chapter
Intercultural conversations
Pages 3

Helen Marriott has carried out research on what she calls ‘intercultural business negotiations’, transactions which involve people from significantly different cultural backgrounds. Some of her data come from a video-recorded conversation, in English but held in Japan, between a Japanese food importer and an Australian cheese manufacturer. The speakers were both amenable to being recorded. Sequence 2.9 is an extract from their conversation. (J=Japanese speaker, A= Australian, [indicates simultaneous speech, and (.) a pause of noticeable length.)

Sequence 2.9: Selling to Japan

J: And eh what your object to eh visit to me, is that eh introduce for eh this

A: We’d like to sell to Japan J: sell to Japan A: yeh J: uh huh A: or make it in Japan. J: mm ah here yes A: Either way, whichever is the best. J: mm A: Maybe make it here for um six months and eh if it’s acceptable J: ah six, six months A: well we could send some samples from [Australia J: [in Melbourne uh huh A: and just test the market (.) if it’s good we could then make it

in Japan J: uh huh (.) uh huh A: with a joint venture.15