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Barriers to Communication Across Culture

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Topics: Culture
Barriers to communication across culture

Abstract:
With study aboard become popular, there are more barrier in intercultural communication was be paid attention. Because intercultural communication barriers cannot be avoided so people should know about it deeply. This article will introduce some aspect of intercultural communication barrier. Like what is intercultural communication barrier, how many kinds of it, what lead to it and how could we solve it.

Introduction:
When I just came to Australia, there is a long time I cannot be used to local’s lifestyle. For example, once my homestay mother planned to visit her brother on a weekend and then she invited me to visit her brother together. However, I refused her because I think I am not similar with that family and I will feel restrictive if I go to visit them. It is very common in my country but my homestay mother cannot understand even she thought I am not satisfied with her so I do not want to stay with her and meet her family. Due to this, her mood downed to bottom for a long time. After that in one day we talk about this thing and I express what I think and in my country people seldom visit other people particularly the people you are not very similar, then my homestay mother can understand me and feel happy. It now appears, this accident is a reflection of barriers in communication across culture. If we speaking about the word “communication across culture”, most people will think to diplomat or translators. In fact, communication across culture will happened everywhere in our daily life. The communication between a Chinese and an Australian is the communication across mainstream culture. The communication between a Chinese and a Japanese is the communication across subcultures. Actually the communication between northerners and southerners, between scientists and illiteracy, between teacher and students, between alders and teenagers and between husband and wife, they are all kinds of cross-culture communication although it just a communication across group culture. If communication is kept successful, everyone is happy but if communication is failed due to different culture, it can lead people feel sad. Thus, studying knowledge about communication is an important part to every people and is beneficial to future.

1.1 What is the barrier of cross-culture communication
Firstly, what is cross-culture communication? The communication between people who have different culture background is cross-culture communication; it also can be called intercultural communication. When people go on a cross-culture communication, wrong pronunciation, wrong grammar and lacking words amount, they all have chance to lead to misunderstanding. Moreover, although the pronunciation and grammar both right, when people communicate with other language user, it also may face to barriers. One is people cannot express himself correctly; another one is lacking respond to other’s words.

1.2 How many kinds of intercultural communication barriers
From the research, it is clearly shows that there are six main kinds of intercultural communication barriers. 1.3.1 Ethnocentricity
Americans tend to have an ethnocentric perspective on language that, according to Dr. Sue Easton of the Rollins College Communication Department, leads them to view English as a universal language. Because many cultures around the globe speak English, Americans may forget that some businesses conduct transactions in other languages or that some individuals don 't understand English. According to Dr. Easton, a presumption that other cultures spoke English and observed common American practices led to a failure of American foreign ventures in the mid-20th century, though extensive education on intercultural communication has helped reduce this assumption. 1.3.2 Jargon and slang
Each culture, even regional cultures within a larger culture, develops unique sets of jargon and slang. Though members of that culture may find these words commonplace and use them with abandon, newcomers to the culture may misunderstand the meanings behind them or fail to understand them altogether. In addition, some slang words appropriate for use in one culture may carry strong connotations in another, as explained in the publication "Diversity in the Workplace," so intercultural communicators should limit use of jargon and slang words or phrases. 1.3.3 Personal space
Different cultures can take significantly different approaches to personal space, and a lack of cultural understanding can make some individuals uncomfortable and insult others. While Western culture prefers an arm 's length of physical personal space while communicating, according to a 2006 article in the "Journal of Applied Social Psychology," people from some Latin and Middle Eastern cultures stand considerably closer together when speaking. To a Westerner, this personal space violation can lead to discomfort, and the communicator may view a resulting step away as a sign of distrust. 1.3.4 Stereotypes
Human nature, according to an intercultural communication article on the practical advice website Sideroad.com, can lead one to make assumptions about other people; some cultures use stereotypical images to reaffirm these assumptions. Though some stereotypes may stem from factual observations, many build on personal beliefs and fears that individuals may hold. To communicate effectively across cultural boundaries, communicators must put stereotypes and assumptions aside. 1.3.5 Eye contact
In the United States, communicators tend to maintain direct eye contact with others during one-on-one communication, and make sporadic eye contact with an audience when communicating with large groups. Though direct eye contact may symbolize respect in Western cultures, according to the communications book "Intercultural Communication: A Reader," other cultures view it differently. Native American and some Eastern cultures, for example, consider direct eye contact disrespectful, and a failure to understand these cultural norms regarding eye contact can create significant intercultural communication obstacles. 1.3.6 Time
Different cultures maintain markedly different approaches to time, and communicators who don 't understand a culture 's time orientation may experience difficulty building relationships in that culture. Though Americans view time as a commodity, other cultures take a much more lax approach to the subject; some Latin cultures, for example, expect parties to be as much as 30 minutes late when conducting business. Communicators from a culture that views time as a commodity must refrain from becoming upset when a party from another culture arrives late, as the late communicator may view such frustration as insensitive, demanding and offensive. 1.3 Why there is intercultural communication barriers
Cultural shock is a common psychological respond to a strange culture background. All the people who come to a new strange environment which has differently culture background will face to the barriers that were brought by cultural shock, but the level of berries is different to different people. In general, when a people move to a new strange environment, all the symbols, customs, behavior patterns, social relations and values will be instead of new ones. Then, people often feel anxious, nervous and shy. If this phenomenon become seriously, it will bring psychological and physiological illness even some patient got mental disorders or commit suicide.
Then, I can list some factors of intercultural communication barriers. 1.4.7 Different mode of thinking
People in different place have totally different mode of thinking. Like easterner and westerner. The mode of easterners’ thinking can be involved to intuition, overall and round-mode and mode of westerners’ thinking can be summarized as logic, analysis and linear. So usually, westerners put the emphasis in the front of a sentence but easterners hide it behind others. 1.4.8 Different value
According Barnett Pearce and Verrion Cronent, everybody have own rules of conduct, ways of thinking, philosophy of doing things and ethical standards. But every culture system has a standard. It means may be one people is common in a cultural background but is unique in other cultural background. Western cultural value individual, like American hero but eastern culture value group. 1.4.9 Different standard of moral
Western often be proud for their achievement and never cover their proud and confident. In eastern, people do not think show off is a good thing and they advocate modest. 1.4.10 Awareness of equality and hierarchy
Westerners have good awareness of equality. Everyone can respect themselves and never allow other violate their right. In eastern, awareness of hierarchy is difficult to remove. 1.4.11 Other cultural difference besides language
Like speaking language, body language is defined in different cultural background. For example, westerners often think eye contact is a important part in communication but in eastern it is a impolite behavior when you talk to others. 1.4 How to deal with intercultural communication barriers
The best way to solve intercultural communication barriers is study intercultural communication knowledge and different cultural. Firstly people should understand different people’s degree of adaption is different. Secondly, people should realize in intercultural communication, barriers not only on body but also on feeling, mood and the way of thinking. Thirdly, people should realize intercultural communication barriers are based on lecture factor, social factor and individual factor. The difference more huge, the cultural shock will more strong. Lastly, people should know barriers in intercultural communication is cannot be avoided and it is not totally bad. With studying different culture, people can broaden their horizons, growth experience and develop the ability of adapt a new cultural environment.

