Intercultural Communication

Report
SESSION:
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
[email protected]
Contents
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Intro: Intercultural competence
Definitions: communication, culture, intercultural
communication
What causes communication problems in an
intercultural setting
 Verbal communication
 Non-verbal communication
Richard Lewis’ model of intercultural
communication
Introduction to assignment
Intro: Intercultural competence
“The 21st century is upon us. As
inhabitants of this post-millennium world,
you no longer have a choice about whether
to live and communicate among many
cultures. Your only choice is whether you
will learn to do it well...”
Lustig, Koester & Taylor
Intro: Intercultural competence

The imperative for intercultural competence
 Demographic
imperative
 Technological imperative
 Economic imperative
 Peace imperative
 Interpersonal imperative
What is communication?
 Verbal
and non-verbal (90%)
Culture
P
e
r
s
o
n
Encode/ Decode
Culture
Send/Receive Messages through
Various Channels
Encode/ Decode
P
e
r
s
o
n
B
A
Noise
Noise
Noise
What is culture?
The collective programming of the mind which
distinguishes the members of one human group
from another.
 A learned set of shared interpretations about
beliefs, values, norms and social practices which
affect the behaviours of a relatively large group
of people
Layers of Culture
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National
Regional
Educational
Professional
Gender
Class
Religious
Generational
Ethnic
Corporate
Personal
family
country
company
sports club
Culture, an iceberg …
Heroes
Symbols
Rituals
Social
practices
Values
Norms
Beliefs
Values …
Symbols…
Heroes…
Rituals …
What is intercultural communication?
Intercultural communication is a symbolic,
interpretive, transactional & contextual process in
which people from different cultures create
shared meanings. It occurs when large and
important cultural differences create dissimilar
interpretations and expectations about how to
communicate competently
 Sender & receiver have different cultural
backgrounds
WHAT CAUSES COMMUNICATION
PROBLEMS IN AN INTERCULTURAL
SETTING?
Verbal and Non-verbal communication
Cultural differences in communication
MESSAGE
SENDER
MASSAGE
RECEIVER
What can go wrong – verbal (1)

Non-native speakers (often at least one of them)
 One-on-one
translations
 Translation of jokes, sayings, a pun … often not
possible


Time relativity in a global perspective
Use of other measures
 gallon,
mile, ounce, …
What can go wrong – verbal (2)

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Failure to convert English
measures to metric values caused the loss of the Mars
Climate Orbiter, a spacecraft that smashed into the
planet instead of reaching a safe orbit, a NASA
investigation concluded Wednesday. […]
An investigation board concluded that NASA engineers
failed to convert English measures of rocket thrusts to
Newton, a metric system measuring rocket force. One
English pound of force equals 4.45 Newton. A small
difference between the two values caused the
spacecraft to approach Mars at too low an altitude
and the craft is thought to have smashed into the
planet’s atmosphere and was destroyed.”
What can go wrong – verbal (3)

Pronunciation of words
 “Sh”
cannot be pronounced in Finnish
 The English “th”

Different vocabulary
 Snow
(Inuit)
 Green (Zulu)
Hindi
English
Father, mother
Verbal communication
Baap (pitagi), maa
Baba (dada), amma
(dadi)
Nana, nani
Father’s father, father’s mother
Taaya, taayi
Father’s/wife of father’s elder brother
Chacha, chachi
Father’s/wife of father’s younger brother
Mama, mami
Mother’s/wife of mother’s brother
Booa, fooa
Father’s sister, husband of father’s sister
Mausi, mausa
Mother’s/ husband of mother’s sister
Bahai
Brother
Bhabhi
Brother’s wife
Bhatija, bhatiji
Brother’s son/daughter
Bahin
Sister
Mother’s father, mother’s mother
What can go wrong – verbal (4)

Politeness
 Vous
/ tu – u / jij - you
 First names
 Japan: “I” is different in different contexts

Grammar
 Existence
of present tense
 Past tenses (was/has been)
 My
grandfather never went abroad ≠ has never gone
abroad
 Le
subjonctif n’existe pas en néerlandais
What can go wrong - examples

Irish Mist
What can go wrong – examples

GM Chevy NOVA
What can go wrong – examples

Mazda Laputa
What can go wrong – examples

Slogans
 Parker
Pen
 "It
won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you" translated
into "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant” in
Spanish
 Pepsi
 "Come
Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into
"Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in
Chinese
What can go wrong – non-verbal (1)

Body-language
Nodding = YES or NO ???
 Laughing = happiness or insecurity ???
 Avoiding eye contact = respect or shame ???
 Physical distance - touching each other - kissing

What can go wrong – non-verbal (2)

Colours
 Red
= political colour of …
 EU:
left-sided political parties
 US: Republicans
 White
 EU:
= colour of …
marriage
 Catholics: joy
 China, Muslim: death
What can go wrong – non-verbal (3)

Symbols
 Different
meanings
 Not understandable outside the group
Thumbs up = OK, …
but offensive in Greece
What can go wrong – non-verbal (4)
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Values: nudity
What can go wrong – non-verbal (5)
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Values: diseases
What can go wrong - non-verbal (6)
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Values: religion
What can go wrong – (non)verbal (7)

Direction in which we read
Left to right, top to bottom, …
… problems if the message is read from right to left

Our usual perspective
http://www.sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/worldmapper/index.h
tml

RICHARD LEWIS’ MODEL
www.howest.be
Richard Lewis’ model of Cultural Categories
National Communication Patterns
– Italy –
National Communication Patterns
– Finland –
National Communication Patterns
– Germany –
National Communication Patterns
– UK –
Listening Habits
– Belgium –
Conclusion
‘Tolerance, intercultural dialogue and
respect for diversity are more essential
than ever in a world where people are
becoming more and more closely
interconnected.’
Kofi Annan

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