Tips for connecting with other cultures

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    There’s nothing more interesting than moving to a new place. And there is a variety of reasons why that’s the case. You get the opportunity to start over certain aspects of your life; you can find that new job that you always dreamed of, and find new people with which you can hang out. Naturally, leaving your comfort zone is not easy; but depending on where you’re moving, this can be even more captivating. For instance – if you’re moving to a completely new country where you’re a foreigner, you get to experience an entirely different culture. And while that’s interesting, you also need to make sure you’re capable of connecting with other cultures. Don’t worry, that’s precisely what we’re going to talk about here.

    Etiquette is important

    When you’re moving to a new town, getting to know the locals and their way of life is always interesting and challenging. However, if you’re moving from USA to Germany; that’s a completely different beast altogether. Once you go to a new country, you get to experience a completely different dynamic and way of life. Especially if that country is also a melting pot of different cultures you have no experience with. In that case, you will have to learn how to communicate if you want to succeed in connecting with other cultures.

    A rooftop surrounded by trees in Japan.
    Moving to distant countries is a fun experience!

    With that in mind, think about the cultural etiquette of your own nation, and the many small verbal mannerisms and details that it has. Now imagine the ways in which this makes you different compared to multiple other countries. As you can see, successful communication will take some adaptation on your part! This is nothing bad, though; it can even be immensely fun! You will need to do some research at first, but you’ll see that this will be enthralling pretty soon. For instance, many countries across the world have different ways of formally addressing each other; like the male and female ‘san’ for the Japanese, or the Frau and Herr which Germans use. When you’re meeting new people from different cultures, you’d be wise to not jump to a first-name basis right away; it’s not always acceptable to do. 

    Don’t go overboard with slang

    Think about someone who moves to an English-speaking area and starts connecting with other cultures there. Even if with a tremendous mastery of English, you wouldn’t have the most natural flow with local sayings, idioms, and general slang. Sure, while the general words might be understandable – context is everything. Considering that, try not to use slang that you learn in your new country too much at first; allow yourself to immerse in the language first, and have a native-like level of knowledge before using slang words. Otherwise, you may simply risk offending or just confusing the other person. After you hire international moving services and move to a new land, this is something you should always keep in mind.

    People looking at a laptop and talking.
    Connecting with other cultures in the workplace can be challenging at first.

    Speaking more slowly

    Depending on where you’re moving, you may find that the local population can speak English with reasonably high fluency. In that case, you will probably find it easier to talk in English for a while; at least at first. That way, you won’t be limited by your small vocabulary of the local native language. However, if you do talk in English – you should take care to adjust your usual conversational speed. After all, English is not the first language here, and while people may understand it; your mileage will definitely vary in this regard. Remember – different folks have different language levels. Considering that, take the time to pronounce everything you say more clearly, and try to lose your usual English accent if you have one. Colloquialisms won’t be of much use here.

    While it may be difficult at first, try to break down each sentence into smaller sections that the locals can have an easier grasp of. Anyone who’s listening to you might need some time to digest and internally translate these words. On the other hand, though; you must also be careful not to look disrespectful and patronizing. This is a thin line to walk, which is why we recommend that you start learning the local language as soon as possible; if you don’t already know it, of course. 

    Keep things simple

    If you’re connecting with other cultures, there’s no reason to make it more difficult for everyone while you’re communicating. Once you’ve hired the services of some of the international moving companies NYC offers, you’ll need to adjust your vocabulary after the move. That’s why you should remember these three words: keep it simple. Practice dumbing down your English in order to achieve better communicative efficiency. There’s no reason to use four-syllable words in places where a two-syllable expression will do the trick. And try to eliminate all conversational fillers when you can. 

    People of different cultures talking in an office.
    When you’re talking with people of other cultures, don’t make things complicated.

    Listen carefully and take caution with humor

    When you’re in the middle of a cross-cultural conversation, there is one thing that you need to practice – active listening. If you want to ensure that you have completely understood what the other person wanted to convey; don’t be afraid to frequently ask them questions. Always try to summarize their points in your head and ensure that you don’t miss any important information that they wanted to tell you. 

    Also, you need to take care of how you approach local humor. Depending on the situation and the wider social context; you will find that not all things are universally funny across the globe. Also, if you’re adjusting to a cross-cultural workplace; remember that some nations and cultures take professional environments more seriously and frown upon humor there. These are all things to keep in mind while connecting with other cultures!

     

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