Intercultural Communication Problems In Thailand

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There are three repeating issues which we found as intercultural communication problems in Thailand and that we directed our initial research at: Language as a barrier, cultural diversity and ethnocentrism. (Hoops, 2014, p. 193-215) People have hugely different communication behaviors between and within cultures.
A central aspect of communication is language itself as language is supposed to be a link between people but is just as effective as a barrier. Often, words and phrases are used in different ways, although they are supposed to have the same meaning. Even in countries that natively speak English the meaning of "yes" can vary from "maybe, I 'll consider it" to "definitely so," with many shades in between. Consequently, communication between
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In Thailand, like anywhere else, there are very different levels of education, social status, religious upbringing, experiences etc. people grow up in. These factors all heavily influence the communication behavior. In big cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai, a large number of people is highly educated and working in either multinational corporations or academic institutions. They got more accustomed to Western cultures and may have already integrated some parts of it into their way of life. They understand the Western approach to other people and Western communication behavior. However, as the majority of Thais is not educated about Western culture and living outside of the "modern" or multicultural centers the Thai ways of doing things and Thai culture are still usual, and other cultures and approaches may be considered alien or unfamiliar. (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Cultural Information – Thailand, 2009) Tourism has played an important role in the Thai economy for the last decades, generating national growth revenue of about four billion baht per year. Tourism also led to economic expansion and more intercultural encounters - and so also to more problems. (Paulchnitt,…show more content…
Generally, it can be said that Thais do not speak much English as Thailand is an independent country and some schools don’t teach much English. English is not a native language, which might be a reason why sometimes Thais are not confident enough to use it. But this can just be part of the problem, as the same is true for many other nations that do not speak English natively and have better English language abilities. (เด็กไทยอ่อนภาษาต่างประเทศ ....เริ่มเมื่อวานก็ช้าไปแล้ว. การเมือง : ทัศนะวิจารณ์, 2013) However, most countries such as Thailand do not use English natively and rely on their native languages and so communication problems may occur when communicating with foreigners. Since each language and culture has very different aspects, intercultural communication often is the cause of problems which can evolve into conflict. (Patrick, 2014, p.121-143) When facing foreigners, people that learnt about the English language and foreign cultures are able to anticipate difficult situations and understand them. (Miao, 2011).
Although Thais have a long history of studying English, it can be considered a weak skill in Thailand. The obviously very important skills of speaking and writing English are weak by international comparison (EF English Proficiency Index, 2011). The needs and wants of English in workplaces have shown that the English curriculum in Thai universities does not meet the criteria for English used in real business life. The skills used most at this level are
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