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Lost in Translations

According to Oster (2012), cross-cultural communication is challenge enough. Add to this challenge effective translation of material into other languages and there is virtually no record of such (Oster, 2012). Eisenberg and Goodall (2004) argue that it can be extremely difficult for differing cultures to interpret information conveyed in a foreign language as colloquial expressions and subtle meanings within the given language can present certain barriers to effective communication (p 211). Literature reveals cultures as human (symbolic) creations which create varying assumptions, expectations and rules for interaction (Hackman & Johnson, 2000, p 297). Each culture creates its own communication patterns of verbal and nonverbal codes used to convey meanings in face-to-face encounters (Hackman & Johnson, 2000, p 297). Perhaps the reason less material is translated as a whole is due to the enormity of the challenge of effectively knowing the nuances of two or more languages at a level needed to convey the original message?


Oster, Gary (2012). Retrieved from his posting: Blackboard Dialogues for Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

Eisenberg, Eric M. and Goodall Jr., H.L. (2004). Organizational Communication. Fourth Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s .

Hackman, Michael Z and Johnson, Craig E. (2000). Leadership. A Communication Perspective. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.


Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

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