Discourse Analysis of Business Chinese and the Comparison of Negotiation Culture between Korea and China ─ Focused on Business Emails Related to 'Napkin Holder' Imports ─
This research aims to explore the associated linguistic features and functions of Chinese as used for business trading purposes, and which is based on a discourse analysis through a case in which a Korean buyer and a Chinese supplier have exchanged Internet based e-mails. The research questions include first, the linguistic functions and characteristics of Chinese shown as identified in this trade case through e-mails, second, the use of Chinese trade specific terms, and third, the apparent and dynamic negotiation strategies that are identified as followed by the cultural value systems which are used for resolving interest conflicts and issues between the buyer and supplier in the course of negotiating business contracts between two parties. The participants of this research pertain to a Korean buyer, James and a Chinese supplier, Sonya. The associated data consists of 74 e-mails exchanged between the two parties, initiated in an effort to begin and complete a trade item, in this case namely the product of napkin holders. The research for the study is based on the discourse analysis and empirically analyses models of Chinese linguistic functions and features. The findings are the following. First, as identified, the specific Chinese functions used and sequenced in this trade case are of a procedure, request, informing, negotiation and persuasion. Second, the essential trade terms used in this business interaction involve the relevant issues of 1) ordering and price negotiating, 2) marking the origin of the products, 3) the arrangement of the product examination and customs declaration for the anticipated import items, 4) preparation of the necessary legal documents, and 5) the package and transport of the product in the final instance. Third, the impact of the similarities and differences in the cultural value systems between Korea and China on the negotiations and conflict resolution during a negotiated contract between two parties are speculated in terms of the use of culturally based techniques such as face-saving and the utilization of uncertainty-avoiding strategies as meant to prevent misunderstandings from developing between the parties. The concluding part of the study discusses the implications for a practical Chinese language education utilizing the linguistic functions and features of the Chinese culture and language strategies as useful in business associations for trading purposes, and the importance of intercultural communication styles based on similar of different identified cultural values as noted between two parties.