Language and cross-cultural communication

Culture and language are so intertwined, it’s important to consider both if you want to be successful in your language learning. Vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation are usually the first things we would work on when studying a foreign language. However there are other things to consider such as intonation, gestures, volume and cultural expectations. Being aware of these linguistic features and incorporating them correctly into your speech will make communication much more effective. Understanding what is appropriate in the culture your target language is from will help you understand native speakers on a much deeper level. It also helps you avoid unnecessary confusion when faced with differences to your own culture.

The use of eye contact differs between cultures. In some places, for example in the UK or in the Middle East, it is really important to have consistent eye contact in order to establish that you can be trusted and that you are listening. In other cultures such as Africa or Asia, avoiding eye contact shows politeness and respect. How close people stand or sit to online casinos each other also varies between cultures. In the West it is important to maintain a certain distance between yourself and whoever you are talking to. For casino online Latin Americans or Arabs, greater proximity conveys friendship and trust. Silence is another thing to consider. British or American cultures would find a gap in conversation awkward, whilst for Scandinavians silence is a natural part of a communication.

Cross-cultural communication can be a tricky thing to navigate. However, it is easy enough to learn about what is normal and acceptable in another culture. We should also remember that a desire to communicate well is common to all cultures. Therefore patience, a willingness to learn and good listening skills go a long way to facilitating communication within a culture different from our own.

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