My apologies, I’m getting lazy with my blogging! Well, it doesn’t entirely have everything to do with my general laziness. The truth is the past week was a bit overwhelming! I worked throughout both Saturday and Sunday, on a task felt like a hot potato.
I have no intention to complain about anything here. After all, I love what I do, and my boss and my team are amazing! However, last weekend it did feel that cultural difference is real, and so real that I decided to write my thoughts around it down.
Yes, that’s the word today: cultural differences, pronounced in Chinese as wénhuà chāyì ——-again if interested, please hit the audio play button below to hear how we say it in Chinese, or visit my Pinyin Lessons for some systematic practice on Mandarin Chinese phonics.
文化差异 wénhuà chāyì is a literally translated term from cultural differences, a phrase also being often interchanged with cultural diversity. I wasn’t a deep believer of this concept even though I knew the words pretty well. How different could we all be? Aren’t we all human beings that share the same category of emotions? That’s where I stood on this idea.
So when others say cultural diversity could breed confrontation, set-backs or even destruction, I would laugh if off in my head. My theory is if we are all given a channel of communication, cultural diversity will be understood and tolerated. Largely I still think I’m right, but after my last week’s experience, I would say dealing well with a scenario where cultural diversity plays a part is really easier said than done!
I’m bilingual, so often times I work to bridge messages between two groups of people and help them understand one another. When it comes to a cross-cultural working environment, words at times can appear too plain and pale to make everyone happy with the decision making that affects each individuals from these two groups in different ways. So my conclusion is that sometimes language is not enough, particular in the case a mediator’s role is required. I guess that’s why we see the expertise of cross-cultural training and management becoming more recognized in the era of globalization and connectedness.
But with all that is said, in the end, communication is the basic, isn’t it? No matter how big a cultural difference is, we still need to make ourselves understood so that we can build everything else from there. So if you are learning Mandarin Chinese, let’s review this term in Chinese one more time: 文化差异 wénhuà chāyì.