absolutely intercultural 142 +++ George Simons +++ The Consultants-E +++ Bollywood +++ Internations +++

absolutely angry
In this show we re-vsisit the chat I had with George Simons in show 138. George you may remember is the creator of the Diversophy intercultural games. We also talked about other intercultural games and when I mentioned Barnga, which we described way back in show 43, he told me about another very effective intercultural game. You could tell this was a good one because it made people absolutely angry!

absolutely distant
It’s not just anger which is a symptom of your being out of your comfort zone. I was surprised when Janice Ford, an Australian talked about this feeling of being absolutely distant. Janice Ford took a course with me at The Consultants-E where I help teachers intgerate ICT into their language teaching and is just one of the many interesting people I meet there from all over the world.

absolutely incredible
You’ve probably heard about Bollywood, the Indian film industry, and how it rivals Hollywood in scope and numbers of films produced so now we’re going to hear from Rebecca Chadwick, who’s just finished high school and is so mad about Indian film that she signed up to a years course at the Asian Academy of Film and TV in New Delhi and simply flew straight into her course at the beginning of July having never travelled further than Europe before. If you watch satellite TV you’ll probably understand why I’m calling this strand absolutely incredible when I contacted Rebecca shortly after her arrival to hear about her first impressions.

absolutely social
Now perhaps Rebecca might have benefited from being a member of Internations, a website designed to help expatriates all over the world cope with being stationed far away from home. My final guest on the show today is Malte Zeeck, co founder of Internations and my first question was about why such a website is needed. If you like the sound of internations and would like to join, then get in touch with me through this blog as I have some invitations available. Perhaps you were inspired by our last show to organise a foreign internship or semester exchange? You can also test your English by trying a short dictation taken from this interview here.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 2nd September 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 140 +++ multiculturalism +++ social media +++ The Consultants-E +++

The Consultants-EIn this show we’ll be going to Ireland and asking if multi-culturalsim is dead then what should replace it? We’ll also be hearing from another Irish man, Robert O’Dowd, based in Léon, Spain about the added value of multimedia when doing online intercultural exchanges and from two of the current participants in the Podcasting course offered by The Consultants-E. I’ve been tutoring various online courses there and it has often struck me how intercultural these EFL teachers are and so this time I took the opportunity to find out more about them. For example I discovered one of the issues facing female Saudi students who want to study abroad.

absolutely failed
But we’ll begin with Stephen Spillane in Ireland, a political blogger whose latest post made me want to find out more. Stephen was picking up on the backlash against multiculturalism which is spreading across Europe and made an interesting suggestion about what to replace it with. So let’s hear Stephen explain why multiculturalism has absolutely failed. Soon after I had spoken with Stephen my eye was caught by a recent report with the headline Employers looking for global awareness in young recruits, which is a kind ofpositive reply to the negative comment Stephen got to his post, and tells us that intercultural awareness is a sought after quality by employers. You can find the link to that report here.

absolutely global
In my work with The Consultants-E helping English teachers integrate technology into their everyday practice I have met (virtually of course) many interesting people. Usually the teachers fall into two categories; either they teach gloriously mixed classes in their home country or they are the ones who have moved to teach in a new culture. So in our next category, absolutely global, we are going to meet two teachers from my current podcasting class as I thought it only right for them to experience podcasting from a different perspective. First I talked with Janice Ford, an Australian based in Sydney who has taught English to students from all over the world. Janice talked to me about some of the nice moments with her international groups. I then spoke with Samah Thabet, an Egyptian woman who has been teaching in Saudi Arabia or KSA, for the last four years. I was curious about Samah’s students also. In fact my chats with Janice and Samah and others from my course were much longer so watch out for more from them in later shows. If you would like to practice your English you can try the dictation based on a short extract from this category at Listen & Write.

