by Jala Garibova and
what is left unsaid can be just as important as what is said.
Westerners, especially Americans who are known for their directness,
sometimes miss these subtleties in Azerbaijani conversation.
Talk that would be considered straightforward, or perhaps honest,
in Western culture may be considered blunt, or even rude, in
Azerbaijani culture. Especially in the context of the business
world, this type of faux pas could be disastrous. To flush out
these differences, our 12th installment of "Sociolinguistically
Speaking" takes a look at the Azerbaijani tendency toward
silence and indirectness.
Jala Garibova holds a doctorate in linguistics and teaches at Western University in Baku. Betty Blair is the Editor of Azerbaijan International.
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