Courtesy, adequacy, procedure: A brief account of the intercultural communication background
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The term intercultural communication (ICC, not explicitly distinguished in this paper from the concept of cross-cultural communication) is commonly used to refer to the instances of actual communication acts performed in and/or between heterogeneous communication environments. While the instances of intercultural encounters are usually viewed in terms of heterogeneous codes (languages), different communication environments require diverse linguistic competences and different patterns for their use. The codes, as such, may be regarded translatable and interpretable in abstracto. The patterns, however, usually require specific conditions for their evocation and complete (as well as effective) execution: the latter also requires the (prior) projection of actual goals and subsequent verification of actual changes in the communication environment, which result from a certain act of communication. The subject of the usage patterns of actual codes will be described in this paper in terms of intercultural honorifics, with special emphasis placed on situations of communication and miscommunication typical of a Polish-Japanese communication/translation/interpretation environment, as well as the metalanguages used in the processes of their explanation. The selected instances of communication and miscommunication will be analyzed with respect to the gains and losses in the environment in which the communication acts are performed, including intricate issues of intercultural translatability/interpretability.
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