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What Are The Four Ways To Reduce Misinterpretations When Communicating With People From A Different Culture.?

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Matthew Porter answered
Simplicity and clarity are the keys to effective communication with people from a different culture. Even when two people are able to speak the same language, their different cultural backgrounds can mean that effective communication can often prove to be awkward and difficult. There are steps that you can take to ensure that misinterpretations are kept to a minimum.

• Simplify your language

Even if different cultures speak the same language, their understanding of the language can vary. Try to use words that are as simple as possible and keep sentences short and concise.

• No jargon or local slang

People from other cultures may be left completely baffled by local slang or dialect. Use words and phrases that should be universally understood. In a business or corporate situation, the use of 'code noise' that might be second nature within your local industry could be completely lost on a client or customer from another culture.

• Visual aids

Using visual images such as videos and photographs can help reinforce the meaning of the words you are trying to use. The same word can have different meanings in different cultures and countries, but pictures and images tend to more universally understood, making misinterpretation less likely.

• Do not stereotype

At the same time as avoiding local slang and dialect, you should not go to the other extreme and try to cater to your perceived ideas and stereotypes of the culture of the person you are talking to. This could easily offend the other person and be more of a hindrance than a help. Try to be as inclusive as possible and remember to be clear and simple in your communication.

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