Knowing Yours Ps and Qs (and Xs) in Australia
Last updated: July 21st, 2013 by admin
Australia’s Hugh Jackman may be one of the world’s favourite actors, but even he can upset people occasionally. While filming Wolverine in Japan, Jackman took a well-earned break to visit a spa. Unfortunately he didn’t realize that even though he was in the men-only section, he was still expected to keep covered up. After about an hour (and with the help of some sign language from another spa user) the penny finally dropped.
It’s unlikely that the incident will have made a huge dent in Jackman’s popularity in Japan, let alone elsewhere but it’s always worth making the effor to understand local sensitivities, even in relatively informal countries such as Australia. For example Australians tend to place a strong emphasis on the use of politenesses such as please and thank you and to omit them can seem rude.
While Australians will cheerfully make jokes about friends, acquaintances and colleagues, this is only acceptable if they are present and while language between adult friends can become colourful, it is expected that it will be toned down if children are present.
There are a surprising number of cultural standards even in Australia, but the good news is that it’s fairly easy to learn to navigate them. A professional NAATI translator will help make sure your documentation is accurate, but also conforms to these standards.