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The Community; Options, Barriers and Solutions

I live in west-south-coast Finland a town called Turku. There are a lot of immigrants dwelling in and around Turku and it has been so hard to be able to communicate when it comes to community activities such as sports and outdoor activities…This has been due to the language barriers, traditional reasons and values, cultural adaptation, religion/faith, personal attitude and time.

Anyone struggling to overcome barriers to cultural adaptation knows that being in a new place can be daunting. Foreign scenery, different customs and even other languages often intimidate new arrivals to any country as trying to integrate with the local populace. I myself have had these challenges and what I had done was getting out in the community, avoiding staying cooped up at home, because I realised that when I shelter myself from what's around me, it's harder to learn about my new surroundings. Getting out may mean trying traditional foods, sampling local entertainment, learning the history of my community or even just figuring out how to navigate through the city or town where I am living. Keeping in touch with friends and family back home has also been my priority, for being separated from my country, culture and the people I love and on whom I have always counted for support is understandably difficult.

Secondly ofcourse the langauge berrier I enrolled in a language course, for language barrier is the biggest obstacle not only for me but also for any immgrant for that matter. If you're in a place where local people don't speak your native tongue, you should improve your ability to speak theirs.

I see the Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace bringing people together who would have otherwise more than likely never come into contact with one another. The groups in Facebook and trending topics on PulseWire allow people from various cultures to come together based on a common interest. Pulse Wire example; now that we (women) are writing juornals posting and reading them; this is bringing women together I call it ‘’Women Power’’. Although people may find that they have some overlapping interests in these online communities, communicating with one another may not feel easy, or even possible, due to language and even cultural barriers which can be frustrating to the parties involved because of the value they may feel they are missing out on from exploring the thoughts and ideals of a potentially like-minded individual, educator or business. But, there are technological features like apps that can help make such cross-cultural communications easier and more understandable for both parties. Apps like Translators allow you to translate in other languages, into your language of choice.

I see the benefits of the continued growth of online communitiies cross-cultural communication, according to me, is that it can essentially help with creating a universal language at least in online settings.
Online communities and networks like Pulse Wire creates an all emcompassing experience that people across the globe can take part in.

Comments

faridaY's picture

Universality

I never cease to be amazed that we can speak to people all over the world on all manner of subjects. it's wonderful how you are involving yourself in the local community and learning the language. And that the digital age allows us to cross language barriers is important.

Shanen's picture

Thank you.

Hi Universality.

Yes you are right, thou it can be hard but if you have motivation then sure you learn. And I agree with you that the digital age is allowing us to cross language barriers.

Thank you for the comment and hope to read more from you.

Nice day!!

katyrdz's picture

Hi Shanen! I use the

Hi Shanen! I use the translator to help me write my entries for Pulse Wire! haha so you are entirely true, sometimes I feel I cannot express everything I want in another language different than mine, but the important thing is that we understand each other. Kisses!

Shanen's picture

Thank you Katyrdz I use it

Thank you Katyrdz I use it too… well not on Pulse Wire but in my Finnish texts or even letters because despite understanding and speaking Finn still there are a lot of words that I don’t know yet. So we both use the translator. See how great and easy it makes the communication between us and others too. Wow! Thanks Katyrdz ox.

earthwindfire's picture

The Community...

I fully understand the language barrier you write about. I live in California, USA, and see and experience each day the challenges of our immigrant population who cannot express themselves nor understand what is being said to them. But this is only one piece of their acclimation difficulties. It is especially the children/teenagers I feel for - those who want so much to fit in with their American schoolmates, neighbors, team-mates, but feel they are on the outside looking in. In schools, they congregate by ethnicity, not interacting with their American counterparts, and those American kids do little to include them in conversations or activities. So much could be benefited by both groups, whether we're talking about kids or adults - the sharing of cultures, help with language and customs, appreciation of the hardships of being strangers in a strange land - if they could reach out and offer friendship rather than segregation. Perhaps tomorrow...

Shanen's picture

Hello Earthwindfire, Yeah

Hello Earthwindfire,
Yeah it’s so frustrating believe me I’ve been there, well I won’t say only it affects the children/teenagers but both adults and the old. Children learn so first when given the opportunity but adults or old people it takes them time to learn. I noticed a growing problem affecting healthcare for immigrants If you're in a place where local people don't speak your native tongue which in turn can cause a language barrier within the healthcare system. Many of these non-native tongue speaking residents do not have the resources to hire a medical interpreter and therefore often rely on their school-aged children to communicate with doctors and healthcare workers. However that in itself causes its own set of problems not just for the patient but the doctors as well and is in fact against patient rights regulations. Children are not aware of medical terminology and might not communicate correct phrases to their parents or healthcare professionals. In addition to the confusion that having children serve as interpreters might cause, there is the fact that healthcare is a very personal and confidential matter that not everyone wishes to share with their underage child.
Worse is not every healthcare facility in most countries employs a medical interpreter and many rely only on existing and uncertified staff that may not be completely fluent, when available. This can mean hours of wait for both patient and medical staff and often can lead to an incorrect diagnosis or lack of proper treatment. The problem becomes especially crucial when treating emergency patients. Because of the seriousness and liability of that issue, some hospitals are adapting to their rapidly changing client base and employing medical interpreters and translators. The lack of communication and understanding can often lead these patients to not seek medical attention or advice when they are in need of medical care. Lack of proper medical attention and preventive care can cause conditions to become more serious and even lead to death. Let’s think positive and hope that this language barrier will have a solution soon.

Have a goodday/evening and thankyou.

AyeshaM's picture

only connect!

Warm greetings Shanen,

I like what you said here:

"Getting out may mean trying traditional foods, sampling local entertainment, learning the history of my community or even just figuring out how to navigate through the city or town where I am living. Keeping in touch with friends and family back home has also been my priority, for being separated from my country, culture and the people I love and on whom I have always counted for support is understandably difficult."

You strike a delicate balance between cultivating a curiosity about your new home, while also honoring your birthplace, family, friends & culture. So many of us are global nomads these days, trying to hold that balance in our hearts from day to day.

Wishing you much joy & connection in your new home. Keep your beautiful openness and I have no doubt you will put down rich and deep roots wherever life takes you :)

Peace,
Ayesha

---

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."

- Mevlana Jalal-ad-Din Rumi

Shanen's picture

Hi AyeshaM I’m glad and happy

Hi AyeshaM
I’m glad and happy that you like what I wrote, well its true just like the saying goes ´´when in Rome, do as the Romans do’’ In short I believe that’s the only way to get, to interact with new people in a new country, place or town. How do you find where everything is like the hospitals, banks, post offices, shops if you don’t mingle with the local people? It’s the toughest thing to do at first but when you get used to the people it becomes easier and you make more friends too. Who knows you might even like the food compared to what you’re used to meaning your own food. Sometimes it’s good to try different things you might be interested in one or two things. I know I have tried a lot of different foods some I like some I don’t , even dancing to different traditional and cultural dances and I like it that’s how I meet people and get to talk to people about different issues affecting our lives.

Family is the most important thing to me so talking to my parents and knowing that they are well and ok makes my day restfully spend. If I feel down or law of course my husband helps but there are times that only parents can make things seem lighter. In other-words when leaving in a foreign country it’s always good to keep in touch with your family back home. They can be your source of empowerment well for me they do ha! ha! ha!.

I wish you all the best in all that you do. I like your statement ´´you strike a delicate balance between cultivating a curiosity about your new home, while also honoring your birthplace, family, friends & culture. So many of us are global nomads these days, trying to hold that balance in our hearts from day to day´´ Thank you so much. Kisses.

Have a good day/evening.

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