Posts Tagged ‘Language’

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Wednesday’s Word – Communication

03/10/2012
gmail-language-translation

gmail-language-translation (Photo credit: denharsh)

I am hosting an international student who knows very little English.  It is interesting to attempt communication, through words, signals and in this day and age, an online translation tool.  Little by little we are making progress, and it reminds me how much we take for granted in what we say and how we say it.  The next time I speak to someone who does not know English, I am planning my words more carefully.

Think of how your words might sound to someone who doesn’t know your language – how might you then choose differently? 🙂

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The Language Of The Heart

24/04/2012
Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13...

Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.  ~ Nelson Mandela

I can remember the first couple of times I traveled to Italy, and would attempt to speak the language.  Especially in the marketplace, Italians for the most part, were appreciative of my attempt.  I must say I’m a little out of practice now, but I remember well how much of a difference it made – to the hotel desk clerk, the grocery clerk, the train ticket office, etc.  It always produced a smile and a soft, helpful tone.  (Except once when I was in Venice – but then, the poor vendor probably was sick of dealing with foreigners.)  Even when in “English-speaking” countries, the natives appreciate when you understand their idioms.

Have you tried to learn some phrases when you have visited other countries?  Do you notice a difference in treatment when you try to speak someone else’s language?  Share your stories with us!

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