Intercultural Communication mediated communication immediate communication film TV print media internet …. media: verbal non-verbal gestures, facial expression, tone etc.
Intercultural competence behavioural competence communicative competence (verbal, non-verbal) comprehensive competence: understanding and interpretation of symbols and signs everyday rituals dress codes literature …… cognitive dimension affective dimension knowledge about cultural values and communication styles, e.g. also specific knowledge in business contexts ability to develop an understanding for foreign cultures and to deal sensitively with strange/unknown things whose reasons and backgrounds we don't understand.
Intercultural communication pitfalls (Wahrnehmungsfallen) 1. different meanings of words/terms 2. divergence: conventions of speech intention 3. communication styles 4. topics 5. register/tone 6. paraverbal factors 7. non-verbal factors 8. specific cultural standards 9. specific cultural conventions
1. Different meanings of words/terms e.g. frz. "famille" extended family, relatives "nation" in different cultures with positive or negative connotations 2. Divergence conventions of speech intention acceptance/refusal is often not expressed clearly e.g. invitation in France: "Est-ce que je peux vous inviter à déjeuner demain?" convention: "Oui, si vous voulez." sounds non-obligatory (unverbindlich) correct meaning: "Yes, thank you!" business negotiations in Asia statement of the Asian partner: "I'll do the best I can ." correct meaning: break-off of negotiations without any solution
3. Communication styles greeting rituals, turn-taking (pausing/overlapping), small talk/"deep talk", direct/indirect e.g. greeting rituals in European cultures: relatively little time devoted to greetings African cultures: daily greeting ritual includes enquiring after well-being, also the well-being of family members France etc.: Wangenkuss Japan: highly codified bowing turn-taking pausing (silence) between turns overlapping (start before the other finishes) can mean different things in different cultures: can mean different things in different cultures: - respect Asia Finland - indication of respect - cooperation - cooperation - lack of interest - aggressiveness - shyness Europe USA - rudeness - embarrassment - passive aggressiveness
Small talk deep talk German American Objective? e.g. "I have a grandmother in Germany!" Deep talk Serious discussion Small-talk Objective: Objective: Building up relationship, finding commonalities Kennenlernen "Tiefe" Sachlichkeit "Testing the waters" Different opinions are also ok Friendliness Americans don't contradict in this phase of conversation. Instead they are just quiet or say something like: "That's interesting!" Wavelength "Germans are too serious, demanding, arrogant!" "Americans are superficial" Stereotypes
direct indirect degree of directness in which statements are made refers especially to: - requests typical British request if music is too loud: "I think the walls are rather thin here" - expression of individual opinions/attitudes - apologizing (Asian countries fear of loss of face) direct German way to express criticism, to contradict etc. is not appreciated everywhere see also: Hall: high context vs. low context
4. topics e.g. Japan: topics concerning 'money', 'taste', 'personality', 'body' are avoided Frankreich: - no advertising for tampons or certain other medical products - conversational topics: politics, scandals Spain/Italy: football, family matters Turkey: family, job, football – avoid: politics 5. register/tone (richtiger Ton) e.g. humor/irony/sarcasm often used to find an additional common level of understanding but: may often be misinterpreted
6. paraverbal factors loudness, intonation, pitch, tone, rhythm, tempo etc. e.g.: - Asian intonation falls with polite questions European interpretation:impolite - German loudness is mostly considered impolite/rude 7. non-verbal factors gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, etiquette, dress codes etc. 8. additional/specific cultural standards and attitudes in certain cultures - France: sense of honour, solidarity, rationalism (believe in progress/technology) - China: Confucian principles (strict hierarchy, group harmony, politeness, strong work ethic) 9. other specific cultural conventions e.g. - Britain: staring at other people is rude - GB/USA: first names also for superiors danger: may be misinterpreted