StudyCorgi Sociology

Cross Cultural Communication Aspects


We live in the world that is inhabited by millions of people who exist under different conditions and in different environments. We also live in the world that is characterized by the extreme diversity of landscapes and weather conditions. These facts could not but impact peoples mentality and the way they perceive the surrounding reality. That is why there are numerous cultures with their unique features and peculiarities that determine the way a person lives, thinks, and communicates. Besides, all these cultures are different, and this unique diversity preconditions the appearance of significant divergences in the way individuals communicate.

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Very often an idiom or metaphor appropriate for one person is rude to another. Hence, the great paces of globalization result in the blurring of borders and the appearance of the necessity to establish relations with the representatives of other mentalities. However, this task sometimes might be more than challenging as there are numerous aspects that should be considered. Under these conditions, the unique significance of the cross-cultural communication becomes obvious. Knowledge of the basic aspects and the major concerns of the peculiarities of this process might help to avoid mistakes when establishing relations and trying to respect the important peculiarities of a partner1.

Theoretical takeaways

Besides, when engaging in the comprehensive investigation of the cross-cultural communication, it is crucial to mind the fact that a speech act always occurs between several people who have their unique peculiarities. Additionally, the main goal of any dialogue is to be understood by an interlocutor. That is why the way a person presents information and decides whether it could be considered appropriate or not is extremely important. Besides, there are following conceptual takeaways that come from the deep exploration of the theme

Cross-cultural communication depends on the 5 dimensions formulated by Hofstede.

In his work, Hofstede suggested five elements that he considered to be important for any culture. These are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity and long term vs. short term orientation2. These elements obviously determine the way a person behaves and communicates. For instance, an individual who belongs to the culture that cultivates the large power distance could be characterized by the obedient behavior and the focus on some authorities who will be respected just because of their superior position. Thus, if an individual is raised in a family with short power distance, he/she will obviously adhere to another behavioral pattern which implies the disregard of authorities and promotion of equality between different people3.

That is why when engaging in the conversation with a representative of another culture, a person should mind the existence of these dimensions that might predetermine the success or failure of their intercourse. Furthermore, the differences in the opposition masculinity vs. femininity become especially topical when a conversation occurs between the representatives of the opposite genders. There might be different perspectives related to the traditional roles that should be performed by a woman or by a man. This fact could also have the great impact on the success of the dialogue between individuals. Finally, long vs. short term orientation predetermines the character of the intercourse at its initial stage and contributes to its further evolution. That is why the following expectations also depend on this aspect and should be minded to guarantee the establishment of trustful and beneficial relations.

Cross-cultural communication depends on both verbal and nonverbal means.

The fact is that the process of intercourse includes the exchange of thoughts, feelings, and emotions not only with the help of words. However, very often nonverbal tools are used to demonstrate a partner a certain idea or support claims with a specific gesture. The use of the body language is a crucial element of any speech act as it contributes to its increased efficiency, naturalness, and completeness. That is why there are numerous kinds of nonverbals that are explored by people when communicating with their counterparts. These are space, time, facial expressions, posture, gestures, eye contact, tone, volume, and even silence4. The usage of all these means obviously contributes to the better mutual understanding between partners and adds a specific emotional coloring.

Thus, one should also remember the fact that the choice of these tools depends on the peculiarities of culture and mentality. For instance, there are languages and cultures that presuppose active gesticulation to support the most important claims, and on the contrary, some cultures presuppose the preserved manner of behavior while the vivid expression of feelings could be even insulting5. That is why it is crucial to understand the peculiarities of mentality that precondition an individuals behavior and choice of the non-verbal means of communication. It could be assumed as the key to success. At the same time, considering the fact that these unique features could be studied, the importance of the investigation of the cross-cultural communication becomes obvious.

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Investigation of the major concerns of the cross-cultural communication contributes to the reconsideration of the intellectual interests, acquisition of new unique knowledge and academic success.

