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Challenge of Intercultural Communication1

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In such context, the study has identified 5 responsibilities of each person for sending accurate messages when he or she communicates with someone from another culture. Responsibility 1: it is not humanly possible to translate languages word for word. As a result, using idioms or local jargons might create problem for receiver to understand the meaning of the message. Therefore, sender should avoid using idioms and use phrases that bear most specific denotative meaning for receivers of the message. Responsibility 2: sender of the message should not be distracted by dress, environmental discomforts, appearance of receiver who has different cultural orientation (Thill & Bovée, 2004).

Responsibility 3- conducting prior research on rituals, communication manner and value system prioritized in the culture of message receiver. Based on such cultural study, sender of the message should modify the communication approach (using direct straightforward mode or indirect approach). Responsibility 4- if the sender is confident about cultural dynamics of message receiver, then, he/she can use informal communication style (Thill & Bovée, 2004). Responsibility 5- when placed in an unfamiliar situation, sender of the message needs to be humble and maintain patience to understand the requirements of receiver who belong to different cultural orientation.

Verbal as well as nonverbal communication of the sender of the message should be clear, informative, consistent and honest so that receiver can decode the communicated messages easily (Thill & Bovée, 2004). Question 2: What is the responsibility of the listener/receiver, when he or she communicates with someone from another culture? Eisenberg, Goodall & Trethewey (2007) and Kinloch & Metge (2014) pointed out that a communication process cannot be completed without the presence of listener/receiver of the message.

Without collecting feedback from receiver of the message, sender of the message fails to get the assurance regarding complete understanding of the message for receiver. According to Daft (2009), ‘Noise’ caused by culture misunderstanding may decrease the effectiveness of communication between sender of the message and receiver of the messages. When he or she communicates with someone from another culture, listener/receiver may face three types of noses such as semantic noise, psychological noise, physiological noise and physical noise.

In case of intercultural communication, receiver of the message needs to overcome semantic noise and psychological noise.

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