absolutely social
In our final category I am bringing you an extract from a free webinar offered by the Language Learning and Social Media project on the topic of social media and interculturality. Entitled Give interculturality a chance – Can social media make a difference?” I was one of the invited speakers and you can access my recorded slideshow at SlideBoom.  The webinar featured Fred Dervin from Finland and Christine Develotte from France who presented some very interesting statistics about the use of social media and Liang Wang from the Open University in Milton Keynes in the UK who talked about the social media habits of Chinese students. The webinar also included a presentation by Robert O’Dowd based in Léon, Spain who talked about the multimedia exchange between his Spanish students and a group in the USA. Does multimedia help to raise intercultural awareness in an online exchange? So if Robert O’Dowd’s comments have whetted your apetite then you can find the link to the whole webinar here.

Thanks very much to everyone who took part in today’s show. We couldn’t do it without you! If you have any comments, criticisms or suggestions then please add a comment here on the blog.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 5th August 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 138 +++ Saudi Arabia +++ Iraq +++ NYOI +++ Diversophy +++ Refugee Week +++

Diversophy logoIn this show we’ll be hearing about how games can help your intercultural awareness. We’ll also be following up on a couple of items from the last show by going to Iraq to hear more about the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq initiative which brought Arab and Kurdish Iraqis together to make music and we’ll be re-visiting the issue of the right of Saudi women to drive cars in cities.
absolutely independent:
In the last show we went absolutely independent when we heard about the Saudi women who were going to drive their cars on June 17th in a bid to convince the authorities to accept this practice. Actually June 17th was not meant as a one-off but as a start date, but it seems that the day went well with quite a few women driving their cars with only minor brushes with the police as a result. This is in contrast to what happened with a similar action in 1990 when the women then were harassed by the authorities and other citizens and described as ‘The fallen: Advocates of vice and corruption on Earth’. ‘A source of depravity’ and when other citizens were advised to ‘Take whatever action you see fit’ to bring them under control. What’s the difference between then and now? Perhaps that, because of social media, the eyes of the world were on Saudi Arabia on this occasion.

absolutely social
So does social media such as Twitter and Facebook have an effect on culture? That is a question which I shall be exploring as part of a webinar organised by Christine Develotte and Fred Dervin on June 29th.  More specifically we will be looking at whether social media can actually contribute to developing intercultural competences. You will find the link to the free webinar here.

absolutely playful
We’ve covered games before and today we’re going to hear from George Simons working with Kati Volt about his Diversophy game, how it works and a bit of background about how the game is made. So how can you gain some intercultural awareness through a game? George Simons of Diversophy.com explains the game which started out as a face to face card game but now also comes in online and Android smart phone format. We also hear about sample cards in the game and how people react to them. In fact George and I had a great deal more to talk about; too much for one show, so you’ll be hearing more from George and his gaming approach in future shows. In the meantime you might like to try one of the Diversophy Android apps on your Smart phone.

absolutely musical
Now let’s be absolutely musical and hear a little more about that incredible orchestra put together by audition on YouTube which puts together traditional enemies, Arabs and Kurds, to play together in an Orchestra which is due to perform at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn this coming October. In previous shows we have heard from Paul MacAlindin, the conductor and Karin Wolf, the viola teacher, as well as the RheinAhr Campus students whose task it was to find a way of raising awareness of the event. In this show I will play you an extract from one of the videos put together to explain the background to this very special orchestra. You can see and hear the whole video here.

absolutely desperate
Did you know that this week is international refugee week? In Australia it was marked by an amazing reality show, Asylum Exit Australia: Go back to where you came from , in which over three consecutive nights you followed the journey of six ordinary Australians who made the refugee journey to Australia backwards; in the words of the programme makers :

Deprived of  their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in  Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan  before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and  Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of  them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic  journey and the most challenging experience of their lives.

