Cultural Communication

I’m sitting here in a hotel in Heidelberg, Germany reflecting on the last two days of conversations and discussions. The TT-S partner day, followed by their networking event and user forum has been well attended by nationalities from across the globe. The Print Media Academy is a wonderful building for hosting these events in, and it’s been a delightful reminder of just how similar we all are, sharing many of the same problems and issues. Sharing knowledge freely, helping each other to understand solutions. Both giving and receiving well-meant advice, hints and tips and gaining opportunities to discover new things is a wonderful thing.

Because we are in Germany, many of the presentations have been conducted in German, with an English translator, but as usual many conversations between different non-English speaking nationalities have used English as their common language. We are very lucky as native English speakers that this is the fall-back language. But, this causes communication issues. I’ve learnt this week about how one technical phrase that you would think is well understood, can mean something completely different in a different part of the world. Chains of communication within multi-national companies can falter and stumble when terms are misunderstood. Nobody is to blame for this. Our cultures are what make us stand out and helps to define us. It’s what makes us interesting, different and exciting.

Thank you @TT-S for organising these events and for giving us all the chance to remind ourselves that we are all so similar, yet, so different.

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