Differeces Between Vietnamese and American Compliment

1 January 2017

Without her guidance, my thesis is far from completed. I would also like to thank Mrs. Tran Ngoc Yen (M. A) for her kindly support. She encourages me to have self- confidence to do this research. I want to acknowledge the help of Miss Sofia for her advice when I conduct the list of questionnaire. She provides important information that the author uses to have a suitable survey questions. My gratitude goes to Mr. Tinh (M. A) who teaches at ASEM Vietnam center for his essential materials and advice.

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Last but not least, I give a very special thanks to my family and classmates, who always stand by me, provide their emotional support through out the process I do this paper. Many people who communicate cross-cultural boundaries have experienced communication breakdowns with people from different first language backgrounds. It also happens to any one who wants to give compliment on a person from another country. The main purpose of this thesis is to raise the aware of culture gap. It is done, focused on the comparison of the ways of giving compliment and responding to compliments between the English and the Vietnamese.

Using the authenticable data from survey, which is conducted with 30 native speakers in each culture, this research is carried out with three sub-aims: (1) to find out similarities and differences between two cultures in the way they perform speech act of compliment; (2) to investigate the culture factors that have influence on the word choice of interlocutors; (3) to enrich the knowledge of second language learners about the importance of culture factor in leaning target language. The result also illustrates the fact that people in two cultures are very friendly. They tend to give compliments a lot.

However, here and there still exists the traditional method of learning and teaching language, which focuses on rote memorization of grammatical and lexical components of language. The fact has proved that, it is not suitable in the development of modern society. It cannot help language learners become effective language users. To promote the knowledge of the learners about this problem there are many studies of famous theorists on kind of speech act such as: making request, asking for permission, giving apology…. but not many of them focus on speech act of compliment.

This is also the interesting topic attracting the author’s interest because it requires a great deal of pragmatic insight by the speaker and therefore are often rich with data that reveal the cultural orientation of language learners. In many languages, compliment responses require the language user to walk a delicate line between appearing too boastful or ungrateful depending on the way s/he responds to the compliment. ) Hopefully, this paper with realistic data base will provide useful material for language learners. 2. Data collecting procedure As one important part of this thesis, collecting data procedure took the author a rather long period of time to do it. This survey was conducted by 30 native informants in each culture. In this paper, the term “English” refers to the people who speak English as their mother tongue such as English, American, New Zealand, and Australia…

The questionnaire is the combination of open and close ended questions, which contain three main parts: The first one is to find some general information about informants which are used to explain some unexpected findings during the process of writing. The second part, the author asks the participants to rank the topics of compliment given by researcher into the order from 1 to 4, which stand for four groups “highly advisable, advisable, yes or no and inadvisable”. And the last is conducted with the aim to study in specific situations. There are two main situations set and ask informants to give their ideas about: How do they give compliment and respond to it. These compliments focus on two topics are: Appearance and achievement.

Even though there are some inconveniences when completing this research, it is valuable and deserved to be considered. 3. Scope of the study – This research focuses on the cross – cultural study to find out the similarities and differences between the English and Vietnamese in the ways they give and respond to compliments. Determined by its aims, this paper tries to find the answers for three following questions: *What do people in the two cultures often compliment on? * How to give a good compliment? *What kind of strategies do they use to respond to compliments?

The analysis is only based on the authentic result collected from the survey. Furthermore, it is because of the variety of language, this paper is considered in relative not restrict standard. Moreover, with the limitation of a graduation thesis, sometimes some factors can be omitted such as: age, marital statue, area of living…. They are only taken into account when used to explain some information. In part two, only four popular topics are suggested, not the entire one in daily communication. It is similar in part three, the most popular topics in use with compliment in both cultures are appearance and ability. Besides, this thesis only focuses on different cultural aspect which aims to develop communicative skills.

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