Cultural patterns play a major role in ensuring competent intercultural communication. In this paper, the role played by cultural patterns of El Salvadore in communication is considered. El Salvadore is popular for being the highest densely populated although it is the smallest country located in Central America. Almost all of them use Spanish as their mother tongue and as an official language; however, a greater percentage of them are Ladinos, a term meaning people of mixed biological ancestry used in Central America. The cultural patterns of El Salvadore are compared with those of my culture, African American. The main aim of this paper is to explore the potential effects of cultural patterns of the El Salvadore and the African American on possible communication between me and members from the El Salvadore.
Potential Effects of the Cultural Patterns of African American
The cultural patterns are likely to facilitate easy of proving a claim through eye contact, space and touch. Communication will become a suitable tool for promoting criminal justice since it requires that anyone who has a claim faces the person accused and the accused has to respond. Africa Americans express what they are communicating through gestures such as using hands, arms or even the whole body. The decision made under African American Cultural patterns consider collateral orientation in that it considers how the people in a collateral group will be affected. Voice patterns are essential such as a relatively narrow pitch and volume is considered as a suitable way of adult communication (Cross-Cultural Communication Research, n.d.).
Potential Effects of the Cultural Patterns of El Salvadore
Some of these effects are associated with the nature of the country: for instance, size, demographics and the population of the nation. The insurgents in this culture will affect normal communication with the community members to many imposed rules through the oligarchic system that control my presence in the land and my conduct. It would be difficult to communicate with members of the El Salvadore, since they are composed of diverse backgrounds of people on the basis of their culture such as Europeans, Hispanics, blacks and Indians. For instance, the Indians had become rapidly assimilated into the Hispanic culture by virtue of its cultural dominance. With regards to family planning, there are religious beliefs which discourage sterilization - the most common practice in this community. However, there was rampant practice of abortions, most of which were improperly performed.
The society oftentimes discriminates people along social classes which include the upper, lower, middle classes and the Indians. This would potentially affect communication with the members of the different culturally existing classes due to interference by prejudice. Also, women are discriminated in the provision of education, giving rise to women being illiterate, compared to men. This would also pose a difficulty in communication with these members. People are predominantly Roman Catholic and again mainly women found it useful (El Salvador – SOCIETY, n.d.).
People have a strong sense of dignity, pride and values and this is observable in the manner in which they are sensitive to actions or speeches that can potentially jeopardize their image among other people of different cultures. It is for this reason that they have a culture of indirect communication, hence requiring those of us from direct culture to moderate the way we communicate to avoid sounding abrasive. There is also such a notion as dining etiquette which outlines several expectations relating to invitation to dine. The potential effect of this is that visitors like me would need a proper orientation to avoid passing a wrong impression to a host. Lastly, there are customs such as referring to people as Senor or Senora, as well as their username for as long as they have not qualified first name basis. These values have potential effects between the African Americans and the Salvadorans (El Salvador – Language, n.d.).
Cultural and Communication Patterns Dominant in El Salvadore
The Salvadorans are good communication starters, since they are fond of talking about everything, especially about their customs, jobs and family. Foreign people are easily comprehended by this group by adapting different ways. As much as the majority of them speak Spanish, they are able to converse in English due to their proximity to the United States. Among the El Salvadorans, it is required that when speaking, one keeps a reasonable distance, although they are quite expressive, especially through strong handshakes when they want to express a warm welcome, together with hugs and kisses. Hands or arms or even the body are used a lot when speaking. Eye contact is always maintained and the amount of this must be watched when communicating with different people. It is better to expect a very close physical contact with the person you are speaking to, regardless of gender (Cultural Information, n.d.).
Cultural and Communication Patterns Dominant in African American
African Americans of the U.S., use different language patterns such as pidgins that developed to become full languages, mainly developed during slavery. Such languages include Georgia, Haiti’s Creole and Gullah found in South Carolina. Some people also use African American Vernacular English as one of the languages closely related to American English and commonly related to African Americans but not limited to them. It has a logical structure, hence is considered academically legitimate. However, some African American Caucasians think of it as slang and associate it with poor performance among African American children (Morgan, n.d.).
African American communication patterns have about ten elements which are commonly applied during communication. First, an animation where a communication needs to be authentic, passionate and truthful is highly regarded and, therefore, communication may involve a debate or argument to establish it. Second, directness requires that the people involved in an issue face each other and talk. If the accuser cannot face the offender directly, then the claim is not legitimate and if the offender does not respond, then he is innocent. Third, maintaining eye contact is important which when talking is prolonged and sharp, this decreases when listening. Fourth, gestures are used to enhance communication by increasing expressiveness.
Fifth, identity orientation in which the decisions are made after assessing how they will affect the members of the collateral group. Sixth, one person speaks at a time as turns are taken, and the speaker has the ability to command others to pay attention. Seventh, children of the African Americans draw closer to each other when talking. Eighth, time for communication is not regarded, since the right time is when one gets something done hence no lateness. Ninth, touch is more employed by African Americans, compared to Salvadorans. The adults touch their children more frequently and in longer durations than the Salvadorans. Tenth, is that vocal patterns with a voice with a broad range such as from very quiet or deep and increasing in intensity to loud or with a high pitch (Multicultural Toolkit Summary, n.d.).
Conclusions How Differing Cultural Patterns Might Lead to Problems and Misunderstandings
The question of how people who do not share cultural experience understand each other has remained a challenge to many diplomats and occasional international travelers. These are likely to be misinterpretations of some actions, for instance, if an African American fails to observe the dining etiquette when hosted by a Salvadoran. One may be judged mistakably to be disrespectful, greed or selfish and not appreciative. This requires an interpreter or an effective communication to take place. Many have utilized the differing language to scheme or conspire to land a non suspecting person from a different culture into trouble. In a global village where multicultural societies live, effective communication is required, so that a climate of respect and tolerance is created. An effective solution lies in the visions and innovations that come along with the changing world (Bennett, n.d.).
Conclusions and Recommendations
Competent communication needs to meet some basic standards which will ensure that those involved in the conversation are satisfied in giving the information they have and the party communicating feels satisfied. It goes beyond conversation to involve receiving and dealing with people from different cultures and treat them with hospitality, utilizing all the suitable tools according to the culture. It is difficult to decide which cultural pattern will lead to more competent communication. However, it is recommended that the patterns used or applied leaves both parties satisfied of their needs, respect is upheld neither of the parties is misunderstood or offended of a given pattern applied, it is timely and not the interpretation of African American and it must employ methods of establishing truth such as eye contact and debate.
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