There is several ways of cross cultural misunderstandings. Language is one. For example, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami was originally written in Japanese, but it’s been translated in many languages. One being English, which is the language I read it as. I’m sure I missed and misunderstood so many things like idioms, slang, and meanings because not every word can be translated perfectly to another language. Also, some words could mean different things depending on the context and even tone of voice you’re using. Body language is another thing entirely. More examples of cross cultural misunderstandings. Japanese culture is very different from American culture so I think about how I only half understood the book and that my interpretation of it is skewed by the fact that I did not understand everything because it was translated from Japanese to English.
I believe that some interpretations are more correct than others. We shouldn’t scold someone for not agreeing with the popular narrative though. For example, Hamlet. Isn’t the anthropologist pushing her cultural baggage onto to the Tiv elders? Since she wants them to view Hamlet the same way she does. Of course, she can disagree, but she shouldn’t push her own beliefs onto them when they have different beliefs and values.
A line that really had me thinking was, “We believe you when you say your marriage customs are different, or your clothes and weapons. But people are the same everywhere…” (McCurdy, 2016). I believe they are right. Human emotions and human decisions are the same everywhere, no matter which culture it is taking place in.
Cross cultural misunderstandings can be confusing and challenging to those who are not aware of the difference in cultures around the world. Some cross-cultural misunderstanding that are common are hand gestures, certain words, wearing shoes, embracing, and the direction your feet point. Misunderstandings occur when an individual from one culture sends some type of message to an individual from another culture and the intentions of the message are not received in the way they were intended to. These interactions can be intimidating and make individuals cautious of the way they present themselves when interacting with a foreign culture. In Shakespeare in the Bush, cross culture misunderstandings are further explained. We depend on cultural knowledge to shape our society and behaviors (McCurdy, 2016). It is important that individuals keep and open mind and do their best to be respectful of other culture’s perceptions and behaviors. McCurdy talks about human nature being the same worldwide but different cultures have different motives and perspectives.
Cross culture differences are prevalent in international business and can impact the global business environment activities such as importing and exporting goods. This shows that not only are cross cultural differences occurring in small individual settings but on larger scales that impact countries. With modern technology we are able to communicate with almost anyone anywhere which makes understanding other cross cultural differences very important.
The impulse to assess other people has existed for millennia. While judging is required for people to make decisions whether one person is compatible with another, safe to be around, or competent for a work position prejudice (prejudicing someone based on stereotypes and preconceived conceptions) is a roadblock to society’s growth. Racism, sexism, classism, ageism, and a variety of other forms of discrimination are all symptoms of the ‘prejudice virus,’ which prevents people from being perceived as individuals by lumping them into predetermined groupings. Prejudice, a prominent part of society that many try to overlook, often goes hand in hand with speech patterns, which are qualities that illustrate different societies.
The dialect of the people in a certain town or neighborhood, in general, has a big role in the formation of speech patterns within that area, as seen by the many accents and dialects of people living in different parts of the United States.
Despite the fact that they are both speaking English, their accents are vastly different from those of someone from a different section of the country or another English-speaking country.
What preconceived notions does society attribute to people with particular manners of speech? Why do you think that is?
My husband loves Swamp people! As I was listening to this, he asked what I was watching. I told him to guess who or guess where the people are from. He said they are definitely from the south. I told him the answer and he said “I thought I recognized those voices.” I believe society attributes “Swamp People” to be slow, uneducated and poor. I think the reason being is because of their cajun accent dialect that can be harder to understand and is going extinct in the South.
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