Between Languages and Cultures
Intercultural Communication Between Italians and Russians
This publication is meant to provide a vivid snapshot of the main intercultural communication problems that may arise in interactions between Italians and Russians. Russians, by their own admission, have a well-known and widespread feeling of congeniality towards Italy and a predilection for the country and its inhabitants. Nevertheless, it is impossible to avoid some cultural factors, the misinterpretation of which can lead to misunderstandings. These misunderstandings have an impact on the effectiveness of communication between interlocutors, obscuring the real meaning of the message they want to get across. More often than not, the most common misunderstandings among speakers with different native languages are due to inaccuracies closely linked to linguistic interactions. Grammatical, syntactic and lexical errors are usually due to a speaker’s degree of competence in a foreign language. English as a ‘lingua franca’ is not always spoken correctly by non-native speakers. It does not necessarily represent the ideal and most suitable mode of communication for foreigners. The critical issues inside the frame of intercultural communication discussed and analysed in this publication are the problems related to non-verbal codes and the basic values that characterize and differentiate the two cultures. Some communicative events, or rather the circumstances in which communication is actually carried out among people from different places, and the competence of their respective interpersonal skills, are fundamental to reducing or removing any risk of making the interaction ineffective or even impossible.