【職場英文】「Do you understand?」為何會讓別人覺得很失禮?

【職場英文】「Do you understand?」為何會讓別人覺得很失禮?

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我們在職場上常常會需要用英文與同事或客戶溝通,但是如果英文不好,講出來總是難免會卡卡的,而說出錯誤的英文句子,就會容易造成別人的誤解,或者語意上的曲解,導致雙方之間的關係惡化。雖然你可能是無心之過,但是一不小心就冒犯到別人了!當你與人交談時,聽不清楚或聽不懂的反應,哪些會讓對方感受到被冒犯,而造成失誤呢?那我們又該怎麼回應,一起來看看吧!


  

一、1分鐘單字速速記 Vocabulary

• to come off as (phrs. v.) 顯得
• intonation (n.) 語調
• rule of thumb (phrs.) 經驗法則
• rude (adj.) 失禮的;沒禮貌的
• stressed (adj.) 強調的
• demand (n. / v.) 需求/堅決請求,強烈要求
• intention (n.) 意圖
• sarcastic (adj.) 諷刺的
• portray (v.) 描繪

  

二、語調的重要性 The Importance of Intonation

When you’re still learning a new language, it’s hard to remember the importance of intonation when you’re already so busy thinking about the correct grammar, vocabulary, etc. However, intonation makes a big difference to the meaning of what you say in English, and sometimes, you might come off as being rude or sarcastic without even realizing it. The problem here is probably not what you say, but how you’re saying it.
在學習一門新語言的時候,當你已經忙於思考正確的語法,詞彙等時,便很難記住語調的重要性。但是,不同的語調有時會讓你想表達的與實際說出來的意思有巨大的差異喔,你很可能會無心的表現出失禮或諷刺語意。這裡的問題很可能不是因為你說了什麼,而是你怎麼說的。

Here are some general rules of thumb to avoid those awkward miscommunications:
以下是一些避免那些尷尬的錯誤傳達的經驗法則:

1. Emphasize and stress keywords 強調並加重關鍵字

A common habit for English-learners is speaking in a flat tone, where everything is at the same pitch and unstressed, like a robot.
英語學習者的一個共同習慣,是以平坦的語氣說話,常使用相同的音調和沒有重音的狀態,就像機器人一樣。

2. Raise the tone 提高音調

Remember to raise your tone at the end of a ‘YES/NO’ question, when asking for a favor, and when making a request. Otherwise, it will sound like a demand.
記得在是非問題結束時拉高你的尾音,比如說在尋求幫助以及提出請求時。否則很容易聽起來像是在命令別人喔。

3. Use the right pitch 使用正確的音高

Your voice and how you sound should match your words and intentions. This will make the biggest difference between being polite and impolite in many cases!
你的音量跟語調應該符合你的言語和意圖。在許多情況下,這就是禮貌和不禮貌之間最大的區別!

  

三、範例 Examples

The same sentences can deliver different messages depending on your intonation. Below are a few examples (underlined = raised tone / stressed word):
根據您的語調,相同的句子可以傳遞不同的信息。以下是一些範例(粗體 = 揚起的音調/強調):

Are you okay? → shows real emotions and concern
表現出真實的情感和關注
Are you okay? → sounds insincere and emotionless
聽起來虛偽無情

Do you understand? → shows doubt and patience
表示疑慮和耐心
Do you understand? → the flat tone used here may come off as being impatient
這裡使用的扁平音調可能會變得不耐煩

Understanding how intonation works is also crucial for other types of sentences. The words you choose to stress and emphasize can portray very different meanings.
對於其他類型的句子來說,理解語調如何起作用也相當重要。你選擇加重和強調的詞語可以描繪出截然不同的含義。

She’s not his girlfriend. → this is stressing that the ‘she’ in our sentence is not the girlfriend, but ‘someone else’ is
這是強調我們句子中的’她’不是女朋友,而是其他人
She’s not his girlfriend. → they probably just broke up and she is definitely not his girlfriend (anymore)
他們可能剛分手,她絕對不是他的女朋友(了)
She’s not his girlfriend. → she’s not his girlfriend, but she is ‘someone else’s’ girlfriend
她不是他的女朋友,但她是別人的女朋友
She’s not his girlfriend. → she is not his girlfriend, but maybe his sister?
她不是他的女朋友,也許是他的姊姊或妹妹?

 

Even native speakers misuse their pitch and stress sometimes so it’s okay to make mistakes. However, you need to try as much as you can to remember and practice your intonation so people will understand what you really mean. Do you have any questions?
即使是母語人士有時也會用錯他們的音調和語氣,所以犯錯是沒關係的。然而,你還是需要盡可能多嘗試並練習語調,這樣大家才會了解你真的想表達的意思。請問有什麼問題嗎?

  

六書堂數位學習

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今日Summary


剛開始練習的時候一定會覺得語調這些非常難掌握,但是只要跟著慢慢練習,一定可以進步的。希望在今日的職場英文教學後,大家不論是在聽英文或是講英文時,都可以在職場上游刃有餘。

  

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