Intercultural Communication Analysis

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Did you ever wonder why it is difficult to communicate with a person from a different country or culture? Well, Laray M. Barna writes of the 6 distinct things that hinders or obstructs intercultural communication in her essay “Stumbling Blocks in Intercultural Communication.” We watched three videos, each expressing one or more of the stumbling blocks in a real life situation. The videos showed how one person’s misconception of the new culture that he finds himself in, leads to misunderstandings and problems. I understand how these people feel because like one of them, I spend my student life here in Japan, which is a foreign country and culture to me. I have not yet fully learned all the etiquettes of the Japanese culture so I also face many…show more content…
For example, the American man is really surprised when he sees the Japanese family all slurping their noodles loudly. The Japanese woman tells him that it is polite to slurp it loudly, so he exaggerates his slurping while he eats making the Japanese people look at him weirdly. He eats his noodles without lifting his bowl which goes against Japanese manner where lifting the bowl is common when eating. He also shoves his sake cup into the Japanese woman right after the Japanese man asked her for sake. This is bad manner because it is poured in order of status and since the Japanese man is the American man’s boss, he should wait for the Japanese man to receive sake first before receiving some himself. Last mistake he makes is when he stabs his chopsticks in his bowl. This is very rude since that is only done for dead people. These are all assumptions of similarities as he considers that there should not be too much difference between the eating manners of two cultures. That is why expecting others to understand one’s behaviour leads to more confusion in intercultural…show more content…
First, he sees a beautiful woman and helps her carry her shopping bags home. Afterwards, he puts a card and chrysanthemums at her doorstep. When a neighbor sees the chrysanthemums, she thinks that someone is dead because, in Italy, chrysanthemums are usually associated with funerals. She places some flowers on the doorstep and other neighbors place more flowers, and when the beautiful woman opens the door of her house she is surprised to see the doorstep filled with chrysanthemums. The stumbling block that is expressed in this video is assumption of similarities; the American man thought that giving flowers meant a sign of love, but he was unlucky in his choice of flowers because the particular flower that he chose, the chrysanthemums, is usually associated with funerals. This shows how an action intended in good will was misinterpreted due to the difference in cultures and actually reflected in a negative way. People often make the mistake of assuming that many things in their cultures must be also true in other

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