. Explain the useful vocabularyBearbeiten

·         Culture = the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time. (Source: Cambridge Dictionaries Online)

·         Cognitive constraints = Cultures influence people in their world view. If statements in a discussion don’t fit to your world view, there is a communication conflict.

·         Behavior constraints = Behavior patterns differ in lots of cultures. Conflicts can come up, if behavior patterns disagree with each other. In one culture for example you keep eye-contact while it’s not common to do that in another culture.

·         Emotional constraints = Similar to behavior constraints. In some cultures you stay neutral while you rather show your emotions in other cultures.

·         Misinterpretation = Intercultural discussions can lead to misunderstandings, when a person misinterprets a statement of another person. This can happen, because the same words can have disparate meanings varied cultures. In Asia, saying “no” to a stranger is very impolite, people say “maybe” instead or just smile. A misinterpretation can lead to misunderstandings. To avoid this situation you can use an intermediary.

·         Cultural intermediaries = People with a dual cultural background can understand two cultures and their characteristics.

·         Inflammatory language = Using inflammatory language in a discussion is always critical. Most cultures are under emotional constraints and don’t accept inflammatory language like swearing or personally attack someone with words.

·         Monochrony = (from Greek “chronos” = time)
Especially the US-American culture is approached to the time. Time is measurable and payable (“Time is money”). Everything has a linear structure and you have to focus on one event or action at a time.

·         Polychrony = In the East, time is seen as irrational. People may attend to many things happening at the same time.

·         Face = How a person is seen in the eyes of others. It includes someone’s status, power, politeness, relation to other people, humor, respect and many more values. Maintaining face is very important in many cultures.

2. Fill in the missing wordsBearbeiten

Language, social life and behavior, politics, history, values and laws are only a few aspects, which define a CULTURE. Because most of the values and standards are not visible for strangers, culture is often compared to an ICEBERG. To learn about the peculiarities, you can do CULTURAL BRIEFING. There are many critical topics in every culture like the ATTITUDES TOWARDS ALCOHOL, FORMALITIES and the IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION.

Different cultures have various COMPANY VALUES like in many American companies the competition between individuals, the goal to reach achievements by taking risks, being direct, informal and innovative. BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS also depend on culture, in Asia for example there is often an older authority figure who has much more power than the younger businessmen.

Because transnational companies are often transcultural companies, they need to think GLOBAL while acting LOCAL. By adapting to the different cultures, they can reach their global goals.

3. Translate to EnglishBearbeiten

Ein wichtiger Aspekt, der die interkulturelle Kommunikation beeinflusst ist das Schicksal und die Eigenverantwortung. Dies bezieht sich darauf, in welchem Maß wir uns als die Herrscher unseres Lebens verstehen oder im Gegensatz dazu in wie weit wir uns als Subjekte sehen, gegenüber den Dingen, die außerhalb unserer Kontrolle sind. Eine andere Art dies zu betrachten ist es, uns zu fragen, in wieweit wir uns als fähig sehen, uns zu ändern und zu steuern (manövrieren) und den Weg (Kurs) unseres Lebens und unserer Beziehungen zu bestimmen (wählen).  Diese Variable ist wichtig, um kulturelle Konflikte zu verstehen. Wenn jemand, der in den freien Willen investiert mit jemanden den Weg kreuzt, der eher fatalistisch in seiner Einstellung (Orientierung) ist, dann ist ein Missverständnis wahrscheinlich.

An important variable affecting communication across cultures is fate and personal responsibility. This refers to the degree to which we feel ourselves the masters of our lives, versus the degree to which we see ourselves as subject to things outside our control. Another way to look at this is to ask how much we see ourselves able to change and maneuver, to choose the course of our lives and relationships. This variable is important to understanding cultural conflict. If someone who invests in free will crosses paths with someone who is more fatalistic in orientation, miscommunication is likely.

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