Actual intercultural communication presumably dates from the earliest era of human history, when groups of people whose lives and behavior differed encountered one another for the first time. Not much is known about those first encounters, but intercultural encounters have been continuous, even though the results have not always been encouraging. Intercultural encounters, and even long-term positive relationships, are not new and are not rare. However, the recognition of intercultural communication as worthy of serious study, with implications that could guide behavior toward mutually beneficial outcomes, is relatively new, dating from the latter part of the 20th century.

Central to this is the assumption that all human communication is in part a cultural expression. It is through communication that one’s cultural identity is expressed, and meanings ...

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