Authors: Moshe Roth
A foreign-language student must not only study the chosen language but the culture and norms of the country where it is spoken as well. This paper examines the issue of directives in English and Hebrew. After an analysis of grammatical form and directness in the two languages, a discussion of politeness is undertaken. It is argued that indirectness does not automatically mean politeness; one must take cultural norms into account when using directives so as not to sound out of place. The paper concludes with specific problems that may be encountered by English speakers learning Hebrew and vice versa.
directive, English, Hebrew, indirectness, politeness, learners