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Be accurate and precise in your communication

Be precise in your communication, when learning a language

Be explicit in your communication

Your communication needs to be clear and cut into pieces when talking to people from other cultures.

When you are communicating with your tandem-partner, remember that he/she might interpret what you are saying differently. This can be because you are used to communicate in different languages.

Here’s an example that can be easily misunderstood:

You: ”Let’s meet at the café close to the supermarket downtown and swap language at 4 p.m.”

Tandem-partner: “Ok. I will see you there.”

Some cultures think that it is rude to NOT know where some places are. Therefore they might not ask you: “What supermarket are you talking about? And what is the name of the café?”

In general misunderstandings happen more often when communicating with someone who has another cultural background. Communication can be interpreted in many different ways.

Therefore we want to EMPHASIZE that you are very specific when communicating.

Here’s a more explicit example:

You: “Let’s meet at Starbucks right next to the train station. I will be sitting on the terrace. I’m wearing a yellow shirt, blue pants and a very colourful hat. I brought my blind parrot, he usually wears sun glasses. I will have time to meet you at 4 p.m. But I need to go to my English course at 6 p.m. just so you know.”

Tandem-partner: Ok. I will definitely find you there!

This is probably too specific, but you get the point.

Be prepared that different cultures have a tendency to meet up later than agreed. This is not because they want to keep you waiting or insult you. That is just how they perceive time. So let your tandem-partner know, if this happens.

Patience is the key when communicating with other cultures

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