One could hardly deny the fact that efficient communication is the key to success in numerous spheres. People exchange thoughts, feelings, and emotions in the process of intercourse6. For this reason, the main aim of any individual who wants to achieve a certain goal is the understanding of the regularities according to which people build their cooperation. Especially important this task becomes for a newcomer who belongs to another culture. Being a representative of a Honduran culture, I also experienced a certain barrier that decreased my efficiency and contributed to the appearance of numerous misunderstandings between me and surrounding people. However, the investigation of the basic ideas of the cross-cultural communication resulted in the reconsideration of the approaches to studying. The course is obviously related to other subjects as it explains the basic principles of the information exchange. Considering the fact that the main aim of studying is the acquisition of new data, the course that teaches the most efficient ways to achieve this goal could be considered very useful. Besides, resting on my own experience, I could state that the understanding of the way bearers of different cultures communicate helped me to look at my own culture from another perspective and understand it better. Additionally, accepting the unique diversity of our world, I also reconsidered my approach to the cross-cultural intercourse and its importance.

Personal takeaways

Finally, revolving around the peculiarities of the given course and the impact it had on me, it is possible to outline two significant takeaways.

Understanding of cross-cultural communication resulted in the better understanding of the problematic areas in the sphere of personal communication.

As I have already stated, the given course helped me to understand the peculiarities of my own worldview and culture better. Investigating the way representatives of other cultures communicate and share their feelings and emotions, I am also able to understand the importance of the appropriate communication pattern that is needed to engage in the intercourse. Before the course, I was sure that all people communicate in a similar way and the differences in language are the only barrier that prevents them from understanding each other. However, now I perfectly realize the fact that even in case people use the same language they might fail to understand each other because of the significant differences in their cultures. If one person belongs to a culture that cultivates a vivid expression of feelings and another one is a reserved individual who tries to hide emotions, their cooperation might be complicated. That is why during the course I altered my approach to the establishment of relations and understood the fact that my own emotional and vibrant manner might be annoying for someone and there is the necessity to make a compromise to be able to cooperate. Furthermore, the lack of information about other cultures was one of the main weaknesses of mine. However, the class filled the gap my knowledge

Thus, there is another important takeaway that could be formulated from my own experience which should be provided here

Cross-cultural communication depends on the cultural background of a person.

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One should realize the fact that in his/her judgments a person rests on the personal experience and background knowledge obtained during his/her lifetime7. Besides, it is obvious that the way a person acquires and process this very information is impacted by the cultural environment in which he/she lives. In this regard, I believe that peculiarities of the mother culture leave a great imprint on the way a person engages in the intercourse and creates relations. I was born in Honduras, which is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world. However, for me, it was a usual environment peculiar to my motherland. However, new people are very often surprised with this fact and conclude that the usual patterns in my behavior come from this very aspect. At the same time, I also interpreted my counterparts reactions from the perspective respected in my culture. Nevertheless, the course promoted the better understanding of the fact that to become successful a person should be ready to accept the culture of his/her counterpart.


Altogether, the importance of the cross-cultural communication becomes obvious. The disappearance of borders and the tendency towards the increased number of international students preconditioned the appearance of the necessity to understand each other and exchange important information that was needed for the efficient intercourse. The takeaways acquired during the course contribute to the reconsideration of the approaches to cross-cultural communication and to the improved comprehension of the elements of any successful speech act. Bearers of different cultures are able to understand each other only if they respect the unique features of other mentalities and try to use the most efficient pattern that might help them to achieve this purpose. In conclusion, cross-cultural communication becomes one of the distinctive features of the modern age.


“Cross-Cultural Communication Strategies.” University of Colorado. Web.

Elmer, Duane. Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World. London: Inter Varsity Press, 2002.

Hall, Edward. Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Books, 1976.

“National Culture.” Geert Hofstede. Web.

Singer, Marshall. “The Role of Culture and Perception in Communication.” In Culture, Communication and Conflict: Readings in Intercultural Relations, edited by Garry Weaver, 42-54. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Sorrells, Kathryn. Intercultural Communication: Globalization and Social Justice. London: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2012.

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  1. “Cross-Cultural Communication Strategies,” University of Colorado, Web.
  2. “National Culture,” Geert Hofstede, Web.
  3. Ibid., para. 5.
  4. Edward Hall, Beyond Culture (New York: Anchor Books, 1976), 34.
  5. Kathryn Sorrells, Intercultural Communication: Globalization and Social Justice (London: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2012), 67.
  6. Duane Elmer, Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World (London: Inter Varsity Press, 2002), 45.
  7. Marshall Singer, “The Role of Culture and Perception in Communication,” in Culture, Communication and Conflict: Readings in Intercultural Relations, ed. Garry Weaver (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997), 43.
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