communication | CultureReady
The rise of mobile internet access is allowing many people to connect who haven't had access to desktop machines or fixed-line broadband in the past. Mobile phones will account for nearly 10% of African GDP by the end of the decade due to explosive growth in the telecoms industry. There are more mobile phones than adults in most African countries. This is having a significant economic, social and cultural impact on the continent.
Recently, a Swedish Tourism agency created a single phone line that connects international callers to randomly selected Swedish volunteers to chat about whatever is on their minds. The goal of the service is to generate interest in the country and encourage tourism to the frosty nation. Ever wondered about Norse culture? How do the Swede's deal with 18 hour nights, what the northern lights look like, and why they like to forrage for berries? Well... call them up and ask!
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.
About twelve years ago, a friend yelled at me for what he saw as constant interruptions. “You never let me finish talking,” he said.
I was confused. When had I ever interrupted him?
After much discussion, I finally figured it out. What he considered an interruption — saying “right” or “yes” while he was talking — was the only way I knew to listen politely. In my experience, remaining completely silent while someone else was speaking meant you were checked out.
Recently, Foreign Policy magazine published an article on American studying abroad in China which we wanted to highlight. Some key take aways are that during the 2013-2014 academic year, over 274,000 Chinese students went Stateside to pursue higher education. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the last year for which U.S.
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar - USSOCOM has recently been developing Female Engagement Teams (FETs) across the Middle East. When looking at the country of Qatar, they determined the 379th ESFS was a valuable and untapped resource.
USSOCOM has previously conducted an exchange program with the Qatari female officers, utilizing U.S. Marines from the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). This will, however, be the first FET from the 379th ESFS to engage and work with the Host Nation female security forces.
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.
Back in 2009, news reports explained that a U.S. intelligence operative in Afghanistan had provided Viagra to an older tribal and community leader who had several younger wives. The story triggered humor, concern and insight about working closely with indigenous populations in Afghanistan elsewhere.
This case shows us that interacting with indigenous people – so that they may consider being friends of Americans instead of enemies – can be approached in various ways, conventional and unconventional.
The ability to communicate and relate across cultures is an important ability. But a more pertinent question in the culture community is 'how can we measure this ability'? These are some tools that help us to understand our own culture readiness. The tools are used to generate discussion and reflection.