Introduction to Intercultural Communication

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1. Introduction to Intercultural Communication

I chose this topic for my essay because I found it interesting to analize how people from different cultures come together to work and communicate with each other without taking into consideration barriers between them (religion, social status, beliefs, habits). Nowadays, more and more people talk about globalization in the world of economy and that is why it is considered to be absolutely necessary for us to take into consideration, and adapt to intercultural communication. Being a subject of great importance to international business I find it attractive and educative. Lately, companies tend to expand in as many countries as possible, that is why it would be helpful to have intercultural communication skills. The question is what we can do to develop these skills-

The project is based on studying differences between peoples from different areas of the world and trying to understand them in order to remove communication barriers. Understanding intercultural differences, helps us improving communication skills, breaks down barriers, builds long-term relationships, and eventually leads to business success. I also talked about the connection between culture and communication and the way these two elements influence each other. I believe that in order to understand this connection and more important intercultural communication, we should start from assuming that all others understand the world in a different way than we do and this should be considered our starting point. Once we have studied differences between cultures and peoples, we should be ready to understand how to communicate better with each other and how to react correctly when meeting someone with another nationality than ours.

The project also presents some specific formalities regarding Romania and its business environment. This chapter contains a few ideas about Romanians style of doing business and a comparison to other countries.

Regarding the course, I found it very interesting that we had the occasion to discuss about such interesting topics. There are things we will for sure use in our future carriers. For example, many students think about working abroad. For those who have this thought in mind, remember that in order to be successful in international communication, you should know very well your home country and also the one you plan to work in. We learned that is important to be prepared and informed in order to have a strategy and develop a plan even for situations you did not expect to occur.

2. Connection between communication and culture

The relationship between communication and culture is a very complex one. Because communication is an element of culture, it has often been said that these two elements are considered inseparable. It is also said that culture is communication and communication is culture. One can say, therefore, that culture is created, shaped, transmitted, and learned through communication and also communication practices are largely created, shaped, and transmitted by culture

Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving Chaney and Martin (2005, p. 5) say that whereas communication is a process, culture is the structure through which the communication is formulated and interpreted. Culture deals with the way people live. When cultures interact, adaptation must take place for the cultures to communicate effectively. With intercultural business communication, being aware of each culture’s symbols, how they are the same, and how they are different is important. As Alfred G. Smith (Communication and Culture, 1966) wrote culture is a code we learn and share and sharing require communication.

No matter what definitions we gave to these two interconnected elements, one thing is clear; the bond between them cannot be broken. It is obvious that it is hard to communicate effectively when you do not know a thing about your audience culture. The building of cultural awareness may not be an easy task, but once accomplished, it definitely helps a job done efficiently in a foreign environment.

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