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Exercise 7: Compliment Response Strategies


Red Core Strategy
Blue Important Supporting Strategy
Black Aditional Strategies
Green General Strategies

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  • Although speakers can be honest and accept compliments from someone close and/or equal in status, there are a number of ways in which Japanese speakers attempt to appear modest while accepting or deflecting compliments.  Responses to compliments often contain multiple strategies, combining 2 or 3 of the strategies we have seen here.  

  • When speaking to someone distant and/or higher in status, Japanese speakers may often prefer deflecting or refusing compliments due to the nature of compliments in the culture in which compliments are considered to show deference and create distance between the speaker and the hearer, rather than building solidarity between the two.

  • There may also be gender differences: male speakers are more likely to accept compliments than females, who tend to downgrade or refuse compliments more frequently (Koike, 2000).

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