Intercultural Communication

Decent Essays
With the growing of globalization, opportunities of intercultural communication become more common to individuals’ everyday life. Thus, it is of vital importance that people understand linguistic relativity and language ideologies in order to avoid misunderstandings and achieve effective intercultural communication.
First of all, understanding linguistic relativity encourages people to pay attention to differences between various languages. How people perceive and experience the world around them can be influenced by language differences. (Piller, 2011) For example, people may act differently depending on what languages they are using. Daniel Oh explained that in Korea, people need to use honorifics in sentences when they speak to people
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Another aspect of linguistic relativity is communicative relativity. A simple way to define communicative relativity is that “people do different things with language differently”. (Piller, 2011) On one hand, it is obvious that multilingual people tend to switch languages when talking to people from different cultures. On the other hand, differentiation in language can also take place in the monolingual situation. For instance, in the scene of debating, people may use a very different form of English than usual. Kyle Ritchie said that “the words, tone, and even speaking styles used by myself and fellow debaters was purely for the "performance"”. (reflection, May 1, 2017) This kind of choices of words and tone is aimed to be more “professional and knowledgeable” (reflection, May 1, 2017) Therefore, different ways of expression in various languages or even the same language can have a different effect on communication. To succeed in intercultural communication, it is necessary for individuals to understand the distinctive way each language has to perceive the world and express ideas and make right decisions of using language.
In addition, in the intercultural communication, discrimination associated with language ideologies often exists. Language ideology refers to the views on each language, especially the idea about “what a good language is and what is linguistically right”. (Piller, 2011) Some
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