Culture and Communication
HU 250 Unit 4 Discussion
Topic: Culture and Communication
This week, imagine you are in a foreign land with which you are unfamiliar and it is dinner time and you need to find something to eat. Take some time to carefully consider how you might respond based on what you know about elements of that culture. For example:
Social perceptions about foreigners
Perceptions of time
Then answer the questions about where you will choose to go, and why.
How will you interact with the people to find dinner?
What are two ways in which a miscommunication might occur?
How would you seek to be understood?
How can this thought experiment help you in your life beyond your travels? For example, how might your broadened perspective and new awareness impact your professional or personal life? What are steps you could take to manage miscommunication when it arises?
Remember to identify a miscommunication specific to the country and location you are visiting, and use research and sources to support your experiment and descriptions of culture.
If I could choose a foreign country to tour it would be Italy. As dinner time approaches, I need to find a place to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal. My first thought would be what to wear that would be an appropriate dinner attire. When I think about how the general population dresses I immediately think as them in highly fashionable outfits with designer tags such as Gucci and Versace to name a few. Because Italy is such a high tourist attraction, I would assume there would lots of common restaurants where tourist eat popular foods such as pizza, pastas, soup, and bread just like what is served here in Italian restaurants in the states. To find a desired location I would communicate with potential English-speaking tourists to help point out spots and since I’m a Spanish speaker I would use that as an aid to read out signs since Spanish and Italian wording is very similar. Once a desired location is found I realize that dinner hours for people in Italy is later than my normal hours for dinner and that popular Italian dishes as seen in the states are not listed on the menu. Italian dinner hours are typically from 8pm to 10pm and during 6pm to 8pm they have what is known as aperitivo, which is a drink accompanied by a small bite to feel in a little of the appetite before dinner (Heeley, 2021). Dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs or fettuccini Alfredo are nonexistent or at least made or served differently with a different name (Paolo, 2012). This could lead up to a miscommunication with the nationals by them thinking I’m reporting to have an aperitivo when in reality I’m expecting to have a full course dinner meal. Another form of miscommunication may happen with the use of my Spanish, similar wording does not indicate every word will have the same meaning. A thing I would learn from this is how different countries and cultures within them do meals differently and what I mean by that is the timeframe of when they eat compared to us in the states. Not only that but the number of meals may not be the common three of breakfast, lunch, and dinner that we are accustomed to.
Heeley, Becky (2021). EATING LIKE AN ITALIAN: FOOD NORMS, BELIEFS, AND ETIQUETTE.
Paolo (2012). Italian Myths – 6 Italian Food Staples Unknown in Italy.
Culture and Communication
Hi Everyone, the place of interest for this week’s Discussion Board is Africa, specifically Nigeria. I chose this place because Africa is one of the attractions on my bucket list, and since I am learning about, “The Nigerian Marketplace”, why not go a little more in-depth to explore and answer intriguing thoughts I never received insight on. When interacting with a Nigerian to find food or to greet in general, a handshake at the beginning and the end of a conversation is expected as this is the common greeting and always wait for a woman to extend her hand first. Miscommunication may take place in the Nigerian culture if a greeting is rushed as it may come off rude; it is preferable to ask about health and well-being.
Nigerians use titles and last names to address someone as it shows respect, calling someone you’ve just met without getting the go-ahead to be called by their first name if over the age of thirty-five may come off as disrespectful. A good way to be understood in the Nigerian culture or any culture as a whole is to learn a few commonly used words to better understand people and what is taking place in the environment. There are many translating apps to help with diversity. According to Commisceo Global, “Nigerians living in the south of the country tend to speak more directly. You may also find their tone slightly louder than elsewhere. They may raise their voices even more and become emotionally excited when they feel passionate about a topic.
At the same time, a harsh tone is considered unwelcoming and even hostile. Nigerians prefer facial expressions that imply empathy and believe an indifferent facial expression indicates that a person is ignorant or obnoxious.” These thought experiences can help me in my future travels as there are different communication styles for different countries and cultures, and not all gestures mean the same thing. My perspective has broadened as this research allows me to think before I react or compare and acknowledge professional and personal differences. Ways in which miscommunication can be managed are by speaking clearly with a neutral tone without gathering concluded assumptions and by being a good listener who comprehends the information that’s at the forefront.
Nigeria - Culture, Etiquette and Business Practices . (2020, January). Commisceo Global Consulting Ltd. Nigeria - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette (commisceo-global.com)