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Volume :13 Issue : 51 1995      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Cultural Misunderstanding in Current Diplomic Communication: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Diplomats' Activities

Auther : Mohamed A. Al Mulla

As the research in the field reveals, successful communications require the two parties involved in the activities to share sociocultural background knowledge and information. The shared expectations, beliefs, attitudes and values enable the different parties to properly infer the conveyed meaning of each others messages in order to respond or act accordingly and appropriately.

However, diplomats, who use language at almost all times to conduct and negotiate intemational relations, belong to different cultures. This means they do not share the same or similar cultural background knowledge which is vitally essential for any successful negotiation. It follows, although diplomats are highly educated, knowledgeable and skillful in foreign languages, their activities, this research assumes, are likely to exhibit problems of misunderstanding and misjudgements, which lead to unsuccessful outcomes.

By investigating the empirical data, collected by means of tape-recorded interview as well as by questionnaire, and analyzing a number of activites conducted by the career diplomats who were interviewed, the research revealed unsuccessful oucomes. This confirmed and proved the research assumption.

In order to avoid such unpleasant outcomes, diplomats are encouraged to use certain strategies to minimize their cultural differences, and are urged to build bridges of trust and accountability between them to secure their communication activities and to ensure reasonable outcomes for all parties.

 

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