Conclusion:
Due to my experience and based on research, this article introduce intercultural communication barrier detailed. It including the definition of intercultural communication barrier, listing six kinds of intercultural communication barrier , analyzing the factor of intercultural communication barrier and suggesting people how to solve intercultural communication barrier.

References

Buckman R: How to Break Bad News. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. 15. Fischer R, Ury W, Patton B: Getting to Yes. London: Random House, 2003. 16. Hallenbeck J: Palliative Care Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 163–164.

GU0 T 2004,DetaiI the Communication 0bstacle in the I nterculturaI Communication,Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal Universit,vol.3 no.4,p118-120.

Hallenbeck J: Cross-cultural issues. In: Berger A, Portenoy RK, Weissman DE (eds): Principles and Prac- tice of Palliative Care and Supportive Oncology, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002: 661–672.

Hallenbeck J: The Explanatory model. J. Palliat Med 2003;6:931.

National Palliative Care Program: www.palliative- care.gov.au/pubs/carers.htm. (Last accessed March 23, 2004).

Orona C, Koenig B, Davis A: Cultural aspects of HALLENBECK480 nondisclosure. Camb Q Healthcare Ethics 1994;3:338– 346.

Purnell L, Paulanka B: Transcultural Health Care—A Culturally Competent Approach. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 1998.

Rivadeneyra R, Elderkin-Thompson V, Cohen Silver R, Waitzkin H: Patient centeredness in medical en- counters requiring an interpreter. Am J Med. 2000;108: 470–474.

Yeo G, Hikoyeda N: Cultural issues in end-of-life de- cision making among Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In: Braun KL, Pietsch JH, Blanchette PL (eds): Cultural Issues in End-of-Life Decision Making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000, pp. 101–125.

References: Buckman R: How to Break Bad News. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. 15. Fischer R, Ury W, Patton B: Getting to Yes. London: Random House, 2003. 16. Hallenbeck J: Palliative Care Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 163–164. GU0 T 2004,DetaiI the Communication 0bstacle in the I nterculturaI Communication,Journal of Educational Science of Hunan Normal Universit,vol.3 no.4,p118-120. Hallenbeck J: Cross-cultural issues. In: Berger A, Portenoy RK, Weissman DE (eds): Principles and Prac- tice of Palliative Care and Supportive Oncology, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002: 661–672. Hallenbeck J: The Explanatory model. J. Palliat Med 2003;6:931. National Palliative Care Program: www.palliative- care.gov.au/pubs/carers.htm. (Last accessed March 23, 2004). Orona C, Koenig B, Davis A: Cultural aspects of HALLENBECK480 nondisclosure. Camb Q Healthcare Ethics 1994;3:338– 346. Purnell L, Paulanka B: Transcultural Health Care—A Culturally Competent Approach. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 1998. Rivadeneyra R, Elderkin-Thompson V, Cohen Silver R, Waitzkin H: Patient centeredness in medical en- counters requiring an interpreter. Am J Med. 2000;108: 470–474. Yeo G, Hikoyeda N: Cultural issues in end-of-life de- cision making among Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In: Braun KL, Pietsch JH, Blanchette PL (eds): Cultural Issues in End-of-Life Decision Making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000, pp. 101–125.

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