Friday, March 29, 2013

Lost in Translation

There are many funny "lost in translation" kinds of terms that everyone experiences when going from country to country.

The Brits laugh at the American's "fanny pack".

Kenyans say "flash me" when asking for your phone number.

And my favorite two in Hungary...

When you leave a store or restaurant, Hungarians will often say "hello" as you walk out the door.  Hello for goodbye.  It's used more like the Hawaiian "Aloha".  Getting used to it, but a little awkward when I get back home.

Hungarians kiss when they greet and say goodbye, like many cultures.  So when they say goodbye on the phone, it's common to hear someone say "kiss kiss" as they get close to hanging up.  "Kiss kiss" in Hungarian is pronounced  "pussy pussy".  English speakers can't help but giggle a bit at that one.

Do you have any good "lost in translation" stories?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


The Sea
A Volcano
Medieval Cities
Norman Architecture
Ottoman Architecture
Greek Architecture
Roman Architecture
Modern Architecture
Old Men
Almond Wine
More Churches
Really Old Churches

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Being International vs. Internationally Minded

Today I was challenged with how "international" I am.  I'm attending an IB Teacher Training, which is an educational philosophy and system of schools in the international community.  The purpose of which is to create learners who are "Internationally Minded".  As we went over the profile of the IB student, I was challenged by one of the student traits - Open-minded.  IB states what this type of learner strives to be:

They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.  They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

After discussing this in the seminar, the thought that came immediately to my mind was my reaction to Hungarian prejudice.  I've written about this a couple times in previous posts - my frustration with the close-mindedness I see around me.  But today I realized that my opinions of that "close-mindedness" are a result of my own close-mindedness.  Being open-minded means trying to understand different points of view.  Looking at Hungarian culture, what I've learned thus far anyway, I can see why some of these things I see as frustrating are part of a culture I really appreciate in so many ways.  Whether they're right or wrong is not mine to judge if I want to be an open-minded person.  "Seeking and evaluating a range of points of view" and being "willing to grow from the experience" is what I should be striving to do to be Internationally Minded.

I like the way this made me think.  I've been "International" for 7 years.  But maybe one day down the road I'll truly be Internationally Minded.