Intercultural Miscommunication

Topics: Communication, Dialect, English language Pages: 2 (524 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The frequent situations of misunderstandings in intercultural communication may be more common then one may believe. The potential for misunderstandings between two different cultures communicating is very high. Through such things as idioms, translation errors, and wrong body language communicative skills can be incorrect. When these intercultural mistakes occur between the people speaking or moving it may be perceived by the opposite culture as funny, rude or confusing. With these considerations in mind, the combination of possibilities for misinterpretations is increasingly elevated. Idioms are used in every language, which is why it is difficult to communicate in some instances. Different languages seem to create their "own" language, which may consist of words put together, or words made up by different societies. Most people who learn another language by another way than emersion learn the formal way of speaking a specific language and therefore when slang words, or idiomatic sentences are used, it comes across as either funny, rude or confusing. In the English language, saying words such as "gonna" and "hafta" seem normal to those who have spoke English their entire lives, however to a person who has just learned English, formally, these words would seem confusing. They are taught to say "going to" and "have to" and hence, making more room for misunderstanding situations between cultures. A sentence such as "we are in the same boat" would seem silly to a foreign person who had recently learned the English language. They would wonder how a boat got into the story and why they and the other person were the only two in the boat.

Colloquial language is another part of communication that may confuse people who speak the languages when they hear it. It is again informal and not taught to people who have just learned the language. Even within the same language there is room for miscommunication. In English, there are many different versions and accents...
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