This is all about trying to walk in the shoes of others or leaving your comfort zone and is meant to confront viewers with their stereotypes of refugees as spongers and taking the easy option and so on. For the moment this has only been broadcast on Australian TV.  But the TV company have added another way in which you can get a taste of what it might be like to have all your normal certainties suddenly taken away from you, in the form of  a simulation. The game starts in Australia where, through some unamed political developments, you are suddenly in extreme danger of your life and need to escape. How does it feel to have to leave the place you consider home, to suddenly not know who you can trust? These are the sorts of issues which the game explores. You can try it out for free. I’d be interested to hear your reactions so do add a comment here after playing it. .

Ways to support “The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”:

The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq would especially welcome your support on the various social media sites if you have a moment or two to spare.

YOUTUBE: 1. NYOI plays for kids, 2. General Information, 3. KICKSTARTER

FACEBOOK: 1. German, 2. International

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 8th July 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 136 +++ storytelling +++ grammar of culture +++ Herrasti +++ Oluwatoyin Kole +++ Nigeria +++

Grammatica del la CulturaThis show we will be mainly about storytelling as we meet the author of a book about intercultural communication and explore the art of story telling in Africa and as you will hear this does not just mean talking. We’ll be talking to the author of a new book on the grammar of culture and finding out the role of stories there and finding out some of the key features of story telling in the African tradition.

absolutely necessary
Natalia Pérez de Herrasti told us about the first volume of her new book called Grammatica del la Cultura, the grammar of culture. As you can guess the book is in Spanish. So why do we need to be aware of the grammar of culture? We discover that this is a way of making sense of the stories or critical incidents that are the starting point for so much intercultural training.

absolutely participatory
And now for the first time on Absolutely Intercultural you will be given a taste of African story telling. This is not just a case of ‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin’. This is absolutely participatory. Oluwatoyin Kole from Nigeria was invited to demonstrate African story telling technique to a University of Florida class on Social change through communication. So first came a bit of pre-session training. Then we’ll hear an extract from the story which concerns a couple who have long been married but have not been able to have children. The husband consults the local diviner who says… If you want to experience the full story then you will have to follow this link. We also hear the start of the discussion after the story had ended.

So you heard the man! Let’s hear your stories. If you have any stories of critical incidents which happened to you or which you heard about and which made a difference to the way you think about things then let’s hear them. You can add them as a comment to this blog or you can send us an audio recording which we can include in our next show or we can arrange to meet you online so that we get a more interactive version.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 10th June 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer

absolutely intercultural 134 +++ University of the People +++ Shai Reshef +++ Haiti +++


Today is April 29th 2011 and is one of those rare days when an amazingly high percentage of people in the world will be watching scenes from the same event; the wedding in the UK of Prince William and Kate Middleton, so thank goodness for podcasts which can be enjoyed at any time which means that this 134th show of Absolutely Intercultural need not lose out to this international phenomenon. It’s a bit ironic that while the institution of monarchy is in retreat all over the world this event should attract such huge attention. But I think that I may be confusing monarchy with celebrity.

My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark where the two major TV channels will both be transmitting the Royal Wedding most of the day! Enough! This show is going to concentrate on another international phenomenon but in this case one which has the potential for improving the lives of many people. We will be re-visiting the University of the People which offers free university tuition to people who, for a variety of reasons, could otherwise never hope for a college education. As we find out more about this very different route to a university degree we will eavesdrop on everyday life in Haiti where the University of the People is making extra efforts to support their students there.

absolutely democratic
Even though most people in the world don’t experience going to university directly, most would have a picture in their minds about what this means. So I imagine that picture would include spending three to five years at a campus, attending lectures, buying a pile of books and maybe taking a part time job perhaps? Financially it might be a struggle as more and more universities are forced to charge fees; up to £9000 per year in England for example. It often also means leaving home and living in halls of residence or digs. But what if someone comes along who has a very different idea about what going to university looks like? Such a person is Shai Reshef, an entrepreneur whose big idea is to make a university education much more accessible by offering free online tuition using open source materials from elite universities such as Harvard and MIT through what he has called The University of The People. We first met Shai Reshef on Absolutely Intercultural in Oct 2009 and I was keen to find out how the project is going. Often on Absolutely Intercultural we are looking at the reactions of people confronted by different norms than they are used to. What Shai Reshef is doing is trying to produce a new norm, a new culture about what a university education looks like which seems to me to be an interesting social experiment.

