Monday, November 28, 2022

Travel question for 2023: Can I learn the language?

As the end of the year approaches, and we think of Things We’ll Do (or not) in the new year. Travel is often on the list. That place we always wanted to see or want to revisit. Soon we remember that a new destination may mean new words to learn: How will we say Please, Thank You, I’m Lost? 
When selecting that next destination, you may want to consider the degree of difficulty you, if you are a native English speaker, may discover with trying to learn that new language.
In a 2019 AFAR magazine article writer Meredith Heil interviewed linguist Hannah McElgunn. She pointed out that languages that are related may be easier to group. How they are they related? Two ways: “One is through genealogical relation, when two languages descend from a common language historically. Another is through contact, or vocabulary borrowing.” Is the language similar to yours?

 Another major point to consider is how does the language sound? “It will be much harder to speak and understand a language with sounds that aren’t used in English because the distinctions between words won’t sound pronounced to learners McElgunn says. Lithuanian, for example, has a 32-letter alphabet and 52 different phonemes (distinguishing sounds)—many of which lie outside of English’s 26-letter span.” 

Check out all the ways that the language at your destination will be similar or different to your own. Take on the challenge of learning to say Please, Thank you, I’m Lost wherever travel takes you.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Is 10:00 am for Me Midnight for You?

Months ago, I wrote a blog post about how to find time for meetings that involve people in different time zones.    Today, I’m writing about that same subject because it presents a challenge for many people.

In the last two weeks I’ve had to schedule zoom meetings with colleagues in London, Berlin, Washington, DC, Tokyo and Los Angeles. As usual the question was what times would be practical for everyone? – making sure no one has to jump on a call at 6 am or midnight their time?    LA – easy, I’m in California too.  Same time zone.  For the other places there’s still the question – how to be sure that asking for a meeting at 10:00 am was a reasonable time for call someplace else. 


My answer is still the same:  go to the Meeting Planner page on the site Time and Date.   

 Meeting Planner link

Thanks to their pull-down list of cities around the world I can quickly find the ones where my colleagues are located, fill in the date and in a flash, it tells me that my 10 am is 1 pm in Washington, DC and 3 am in Tokyo.  Need compare the times (and days) 1 city, or many that’s easy too.  Just add more cities to your list.  


As we expand our reach beyond our local time zone, this site makes it easy to know what time to suggest for a meeting across the world.   People will appreciate that you pay attention to what works for them too. 



Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Global Connectedness Index


DHL, is and American company that is a division of a German logistics company (we could call it a global enterprise)  that specializes in international shipping, courier services and transportation.  They deliver over a billion parcels a year.  As a resident of California when I think of DHL, I think of bright yellow trucks with a red logo zipping through traffic wherever I am.


Only recently did I discover the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) is developed with the NYU/Stern School of Business. (GCI)  This report, although new to me, has been in existence for over ten years.  According to its introduction the GCI offers “a thorough examination of the state of globalization based on analysis of trade, capital, information, and people flows at the global, regional, and national levels. Each issue builds on the previous report as well as decades of globalization research.”

Interested in what they have to say in the 2021 update?   Find the information using this  link to their  Key Take Aways:  Ten Take Aways     Dive into the report and discover why they are optimistic about globalization overall even though they see vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.   I’m already looking forward to seeing what the 2022 report tells us.