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Essay Paper on Inter Cultural Differences in Communication

Communication is the transfer of a message from one person to another in the way to be understood and as a result to receive a response. There are two main ways of communication between people: verbal-with the help of language and non-verbal- so-called body language, which includes different gestures, movements, dances for some nations, clothing. By the way, some people consider that 90% of communication is realized through the body-language.

Surely different nations have their own customs, traditions and communication norms and rules. In order to organize the right way of communication between people of various cultures, both sides have to be aware of at least some cultural peculiarities of the collocutor. There is no doubt that the first and the largest problem is the language barrier, but even if two people can speak the same language, cultural differences may complicate the dialogue.

Every culture has its own standards and patterns of behavior, different mentality and way of thinking, some common for one nation gestures may become abusive for the representatives of the other. So it is better to learn the cultural peculiarities of a nation you are planning to communicate with. For example, you can ask a Japanese to borrow you 100 dollars. He will answer you with “yes”, but actually this does not mean he will give it. He simply informs that he heard you.

Various nations have different attitude to time and punctuality. For example, Germans are very punctual and like to do everything in time not like Spanish, who do not stick strictly to the time frames and schedules. For a Chinese the proverb “Time is money” means nothing. Way of clothing and appearance plays different role: in South-East Asia and Arabian countries the financial status, car type, appearance are very important. Europeans prefer wearing simple and comfortable cloths.

Besides, different cultures imply different contact distances. Italians consider Americans and Swedish people to be unfriendly and cold, because they use a shorter distance. Others consider this the manifestation of bad manners. The style of communication also varies depending on cultural habits. Americans prefer to speak straightly and explain clearly what they want. Arabs usually use indirect or mannered style…

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