Intercultural Communication Challenges

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Acest proiect trateaza Intercultural Communication Challenges.
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Profesor indrumator / Prezentat Profesorului: Ileana Sireteanu, Mona Arhire

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Domeniu: Engleza


The present paper deals with the problems intercultural communication conducts to. Language correlated with cultural traits play a major role in determining the causes but also the means of overcoming intercultural barriers. The theoretical part of the present paper sustains the existence of intercultural communication difficulties, pointing out their roots and determinants, while the practical part reveals the fact that, along with an ever growing number of intercultural encounters, English language has gained its position of intercultural communication mediator. The research in the field of Internet communication and its language gives a much more positive perspective on intercultural communication, showing the path to avoiding cultural and linguistic misunderstandings.
Introduction 7
CHAPTER ONE- Determinants of Culture and Identity 9
1.0. Introduction 9
1.1. Cultural Identity and Diversity 9
1.1.1. Language 10
1.1.2. Tradition 14
1.1.3. Religion 16
1.1.4. Society 17
1.2. Cultural Transformation and Acquisition 18
1.2.1. Family vs. Society 18
1.2.2. Economical and Political Surrounding 20
1.2.3. Media Influences 21
1.3. Global Identity- Globalization 23
1.3.1. Interchange Between Cultures 23
1.3.2. Emergence of a Cosmopolitan Culture 25
1.3.3. E.U. Integration 27
1.4. Conclusion 28
CHAPTER TWO- Different Communication Styles and Values 29
2.0. Introduction 29
2.1. Language Usage 29
2.2. Verbal Communication 33
2.3. Non-Verbal Communication 34
2.3.1. Body Language 35
2.3.2. Gestures and Mimics 38
2.3.3. Cultural Norms and Rules 40
2.4. Paralanguage 42
2.5. Conclusion 43
CHAPTER THREE- Intercultural Communication and Language Variation 44
3.0. Introduction 44
3.1. Differences in Language 44
3.1.1. Language and Cultural Attachment 46
3.1.2. Linguistic Ethnocentrism 46
3.2. Accents, Dialects and Regional Differences 47
3.2.1. International Regional Variables 47
3.2.2. Language and Dialect 49
3.2.3. Accent and Dialect 50
3.2.4. Accent Comprehension 52
3.3. Cultural Aspects of Language Usage 53
3.3.1. Recognition of Usage Differences 53
3.3.2. Stereotyping 54
3.3.3. High- vs. Low-Context Cultures 54
3.4. Intercultural Business Communication and the English Language 55
3.4.1. Sociolinguistical Approach to Business Communication 56
3.4.2. English and International Business 57
3.4.3. Overcoming Language as a Barrier to Business Communication 59
3.4.4. Intercultural Business Blunders 61
3.5. Conclusion 62
CHAPTER FOUR- Internet English- New Means of Overcoming Intercultural Barriers 63
4.0. Introduction 63
4.1. Online Media and Their Effect on Language 64
4.1.1. Email 64
4.1.2. Instant Messenger Programs 64
4.1.3. Blogging 65
4.1.4. Usenet 66
4.1.5. Netiquette for Non-native Speakers 66
4.2. Foreign Languages Online 68
4.2.1. Learning English Online 69
4.2.2. The Rosetta Stone 70
4.2.3. Word 2 Word 70
4.3. English Internet Slang 71
4.3.1. Acronyms and Abbreviations 72
4.3.2. Emoticons ( Smileys) 73
4.3.3. Noob 73
4.3.4. Format Tagging 73
4.4. English Internet Jargon 74
4.4.1. Cyberlingo 75
4.5. English- the Universal Language on Internet 84
4.5.1. Reasons 85
4.5.2. The Importance of the Internet and English 86
4.5.3. Breaking Down Barriers 87
4.6. Internet and the Future 89
4.7. Challenges and Opportunities 89
4.8. Conclusion 90
Conclusions 92
Glossary of Internet and Web Jargon 94
References 111

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The world today is characterized by an ever growing number of contacts resulting in communication between people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This intercultural communication takes place because of contacts within the areas of business, military cooperation, science, education, massmedia, entertainment, tourism but also because of immigration brought about by labor shortage or political conflicts.

In all these contacts, there is communication which needs to be as constructive as possible, without misunderstandings and breakdowns. The goal of this project is to present some causes which lead to intercultural communication problems, and the means to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers. It is my belief that research on the nature of linguistic and cultural similarities and differences can play a positive and beneficial role in intercultural communication.

In the first chapter, I developped a number of variables that make cultures different. I pointed out the determinants of culture and identity, reffering to both cultural diversity, transformation and aquisition, as well as the effects of globalization on the society we live in. The connection between culture and language is indestructible, one influencing the other in the complex process of intercultural communication.

During the second chapter, I discussed a variety of communication styles, from verbal communication to non-verbal communication, mentioning as well the importance of paralanguage while communicating. Language is the core of any type of communication, and referring to intercultural communication, proper language usage is the main step in avoiding misunderstandings.

The third chapter looks at the process of language variation strictly related to intercultural communication. Differences in the English language, such as dialects, accents, regional differences, but also cultural aspects of language usage represent possible risk factors which affects negatively intercultural communication. English language has become in the last decades the language of business, facilitating intercultural exchange. For the field of business and not only, learning English has proved to be the easiest strategy in overcoming language barriers. The chapter ends with some examples of intercultural communication blunders which have seriously damaged intercultural collaboration and led to embarassing situations.

The fourth and last chapter deals with the very popular issue of Internet and a language that makes its way out of the computer into the real life: Internet English. Loosened rules of grammar, flexible terminology, informal register, are all traits that make Internet English so popular, especially among youngsters. The new age of Internet opened new doors to a much more simple and effective communication, the advancing technologies transforming online intercultural communication into a pleasant and interesting way of spending time. The flaws of Internet cannot be denied, but the advantages of a more accesible way of communicating on an intercultural level are more obvious.

Encounters between people of different cultural background have existed forever, and equally forever, people were thinking about phenomena that were unusual in other cultures. However, these intercultural encounters were relatively seldom in early times, but in the 20th century society, they are part of everyday life. Along with the growth of intercultural encounters, English has reached the level of universal language, which facilitates intercultural communication, due to its approachable characteristics and its global status.

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