The book is based on an empirical study of verbal communication between native speakers of english and romanians speaking english. The study integrates the pragmatic notion of 'activity type' as a working framework within the interactional sociolinguistic theoretical paradigm of conversational inference in intercultural encounters. The aim is to investigate in detail the procedures whereby participants, coming from different social and cultural backgrounds, make sense of each others' talk, and to attempt to understand the complex interactional and institutional problems in which culture is embedded. The findings suggest that participants adapt rather well and negotiate together a commonly shared definition of the situation. They also suggest that it cannot be taken for granted that cultural difference remains a stable given.