April 10, 2004

Cross-cultural communication: the cartoon version

Learning a strange culture's norms can be hard. But even the League of Evil needs standards for social interaction.

In the interaction between very different cultures, the whole can be less than the sum of the parts. When a member of culture A uses allusions from culture B to address culture C, the result is incomprehension all around. But across the widest gulf, there is still appreciation of the Other.

Divine revelations are not easy to take in. Sometimes successful communication depends on our limited capacities. But when words can't bridge the gap, gaze and body language are not really enough.

However, on the internet, you can find a way to make sense of almost anything.

[ ...more...]

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 10, 2004 06:26 AM