The Interference between culture and communication

2nd May 2014

I’m going to share with you a few ideas from my dissertation, which I finished a few years ago to graduate with a Masters in Communication and Public Relations.

Communication is a daily activity in everybody’s life, that’s why it would be an interesting thing to analyze how many people take the time to think before they speak, about what they will actually communicate to the persons they interact with. There are people who talk without paying much attention to their audience, to the message they want to transmit, even although communication is too important to be left to chance.

The subtleties of the language, expressions and gestures influence the content of what we transmit. Of course, when it comes to communicating globally, we need to be sure that we make ourselves understood and that we won’t offend the audience through what we say and the way we do that.

Also, what we communicate is influenced by culture. We operate with a set of values, beliefs and presumptions, which influence the way we behave towards others. The culture is determinant for the way we communicate, even if this thing is often hidden. A better understanding of culture’s influence on the communication between people could be essential when we work and become of a global organization, showing our clients and colleagues from various countries  that we are on the same frequency with them, appreciate and value the differences between each other, which can help us to consolidate our working relationships. It’s important to examine what culture means, as well as what culture doesn’t mean, and study the cultural barriers that may interfere during the process of communication.

The understanding of the way cultural differences affect the communication between individuals and groups that belong to different zones and cultures, including communication inside an international organization, could be facilitated studying and referring to theories concerning cultural differences.

Some of the relevant influences I had preparing my dissertation were:

·         Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory: a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede

·         and  Beyond Culture: a book by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall

If you need any help overcoming any language barriers, please contact Pearl’s team of linguists on 020 7253 7700 or email us at sales@pearllinguistics.com

Lucian Lupan, Interpreting Booking Coordinator

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