As executives or managers, we need more and more to communicate by writing with people who have very diverse cultural origins. How to write an article when taking cultural differences into consideration?
Symbolic writing-alphabetical writing
The world is divided in two great writing systems:
- Symbolic writings
- Alphabetical writings
In symbolic writings, the detail give the meaning of words. If one part of the symbol differs, the meaning of the symbol is changed. In this writing system, readers will be very careful with the details. Detail is meaningful. Then the writing influences the all culture. In Asia, in business relations, details of personal life matter. They can influence the choices of our interlocutors to commit or not in a project.
In alphabetical writings, even if a text contains spelling mistakes, the meaning will not be fundamentally changed. It is the entirety of the text which gives meaning.
Alphabetical writing: the microscope effect
If we take a book written in a codified language with an alphabetical writing and we open it randomly without knowing its content, we will:
- Start by doing a reading at X1 scale looking for the TITLE of the text at the top of the page.
- Then switch to X10 scale reading black and bold sentences.
- If we are genuinely interested in the content, we will switch to X100 scale to read the totality of the text.
It is as if we looked a text with a microscope with different lenses. This is typical for the quick reading of a CV or of an on-screen-publication, when the text is written in a Latin, Arabic or Cyrillic alphabet.
The risk of the author is that the reader stops at the X1 scale.
Alphabetical writing: How to highlight its content?
In the light of this observation, the writer has to:
- Plan to have a significant MAIN TITLE.
- Use TITLES FOR EACH PART OF THE ARTICLE AND A SPECIFIC TITLE FOR THE CONCLUSION
- Reserve black and bold sentences for every important point of every paragraph.