absolutely Haitian
In the normal way of things Shai Reshef rarely gets to meet any of the UoP students but the University of the People has a special project in Haiti where it is not enough just to offer free tuition over the Internet in a location which has been devasted by an earthquake. In this segment we’ll find out what else is needed to give people in Haiti the opportunity of a university education.You can see the video together with others from the same visit on the University of the People’s YouTube channel. So what do you think about this new approach to getting a college education? If you’ve been to college yourself would you have considered getting your degree in this way? You can add your comments to this blog.

Don’t forget to send in any examples of racism due to visible differences for our next show which will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 13th May

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Markus Scherer

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absolutely intercultural 132 +++ Communication Station +++ Diversophy +++ Liu Yang +++ ELTONS +++ Natalia Pérez de Herrasti +++

Culture is often bound up in language and language learning and in our first category, absolutely educational, I found a very unusual way of learning a language….

For those of you who do not live in Europe I imagine that some of you sometimes think that we exaggerate the differences within Europe but when I talked to Natalia Pérez de Herrasti, a Spaniard living in Germany, I was introduced to a whole new perspective explaining the differences between Spaniards and Germans!

And if you want to test yourself on your understanding of some of these differences then I’ll be introducing you to the intercultural games from Diversophy which you can get on paper, in the virtual world, Second Life and as mobile phone apps.

Another app which I’ve just discovered is Google Translate for Animals. You can get this for Android phones and all you do is hold your phone in front of the animal to record what they are saying and Google Translate for Animals will translate this and speak the message for you. Unfortunately this is only in English at the moment but it really opens up a whole new world for us to interact with. There is also a video demonstrating how this works.

absolutely challenging
But we’ll start with an intercultural challenge. This came up while I was talking to Natalia Pérez de Herrasti and took me a little by surprise as it was not something that I had ever thought about. So let’s be absolutely challenging and see if you know the answer to this little intercultural situation. I’ll give you some time to think about that and reveal my reply at the end of the show!

absolutely educational
In our next category, absolutely educational, I’m going to let you listen to the homework of one of the students on the Communication Station course offered by UIC. What was her homework? To make a podcast about the Gay Pride carnival in London during which she learned a couple of intercultural differences along the way

absolutely first class
This way of learning English won first prize at the British Council ELTON awards in February for innovation in English language teaching and in our next category, absolutely first class So let’s find out how the students react and how you can sell this as a language learning course.

absolutely oriental
Natalia Pérez Herrasti who is Spanish has been teaching the language in Germany for almost twenty years. Natalia got in touch with us to tell us about the new four volume book she is writing in Spanish about a practical approach to intercultural communication, but our conversation ranged far and wide and the bit I want to play now is when Natalia suggested that one reason that the Spanish and Germans are so different is that the Spanish have a very oriental outlook. I really recommend a visit to Liu Yang’s exhibition of intercultural graphics  as they are very thought-provoking.

absolutely playful
So images are one way of thinking about intercultural situations and games are another. Diversophy is the name of a collection of games which can be played face to face, online in Second Life or on your mobile phone. The Second Life games are free and there is lots of information and free samples on the Diversophy website. I’m hoping to be able to talk to someone from the Diversophy organisation in a future show so that I can get behind the thinking behind playing to learn.

And talking of playing to learn, have you thought about that little conundrum that we presented you with at the beginning of the show? And to make that into even more of a game I have chosen Natalia’s intercultural challenge as the snippet to use in the online dictation game for this show.  By the way, did you notice the date today? One of the items I mentioned on the show is not true! I wonder if you can guess which one? If not, then April Fool!

