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The difference of praise expressions between each countries


10 Dec 2002
I'm not sure if it's allowable to post this thing kind of here, though.
If not, remove this, please.

You know I have a few e-pals in the U.S., and sometimes I wonder a certain thing.
I thought over why they take it so serious unexpectedly and even threw me considerate and encouraging words when I talk about things around me humbly.
I supposed it is caused by the difference of the mentalities between each culture. It's such an interesting thing.
So hope you guys drop me your ideas if possible.

We live in the modesty culture and often try to express we are greater than me euphemistically by talking about ourselves humbly.
It is considered as a virtue (but I (maybe many others here too) haven't been conscious of it. I'd like to give notice I do it unconsciously due to the social environment, whether it's a virtue or not.) here and is generally said even as a compliment even if you don't think so from the bottom of your heart or are never masochistic, particularly on business.
(of course, it's available also when you think so bottom of your heart. I do so, except on work.)
Meanwhile, I guess they praise a person directly in near exaggeration...?
I'm still not sure if it's just a compliment or not.
I'm very interested in how they praise a person.

Also, other countries' ideas will be welcome.

thanks ;)

(just appendix: on the other hand, this suggests how poor the Jp men's handling toward women is, save babe hunters.)
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Well, this is an interesting thread... I would say that (although not entirely normal for my country) I always try to make a woman feel good about themselves. I really look upon women the definition of beauty. I am a very sexual person so sometimes I come across as a very flirtacious person (which I am). I would say that I never give a compliment that I do not feel is true so if I tell a woman that they look lovely I mean it. I do think that compliments are used as an indirect (or direct depending on how you look at it) way of flirting. This is not always true because sometimes Americans seem to talk just to hear themselves speak (which drives me crazy). Anyone else have an opinion?
(just appendix: on the other hand, this suggests how poor the Jp men's handling toward women is, save babe hunters.)

Well, I have a Japanese man, and he handles me just fine. Maybe it's the American women that bring it out of them, but the Japanese men I know that are married to American women are not much different than the American men I know, as far as compliments or respect or anything else like that goes. In fact, they might be better than the ones I know.

I think Americans are of course more vocal about telling how they feel--good or bad. I know I am. My Japanese friend told me one time that she really appreciated the fact that I would tell her anything, whether it be good or bad. It also made her feel good that she could do the same with me. She would tell me things that made her sad or angry, when she couldn't do that around her Japanese friends.

As for the compliments, if I were you, I would just take them and say "thank you". If they are complimenting you, you must deserve it. Feel good about it!

Well, here's something from my point of view, something from another corner of the world 🙂:

I think in Finland people say nice things to each other usually when they really mean it, and when it's natural. We don't over do it, and actually it's still a bit rare to be saying compliments, especially to strangers. That would feel odd, and a bit intruding I guess..or then we would be some what amazed ..and flattered in secret :emoji_wink:
Usually we "praise" people who are dear and near to us, friends and family.
I wish we could express our minds a little bit more, but still so, that it's natural, and that it comes from our heart. We hate everything "plastic" in motions etc., so I guess sometimes the enormous openess with for example French, American, Brits etc, might confuse us. Even make some people irritated.
But things are changing...
Maybe it's the American women that bring it out of them, but the Japanese men I know that are married to American women are not much different than the American men I know

How many such couples do you know? (Or are they online friends?) I'm trying to think back and I don't think I've known any! I did have one coworker who used to be married to a Japanese guy but she had divorced long before.
Well, I do have a group for western women who are married to Japanese men. So, there are plenty around. I have actually known 2 other couples in "real life" that are like my husband and me.

There has also been a book written about that subject alone. It's called Looking Beyond the Mask: When American Women Marry Japanese Men. It's pretty interesting.

What I meant by the American women "bringing it out of them" was that I think most of them know they have to change their ways of communicating a little bit to suit their American wife's needs. Not saying that I didn't have to change a little myself. Does that make any sense? lol ;)
Many thanks for all your guys' replies.

For Jp men's dignities, I need to say I'm not going to include all Jp men in one group unreasonably. This is not a euphemism.
I meant they here still tend to not excel in praising a person so brilliantly. (either does I.lol).
Needless to say, it's not an issue of good or bad. I know the merit enough on the other side.
I hope you guys don't suspect I always get to know only poor men. :emoji_grinning:

well, maybe I would have to describe why this question was spouted out.

The other day, I talked to my American pal in the modesty way unconsciously, just to say that where he lives is a very nice place. Anyhow, I tried to emphasize it comparatively.
After that, to my surprise, he tried to bring out something good from around me to perhaps cheer me up. lol (how sweet!)
It was a completely unexpected but interesting thing.
then I remembered like 'come to think, another pal was always praising around me..'
Of course, I always appreciate their sweetness, though. I don't remember if I've done them something special that equals such praise...
also, I'm used to that among my friends (even between the opposite sex), we speak ill of each other with much affection since my personality inclines to Kansai folks' ones. (ex. Naniyattonnen! Boke! etc..)
So I wondered more why it goes like that way.

Accordingly, I had questioned whether they have a sense of duty, kind of unconsciously on praising a person (or woman), or maybe just from the custom(?), and wondered if I should apply to them the way.

Is it properer to move the topic to how clumsy I'm at being praised..?

That's interesting. Now that you mention it, it is natural to me to try to compliment somebody if they compliment me, especially if they are comparing me to themselves. For example, if somebody said to me "You have such nice big houses in America, in Japan we are very crowded," I might point out a good feature of Japan like "Yes, but in Japan you don't have to do much yardwork, mow the grass, etc."
It's not really a sense of duty, I think it's just cultural and unconscious. There is no need for you to reciprocate, just be yourself.
Yeah, what mdchachi said. ;) I also think it's just a knee-jerk reaction. It's just instinctive to reciprocate when given a compliment.

I think the most important thing is to be yourself. Respond the way you want to respond. Try not to worry what's expected of you. Just do what comes naturally. Saying/doing what you really feel is very important. :)
Thanks a lot for all your help.🙂

Well, sweet pals here, actually it wasn't just a compliment, there is really nice place as let me save money to go there.

Anyhow, I got it's just a knee-jerk reaction. Very interesting.
Are you guys always praising each other among near-people even though not being in so serious a situation, like that way?
If so, it's surprising, maji.

Meanwhile, you guys are good at explanation.
Especially giving ex.
I was impressed.
this is not a compliment.🙂
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