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Posted on July 30th, 2012, by

Nowadays world can be characterized as the world of high technology and scientific progress, traveling and globalization. It is also true that never before in history people of different cultures could so easily come in contact with one another. It is amazing how diverse the cultures of foreign countries may be and how they may impact the act of communication between people of different origins. There are people who neglect the cultural variables and they are almost sure to have certain problems, as intercultural differences still remain huge and the effective style of either verbal or nonverbal communication with a representative of one culture may be offensive and rude when used with the representative of another one.

It is not a secret that there are some words and phrases which may be used in different ways across cultures. For instance, the meaning of “yes”¯ in the English speaking countries may differ: “maybe, I will consider it”¯, “definitely so”¯ and a lot of shades between.

Non-verbal communication is also very important. There are specific gestures, facial expressions and even seating arrangements and sense of time which are able to create a problem in communication between people who have different vies as for these aspects. Some cultures consider raised voice as a sign that a fight is sure to begin, many others believe it is a sign of an exciting conversation among friends.

In some countries it is not appropriate to be frank about emotions, about the reasons of a conflict or a misunderstanding, or about private information. Some cultures even consider conflicts positive, while others think that they should be avoided. In the U.S. and Germany, conflict is not usually desirable; but people often are encouraged to deal directly with conflicts that do arise. In fact, face-to-face meetings customarily are recommended as the way to work through whatever problems exist. In contrast, in many Eastern countries, open conflict is experienced as embarrassing or demeaning; as a rule, differences are best worked out quietly. A written exchange might be the favored means to address the conflict.

As people from different cultures take on the exciting challenge of dealing with one another cultural values conflict from time to time. It is normal. Nevertheless we should strive to get rid of it if we are eager to communicate effectively enough. A person dealing with cross cultural communication should always keep in mind all the peculiarities of cultural characteristics of his or her opponent during the dialogue. Only in that case progressive results in various spheres of life would be achieved.

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