Guijun Zhang* China Pharmaceutical University / Nanjing University Abstract: The article discusses communication, cross-cultural communication and culture. It analyzes the root of cross-cultural difference and lists six fundamental patterns of cultural differences in cross-cultural communication. It also gives suggestion on how to properly treat these differences to achieve successful cross-cultural communication. Key words: cross-cultural communic ation cultural difference different approaches respecting and cooperation.
Introduction Because of different cultural backgrounds, cultural experiences, ways of thinking, norms of behaviors and customs, it is not surprising to find that people have many difficulties and obstacles in understanding one another and communicating with one another. People from different cultures have their own cultural perceptions, beliefs, values and social customs which greatly determine their communicative ways. It is cultural difference that gives rises to many miscommunications.
Therefore, we should raise awareness of “the other culture” to build bridges across misunderstanding among different cultures. Furthermore, we should also respect our cultural differences in cross-cultural communication and improve our communicative abilities to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and conflict in intercultural communication. 2. Conceptions of Communication, Cross-cultural Communication and Culture A British Professor Gillian Brown said, “Communication is a risky business”, which means the process of communication is the process of complete interaction.
Yet it’s not an easy thing to fully communicate, because of different histories, cultures, social habits in different groups. Communication is a complex process in which meanings are created and reflected in human interaction with symbols. Literally, cross-cultural communication refers to the communication between a native speaker and a non-native speaker, but more precisely, cross-cultural communication is communication between people whose cultural perceptions and symbol systems are distinct enough to alter the communication event.
Frequently, the term cross-cultural communication is used when referring to communication between people from different cultures. People have differences in cultural backgrounds, living patterns, educational, political and economical conditions, even hobbies and characters, so there exist all kinds of problems and difficulties in cross-cultural communic ation. Culture is a complex concept, with many different definitions.
But, simply put, “culture” refers to a group or a community with which we share common experiences that shape the way we understand the world. It includes * Guijun Zhang, male, Graduate Program student in English Education of Nanjing University, lecturer of Foreign Languages Department of China Pharmaceutical University; Research fields: EFL teaching, cross-cultural communication; Address: Foreign Languages Department, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China; Postcode: 210038.