How To Communiate With People Is Not Common All Over The world

I read a very interesting article a week ago in English. According to the article, when Western people talk, they look at people’s mouth moving. On the other hand, when Eastern people talk, they see people’s eyes. After I read it, it made me think about emoticons.

I think the big difference of emoticons between Western and Japanese is a feature of mouth’s shapes and a feature of eyes’ shapes. There is a feature of mouth’s shapes in Western emoticons, and there is a feature of eyes’ shapes in Japanese emoticons. I will show some examples.

When Western people express their happy feelings, their emoticon is 🙂  :). The dots : describes eyes, and the right angle bracket ) is a mouth. When Western people express their sadness, their emoticon is 😦  :(. The dots : are eyes, and the left angle bracket ( describes a mouth. I guess you already realize that what part is different. Yes, in Western emoticons their eyes are always same dots, and they describe their emotions with various mouth shapes like :O :P :P :X  :D  :D.

Meanwhile, in Japanese emoticons case, ^_^ the emoticon is happy, and ;_; the emoticon is sad. Ours are eyes shape changing, and the mouth’s shape is same.

I think emoticons are a really good proof of these differences. We have a proverb, “目は口ほどに物を言う ( me wa kuchihodoni mono wo
iu )”. It means even if we do not say, when we look at people’s eyes, we can guess what they want to say. I think Japanese people tend to communicate with their eyes’ contact, on the other hand, Western people tend to communicate with their mouth moving. I think this blog entry will help you when you communicate with your friends from oversea face to face. I would like to see my Western friends mouth moving and try to communicate with them when I talk to them in America.

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WC
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 11:09:52

    Very interesting, Yumi! I noticed the difference in emoticons (and that I wasn’t understanding Japanese ones) but I never really thought about -why- they were different. Thanks for the info!

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 09, 2011 @ 11:18:56

      Hi, William-san. Thanks for the comment. I also think it is very interesting. That’s why I tried to express my thoughts in English. I am happy because to write this blog entry in English is not easy for me, but you understood what I want to say.

      Reply

  2. Christian Horn
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 18:33:21

    Smileys like ^^ are also used in western world. But i agree to the objection of “we say what we feel” versus “others have to see/sense how we feel”.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 14:43:15

      Hi, Christian. Nice to meet you. Thanks for the comment. I didn’t know that Western people use ^^ the emoticon. Thanks for the tip.

      Reply

  3. Heart
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 00:10:06

    Hello Yumi,
    Hope you are doing well, when I hear the stories of the devastating Japan tsunami, it is saddening and heartbreaking..
    I am writing to ask you how you are doing and if everything is well at your end.
    Hope you and your family is safe, I pray that the people of Japan cope with this tragedy soon.
    Rachana.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 15, 2011 @ 07:02:54

      Hi, Rachana. Thanks for concering about me. I am safe and fine. No worries. All my family is also fine.

      Thank you so much for the warm and kind comment. I will pray with you for people in Japan as well.

      Anyway, do you know that I started another blog? You can look at my artwork there. If you have some time, please leave a comment. I am looking forward to reading your comments!

      Here is the URL: http://sommerstein0411.wordpress.com/

      Reply

      • Heart
        Mar 16, 2011 @ 02:07:38

        Yumi, it is very nice to hear you and yours are doing well! And congratulations on your new artistry blog.. Oh my!!! It is brilliant.. Check out for more relevant comments on that site 🙂

      • yumi
        Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:52:54

        Hi, again, Rachana. Thanks for the comment, again. I am super happy that you like my art blog.

        Thanks for visiting my blog and looking at my works.

  4. Jomz
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 12:23:18

    Thanks for this topic! Interesting!
    Keep it up ^^

    Reply

  5. Jane
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 00:16:28

    I love this Yumi! I have never seen Japanese emoticons before but I like them. Our eyes show who we really are I think ^^

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 19, 2011 @ 01:47:07

      Hi, again Jane. Thanks for the comment, and thank you so much for subscribing my this blog.

      I am glad that you like our emoticons.

      Reply

  6. Sancty
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 12:47:33

    Very interesting!
    I think more Western people use Japanese emoticons now. ^^ (I like ^^, *O*, n_n, O__O, ;_;) Many of my friends use different Japanese ones, they are cuter than western emoticons I think ^^;;

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 20, 2011 @ 14:01:14

      Hi, Sancty! Nice to meet you. Thanks for subscribing my both blogs ( It means my art blog and my this blog). Thanks for the comment.
      I agree with you that Japanese emoticons are cuter than Western emoticons. I am glad to her that many your Western friends use the emoticons.

      Reply

  7. Valerie Ornstein
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 12:36:41

    Nice and interesting blog Yumi! Would you know what the emoticon +_+ means? Thanks.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Mar 28, 2013 @ 09:53:08

      Hi, Valerie Ornstein!

      Nice to meet you! Thanks for visiting my blog! The meaning of the emoticon is that I freak out, upset, surprise or whatever.

      -Yumi

      Reply

  8. james
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 09:23:21

    actually i think the reason is not that eyes are more important in asia, but the mouth stays always the same.. because it’s an traditional issue of the asian mentality to stay calm & smile politely.

    Reply

    • yumi
      Apr 03, 2014 @ 15:43:19

      Hi, James.

      Nice to meet you, and thanks for the comment. I’m very sorry for the delay. I’ve been super busy, and I haven’t posted anything. I feel guilty, and I know I have to start blogging again!

      Reply

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