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Author(s): Maghețiu Anca-Raluca | | |

Journal: Annals of the University of Oradea : Economic Science
ISSN 1222-569X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 147;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: intercultural communication | business environment | culture | intercultural skills | stereotypes.

Intercultural communication is, especially for the younger generation, nothing extraordinary anymore. Wether they are at their job, on a business trip abroad or shopping online, they communicate in an intercultural context. The target is to find a common ground which is plausible and understandable for all parties involved in the communication process. This is of course not always easy to obtain because they start from different conditions. Each partner comes with a background of different experiences, out of which different expectations develop. Each and every one of us lives, thinks and acts in a different system of ideas, which continues to exist, even though we communicate in a formally common Lingua franca (the English language). The purpose of the paper is to show some ways in which culture is reflected in the business environment, to illustrate some functions and purposes of the intercultural business communication and to explain the importance of intercultural skills in business communication. In such an intercultural context we certainly have to face misunderstandings, stereotyping, conflicts and communication errors, which cannot always be avoided, but their number can be minimized, if we know and understand the way in which they emerged. Intercultural communication should not be viewed as something problematic, but as something that opens new horizons, encourages the willingness to learn and leads to further education. Difference should be perceived as a new chance, a chance to develop together new and forward-looking ideas. The ability to communicate in an intercultural context is an important skill that should also be taught in a foreign language class. It is of utter importance that students, besides knowing the foreign language, learn about the cultural background, the work ethics and the habits of that particular foreign country and thus can interact in a pleasant and easy manner with their foreign counterparts.
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