Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Is cultural knowledge more important than language skills?
More young workers are ready to work abroad these days. They think an ability to work and live in any place is an important factor for their career, according to a survey of young people aged 18 to 35 in 180 countries.
Then which is more important to live and work abroad, language skills or cultural knowledge? It’s a very difficult question to answer. Of course, it’s not one or the other when it comes to linguistic and cultural fluency. For example, even in a country where English is well spoken as a second language, people speak their local language much more comfortably at home and with their friends and peers. Also, it’s not just language but it is the cultural background and common understanding that makes the conversation and association more enjoyable and lively. So, if one speaks the local language fluently without knowing the cultural context at all, he or she won’t be understood or accepted. A researcher analyzes the concept of cultural intelligence (CQ); interest, knowledge, analysis and adjustment, action by the context. Sounds a little complicated doesn’t it? You want to learn both with fun. What’s the best way?
Enjoy reading and think how you can make friends in a very different culture or society in a different language.