Questions tagged [cross-culture]

For situations in which at least two of the involved parties come from different cultural backgrounds.

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28 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there a way in the European culture to consistently refuse to do small but annoying favors to coworkers and friends without alienating them?

I have recently relocated from my home country, Japan, to Europe to work here for a while in an international team, and I am experiencing a big cultural problem about interacting with Europeans. The ...
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  • 373
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What to do if my name means something inappropriate in another person's language?

My first name is relatively common and normal for a country A where I'm from. Currently I live in a different country (B) and recently started working with a lot of people from some other country C. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
488 views

How to address a Chinese co-worker?

Question similar to How to address a Korean co-worker? When interacting in direct chat messages in English with co-workers (software developers like me) from Chinese offices ; is it rude to address ...
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  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
714 views

How to address a Korean co-worker?

My current employer is a global software company with offices in several continents. The company tries to maintain a culture of conviviality. Our main communication medium is text chat in English ; ...
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  • 121
10 votes
1 answer
657 views

How to respond to a particular aspect of Indian culture?

In my line of work, I spend lots of time meeting people from various companies. Often, especially when the companies are tech companies, my counterpart will be Indian. One useful skill in working with ...
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6 votes
3 answers
937 views

How to deal with non-answers to simple, direct questions, from people doing their job

Background I've read this question and this other one. My question is about a different situation, because it's the other party's paid job to answer customer questions. Examples (over email/text) Me: ...
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5 votes
2 answers
953 views

How can I explain to my partner that the relationship with parents depends on cultural expectations?

Me and my wife come from different countries with very different social norms and expectations (Russia and Spain). We live in Germany and handle the differences between us rather successfully as we ...
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  • 151
20 votes
10 answers
28k views

Pointing the index fingers to one another as a way to excuse oneself: is this a common gesture?

I grew up in Italy, and there is a gesture I use that I'm wondering whether is strictly Italian or is used/understood elsewhere. It means either of: "I know this may bother you, but I'd really ...
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Who pays for the date?

I am from northern Europe, but currently live in China. I was going to be a speaker at this social event at a cafe. I asked a Taiwanese woman if she would like to join me to the event (just me and her)...
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  • 121
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Dutch dating etiquette

Since I am Japanese, English may be strange. Please ask if you do not understand the meaning. A while ago (in Japan), I met a very nice woman at a bar, for the first time in my life, I took courage ...
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  • 121
5 votes
1 answer
434 views

Having been highly praised for my professionalism, am I expected to return the praise?

At work we have a tool, which you can use to send coworkers an appreciation, basically sending them a message that expresses what you appreciate and a text field to enter a message why you send this ...
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  • 2,552
10 votes
5 answers
7k views

How to reply to small talk/random facts in a non-offensive way?

I've discovered that when I have a conversation with someone, I sometimes answer in a somehow offensive way. For example: Person: I just read that actor is born in town X. Me: So what? You're ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I convince my girlfriend that relationship and her doctorate is possible?

Background I have been dating a Japanese woman in Japan for two months now. Until now we've regularly met each other on weekends and were talking during the week, mostly with instant messaging. I ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I politely point out to a non-native English speaker that they have used the wrong word?

I do a lot of communication through text, often with people who are not native speakers of English. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be quite common when speaking a non-native language and when I see ...
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  • 9,026
6 votes
1 answer
741 views

What cultural hints to be aware of when Jewish friends are staying at our place?

Note: I considered asking this at Mi Yodeya but it is really about how to deal with people and culture, more than about Judaism as a religion. We will have Jewish friends (from the US) staying at our ...
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  • 2,524
3 votes
1 answer
320 views

How to proactively include myself in extrinsic ethnic family?

Background I come from a mixed heritage; half is white and the other half is Latin-American (I’ll refer to now as ‘ethnic’). I’ve grown up mainly around my white side of the family and only on rare ...
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  • 3,356
15 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to communicate with a coworker who repeats meaningless context? [closed]

Background I work in a technical role in an international environment, and have (and prefer) a very direct communication style. If you want my help, the best way to get it is to simply state your ...
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8 votes
3 answers
826 views

How do I greet someone when bowing is a common greeting among the people without being disrespectful?

Muslims are only allowed to bow and prostrate to God because we consider such things acts of worship, and Islam is a very monotheistic religion. This is a problem in Japan, where bowing is considered ...
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8 votes
1 answer
948 views

How do I let someone from a different culture know that they are doing something rude?

