Human beings have been communicating since time immemorial. On the same note, culture has been part of humanity that its birth is estimated to have occurred as early as when the first beings walked the earth. These two aspects have evolved to the point that they have become interdependent of each other. Culture is based on the societal and dialectal groups and is a system of beliefs, assumptions, and values that people within the society share. In this way, culture has a more profound impact on how individuals view the world, make sense of things, and express themselves. The multiculturalism of contemporary society serves more than an expression of different cultures but a concern of communication. Meaningful communication is a requisite for the success of multiculturalism which ensures peaceful co-existence. People communicate between each other through language hence central in a societal relationship. The difference in culture demonstrates itself during communication and conflict occurs when people occurs use different language during interactions.
A wide variation occurs in how people communicate within and between cultures. A common aspect of communication style is the use of language. Language creates a barrier in communication yet it is perceived as the link through which people connect. Some phrases and words are used differently across cultures. For instance, even in nations speaking a common English language, there is a variation in the meaning of the word 'yes.' Its use might designate 'perhaps, definitely, so, or I'll consider' (BookVideoTraining). Each culture maintains a distinct grammar, structure, and expressions that can create confusion in intercultural communication. For example, Asians rarely use the word no in their communication and yes can mean maybe or no. Consequently, it would be regarded as impolite when a foreigner ignores this rule (Fuld). Moreover, being uncomfortable with a language makes someone be taken less serious during the interaction. Such a case in school is where international students with an excellent understanding of the subject may get it difficult to express ideas since he or she cannot compose a well-written essay.
Sociolinguistics has evaluated the beneficial effects of language behavior. Among the most crucial concepts that arise are those associated with dialects and language standards. According to Falcon, the difference in language leads to problems in communication when individuals exploit the dissimilarity during the interaction. Such difficulties are further complicated by the fact that they are linked to culture. Language and thoughts affect each other with both being influenced by culture. A common occurrence is the different levels of fluency depicted by people from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, an African American and Native American may command different levels of fluency of the English language. The difference in the levels of fluency also impacts the variation of the message someone receives from the other. All the differences are relative to the variance in style of language and behavior which is connected to the different cultural background and beliefs. Consequently, communicators ought to keep in mind the existence of cultures with lesser or greater expectations for people involved in communication.
Similarly, the communicative and linguistic competence of a language varies among speakers from the different cultural backgrounds. Differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammatical structures exist across cultural groups. In addition, variation exists in the rules of overall discussion in oral communication. This impacts the levels of expression of the speaker in the given language. The issue of distinction in the language is somewhat complicated and at the same time reflective of the variation in culture. Singh and Renitha while researching South African learners discovered a difference between Indian and African learners on how they speak English. The distinction resulted in misunderstandings between the two cultures because of a communication problem where they cannot understand each other. The misconception often requires repetition from speakers which is frustrating as well. This difficulty is because of the lack of pure English relative to the different languages spoken by people (1560). If culture dictates a specific way of using language, then there should be a common purist language which people should adhere to enable effective communication.
In conclusion, the success of communication is influenced by language as people continue to speak in connection with their cultural background. Consequently, this issue needs to be addressed to ensure the commencement of open dialogue. Speakers need to stop considering each other with misgiving and acknowledge the fact that they are different. In addition, it is necessary to recognize the need to learn to communicate with people with different language capability and tolerate each other. Conflict in intercultural communication caused by language difference occurs in three ways. First is the style of language use which even affects communication among speakers of the same language. Second is the levels of fluency that creates misunderstanding. The third is the competence in expression using the language. These three aspects make it difficult for speakers to understand each other as factored by the difference in language.
Shytex. "Video Course : Do You Speak American? Part 1." YouTube, YouTube, 6 Apr. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcx7khaN180&t=22s.
alcon, Lauren. Breaking Down Barriers: First-Generation College Students And College Success. 06 June 2015. 10 May 2019.
Fuld, Leornad. Cross-Cultural Communication Takes More Than Manners. 1 August 2012. 10 May 2019.
Singh, Penny and Rampersad Renitha. "Communication challenges in a multicultural learning environment." Journal of Intercultural communication 23 (2010): 1404-1634.
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