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on15th April

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Markus Scherer

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absolutely intercultural 130 +++ China’s one child policy +++ Speaking ‘merican +++ Vicki Hollett +++ indirectness +++

The picture is of me holding our European Podcast Award, beautiful but heavy, together with the Olympus DM 55o Digital Voice Recorder which I used to record this show. OK I promise that this is the last time I’ll mention it! Thanks for the votes and thanks to the whole Absolutely Intercultural team which keeps the whole thing going.

absolutely lost
Tingting Yang is a Chinese teacher of English and corporate communication advisor. There was lots to talk about but having done a Masters in Intercultural Communication and working as an intercultural trainer with Verge Cross-cultural Communication. There was one aspect of Chinese policy which Tingting was convinced has had a huge effect on Chinese culture and that is the one-child policy.

absolutely ‘merican
Now I want to introduce you to Vicki Hollett, author of several successful English language learning books. Vicki is British but moved to the US about ten years ago. Her book Business Objectives, had been very successful in its original British English version so her publisher suggested that they make an American English version. We hear about positive and negative politeness and indirectness as used in Britain and America. To test our understanding of indirect English, Vicki produced a dialogue in which two people discuss what to do about a project which is behind schedule. Is the outcome clear?

And if you need a bit of structured listening or writing practice then you can find several different types of dictation exercises based on a snippet of that interview at the Listen and Write website.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on18th March

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Markus Scherer

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absolutely intercultural 128 +++ Nigeria +++ Rosinski +++ coaching +++ Roskilde +++

In this show we’re going to be taking you to Nigeria, the Netherlands, France and the US. One of the great things about the Internet is the niche marketing it allows. One example of this is the radio show Culture Shock: Nigerians in America on Splash FM in Nigeria and which is also podcast. It’s billed as a new talk radio show connecting Nigerians in Nigeria to Nigerians in America and hosted by Abimbola Ishola and Kunle Ayodeji. We’ll also be hearing from Philipe Rosinski, intercultural coach for international business presenting his thoughts about why the coaching approach works in intercultural situations and later talking about some of the cases he has dealt with. 

I’d also like to say hi to Nina Liakos in Maryland who interviewed me about a week ago about this podcast as part of her efforts to learn about how to podcast with the help of the Evonline sessions sponsored by TESOL every year in January. Nina, you did a fantastic job! It was a pleasure talking to you and very relaxing to be the interviewee for a change.

absolutely Nigerian
So let’s start the show by hearing from show number 21 of CultureShock Nigerians when they asked about the types of experiences and impressions newly arrived Nigerians to America had. You can hear more by going to cultureshocknigerians.com where you’ll find all the shows to date since it started last autumn. Thanks to Kole Odutola who alerted me to the show and to the producers for allowing us to bring you snippets. We’ll also hear from a Nigerian comedian Seyi Brown and his experience of coming to the US in 2008.

absolutely doctoral
Now if your interest in intercultural matters is academic you may be interested in a doctoral summer school open to any PhD student in the field which is going to take place in Denmark in early July at Roskilde University. It’s called Identity and Interculturality and will feature some of the greats in the field such as Michael Byram and Claire Kramsch. The 5 day summer school will concentrate on research methods and costs only 50 euros. The deadline to apply is February 28th. Thanks to Fred Dervin for alerting me to that and he is also one of the convenors of the summer school which will take the form of lectures, workshops and roundtables.

absolutely universal
Another way of learning which is becoming very popular these days is through coaching. Our next slot features Philipe Rosinski who gave an hour long webinar on his experiences as an intercultural coach. The webinar was organised by SIETAR which is the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and you can enjoy the whole webinar on their website for free. In the first extract, we’ll hear how Rosinski needed to adapt the coaching approach so that it was a little less American.

