Much of today’s business is conducted across international borders, and while the majority of the global business community might share the use of English as a common language, the nuances and expectations of business communication might differ greatly from culture to culture. A lack of understanding of the cultural norms and practices of our business acquaintances can result in unfair judgements, misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication. Here are three basic areas of differences in the business etiquette around the world that could help stand you in good stead when you next find yourself working with someone from a different culture.

conducted — անցկացվել է

borders — սահմաններ

nuances — նրբերանգներ

differ greatly — մեծապապես տարբերվել

etiquette — էթիկետ

stead — փոխարեն

Addressing someone

When discussing this topic in a training course, a German trainee and a British trainee got into a hot debate about whether it was appropriate for someone with a doctorate to use the corresponding title on their business card. The British trainee maintained that anyone who wasn’t a medical doctor expecting to be addressed as ‘Dr’ was disgustingly pompous and full of themselves. The German trainee, however, argued that the hard work and years of education put into earning that PhD should give them full rights to expect to be addressed as ‘Dr’.

doctorate — բժշկական

pompous — շքեղ

This stark difference in opinion over something that could be conceived as minor and thus easily overlooked goes to show that we often attach meaning to even the most mundane practices. When things that we are used to are done differently, it could spark the strongest reactions in us. While many Continental Europeans and Latin Americans prefer to be addressed with a title, for example Mr or Ms and their surname when meeting someone in a business context for the first time, Americans, and increasingly the British, now tend to prefer using their first names. The best thing to do is to listen and observe how your conversation partner addresses you and, if you are still unsure, do not be afraid to ask them how they would like to be addressed.

stark — խիստ

conceived — բեղնավորված

minor and thus — անչափահաս և այսպիսով

mundane — աշխարհիկ

spark — կայծ

continental — մայցամաքային

increasingly — գնալլով ավելի

observe — դիտարկել


A famous Russian proverb states that ‘a smile without reason is a sign of idiocy’ and a so-called ‘smile of respect’ is seen as insincere and often regarded with suspicion in Russia. Yet in countries like the United States, Australia and Britain, smiling is often interpreted as a sign of openness, friendship and respect, and is frequently used to break the ice.

In a piece of research done on smiles across cultures, the researchers found that smiling individuals were considered more intelligent than non-smiling people in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, China and Malaysia. However, in countries like Russia, Japan, South Korea and Iran, pictures of smiling faces were rated as less intelligent than the non-smiling ones. Meanwhile, in countries like India, Argentina and the Maldives, smiling was associated with dishonesty.

Eye contact

An American or British person might be looking their client in the eye to show that they are paying full attention to what is being said, but if that client is from Japan or Korea, they might find the direct eye contact awkward or even disrespectful. In parts of South America and Africa, prolonged eye contact could also be seen as challenging authority. In the Middle East, eye contact across genders is considered inappropriate, although eye contact within a gender could signify honesty and truthfulness.

Having an increased awareness of the possible differences in expectations and behaviour can help us avoid cases of miscommunication, but it is vital that we also remember that cultural stereotypes can be detrimental to building good business relationships. Although national cultures could play a part in shaping the way we behave and think, we are also largely influenced by the region we come from, the communities we associate with, our age and gender, our corporate culture and our individual experiences of the world. The knowledge of the potential differences should therefore be something we keep at the back of our minds, rather than something that we use to pigeonhole the individuals of an entire nation.

1.Заполните пропуски словами:

неравенство, вредно, рабство, человечество, когда бы то ни было, почти,

расписание, надёжный, прибыльный, полезно, очевидно,

похоже, превратить, снижать, постараться,

составлять, спросить, попросить

1) Мы попросили официанта принести нам счёт.

2) – Откуда ты узнала, что нам хочет сказать босс?

– По-моему, это было очевидно !

3) Сергей – хороший специалист, надёжный друг и просто интересный человек.

4) Финансовый директор очень занят, он составляет бюджет на следующий год.

5) На старой работе Лена много работала, а зарабатывала мало. «Это было почти как рабство !» – вспоминает она.

6) Каждую чёрную пятницу мы снижаем цены на всё!

7) Социально-экономическое неравенство в современном обществе растёт, разница меду богатыми и бедными становится всё больше и больше.

8) Даже учёные не знают, с какими проблемами столкнётся человечество в ближайшие 100 лет.

9) Какой бизнес сейчас самый прибыльный ? Я хочу инвестировать в него.

10) Мне кажется, это лучший писатель из всех, кто когда бы то ни было писал фантастику.

11) Антон дольше всех работает в нашей компании: почти 20 лет.

12) В университете у нас было неудобное расписание: занятия каждый день начинались и заканчивались в разное время.

13) Курить вредно для здоровья, а заниматься спортом – полезно .

14) «Когда вы планируете брать отпуск?» – спросил руководитель.

15) Я очень хочу вам помочь, поэтому постараюсь сделать всё, что от меня зависит.

16) – Что вы видите на этом рисунке?

– Хм. Это похоже на дерево.

17) Евгений талантливый инвестор, он знает, как один рубль превратить в миллион долларов.

Match the definitions with the words

1.Making a long journey on foot-hiking,
2. A kind of literary work written in short lines- poem
3. A prior arrangement to meet- appointment
4. A dangerous but exciting activity- adventure,
5. A kind of sport practiced with a bow and arrows- archery
6. A type of board game played with dice and disk-shaped pieces-backgammon
7. A short visit-trip
8. Extra, additional- supplementary
9. A type of sport practiced in rivers that flow fast- rafting
10. Something you believe to be a good thing to do- suggestion


Write the verbs in the right tense form.

Umbrellas first (1) in China about 3000 years ago. (to appear) In ancient China and
Egypt, umbrellas (2) symbols of rank. (to be considered ) Important people often
(3) umbrellas, (to have) covered with leaves or feathers held over them by servants
for protecting them from the sun. The Greeks (4) umbrellas to Europe as sunshades
about 2,000 years ago. (to introduce) The Romans (5)_ them to protect themselves
against rain. (to use)

2)were considered to be

How can a person overcome fear?

Fear. We all had fears. We must try to overcome them. For example, I am very afraid of heights. I have often tried to overcome it, but in vain. From a young age I sat on carousels, climbed to different high places. I tried a lot to overcome it, but unfortunately I did not succeed. There was a case when I almost fell from the roof, I was six years old at that time. I hung on a pole and stayed that way. Soon my brother came and helped me. After that incident, my fear increased. And I am still afraid of high places. For example, from masters, carpenters, etc.