Intercultural Transaction

Intercultural Transaction

     Apparently, the differences in cultural norms predict how varying levels of social structures can induce difficulty in communication. Because of the complexity in perceptions and interpretations of both verbal and non-verbal relay of information, it can sometimes be a difficult thing to manage the unification of ideas and opinions about a certain matter.

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     On a personal experience, the difference in intercultural communication played an important realization of the need to interpret a new meaning about an ordinary gesture and kinesics. There was once a time when I met some foreign students from Korea, China and the Philippines in a gathering about international culture exposition. Basically, it was not a really formal conversation as we just shared each other’s perception about global trade. In one of our discussions, a Korean made a gesture of rounding out his forefinger and thumb as a sign of money when we talked about how they perceive an American type of business. I was not really used to that kind of kinesics representing money since in most cases, I perceived them as a sign or approval or confirmation. In some cultures, I also understand that it was a simple sign of female genitalia (Dahl, 2008) that is why you cannot see that kinesics very often in normal communication patterns. However, it seemed that they all understood the gesture since they all belong in the same continent of cultural segment.

     Basically, I never really reacted that much on that particular kinesics since I was really prepared to discover varied norms with respect to the foreign students. It was never really offending at all. I just perceived them to be as normal as it can get since I very much understood the differences in the cultural norms in which we were raised. Practically speaking, the difference in interpreting the said kinesics induced a little anxiety of how to communicate with them very well without being offensive. At a certain degree, I would consider that as a possible communication barrier. But immediately, I realized that becoming open minded will prove to be an advantage for all parties when it comes to interpreting communication patterns.

References

Dahl, S. 2008. Kinesics. A Short Introduction to Nonverbal Communication. Stephandahl. Retrieved May 16, 2008 from http://stephan.dahl.at/nonverbal/kinesics.html

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