In this annual lecture for the English-Speaking Union, David Cystal discusses examples of cultural cross-purposes when communicating in English.

He also outlines the kind of cultural awareness all English speakers need to have when they interact with others on a global scale. February 2013, London. This talk was given by David Crystal for The English-Speaking Union annual lecture, in partnership with the British Council.

There is a widely held view that one of the consequences of the rise of English as a world language is global intelligibility. However, at the level of everyday communication, cultural differences between the countries that use English often present a barrier to understanding. The talk illustrates some of the conversational cross-purposes that have taken place, and discusses the kind of cultural awareness all English speakers need to have when they interact with others on a global scale.

You can download a report on the lecture below.

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