Intercultural communication and intercultural awareness: Glossary of terms

At the expense of (idiom)

Something that is done instead of something else, that prevents something else being done e.g. She studied for her French exam at the expense of her German exam and hence passed French but failed German.

Bilingual (adj)

A person who speaks two languages very well.

Boastful (adj)

To talk with too much pride about one's own abilities or achievements.

Community (noun)

The group of people living in a particular place; a group of people bonded together by a common religion, nationality or occupation.

Competency (noun)

An ability or capability.

Complex (adj)

Complicated, involving many parts or elements.

Compliment (noun)

An expression of praise, admiration or approval.

Conform (verb)

To behave, dress, etc in obedience to some standard considered normal by the majority.

Context (noun)

The background or setting.

Controversial (adj)

An argument or debate that has been going on for some time, often with large differences in opinion.

Dialect (noun)

A form of a language spoken in a particular region or by a certain social group, differing from other forms in grammar, vocabulary, and in some cases pronunciation.

Discourse (noun)

Written or spoken communication.

Discourse community (noun)

The forms of communication of a particular group e.g. doctors, men, Singaporeans.

Domination (noun)

To have command or influence over someone.

Dynamic (adj)

Always moving and changing, full of energy.

Elite (noun)

The best, most important or most powerful people within society.

Emergent (adj)

To become known, to come into view.

Essentialise (verb)

To stereotype or oversimplify another person or culture.

Globalisation (noun)

The interconnect nature of modern cultures, economies and politics.

Heritage (noun)

The characteristics, qualities, property, culture etc. that one gets (inherits) at birth.

Hierarchy (noun)

An organisation or body that classifies people or things in order of rank or importance.

Hinder (verb)

To delay or hold back; to prevent the progress of something.

Homogeneous (adj)

Made up of parts or elements that are all of the same or similar kind or nature.

Induction (noun)

The process of forming or coming to a general conclusion from particular cases through logic.

Inevitable (adj)

Unable to be avoided; certain to happen.

Inferior (adj)

To have a low or poor status or rank.

Innate (adj)

Natural or instinctive, rather than learnt or acquired.

Interaction (noun)

Action or influence of people or things on each other.

Interlocutor (noun)

Someone who takes part in a conversation or dialogue.

Interrelated (adj)

To be in or be brought into a mutually dependent or reciprocal relationship.

Interchange (verb)

To change or cause to change places with something or someone.

Lingua franca (noun)

A language that has been chosen as a means of communication amongst the speakers of different languages.

Linguistic (adj)

Relating to language.

Mediate (verb)

To be in the middle of something, to try to bring together two different opinions, sides, ideas etc.

Multicultural (adj)

Many cultures, a person or place that has many different cultural influences.

Multilingual (adj)

A person who speaks many languages.

Native speaker (noun)

Somebody who speaks a language as their first language (L1) or mother tongue; the term has been quite controversial as it can be difficult to decide who is and isn't a native speaker.

Norm (noun)

1. A typical pattern or situation. 2. An accepted way of behaving, e.g. social norms. 3. A standard.

Noticeable (adj)

Easily seen.

Partial (adj)

Incomplete; in part only.

Resistance (noun)

To oppose, fight against or remain unchanged by someone or something.

Schema (noun)

An organised pattern of thought or behaviour (from psychology).

Senior (adj)

Higher in rank or authority than someone.

Subjective (adj)

Based on personal opinion, thoughts, feelings, etc.

Definitions from Chambers free English dictionary and the University of Southampton.