Cultural misunderstandings, the importance of understanding in communication between subjects of different nationalities - chap. THE

Mediazione linguistica e mediazione interculturale per risolvere ogni genere di malinteso culturale

In the course of a linguistic and intercultural mediation, the success of an interaction strongly depends on the mutual understanding between the parties. Every individual, every community, every society and every country carries its own cultural background. There are cultural values that can unite a group of individuals, while we can recognize the existence of other, more subjective and "personal" values. The latter are often dictated by a series of factors, experiences and circumstances that do not necessarily depend on the social context of reference.

What for some may represent a positive and acceptable value may not be so for others – regardless of what the social-cultural framework considers as positive and acceptable.

However, cultural values and dynamics direct, guide, orient individuals towards an action. They act as road signs, as criteria for choosing how to intervene in a given context. No matter how hard a person may try, modifying even small strands of one's cultural fabric is extremely difficult, precisely because culture has been instilled in us since we were children. Often in an intercultural and linguistic mediation, the generation of misunderstandings and misunderstandings is a consequential effect that is not exactly voluntary.

In addition to cultural values, the emotional state and character traits of the interlocutors can also play a bad joke in the success of intercultural communication. The linguistic and cultural barriers that can arise between individuals belonging to different nationalities and/or cultures will inevitably find themselves having to mediate dialogue and interaction, making a univocal perspective become one-to-one and two-way. A communication that leads to a mutual understanding of the parties.

Therefore, even if the cultural background can somehow make us feel distant from others, it offers us the possibility to come in close contact with different cultures and individuals. Learning to look at the world through the eyes of others is the first step to take - while recognizing the power that our cultural background can assume in certain ways of acting and interacting. Cross-cultural management guru Geert Hofstede believes that one's culture plays like a mind software: we are used since birth to relate to family, society, work, the surrounding environment. Each culture has its own software of the mind.

In order for there to be effective linguistic and intercultural mediation, we must be ready and willing to change software, to put ourselves in the shoes of others. Go to the bottom of why and how, so as to know, understand, appreciate and respect diversity, which instead of separating, could unite. Learning to react in the face of cultures different from ours therefore means avoiding generating any kind of cultural misunderstanding or misunderstanding.

Who knows how to move in this direction is the professional figure of the intercultural and linguistic mediator. The expert linguist aims to adequately convey and orient inter partes communication during a linguistic mediation, making use of his own knowledge and experience. One of the specializations required of the intercultural and linguistic mediator is, in addition to the language, the culture of the destination country or interlocutor. The in-depth knowledge of deeply rooted cultural values therefore helps the success and communicative balance between the parties expertly mediated by the figure of the professional.

Communication problems between peoples or subjects related to related cultural values are of various kinds and nature. For this reason, professional figures such as linguistic mediators, interpreters and specialist translators rely first of all on their linguistic abilities, and secondly on the language of non-verbal communication (kinesics, proxemics, objectemics) and cultural values referring to the perception of time, space, etc.

To be continued…

International Congresses Press Office

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Form
close slider