In the cross-cultural context, communication, like everything else, is more complicated. It's almost impossible to send a message that does not have at least some cultural content, whether it's in the words themselves, in the way they are said, or in the non-verbal signals that accompany then. And even if it were possible to send a message without any cultural content, it's not possible to receive one without passing it through the filter of one's own cultural conditioning. All of which means that host country people may not interpret everything you say the way you mean it. And vice versa.
Communication problems, especially misunderstanding and misinterpretation, are one of the most common frustrations experienced by PCVs. In this chapter, you will examine your own style of communication and then compare it to that of the host country, a process which should highlight some of the likelier challenges that await you.