Intercultural Hot Dog a Great Teacher

After all of the build up, there was no way Dillon was going to miss trying a hot dog in Paris. “A foot long, on a full baguette, and covered with cheese,” I recalled from my high school exchange trip. “Sometimes with French Fries stuffed right into the bun!” added my husband. “It lived up…

Sascha Finkelsztajn’s Jewish Deli in Paris: Who Has the “Right” Jewish Sandwich?

The traditional Jewish sandwich is a corned beef on rye, right?  It was actually our (not Jewish) Parisian host who told us about Sascha Finkelsztajn’s. Having been to a Jewish seder in Brazil and with a nod to his burgeoning Jewish cultural identity, 9 year old Dillon said it would be fun to try a bagel…

Poetry, Toungue Tennis, and other Tricks for Multicultural Name Pronunciation

  As someone married to an “Eugenio” (Brazilian Portuguese ay-oh-ZHEN-ee-oh) I was delighted to find the website Hearnames.com, which offers audio pronunciation by native speakers of hundreds of names in 44 language categories.  Dale Carnegie taught millions how to Win Friends and Influence People with ideas like “Remember that a person’s name is to that…

Selling Cigarettes to Women: “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby.” NOT

I definitely smoked Virginia Slims when I smoked 30 years ago. But who wouldn’t want to be that tall, thin, confident, brave, free-spirited, adventurous woman who didn’t take sh— from anybody.  Sign me up! Without even inviting me to a focus group tobacco companies have taken note, creating advertising targeted at women in third world…

Capturing the Moment that Launched my Intercultural Revolution

I’m often asked “what got you started in your interest in intercultural communications?”  Sometimes I say it was born inside of me, referencing the names of my pet black and gold fish at age 10, Martin Luther Fish and Golda My-Fish respectively (what 10 year old names their fish that?).  Other times I refer to…

What Nationality is Cinco de Mayo?

I found out from my Chinese-American friend (my designation-not sure how he self-identifies) on his Facebook update today that he felt misled by what he thought was a traditional Mexican holiday.  However, he discovered and shared that: Cinco de Mayo is only a big deal in America. It’s not even a holiday in Mexico…It’s actually a Hallmark Holiday!!!…

3 Things Guaranteed to Alienate When Speaking Across a Langague Barrier

In today’s multicultural world (depending on where you live) it is common to engage with people for whom English is not their first language.  While sometimes the interaction may be casual, with not much at stake, other times business deals, potential sales or enduring relationships may be at stake. Here are three tips to spoil the…