Saturday, 29 December 2012

Why cross-cultural communication can be so difficult

Have you ever wondered why cross-cultural communication can be so difficult?

Recently a world-wide survey was conducted by the UN.

The only question asked was:

“Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a failure because:



•In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.
•In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.
•In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.
•In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.
•In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.
•In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.
•In the US they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.
•In Australia, they hung up, because they couldn't understand the Indian accent.

4 comments:

  1. And in Cuba they did not know what "YOUR" meant.

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  2. >> In Australia, they hung up, because they couldn't understand the Indian accent

    Do the Aussies and Kiwis speak English at all?

    Sometimes it's hard to tell :)

    Educated "upper class" accents, as spoken by the Indian elite, are actually very attractive incidentally. Unfortunately here in the west, we're more commonly exposed to the not-so-well-educated ones. It's a mistake to judge everyone by the few we meet. Surely a well-travelled doctor like you must know several Indians who "talk posh".

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  3. I think this is a joke, yes? Not completely clear from the post, but when I realised it did make me grin for a moment!

    ReplyDelete