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Culture And Communication Essay

1361 words - 5 pages

Successful communication between people of the same culture can be successful communication if it is free of any errors or misinterpretation. When cross cultural communication occurs there is a high chance of the intended message by the speaker to be misinterpreted. When there is communication of any sort there is a requirement that the message and meaning intended by the speaker is correctly received and interpreted by the listener. Mistake free communication is common because most people communicate with people similar to themselves who can relate to each other. But for the majority of communication with "strangers" and people not part of your culture can have some degree of miscommunication. When you communicate you are sharing or conveying information. When you communicate with someone or a group of people from a different culture you are not privy to the knowledge and values shared by that culture. Many people have had experiences with people of other cultures that have gone smoothly or not so smoothly. I have had experiences on both ends of the spectrum; those situations that I failed were due to my lack of knowledge concerning the other culture.The message sent from speaker to listener contains a variety of "communication" not just spoken word. The tone of your voice, the grammar you use, your body language, and even your eye contact can affect the listener's interpretation of your message. Each piece of the communication process can either help or hinder the listener's comprehension of the message. Even assuming that everything conveyed was perfectly understood there is more information that is necessary to successfully communicate across cultures. For example since I grew up in the United States I don't have many experiences with Arabic people that didn't grow up here. My family once had relatives come visit from overseas and there were some problems communicating between them and me. I can speak the language fluently so my problems were not due to lack of factual knowledge but lack of cultural knowledge. I offered my cousin's something to drink and they refused so I left it at that, later on my father informs me that in middle-eastern cultures it is polite refuse the first few offers made and then to accept. So I appeared rude since I only offered them a drink once, and since it was a hot day they were probably left thirsty; but my intention was not to be rude even though that is how is turned out.There are many different factors that can hamper communication between people of different cultures. The fundamental attribution error is one factor that can derail any hope of successful communication. It occurs when people attribute the reasons for one another's action on the basis of their group membership not on the basis of the social context. When people communicate with people that they are not knowledgeable about they tend to make mistakes. People become nervous or anxious and this can lead to the fundamental attribution error.I was...

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