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Cultural Differences in Body Language

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Dr. Collett says that if we compare the way differ­ent European nations use gestures, they fall into three major groups. The Nordic nations belong to the first group. These are the Swedes, Finns, Norwegians, and Danes. They use gestures very little. The second group, which includes the British, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, and Russians, use some gestures when they are excited, or want to communicate over long distances, or insult each other. The third group use gestures a lot, to emphasize what they are saying, or to hold the other person's at­tention. They are the Italians, Greeks, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The distance that separates one person from anoth­er — "personal space" — also varies between people of different nationalities. What is right for one nationality may be uncomfortable for another. People stand close enough to touch each other easily in such countries as France, Spain, Greece, and Italy. British zoologist, Des­mond Morris calls this the "elbow zone". In the countries of East Europe such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania, people stand a "wrist zone", that is a little more distant. They are close enough to touch wrists. But in the Scandi­navian countries, in Britain, Holland, Belgium, and Ger­many, people stand further away from each other — the "finger tips zone".


Answer the questions.

1. Which nationalities in Europe usually use a lot of gestures when they speak?

2. Which nationalities in Europe usually use very few gestures when they speak?

3. What is a "personal space"?

4. Why does a north European move away form the person he is talking to?

5. Which nationalities move closer to the person they are talking to? Why?

6. Which nationalities stand a "wrist zone"?

  Adjective   A person who...
A efficient   arrives on time
В sociable   isn't rude
С punctual   enjoys the company of other people
D agreeable   always tells the truth
E honest   adapts successfully to various situations
F patient   really means what he or she says
G polite   waits without getting angry
H ambitious   doesn't waste time and works well
I sincere   is pleasant and friendly
J flexible   wants to succeed

Text 3

At McDonald’s

McDonald’s is a joint Russian-Canadian restaurant which was opened on the 31st of January, 1990. It is situated in Pushkin Square in the centre of Moscow. The seating capacity of the hail is seven hundred seats. Coming into the restaurant hall you go to the main counter, get the illustrated menu-card and a girl (or a young man) recommends you dishes, beverages, milk cocktails and dessert. You make your choice, pay the money, take the tray with your dishes, beverages, dessert and occupy any vacant table. The service is quick and excellent. The quality is first-class! What’s on the, menu? For a snack you can have "Big-Mac"-minced beefsteak made from plain beef, sliced lettuce latuk, brown onions, a slice of cheese and pickled cucumbers. All this is placed in a bun. Fillet of fish-delicious white fillet of Atlantic cod in dried bread. Single or double hamburger made from plain beef: slices of pickled cucumbers and brown onions, single or double cheeseburger also made from, plain beef of high grade quality, slices of cheese and pickled cucumbers.

We're at McDonald's. What have you ordered for your meal? We've ordered Big Mac, fried potatoes, an apple pie, ice - cream and tea.

For a drink you can order cooling beverages - Coca-Cola, "Coca-Cola Light (made without sugar for diabetics), "Spright" and "Fanta". There are milk cocktails, thick and nourishing, with chocolate, strawberry and vanilla syrup. If you like you can have dinner consisting of "Big Mac", fried crisp potatoes and refreshing beverage. For a change you can have double cheeseburger or if you care for fish - fillet of fish. For dessert you can taste "Sunday". Ifs a soft ice-cream poured with hot chocolate, hot caramel or cooling straw-berry syrup. There is also tea and delicious apple pies. Welcome to McDonald's!

Text 4

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