http://chineseculture.about.com/b/2009/09/24/civil-society.htm
About.com:Chinese Culture

Author: Sara Naumann

Translator: vivianalive

Civil Society
文明社会
Thursday September 24, 2009
星期三 9月24日, 2009

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts discussing the loss – or lack – of civility in the US recently.
最近我在听一些讨论美国文明礼仪的丢失与匮乏的博客.
We’ve got Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s health care speech at the forefront, followed up by Kanye West and Serena Williams’ recent gaffs.
我们已经有过国会议员乔.威尔森在总统奥巴马卫生保健演讲时大发脾气的事情,跟着是肯亚.韦斯特和瑟瑞娜.威廉斯近来的丑事.
Is it coincidence or really an illustration of the decline in American civility?
这只是巧合呢,还是真的寓示着美国文明礼仪的倒退?

Despite nodding my head in agreement with the pundits who argued it was indeed a real decline, and apologies should be (and were) offered up, I found myself only days later in an interesting dilemma.
尽管赞成那些声称这其实是一种倒退的权威人士们,我还是应该(并且已经)道歉,因为几天后我发现自己处于一种两难的境地.

In China there’s a different notion about civility.
在中国,人们对文明礼仪有不同的看法.
Diners routinely snap at waitresses to hurry up.
就餐者们像例行公务一样地催促服务员.
Horns blare at the first sign of a green light.
绿灯一亮,汽车喇叭就会响起.
It’s even difficult to say “please” in the same way we would in English.
他们说”请”的难度不亚于我们用英文说.
And saying “thank you” to a family member isn’t necessary.
此外,”谢谢”是不必对家庭成员说的.

As I stood for what seemed to me too long in the front of the grocery line with my hand out dangling the cash for my purchases, while the checkout girl took a personal call on her cell phone, my recent agreement on the downfall of American civility vanished as I snapped in Chinese to hurry up.
当我站在杂货店收银台前很久很久,拿出钱表示我要付款,而收银的小姐却透出私人手机打电话的时候.我用中文催促她快点,于是我对美国文明礼仪下滑的认同感就消失了.

So here I am in China, caught in my own, what my American side tells me is, lack of civility.
这就是我在中国的亲身经历,我那美国的一边告诉我,这是不文明的表现.
I would probably not have done this in the US (though admittedly my local grocery store has moved to self-check out, but that’s another matter).
如果我是在美国,就不大可能会这么做(尽管其实我那的杂货店已经改成自助的,但那是另一个问题).
I put it to my Facebook friends to see what they thought and most agreed that I didn’t act circumspectly.
我让我Facebook上的朋友看这个,看看他们会怎么想.他们的大多认为我这样做有失偏颇.

Feeling slightly shamed, yet at the same time righteous, I took it to my Chinese lesson where my Chinese teacher was incredulous.
觉得有点惭愧同时又有些冤枉,我把它带给我的中文老师,而他觉得不相信.
Of course it’s OK to tell the service person to hurry up.
当然,催促服务人员快一点是可以的.
It’s not even considered a lack of courtesy.
这甚至不算没教养.
My “outburst” wouldn’t even be considered such here in China.
在中国,我的”发怒”甚至连没礼貌也算不上.
Here, many discussions would be considered arguments in the US.
这里的许多讨论,如果是在美国,会被当错是吵架.
(I do not dare compare Chinese culture to any other than my own.)
(除了和我自己的文化,我不敢拿中国文化同别的文化做比较.)
Where Americans are typically non-confrontational, Chinese people can openly discuss their disagreements and, as long as a level of face is kept by both sides, it can end rather amicably.
许多美国人一般不会正面对证的地方,中国人却自由地讨论着他们的不同见解.只要双方的脸面都顾及到,结局会是相当友好的.

It is not uncommon to see a crowd of people gathered around a traffic incident where the perpetrator is using a very loud and excited voice with the policeman at the site.
经常会看到一群人围着一个交通事故发生点,当中肇事者面对着警察声音响亮,非常激动.

I gawk at such sightings waiting for the officer to throw the person to the ground yelling “Spread’em!” but it just doesn’t happen here.
我呆呆地看着这一幕,等待警察把那人摔到地上,大喊”走开!”,但这就是没有发生.
The discussion on civility led to another interesting topic – freedom of speech.
有关文明礼仪的讨论引出了另一个有趣的主题-言论自由.
I’ll save that for another post.
我会把它保留到另一个帖子.

From Sara Naumann, About.com’s Guide to China Travel, guest-blogger for Chinese Culture. You can also find Sara on twitter .
出自Sara Naumann, 来自About.com的”中国旅行指引”,一名写中国文化的嘉宾博主,你也可以在twitter上找到Sara.