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Communication is not just language, grammar, vocabulary and how to make sentences. Your body can talk too, but it may not speak the same language – different cultures use different body language.

In some societies, such as the USA, you look people in the eye when you are speaking. If you don’t, they may think you are not interested in them. But in many Asian societies it is rude to look someone in the eye, especially a superior. A junior person must always look down when speaking to older people or superiors.

In Islamic cultures and in Asia people eat with their right hand and use the left one for bathroom functions only. It is very rude to give someone an object with your left hand.

In Asia, people use both hands to give something to or receive something from another person. Latin Americans usually stand closer together than North Americans. North Americans only stand close when they want to say something rather intimate or secret. So, for some, people who stand too close seem too friendly; for others, people who stand too far seem unfriendly.

In Asian countries, you do not cross your foot or legs in the presence of a superior. It’s also important to remain physically lower if you are socially inferior. So, when Thai man sees an older woman he may show his respect by sitting down on the only chair. In Thailand, it’s also important not to show the bottom of your feet.

In many societies, the correct response to certain questions or requests is to say nothing.in Britain saying nothing often means “maybe”. A Japanese person often stays silent in order to find out more about the person who is talking. Most Westerners think this means that the Japanese person doesn’t understand so they usually repeat what they have said.


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