM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2019 3:57 PM