Human beings have many ways of doing things because many approaches work. In my calculus class at U. Mass Lowell,  Mr. Kaplan taught us many ways to solve the same problem because, according to him,  you never knew what way was going to help you work it out. As we connect with other cultures, we learn from others and can learn new approaches to solve problems in creative ways as well.

However, we each grew up in our own environment, surrounded by a group that did things in a particular way that feels comfortable. Adjusting to new ways of doing things is a challenge. As interpreters and translators, we bridge this barrier in the combination of language and culture (linguaculture) every day.

Now… this does not mean that as an interpreter or a translator I intend to relay how the culture has affected the people in the room! Rather, by providing an accurate written translation or oral rendition of your message, it will be easier for the people in the room to solve the problems at hand. The following links explain some of the complexity involved.

According to Business Insider, every country has its own preferred way of doing things. Check out the variety!

Ivey Business Journal found 10 different approaches to negotiations. Win-win, win-lose, you name it, it is there!

The Interagency Language Round Table has described levels of intercultural communication competence. This was also discussed in comparison with other ways of exploring cultural competence in a previous post.

As one of my clients noted, accurate interpreting and translation helps people communicate better across the cultural barrier.