Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation: Cracking Hidden Cultural Codes

August 22, 2017

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Have you ever found yourself “lost in translation” when speaking across cultures?

“Hi! How are you?”  Translation: Greetings

Recently, a German friend posted: “What Germans probably confuse the most is that ‘How are you?’ really just means ‘Hello’ in the U.S. and doesn’t actually mean the person is interested in how you are doing.” 

Her statement reminded me of the time I passed a Middle Eastern student in the hall and said, “Hi!

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7 Tips for Listening Across Language Barriers

August 19, 2013

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Listening Across Language Barriers

Listening for mutual understanding challenges all of us at one time or another. Now add a layer of language or cultural difference between the speaker and listener. What began as a simple conversation has just evolved into a recipe in frustration, misunderstanding and potential disaster.

So what’s a listener to do to bridge the communication gap? Here are 7 easy tips to help you become a better audience when the speaker speaks a different language than you do:

1) Don’t stop listening when you hear an unfamiliar accent.

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7 Tips for Speaking Across Language Barriers

August 2, 2013

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Nancy Mueller ICC Class 2012

Most of us have felt the frustration and embarrassment of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak our language.

Here are 7 easy tips to help you get your message across when you are the speaker:

1) Slow down, but don’t speak more loudly. Pause between words instead of linking them together.

Depending on the level of the listener’s fluency, this one tip may be enough to foster understanding.

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