Prepared by Tran Cong Hoan 16E32 16040160 REFLECTION 2 I have always noticed how language signs affect human beings. I have to admit that I myself am truly affected by words, and how to choose and use words. I would very much love to read and listen to beautifully stated chains of words. That’s the reason why I have spent most of my time, whenever I write, to consider which wording I should use when communicating with others. The lesson in week 7 can comparatively cover some questions in my mind about the effects of languages in our daily life and intercultural communication. The easiest content to be remembered in the class is 4 maxims of Grice in communication: quality, quantity, relation and manner, which I was taught carefully in An Introduction to Vietnamese Language Studies, the time I learned how to declare any signs of expression are unacceptable and not meaningful. The new thing here is that “flouting” - or intentional violation - is to send a hidden message, and “violating” - or unintentional violation - is created by the specific daily context or cultural backgrounds of the speakers. This refers to the aim of expressing ideas as clear and simple as possible, especially when using languages, because it is rather difficult to be fully aware of the results of misunderstandings. That’s the time when self-correction and knowledge of cultures, actually mindset and customs, play an important role. Those key terms in languages can be linked with some of the knowledge in Stereotypes. I myself don't believe much in the elimination of stereotypes in ourselves, but there is truly a thing called “transmitted stereotypes” or “unintentional educated stereotypes”. Take a case in my experience as a very good example: I previously have no idea about racism, then I traveled abroad more, met some black men and Hindi men, read several documents about racism and how they are living and treated in their motherland, unfortunately I developed different feelings about them. I seem to be open to them, as always, but cannot be as friendly as before. In fact, there are something changing in my mind that they are different, although I have never lived in their countries as a native dweller, just as a short-term passenger and stranger. I was not born and raised on that land, but reading things about that life can build stereotypes in me(!!??) The language to create those stereotypes is often full of criticism, and I wonder if it is just a challenging blame game towards those people, or it is just an instint of my not to be out-grouped, by creating imaginative conflict of resources, in which I suffered from hidden threats from those people. No matter how far my thoughts come, I cannot find a fair reason for it, because I am the one who feels bad and regretful, sometimes, about why I become highly and actively awareness about threats around me in a faraway country. I assume that they cannot be bad just because the books stated that they look black or inferior in the society, but then if I unfortunately experienced a crime, I would be so strict and eager to “group” all those people as prime suspect. According to the lesson, I personally proclaim what happening in those cultures, or any cultures, towards minorities and inferiors is examples of Tokenism and Affirmative action. It can be described by the claim of many things and the act of many things, but the result is nothing considerable. The language is perfectly and carefully chosen not to offend those people, or kinds of violating Grice's maxims of communication, but the mindset of discrimination seems to be a struggle to overcome. How can they declare that the country is based regardless of discrimination towards some specific groups while the tourist guide, or recommendation from tourist agency or online blogs often warn us not to use specific services, provided by specific kinds of people. That’s what I think about the lesson and my points of view about the previous weeks. What to suggest about the next lesson is that I feel learning from personal experiences is rather more interesting. The whole class may travel to some places and have some interesting stories. It could be more adaptable, along with the case studies or examples in the textbooks. It is not only a considerably good way to share knowledge and experience, but also a closer vision to our culture’s aspect, rather than only focus on outsider writers’ views.