Multilingual and Intercultural Competence for ICT: Accessing and Assessing Electronic Information in the Global World
We are experiencing unprecedented changes in the way people communicate in the recent decade due to the massive introduction of network communication tools, platforms and devices in the global world. We use the Internet as an everyday tool for communicating information, however, we do not realise sufficiently that the information is coded into a language. Despite the fact that the majority of the shared information is in English as a lingua franca, i.e. English as a shared tool for communication, we have to be aware of the fact that the important part of the message is lost in translation because we still use original languages for websites. The websites are almost always created in the original language (such as Chinese) and then there is usually an option to switch to English. This English translation is usually literal and ignores the intercultural differences of the given language and the target language. The paper attempts to show potential pitfalls of this aspect of the global Internet, i.e. its interculturality, which is almost always neglected. The IT specialists must be aware of these potential intercultural misunderstandings, particularly when they create websites. This is also the reason why the author introduced adequate course for IT and business students (intercultural business communication) because of the urgent need of the market to be able to understand interculturality deeply so that the electronic communication is managed properly and without significant information loss. The conducted research focused on the awareness of the issue in ICT staff in several Czech small and medium enterprises and corporations with the result of almost zero awareness of the need to understand the intercultural situation in the global Internet communication. Therefore, this paper attempts to summarize the key aspects of intercultural communication for ICT and highlights the need of the awareness implemented into the website creation itself.
KeywordsIntercultural communication Languages in ICT Communication in ICT Multilingual aspects of ICT Multicultural aspects of ICT
This paper is supported by the SPEV 2018 project of the Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. The author thanks Jan Špriňar for his cooperation.
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