What is “international communication” anyway?

Since I started the course in international communication, I’ve wondered, “what is international communication anyway?” I mean, really? I, of course, have had a good idea of what international communication means to me but is my interpretation accurate? I used to think of international communication as two or more people communicating from locations that cross physical, international boundaries (meaning in order to get to that person, you would travel across international borders). I’m not so sure that is an accurate conceptualization.

The McGraw Hill Online Learning Center defines international communication as “the process of interpreting and sharing meanings with individuals from different races” (http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072400773/student_view0/glossary.html). In which case, it may not cross physical boundaries at all—considering there are different races that have the same primary language. Wikianswers.com defines international communication as the “process of communication between two or more countries to settle down issues and matters” (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Definition_of_international_communication). This definition leads me to consider if defining international communication is contextual?

I wonder if it comes down to context and, maybe even personal opinion. International communication is a large concept and I’m not sure if there is an adequate definition to encompass it entirely. I cannot find any formal definitions in our books for this course: Designing Globally Networked Learning Environments and Culture, Communication and Cyberspace (please let me know if you can).


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One thought on “What is “international communication” anyway?

  1. Delissa, for me, international communication CAN be defined: it means communicating effectively with people from other places. For me it requires a set of skills, strategies, and knowledge that allow us to communicate with those people. As we study international communication, the goal is always international communication competence, the skill of communicating successfully and effectively with people from other places for a specific purpose.

    As for your comment about personal opinion….yes, our definition does come down to opinion. However, not all opinions are created equal. Opinions without persuasive or credible evidence are not particularly useful. Opinions, or we call them positions, too, which are backed up with evidence, are much persuasive than those without good evidence. When we have substantial and verifiable evidence to support our positions, then the professional/academic communities that we belong to, will take us seriously.

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