Essay on Non-Verbal Communication and Intercultural Communication
The important thing to remember about culture is that while it may be fundamental, it is not innate. Yet it’s often not discussed, analysed or critiqued but is seen as being ‘common sense’. Culture is made up of the shared values and assumptions of a particular group of people. Because these values and assumptions are shared, it is easy to take them for granted and believe that they are ‘normal’. In this way it is possible for people to believe that the ways in which they behave and the things they value are right and true for everyone.
Inter-, as you’ll probably know, comes from the Latin word for “between”, and the dictionary defines “communication” as “exchanging information”. Therefore, let’s draw the following conclusion: Intercultural communication refers to exchanging information between people from different cultures. Sounds very easy, don’t it? It’s the “cultures” part of this simple definition where things start getting a tad complicated.
Today the world we live in is “a global village” where no nation, group or culture can remain anonymous (Samovar & Porter, 1991). What happens in one part of the world affects all parts of the world. As the world is becoming smaller, we are increasingly interacting with people from many different cultures. While modern technology has made it easier for us to communicate with people anywhere in the world, such interactions can be difficult if we do not know how to deal with people and cultures different from our own. Here are examples of some of the obvious mistakes politicians and businesses have made when it comes to dealing with other languages cultures:
• In Germany, a Berliner is a jelly donut. In his speech a the Berlin Wall, President Kennedy, when he said “Heute, ich bin ein Berliner” actually said “Today, I am a jelly donut” when he really meant “Today, I am Berliner (a native of West Berlin)
• In China, KFC’s “finger-licking good” was translated as “eat your fingers off”.
• Chevrolet attempted unsuccessfully to market its Nova compact car in Latin American countries. In Spanish, no va means “does not go” or “it doesn’t run”.
In Figure 1 A, B and C represents three different cultures. Cultures A and B are similar to one another while culture C is quite different. Within each culture is another form similar to the shape of the influencing parent culture. This represents the person who has been molded by his/her culture. However, the shape of the person is somewhat different from that the parent culture since we are all shaped by our culture, but are also influenced by other factors as well (e.g. age, gender, class, race, etc.). Also, within any culture there is internal variation.
As its name suggests that non verbal communication is that in which we do not use voise and there is no need to speak in front of anyone. We just use other alternatives to say something. Here are many things and...