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May 15, 2012

Saving Face in China: The Book.

So what's face restoration, anyway? See Dan Harris's review at his China Law Blog of Saving Face in China, the book by Anne-Laure Monfret published about a year ago. Our Hoosier friend Harris opines:

Monfret concedes (and I tend to agree) that you are not going to torpedo a big business deal by, say, declining a second helping of chicken feet because most Chinese give westerners sufficient cultural wiggle room. That being said, your causing a loss of “face” can hurt you and your business venture.

Most English speakers have a general grasp of what it means to “lose face” and westerners certainly value their egos and reputations. But for the Chinese, Monfret emphasizes that causing someone to lose face is easier and more serious than most westerners realize. Perhaps most concerning is how difficult it is to restore face once the damage is done—if you want any shot at making amends, you had better use the right variant of the Chinese word for “sorry” and follow the other tips Monfret sets forth in her section on apologies.


Posted by JD Hull at May 15, 2012 12:15 AM


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