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Do this culture quiz and find out how much you know about other cultures.
Choose the best answer.

If you’re doing business with a German, you have to shake hands
a. when you meet.

b. when you leave.

c. when you meet and when you leave.

d. you don’t have to shake hands in Germany.
Before entering a Japanese home, you must first
a. give a present.

b. bow to your host.

c. take off your shoes.

d. drink sake.
In the Middle East you should give presents to business contacts
a. in private.

b. in public.

c. every time you meet.

d. It’s not a good idea to give presents in Middle-Eastern countries.
If you’re giving a present to your Latin American customer, you mustn’t give
a. cutlery (knives, forks, spoons etc.).

b. food and drink.

c. flowers.

d. a clock.
In the UK, which of the following is the correct title?
a. ‘Miss’ for a married woman.

b. ‘Ms’ for a woman whose marital status is unknown.

c. ‘Mistress’ for an unmarried woman.

d. ‘Mrs.’ for a single woman.
If an Indian says ‘visit me any time,’ he or she expects you to
a. arrange a visit immediately.

b. visit him/her the next day.

c. ignore the invitation.

d. return the invitation and ask the Indian person to your home.
You can’t do business in Muslim countries
a. on Saturdays.

b. on Fridays.

c. on Sundays

d. Muslims do business seven days a week.
If an American nods* his/her head, it probably means
a. I understand.

b. Yes.

c. he/she’s falling asleep.

d. I’m interested.

*To nod = asentir con la cabeza
At a social occasion with an Indian client,
a. You should wait for a while before discussing business.

b. you can discuss business whenever you like.

c. you mustn’t discuss business.
In which country are people least likely to give bad news directly?
a. Germany

b. USA

c. Japan

d. Sweden
If you’re doing business in Thailand, you must
a. shake hands firmly (firmemente).

b. bow.

c. kiss on both cheeks.

d. make sure you don’t touch your head.
In the UK, the typical working week is
a. Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm.

b. Monday – Friday 10am – 2pm, 5pm – 8pm.

c. Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.

d. Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm.
If a Japanese person gives you their business card, you should
a. give it back if you don’t need it.

b. take it with both hands and study it carefully.

c. smile and put it straight into your wallet or pocket.

d. write notes about them on it.
If you’re in a pub in England, it’s a custom to buy a drink
a. for yourself only.

b. for all the barmen and barmaids.

c. for everyone in the group you’re with.

d. for everyone in the pub.


Read the text and choose one word or phrase for each space.

dress-down days   /   job title   /   corporate hospitality
environment   / casual clothes   /   middle name   /   surname
initials   /   business lunches   /   business suit   /   qualifications

In some countries businessmen and women dress formally. This means they wear a Recently, companies are introducing casual Fridays or .These are days when employees can go to work in more , which may help to create a more relaxed working .

In spite of digital technology, it’s still common to exchange business cards. Most business cards show the first name and the family name, or , of the person, together with the position they hold in their company, their . You may also see the person’s after their name. For example, C.P.A. for a British accountant, or DTEFLA for an international language teacher.

Letters before a person’s name are their ; P. Smith for Peter Smith, John B. Hudson for John Barry Hudson. Barry is Mr. Hudson’s .

Entertaining and hospitality vary a lot across different cultures. Some countries have long where deals are discussed and contacts are made in restaurants. In others it is common to spend the evenings drinking and singing in bars and visiting nightclubs. You may be invited to have dinner at a client’s home or invited to an important sports event. The way a company treats it’s guests is called .

Listen Listen to check


Business Etiquette: Rules for behaviour by businesspeople.

Business conversation may take place during meals. However, many times you will find more social conversation taking place during the actual meal.

Business meetings may be arranged as breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, or dinner meetings depending on time schedules and necessity. Generally a dinner, even though for business purposes, is treated as a social meal and a time to build relationships.

Gift giving is discouraged or limited by many US companies. A gracious written note is always appropriate and acceptable.

If you do give a gift, it should not appear to be a bribe.

An invitation for a meal or a modest gift is usually acceptable.

If you are someplace with a line or queue, go to the end and wait your turn.

Do not use or chew on a toothpick in public.

Many public places and private homes do not allow smoking. In some areas laws have been passed to prevent smoking in public places.

Always be punctual in England. Arriving a few minutes early for safety is acceptable.

Decision-making is slower in England than in the United States; therefore it is unwise to rush the English into making a decision.

A simple handshake is the standard greeting (for both men and women) for business occasions and for visiting a home.

Privacy is very important to the English. Therefore asking personal questions or intensely staring at another person should be avoided.

To signal that something is to be kept confidential or secret, tap your nose.

Personal space is important in England, and one should maintain a wide physical space when conversing. Furthermore, it is considered inappropriate to touch others in public.

Gifts are generally not part of doing business in England.

A business lunch will often be conducted in a pub and will consist of a light meal and perhaps a pint of ale.

When socializing after work hours, it's better not to bring up the subject of work.

gracious (adj) = afable, elegante
bribe (v+n) = sobornar/soborno
to chew = masticar
toothpick (n) = palillo, mondadientes
unwise (adj) = imprudente
to rush = ir con prisa
to stare = mirar fijamente
to tap = tocar suavemente
ale (n) = cerveza
to bring up (in conversation) = sacar a colación

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