Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bib #18 "One Language, Different Peoples."

Gnadig, Ayo. "One Language, Different Peoples." The Language and Behavior Profile - A Tool for Intercultural Communication and Understanding. World Association of Research Professionals. (2004): 1-12

The big question posed in the first part of the introduction of this article really intrigued me.

Why is it - though the same language is spoken - that we sometimes don't understand each other?

The paper aims to demonstrate a method to identify differences in communication and a tool to deal with them - the Language and Behavior Profile. It is followed by an expose about four German speaking countries/markets and how understanding differences in communication can feed into meaningful brand communication.

West Germany, East Germany, Switzerland and Austria are especially interesting in this this respect because they share a common language and culture - but it has become obvious that there are strong underlying differences in the mentalities of their populations that are important for marketing communications, in as much they represent four different markets for marketing that often need to be addressed separately. Their differences seem to be rooted in their history, which is most obvious in the case of the differences between East and West Germany.

To deal with these differences, clearly expressed in the question I placed in the first part of this entry, with the help of the Language and Behavior Profile we will discover how different cultures think, what dives them and how this is apparent in their use of language.

This will then help to understand why the communication of a brand works in one country and not at all in others. The questions and topics in the article raised interesting issues explaining why is it important to understand a culture and how people belonging to a certain part of a region act the way they do.

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