Premium Essay

Cross Talk

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sc05128
Words 1191
Pages 5
stalkChi Nguyen
Ling 122
11/13/2012
Cross Talk

The United States of America is a country with many states and a lot of cultures and groups of speakers. Because of that, people in America also have to deal with the different conversational styles of people from different cultural backgrounds every day. Conversation style includes how fast people talk, how loud people talk, the pitch of their voice, their intonation and many other ways of speaking. Crosstalk is a short video that gave examples of how people from different backgrounds, British English and Indian English speakers, could have problems interacting with each other due to both linguistic and cultural miscommunication. What one person thinks they are expressing is not necessarily what another person is interpreting.
Crosstalk begins with “The Advice Centre Interview,” in which Mr. Aziz from India meets with a social worker to determine why Mr. Aziz has not been receiving his government unemployment benefits. During the interview, I can see the miscommunication between Mr. Aziz and the social worker is the cause of differences in cultural assumption and information packaging. People from different cultural backgrounds may tell different stories in different narrative styles and indicate their attitude in different ways. When Mr. Aziz goes for a job interview for unemployment and social security benefit, he feels ashamed and unconfident. Even though Mr. Aziz has no difficulty using English, he is unable to make himself understood. The social worker, a native speaker of English, does not understand what Mr. Aziz wants neither. Mr. Aziz is ashamed of having to ask for government money. He tells the social worker that when he went to the welfare agency, “Everybody in the queue, they laughed at me. I was so ashamed.” The social worker, instead of understanding the case of Mr. Aziz, fails to acknowledge…...

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