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Session 20

How close do you like to stand to someone when you talk to them?
ምስ ሰባት ክተዕልሉ እንከሎኩም ክሳዕ ክንደይ ቀሪብኩም ክትዛረቦዎም ትደዩ?

In today’s episode we will be discussing how people in different countries think about personal space.
ኣብ ዝቕጽል መደብ English Together ሰባት ብዛዕባ ብሕታዊ ቦቶኦም ኣብ ዝተፈላለዩ ሃገራት ብኸመይ ይሓስቡ ዝብል ዝርርብ ሒዝናልኩም ክንቀርብ ኢና።

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

How close is too close?

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what these words and phrases mean:

  • touchy-feely
  • reserved
  • invade personal space


In which of these countries do people keep the biggest distance from strangers?

a) India
b) Korea
c) Kenya

Listen to the discussion and find out the answer.

Listen to find the answers. Then check them on the transcript below.

Show transcript Hide transcript

ሰላም፡ እንቋዕ ናብ መደብ English Together ብደሓን መጻእኩም። ኣብዚ መደብ፡ ዝተፈላለዩ እዋናዊ ዛዕባታት ብምልዓል፡ ንምምይያጥ ዘሕግዘኩም ቋንቋ ከነስንቐኩም ኢና። ኣነ  ተመስገን ይበሃል፡ ምሳይ ዝርከቡ ድማ...

Hi, I'm Sam.

And I'm Phil.  Welcome!

ሎሚ ብዛዕባ ምቅርራብን ኣብ ዝተፈላለያ ሃገራት ድማ ከመይ ከምዝፈላለን ክንርኢ ኢና። መጀመርታ ግን፡ ናይ ሎሚ ሕቶ ክንህበኩም። ካብዘን ዝስዕባ፡ ኣበየነይቲ ሃገር ዝርከቡ ጓኖት'ዮም እቲ ዝተሓተ ምቅርራብ ዘለዎም?

ሀ. ህንዲ

ለ. ኮርያ

ሐ. ኬንያ

ሳም፡ እንታይ ይመስለኪ? 

Well, I don't know – but it does change from one country to another. I've lived in different countries and really noticed the difference – I'm really interested to find out the answer actually…

Well, I used to live in Argentina and people definitely get close to you there.

በሉ ብዛዕባ ኣርጀንቲና ንዛረብ ካብ ሃለና፡ ኣባል BBC World Service ዝኾነት ቫሌሪያ ፔራሳ ብዛዕባ ምቅርራብ ሰባት ኣብ ኣርጀንቲና ዝበለቶ ንስማዕ።

We are said to be very touchy-feely and I think that that shows in all our daily interactions. Foreigners are definitely uncomfortable, some at least, for example we do a lot of kissing and it goes to the extent that, for example, if you go into the surgery to see your GP or doctor that you are familiar with, and that knows you, you would probably reach out and kiss him or her, and that's completely normal.

So, what do you think about this – ኣብ ኣርጀንቲና'ኸ ከምኡ ድዩ ኔይሩ?

Yes, absolutely, people are very touchy-feely – lots of hugging and people always kiss when they meet.

'Touchy-feely' 'ምትንኻፍ ዝፈትዉ' ማለት'ዩ people are very comfortable with physical contact. I suppose it's the same here as well, you know!

OK, so how did you deal with it being so 'touchy-feely' – I'm not sure that you're that kind of person really Phil….

Yes, you don't seem the touchy feely type.

Guys, I'm not, I'm really not – every day was like an invasion of my personal space!

Invading someone's personal space, is when they think that you have 'invaded ምውራር' their space – that sounds like quite a violent expression, doesn't it?

Isn't it just friendly though? It's not invading personal space to hug someone you've just met is it? Otherwise people will think that you are too 'reserved', especially if you are somewhere where people are more touchy-feely

Reserved - ዕቃበ ዘለዎ ማለት'ዩ… but maybe Phil is just quite reserved.

I'm English. Of course I'm reserved. It's what we do…

Ok, but it's not just about what you are like… Obviously we are all different and we do things in different ways…. But maybe we need to be able to adapt to other people.

