Privacy Policy
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Cultural and language barriers

All cultures and languages are different, that is a fact. No matter who you are or where you live, the culture and languages of those other than yours always seems so mysterious and unique. In trying to associate with people who have a different culture or language, the first thing you want to avoid is simple cultural misunderstandings. In the business world, a simple misunderstanding can turn out to be very costly to you, and may result in the possibility of not getting the business, not being able to deliver your promises, not being able to get paid, or the worst, not being able to leave the country you are doing business in.

When cultural and language differences compound together, then you are facing a very difficult challenge. Without proper help, you are almost certain to make some mistake that will cost you at the least, both time and money.

One common statement you will hear in China very often is “money is not a problem”. Yes, in a planned economy country like China, money is no problem when your project is blessed and approved by the government. But, before that, there is no money at all allocated for that project or mission you are discussing. All your efforts are based on whether or not they can convince their superior for the investment, and most of the time, it does not happen in the way you had expected.

When communicating with the Chinese people in English, you will hear “OK” in most of his or her phrase. That doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is agreeing with you. Often times, the Chinese say “OK” as a way to tell you “keep talking; I am trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and right now, I have no idea what you are talking about”. The Chinese usually do not like to interrupt people’s speech for questions, and they never repeat to confirm. So when you come out of a business meeting in China and your counterpart replies with nothing but “OK”, do not anticipate that you are going to receive an order soon. Repeat what you said in writing to make sure your point is well taken and understood and to let them know that you are still waiting for an answer to your proposal.

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