Language as a barrier to intercultural communication Intercultural communication refers to the transmission of verbal messages with people of different cultures, which is challenging. Language is a set of symbols that a cultural group agreed upon to help them bring meaning to objects, events, emotions, experiences, places, etc. Language is one the most important differences between many cultures and one of the greatest barriers.
Differences in language make intercultural interactions difficult since there are many problems faced by people who have no language in common but attempt to communicate with each other. Factors of language that affect cross cultural communication: 1. Translational problems: The transitional problem is subdivided into five parts: * Idiomatic equivalence:- Use of idioms in different languages create ineffective communication between cultures. Grammatical- syntactical equivalence:- languages do not necessarily have the same grammar * Experiential equivalence:-if an object or experience does not exist in a culture, translation is difficult as no words may exist for them * Conceptual equivalence:- words which are not universally shared have different interpretations creating barriers in intercultural communication. 2. Accent:-characteristic pronunciation which is determined by regional or social background of the speaker. Some people may have a hard time understanding their pronunciation. . Use of jargons:-words specific to a particular industry, trade or culture 4. Foreign language:- the fact that it is a language not spoken in the native country leads to low level of understanding 5. Linguistic imperialism:-a particular language is forced on people by those with more power. Many people may not accept this language as they belong to different cultures. However these problems can be solved in the following ways: 1. Make use of back translation- encode a message into mother-language for better flow of communication
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