Topic 4 Improving intercultural skills

Language is culture and cultures are different.

  • 9 languages don’t have words for colour – they only distinguish between black and white.
  • Botswana has a language made entirely of clicks.
  • Japanese has no distinction for singular and plural words.

  • The Papuan language of Rotokas only has 11 letters.

  • Hawaiians have over 200 different words for “rain.”

  • In Portuguese, the word mulherão means “voluptuous woman.” However, the word itself is masculine.

Intercultural Communication

Is it all about words?

Lost in translation


Source culture perceptions are not universal.


(deVito, 1986, adapted)