Lost in Translation: Gift Exchange Between U.S. and Russia

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy And I felt bad when I told the street vendor in Mexico I couldn’t buy a sweater from him because I didn’t love him (no ‘te’ quiero vs no ‘lo’ quiero).  Take a look at this cross-cultural communication gaff on behalf of the…

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The Road to Multiculturalism is Paved with Good Intentions…and That’s Okay!

 My husband brought home whole milk plain yogurt from the grocery store…again.  Since there was still half a container festering in the fridge from the last time he shopped, I had to ask:  “What were you thinking?”  I tried to deliver the line with a sing-songy up-tone as though I really thought he had a…

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5 Easy Steps to an Honest and Equitable Judicial System

 In less than 30 seconds on the Internet I can find what Casanova’s job was in 1798, what Darwin had for dinner on January 3, 1834, 1,500 recipes for banana cake and how to add water to a sub-pump.  What I can’t find is how two judges could “choos(e) to treat children as commodities…

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The Universal Language of Cookies

I love intercultural communications, and I love cookies, so I had to love this ad for oreos that connects two little girls from different cultural backgrounds by their common enjoyment of and manner of eating Oreos.  For a strong diversity program to succeed, it’s important that internal programs and policies align with external communications.  This seems to be the case for…

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Translating Timothy Cole’s Injustice into Anti-Racist Action

The problem with stereotyping is that it presumes guilt before innocence, dictating that someone will behave a certain way because of their race or ethnicity.  In the extreme, the results can be devastating, as they were for the late Timothy Cole, a young black man who was exonerated last week for a rape he didn’t…

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Intercultural Bridges: Explaining the Chinese New Year In English to Lithuanians

 I took Dillon and one of his classmates to the Chinese New Year parade in Chicago’s Chinatown yesterday.  You have to love culture in an urban environment:  there were dragons and lion dancers and colorful floats from various Asian-American Chambers of Commerce, but also the Irish Shamrock Rovers and marching bands and drill teams from…

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Top 10 Ways to Learn about Another Culture…or Just 1: Ask!

 I started to write a simple “10 Quick Steps to Preparing for Your International Visitor,” as in preparing to meet your mother-in-law from Argentina for the first time or hosting the new team from Korea for a business conference, but I realized it rang of insincerity.  Sure, you can (and should) read works of fiction…

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Help Connect the Dots Between School and Presidency: Help Damon Weaver Get His Interview

The Huffington Post has taken up the cause of 10 year old Damon Weaver, reporter for the Kathryn E. Cunningham Canal Point Elementary school TV station,  to get a one-on-one interview with President Obama.   As his story continues to grow, he did get credentials to cover the Inauguration.  Dwayne Wade also has offered to play…

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