When traveling to a new country, it can be a discombobulating journey. Having to learn how to navigate new geography and learn how to function in a dissimilar culture takes time. However, after two full days exploring the city, I found it was and still is, very easy to maneuver through the city’s streets and communicate with the local residents. The reason for this, like in the United States, Dublin is a low-context culture. The two prime examples from my experiences are from conversations I had with the local residents and the visual contexts used in social media.
The first example as I mentioned above that led me to learn that Dublin is a low-context culture is through verbal communication. From walking in the streets or sitting in a restaurant, the people in Dublin are very sociable. They like to engage in conversations and are easily approachable to ask questions when lost. As a tourist, the only way to truly get to know the city and its culture is not to take bus tours or a taxi, but to walk to your destinations if possible. Since, I am centrally located in the heart of Dublin, I have made it my mission to walk to every site I wanted to go to. One destination that was on my bucket list was the Guinness Factory. However, along the way, I unfortunately made a wrong turn and found myself lost in the opposite direction of the factory. To correct my mistake, I went to a local restaurant to ask for directions. The receptionist was more than happy to help. However, what was amazing regarding this conversation was how articulate the receptionist was in providing me new directions. In short, the directions were simple and to the point. However, when I was still confused, the receptionist then broke down the directions into further detail. In retrospect, the receptionist made sure the directions had a linear sequence that was direct.
The second example that demonstrates Dublin as a low-context culture is how its visual marketing strategies are designed. Whether it is a poster, billboard, or electronic screen, the visual messages that are displayed are concise and direct, eliminating excess jargon that could possibly lead the targeted audience to guessing what the message means.
These are just two examples how Dublin is a low-context culture. However, what is important to come away from these examples is that they demonstrate how efficient people in Dublin are when it comes to social and media interaction. Therefore, tourists who are coming from low-context cultures like the U.S. are going to have more opportunity to quickly acclimate to this type of environment as opposed to those who are coming from a country like Japan that is a high-context culture. Therefore, tourists who come from high-context cultures and travel to Dublin must do their diligent research on how to be more articulate when speaking to local residents in Dublin.