is a discipline that studies communication
across different culture
s and social group
s, or how culture affects communication. It is used to describe the wide range of communication processes and problems that naturally appear within an organization or social context made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. Intercultural communication is sometimes used synonym
ously with cross-cultural communication
. In this sense it seeks to understand how people from different countries and cultures act, communicate and perceive
the world around them. Many people in intercultural business communication argue that culture determines how individuals encode messages, what medium they choose for transmitting them, and the way messages are interpreted.
With regard to intercultural communication proper, it studies situations where people from different cultural backgrounds interact
. Aside from language, intercultural communication focuses on social attributes, thought patterns, and the cultures of different groups of people. It also involves understanding the different cultures, languages and customs of people from other countries. Intercultural communication plays a role in social science
s such as anthropology
, cultural studies
and communication studies
. Intercultural communication is also referred to as the base for international businesses. There are several cross-cultural service providers around who can assist with the development of intercultural communication skills. Research is a major part of the development of intercultural communication skills.