Blog | CultureReady

linguist Blog

January 19, 2016

Traveling to Japan? Here are some words that are great to know to help you understand the Japanese culture!

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, PhD, Alelo
December 10, 2015

It’s easy to assume that cultures correspond to countries, but the reality is much more complex, and the same is true for languages. You probably know, for instance, that Spanish is spoken in dozens of countries around the world, and that it is spoken a bit differently in each. But what you may not realize is that cultural and linguistic differences occur on a much more local level as well.

Think, for example, about English. If you’ve ever spent much time talking to people from different parts of the U.S., you probably know we don’t all speak the same way. In a recent post, I...

Culture Team
September 8, 2015

Lt. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, the deputy commanding general and chief of staff of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, stressed the importance of cultural understanding and culture training during a recent visit to DLIFLC's Command Language Program Managers conference. “There is a lack of language proficiency in the Army. Having men and women who better understand the culture, and certainly speak the language, as we engage populations across the world is critical,” adding “language is the driver to understanding a culture.” Lt. General Mangum continued, “With the outreach programs that...

Steve Hammons
April 22, 2015

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, traces its roots to the secret World War II U.S. Army intelligence unit comprised of Japanese-Americans – the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). 

Then, as now, we needed to succeed militarily and also communicate with other cultures and nations. 

The MIS was started in late 1941 as a unit to train Japanese-Americans (Nisei) to conduct translation and interrogation activities. MIS men came mostly from Hawaii and the West Coast.

The missions of the MIS were highly classified and still...

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Ph.D. from ALELO
April 17, 2015

If you ever have to work with people who don’t speak any of the same languages as you, you will probably have to use an interpreter to make yourself understood. Interpreters are a highly valuable resource for cross-cultural communication -- but when things go wrong, they can go very wrong.

For example, U.S. President Jimmy Carter made a diplomatic visit to Poland in 1977. Carter said he was glad to be in Poland, and his interpreter said that he was happy to have abandoned America. Carter later made a comment about his interest in the Poles' desires for the future, which was...

November 21, 2014

War themed video games are common, and the general consensus is that these types of games actually desensitize youth to the empathy required in real world conflict situations.  However, Alelo is lookinng at ways to use gaming technologies to do the opposite, to prepare military members for other cultures and actually prevent culture shock.

Alelo's VRP MIL (Virtual Role Players for Military Training Environments) provides an immersion experience to provide troops with a culturally and linguistically challenging scenarios.  The games allow...