Exercise 7 Listen to a number of people talking about first meeting in their country. Make notes under the headings below.
In my country we shake hands every time we meet someone. If it's someone we know, we might hug them or even kiss them. We always pass the time of day, exchange a few comments about the weather or maybe the harvest. We use first names with most people, just people in authority- you know, doctors, lawyers, government officials, then we use their titles, you know, Dr so-and-so.
We tend to shake hands the first time we meet, but generally we don't encourage much physical contact. Socializing is not so important; we go through the motions and then we like to get down to business. We use first names after we've known someone for a while, otherwise we always use surnames.
Getting to know someone is very important- spending time asking about their family, where they come from, is all part of the process. Shaking hands firmly and for quite a long time is a sign of a real welcome. If it's someone we know quite well, we kiss them on both cheeks. Using first names is very much a question of generation; the older generation don't use them so much, younger people only use first names.
We usually bow slightly when we meet someone - it's a sign of respect. We also often exchange business cards. We don't use first names unless our guests insist. We spend time on small talk, but we don't ask our guests intimate questions. We don't like to be too curious.