Intercultural Communication

Communication across cultures means that different values, rituals, symbols and heroes meet each other. This causes misunderstandings when various values cross their paths

In the movie "Cast away" with Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, he is talking to his future employees of the company Fedex in Russia with a lot of enthusiasm. He explains them that the punctual delivery of a parcel is absolutely imperative. To underline this he tells them that he even took a bicycle away from a boy playing on the street to get the parcel successfully delivered on time.
The interpreter is begging for pity for the poor guy.
Chuck Noland is obviously mad. He even steals bicycles from little children!!

Different cultures have different values and norms – how to get over these borders?
We learn while growing up which values, rites, heroes and symbols matter.

Symbols: e.g. flags, a big car
Heroes: e.g. Ataturk, Marie Curie
Rituals: e.g. Christmas
Values: e.g. delivering a parcel on time, respect for children

A main condition for a successful communication across cultures is the awareness of the own ethnocentrism. And even more important to leave it behind.
Generally spoken people believe that a misunderstanding can be easily avoided by making a point clear. Just like Chuck Noland in that movie.
It is important to be aware that a clear message can be understood completely different, when introduced to another culture with different values.