The Other Side of the Pond

When I graduated high school in 2006, I had the opportunity to travel overseas with my Spanish class. This was one a highlight of taking a foreign language in high school, the class trips. I traveled to England, France, Spain and Portugal. Just being in another country is a huge difference. You don’t realize how far away from home you are until you get there.

Communication style is the metamessage that contextualizes how listeners are expected to accept and interpret messages (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 232). I think that we all typically use verbal and nonverbal communication as we try to express what we want. I think for countries across the world, the easiest way to break a language barrier is to use nonverbal communication to full explain things. I remember in France they would point to what they thought we were saying to clarify, or even to explain what it is we were trying to understand.

One of the coolest things you come to learn is how many people are bilingual. Bilingual is the ability to speak two languages fluently or at least competently (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 250). I really noticed this in high traffic areas. It was not noticed as much in smaller cities. In Paris, France I found that they spoke some English. This allowing Americans to be able to comprehend and understand. I found the exact same in Madrid, Spain.

"Our nanny claims to speak five languages but we've been unable to verify it."

I think it is important to help the language barriers. Frustrations arise and escalate easily when people are not able to understand each other. I think communication no matter where we are is important to every day life. I think even in America we should want people to other languages to help tourists from other countries as they visit.



Cullum, L. (n.d.). Bilingual Cartoons. Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.




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