I'm a client paying for my take-out at a small authentic restaurant and quite pregnant. The female asian clerk is laying it on thick with: "Are you sure there is just one in there? = Yup! Just ...
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  • 181
2 votes
1 answer
467 views

Frequently rebuffed when trying to initiate or join a conversation [closed]

I moved to Germany about six months ago to take on a new job. Being new here, I've been trying to socialise and build up some new friendships. A recurring pattern when I attempt to join in a ...
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41 votes
7 answers
18k views

Girlfriend feels she distracts me with her texts, any good way to prove otherwise?

Me and my girl, Alice, have been in a LDR (Long Distance Relationship) for a while now. So we mostly communicate via text or an occasional video or voice call. Recently I have been getting more and ...
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  • 4,679
34 votes
8 answers
9k views

How to peacefuly deal with a loud religious group

This problem mostly has to do with me and my family against another religious group. About a month ago a Pentecostal "church" opened about a mile from our house. We live in Uganda, a very ...
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  • 1,663
7 votes
2 answers
320 views

How do I handle unsuitable requests for endorsement of jobs/internships applicants?

I work as a software developer in a medium sized company in developed country A. I have family relations to underdeveloped country B. Due to economic crisis, glorification of the west and nepotism ...
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38 votes
7 answers
10k views

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

I'm 15 years old, living in Israel. Occasionally, I visit senior citizens on their birthdays - bringing balloons and stuff, with a few other people. These people who we visit are usually older ...
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  • 4,375
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I tell my parents I don't enjoy their company?

I moved to a new country (Canada) for university about a year ago. I am doing well in my studies. I'm not so well mentally but that's always been an issue even back home. My parents often come to ...
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13 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to adjust to a new country and its culture when people make you feel like an outsider [closed]

I'll be honest here, I've had a weird childhood. I was born to a German mother and an Indian father. I have a German citizenship, but as I moved to India when I was 2, I know the Indian culture much ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
761 views

How to Wear Headcovering In Public [closed]

If anyone gets upset with question, I apologize in advance. I am in USA and wish to wear headcovering when going outside or around unfamiliar people. Even at office I wish to wear headcovering. I ...
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  • 1,045
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I tell someone that a cultural practice is unsanitary and they should stop?

One time, we had a short-mid-term guest. One of their habits is scooping food from jars and other containers with a spoon that just came from their mouth - peanut butter, Nutella, mayonnaise, ...
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29 votes
6 answers
10k views

How to deal with a suite mate who gossips about me within the first few days of move-in

I am an Asian female college student. This semester, I'm placed to live with two American female roommates in an apartment suite, so we all have separate bedrooms and share a kitchen and a restroom. I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
667 views

Conventions for small talk in Germany as a non-German English speaker

Small talk is something that I have trouble with. Most advice that I can find is quite US-centric, like asking people what they are looking forward to. In my country this would be quite strange. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
823 views

Is it offensive for an American to use regionalisms when interacting internationally in business? [closed]

In my work, I spend a lot of time speaking with international colleagues from Asia and South America. I am from the United States. The English regionalisms I notice in these countries can be ...
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21 votes
4 answers
6k views

Best way to tell colleague that chat is not a channel for direct response?

Me and colleague X communicate in English, but we're both non-native English speakers from very different countries. X's English is not very great and we sometimes have trouble understanding each ...
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  • 8,540
68 votes
11 answers
34k views

How can I politely tell a family who invited me for dinner that I'm still hungry?

This is about a friend's family and what would often happen during dinners (mom in her 50's, dad in his 60's). Examples One time, the mom had cooked 1 packet of ravioli for 5 people, and she urged ...
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  • 7,536
2 votes
0 answers
300 views

How to make sincere offers across cultural boundaries? [closed]

This often happens to me when I interact with Asian "face-saving" cultures, some South Americans that are really formal, and even some Americans who are really polite. The general case is, imagine I ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Demonstrating my intentions (date/relationship) while dealing with cultural differences

I'm having problems figuring out how to move forward with a girl I like. About me I'm in my mid 20's, about low to average in appearance and style, heavy thinker, introverted, and shy person. I find ...
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  • 103
43 votes
8 answers
17k views

A server in a restaurant got offended when we addressed him as "Uncle"

I am from India and my experience is that addressing a serviceman in a restaurant as "waiter" is not taken positively. So depending on their age, we usually call them "brother" or "uncle". A few years ...
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  • 1,598
-6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to safely phrase "I wish to broaden my cultural horizons while taking an interest in yours." [duplicate]

There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding about the following exchange between two people, the first wishes to broaden their cultural horizons while expressing an interest in the acquaintance'...
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  • 111
8 votes
1 answer
696 views

As an outsider to Korean culture, how do I work within the age system?

My understanding of Korean culture is that everyone basically knows everyone else's age. This is essential when speaking Korean because the language changes based on your social status. As an ...
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