Hardest Languages to Learn

Here is an interesting infographic put out by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute which splits up languages by the effort needed to learn them.

Spoken Word Poetry

Poetry can be powerful. Here is a woman who has a passion for storytelling through spoken word poetry. She speaks right to some place inside. Take a few minutes to listen and be inspired, or awed, or both. To hear Sarah Kay’s gift, click here. I for one will never look at poetry the same way again.

The Hidden Side of Language

Body language – it’s the stuff the makes up around 80% of our communication. To read a comprehensive article on the topic, check out this link to HowStuffWorks.com.

Culture influencing language

An interesting take from Finnish linguists on how culture influences language.

Telling them apart – cultural differences in Asia

If you haven’t been to various countries in a region, you may be forgiven for thinking that they are all the same. Some “westerners” have the impression that Asians can be lumped together because they can’t tell them apart. This is due to lack of exposure. But that is fast changing. The truth is, there are huge differences from one Asian country to another, and even more differences between provinces, cities, internal ethnic groups… and the list goes on. The Los Angeles Times ran an article last week called “Without Words, Speaking Several Languages”. Min Byoung-chul, a professor at Konkuk University in South Korea is researching the differences among Asian social customs.

Exploring the Expat Harem

I just received my first comment on my blog “Accidental Writer” from Anastasia Ashman who edited the book “Tales from the Expat Harem”. She led me to the website Expat+HAREM, which describes itself as “the global niche”. Well, just the name was intriguing enough to delve into further. I spent an hour exploring and reading the blogs posted by women from various countries and with varied backgrounds and experiences.

The Accidental Writer

I want to be a writer. Don’t you? Perhaps you already are one, and don’t even realize it. I’ve decided that I’m a writer. I LOVE to write. I write constantly. I actually LOVE the act of writing. I love holding a pen, creating words with ink on paper, typing letters on a screen that become a message to a friend across the oceans. I love that I can take what is in my head and record it forever, or change and mold it a thousand times.

I just returned from the FIGT conference in Texas where probably a third of the 200 participants were writers or wanted to be. Those who were published writers weren’t necessarily famous outside their field. But it didn’t matter. What I discovered was this strange human fascination with writing; with telling a story.

Expat childhood from a Brazilian perspective

I had the pleasure of meeting Simone T. Costa Eriksson at the FIGT conference. Her name alone was too interesting to ignore. How did this Brazilian woman end up with a Swedish name? She came into the pre-conference session “Cross-cultural Coaching: Tools for Successful Cultural Adjustments”, carrying a colorfully illustrated box. I later found out that is the tool she uses to explain the concepts in her newly published book The Mission of Detective Mike: Moving Abroad, which was written in honor of and because of her children, both TCKs.

Educating Global Nomads blogs about FIGT

Since attending the FIGT conference, I have been connecting online with several of those I met. I have found and am following several inspiring blogs, including Rebecca Grappo’s at EducatingGlobalNomads.com. There was so much that came out of the conference that I can’t possibly cover more than a fraction. Her observations fill in some of the spaces that my notes and memory missed and they touch on some important topics; namely how to build a close expat family and advice for couples separated by assignments.

The Who’s Who of FIGT

At the FIGT conference I met so many interesting personalities and people I’ve admired. One highlight was meeting Ruth E. van Reken, author of Third Culture Kids – Growing up Among Worlds, which was instrumental in helping me to define my identity and explain my experiences growing up. The conference had a very collaborative and open atmosphere. There were so many helpful individuals who offered me their time, advice and resources. These people and so many others I haven’t mentioned have really inspired me to stay on this career path that I’ve chosen. I really feel like I’m in the right place. And I can’t wait until next year’s conference in Washington DC!