Undeniably, language is an important element in intercultural communication, whether one is using one’s first language or another language. In many parts of the world, more and more people from different cultural backgrounds are coming together and communicating in a common language or dialect. Increasingly, these intercultural interactions involve the use of a second or a third language, such as English or another international language. If one or more of the speakers do not have the requisite language or cultural competency, there is a power imbalance, and miscommunication may also ensue. To complicate matters, it is possible to mistake language barriers for cultural problems if one does not have an adequate understanding of linguistic elements and the communication process.

As language is closely tied to one’s ...

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