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Americans and Africans Intercultural Communications

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Research indicates that cultural diversities among nations are especially found in the activities and ways of life of such communities. It is also affirmed that different communities have different cultures originating from their historical background (Hofstede, 1983).  This draws my attention to the culture of Americans; my home culture and African culture, which is my culture of interest. For instance, Americans have different languages and the same case applies to Africans. The difference creates a barrier to effective communication. This is portrayed in the case of a Native American and a native African, since the two parties will not communicate. This calls for an interpreter, hence creating a potential for misinterpretation.

Conversation is a cultural difference among the two communities. In my culture, people do not talk a lot which is contrary to Africans, who grasp every chance to communicate. This is shown in their numerous greetings which are an integral element in their culture. It is affirmed that Africans, and especially the aged, enquire about a stranger’s name, parent’s name and related questions. Alternatively, Africans interpose their statements with mmm or mhmm, which are not terms. An American would be bored to be subjected with numerous questions and surprised by the use of the mmm’s leading to a communication barrier. An interesting aspect about my culture is that Americans respect other people’s privacy and, hence, do not dig in to know the dealings of other people, as reflected in African culture (Tubbs, Moss, & Papastefanou, 2008).

In my American culture, there are no many behavior constraints as seen in African culture. For instance, in a conversation, Africans do not look directly to the respondents eyes. This, according to African culture, indicates disrespect. My culture does not disregard direct eye contact. People are used to looking at each other’s eyes in events of conversations. On the other hand, eye contact between people of the opposite sex is considered to have sexual implications by the African culture contrary to mine (Martin, & Nakayama, 1999).

When Americans make a call on the phone, they begin by asking whether it is the right time to speak. In the same case, it has been noted that an African would make the call and once it is received, the person goes straight to a marathon talk. They assume that people have abundant time to converse. However, this does not bring out effective communication, since the respondent could be busy and wishing to terminate the call or promise to call later. The abrupt discussion would create inconveniences as the two parties may not have a clear moment (Martin, & Nakayama, 1999).

Emotional constraints hinder effective communication. For instance, American prohibits the use of some emotions in communication like crying, yelling, and other pertinent aspects. My home culture is characterized by a wide variety of disciplinary communication concepts. One is entitled to use polite language and not to express ideas in a negative way. People are obligated to hide their emotions and show signs of the realistic features of the circumstance. In contrary, the African culture does not entail such regulations. People speak as they wish, as long as nobody is physically hurt in the communication process (Tubbs, Moss, & Papastefanou, 2008).

To conclude, it is noteworthy that the American culture is encompassed by a wide array of disciplined communication procedures contrary to the African culture. From the fact that these cultural practices were initiated in the ancient times, the African culture should teach the younger generation on ethical principles in order to predict a disciplined future generation. Alternatively, the participants in discussions and dialogues should be aware of the possible problems, to prevent misunderstanding and other inconveniences brought about by use of verbal and non verbal communication procedures.

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