To begin with, culture and language in any context remain to a barrier for the involved parties while communicating. In this sense, effective communication is achieved in a situation whereby the involved parties well understand the culture of each other as well as the Language. In line with this, it is important to state that barriers to effective communication between two people from different cultures are the language use and above all the cultural influence (Gudykunst, 2003). Generally, communication involves several aspects other than the language as the medium for communication.
Communication styles vary with the different cultures. In this connection, the nonverbal form of communication varies greatly between different cultures. What one culture may be interpreting as good behavior, on the other one it may prove otherwise (Gudykunst, 2003). It is from this context that communicating with a person from a different culture becomes rather hard. At this point, it is essential to bring into view the differences that arise in a communication that involves the Indian and American cultures. Basically, Indians and Americans have different languages. Besides, their cultures are at the same time different.
According to Althen, Doran, & Szmania (2003, p.47), Indians move their heads in a sort of figure-eight motion when they are listening to somebody. To them, it is a sign that they are listening and the fact that they understand. This may be misinterpreted by Americans as a way of not listening while to the Indians it is actually listening. To the Americans, they instead nod the head up and down as a sign of agreement and shake it side by side as a sign of disagreement. In such a case, the Americans may not effectively communicate with the Indians.
While communicating with Indians, staring straight into the eye is disrespectful to the elderly unlike the Americans of whom it is allowed. Fundamentally, the Indians base their communication on the family relationships and they value respect for the elderly. On the other hand, Americans do not place this value and therefore the two cultures may find difficulties in assimilating the culture of each other on the basis of communication. Finally, it is important to state that cultural differences influence communication and therefore act as barrier to effective communication.