2015 Volume 17 Issue 1 Pages 65-74
The present study aimed to compare complaint expressions in English between Thai and Japanese learners. The participants of the study were 11 Thai and 10 Japanese learners of English. They completed Discourse-Completion Test (DCT) composed of eight settings asking participants to express complaints in four situations (+Power/+Distance, +Power/-Distance, -Power/+Distance, and -Power/-Distance) based on Brown and Levinson (1987). Answers to the written DCT were analyzed in terms of directness of the expressions and the use of modality markers. The results revealed that both groups as a whole express their dissatisfaction in an indirect/reserved manner, only pointing out the uncomfortable situation without criticism. The use of modality marker showed that Thai learners were characterized by making concessions with the interlocutor to seek compromise whereas Japanese learners tended to express their subjective opinion, using “I’m afraid that ...”.