In intercultural communication, the training of intercultural competence is seen as one of the primary solutions to problems and misunderstandings arising in intercultural situations. Intercultural competence is based on the assumption that specific cultural based factors have a continuous influence on the communication.
In this article it is argued for that this assumption can be a problematic one. Based on an analysis of authentic talk-in-interaction between two interlocutors from different nations it is shown that interlocutors continuously negotiate about membership categories like e.g. cultural origin and its local relevance for the talk. This means that cultural origin is not a continuous, but a dynamic entity. This leads to the suggestion that in intercultural communication the training of interactive strategies should be an alternative or a necessary addition to traditional training aims like intercultural competence.