What do you mean?

Well, I think you've got to be tolerant of other people – I mean you should respect that other people might do things differently and in different ways.

Yes, I think being tolerant, 'ተጻዋሪ' is really important, especially if you go to live in a different country.

Yes – living in different countries can really show you how important it is to be tolerant… like being tolerant of the way people treat personal space, for example.

Which means I should give you the answer for our quiz – it was all about different attitudes to personal space. እቲ ሕቶ ካብ ህንዲን፡ ኮርያን ኬንያ፡ ኣበየነይቲ ሃገር ዝርከቡ ጓኖት'ዮም እቲ ዝተሓተ ምቅርራብ ዘለዎም ዝብል'ዩ ኔይሩ። ብመሰረት ካብ ጆርናል ኦፍ ክሮስ ካለቸራል ሳይኮሎጂ ዝተረኸበ ሓበሬታ፡ እቲ መልሲ ኬንያ'ዩ። ኣብ ኬንያ፡ ጓኖት ብገምጋም 110 ሰንቲሜትር ርሕቐት ኣብ ሞንጎኦም ክገብሩ እንከለዉ፡ ኣብ ህንዲ 108፡ ኣብ ኮርያ ድማ 105 ሰንቲሜትር ማለት'ዩ።

Maybe I'll try Kenya for my next trip…

Well, according to that study, all three countries give you more personal space than England – so they're perfect for someone who is reserved!

እሞ በሉ፡ ሳምን ፊልን ብዛዕባ ናይ መጻኢ መደባት መገሻታቶም ክሳብ ዝመያየጡ፡ እተን ሎሚ ዝተመሃርናየን ቃላት መሊስና ንድገመን። "touchy-feely" 'ምትንኻፍ ዝፈቱ' "invade personal space" ጥቓ ሰብ ምጽጋዕ "reserved" ዕቓበ ምግባር "tolerant" ድማ ተጻዋሪ ማለት'ዩ። ስለ ምክትታልኩም እናመስገንና፡ ዝመጽእ ሰሙን ብኻልእ መደብ  English Together ክሳብ ንራኸብ ሰላም ቀንዩ። 

Meaning & Use

touchy-feely (adjective)

Touchy-feely describes a person who feels comfortable making physical contact with other people. It can also be used to describe people who display their emotions openly.
She was very touchy-feely and always hugged the people she met.
His children were very touchy-feely and liked to jump on him when they were playing.
Everyone in the group was very touchy-feely and it made her uncomfortable.

invade personal space (verb)

If someone is in your personal space, it means that they are so close to you that you feel uncomfortable. If someone invades someone else's personal space, it means that they make that person uncomfortable by being too close.
I hate it when she comes so close - it feels like she is invading my personal space.
When you meet new people, be careful not to invade their personal space.
If you invade someone's personal space, they might not want to help you.

reserved (adjective)

If someone is reserved, it means that they are quiet and do not strongly demonstrate their feelings.
You can't tell because he's so reserved, but I'm sure he's very happy at winning the competition.
In some cultures it is important to be reserved.
She's so reserved that it's hard to tell what she's feeling.

tolerant (adjective)

If someone is tolerant, they can accept things that they may not agree with.
I do things quite differently, but everyone has been really tolerant.
If you work with a lot of people, you have to be quite tolerant.
I had many arguments because the people around me were not very tolerant.

How close is too close?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
ቅኑዕ መልሲ ምረጹ

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you!

Are you touchy-feely? Are you more reserved? Do you hate it when people invade your personal space? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of English Together when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ኣብ ዝቕጽል መደብ ኣጠቓቕማ እንግሊሽ የራኽበና፤ ሽዑ ንቋንቛ ሓገዝቲ ዝኾኑን ናይ ምስማዕ ክእለትኩም ዘማዕብሉን ነገራት ክንመሃር ኢና።

Session Vocabulary

  • touchy-feely
    ‘ምትንኻፍ ዝፈትዉ

    invade personal space
    ጥቓ ሰብ ምጽጋዕ



    ሐሳብ ምልውዋጥ