Communication and culture

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  • Publié le : 9 avril 2011
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In order to analyze how important culture is in communication, it would be first interesting to define the word culture. After this short introduction, it would be easier to understand why it is akey point in communication.
Culture is a simple and complex subject. It is a group of people sharing the same identity about something. They share experiences, they build a common history, and theyestablish rules and way to think. Culture makes people socialized. The concept is also complex because several cultures can mix together in a same person. For instance, I work in a company with aspecific culture. But at the same time, I am citizen in a country with a different one and my family gets another one too. That is why I need to adapt my communication according to people I talk to in orderto make them perfectly understand my message. If people meet and have to live together, they bring with them a special culture, so communication will be quite difficult at the beginning. However, ifthey spend time together, they will create their own group culture and communication will be easier at the end. So culture is the key of communication. Some countries, such as Finland, have no word tosay “please”, which can be perceived by foreigners as a lack of politeness. For Chinese businessmen, there is a long time before negotiating to meet people we want to deal with. Anthropologistsinvented the “context” concept: a high context means you do not need a lot of words information; a low context means you need a lot of information and details. If you know the cultural trend, you will havea better communication because you will know that, for examples, Germans are low-context, such as Americans, Swiss and Northern Europeans. For instance, Germans strongly insists on historical contextat the beginning of books or talks. At the opposite, Arabs, Japanese and Mediterranean people are high-context. High-context people don’t like to receive a lot of useless information from the...