Back to Page Authors: Debjani Ghosh

Keywords: Emoticons, Cross Cultural Communication, Japanese and English, Expressions for Indifference

Abstract: Indifference is expressed by an absence of emotional reactions. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Indifference’ as ‘lack of interest in or concern about something: an indifferent attitude or feeling’. In Japanese, the word for indifference is mukanshin. It can be due to someone being demotivated or disinterested or not bothered etc. In English, the ‘Whatever’ or ‘I don’t care’ attitude when translated into Japanese, means ‘kamawanai’ or kinishiteinai. The study on indifference will contribute to the knowledge of how people use language in certain contexts where they do not wish to react. It also explores whether these reactions are gender specific or related to the age factor. A lot of research has been done on politeness and how the individualist and collectivist cultures differ. This paper will identify the words and gestures used in Japanese in such situations where one chooses not to react and compare it with the words used in English which will help the teachers to culturally sensitize themselves to make learning more effective by designing teaching materials for cross cultural communication.