absolutely mixed
Rosinski has written books about intercultural coaching, the latest one is called Global Coaching, while the earlier Coaching across Cultures describes the tool he has developed to help individual and teams find out their strengths and weaknesses in the intercultural area. You can try out the individual tool for free by clicking here. What it does is highlight your preferences in terms of a whole range of orientations such as hierarchy, multi-tasking, formality and communication styles and compares them to your abilities in those areas. In a team situation it would help for example to discover if half your team preferred to multi-task while the other half are expecting tasks to come one at a time. The orientations are those which tend to differ in different cultures and build on the ideas of the pioneers in intercultural communication such as Hofstede and Edward T Hall. I tried the test and discovered that I might have difficulty working in a very hiearchical setting for example. Let’s hear now how Rosinski could apply the results of the test to a team of Dutch and French employees involved in a merger.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 18th February

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Dino Nogarole

absolutely intercultural 126 +++ small talk +++ Frendo +++ Korea +++ respect +++ apps +++

Happy New Year or should that be Appy New Year from Absolutely Intercultural, the podcast about all things intercultural? My name’s Anne Fox and this podcast is coming to you from Denmark. This is show number 126, the first one of 2011 or 20 11 as I should probably start to call it. So why Appy New Year? Well in this show I will be introducing you to 3 so-called apps which could help you in your efforts to understand more about intercultural communication.

This is the first time I’m making a show after learning about our win in the European podcast awards for 2010. We won in the non-profit category and I just want to add my thanks to all those of you who voted for us and also to all those of you who have contributed to the show by speaking with me and Laurent over the years. Without you as our conversation partners this podcast would be impossible.

absolutely trivial
The topic of small talk is often part of a language course, though not a very important one. But when I talked to Evan Frendo in Germany I discovered that small talk is actually a very important building block of working relationships. Here are links to Evan’s blog and his latest book, Intercultural Business English for German learners of English working in Asia.

absolutely useful?
You may remember that in my last show we found out about South Korea from a Chinese perspective when I spoke with Carol who is doing a year’s study exchange there. What also interested me was how she was going to use Korean when she went back to China. So is Korean absolutely useful to Chinese people? Thanks again to Carol who got in touch with us to tell us about her Korean experiences. She certainly showed herself to be adaptable when faced with a sensitive intercultural situation.

absolutely adaptable
And adaptability is something which Kenyan teacher, Samuel Osamba still needs to practice even though he has been in the USA for over 20 years now. Let’s hear how absolutely adaptable he needs to be in the classroom.

absolutely word for word
I think that culture and language are closely connected which is why we often also talk about language learning on this podcast. As a teacher I am very impressed with the web site called Listen and Write in which language learners can do dictation exercises around short audio snippets often from YouTube videos or Voice of America broadcasts. Since we sometimes get asked for transcripts of the show I wondered if we could combine the two and upload short extracts from the show to Listen & Write for you to work with if you are a language learner. So the first one features the first part of Evan Frendo’s segment about small talk.

absolutely essential
But am I right in thinking that culture and language are inextricably mixed? I have recently read a blog post by a respected English teacher who said that he didn’t see any reason to include intercultural communication in his English classes. Since Evan Frendo includes a great deal of intercultural communication in his classes I asked him for his view. Is it absolutely essential in language teaching?

appsolutely mobile
After speaking with Evan I signed up to his Twitter feed and discovered a link he had posted about a language app. Apps are small programs that you can download to your mobile phone, tablet or mp3 player. There are thousands of them and I suddenly became curious whether there were any to do with intercultural communication. So in this final segment we’ll go appsolutely mobile (and I hope you heard my pronunciation there!)

So the first app is called Word Lens and works by translating any sign that you photograph. At the moment the only language pair available is English and Spanish so this means that you can photograph a Spanish sign and get an English translation or vice versa. Useful for restaurant menus I would imagine. The catch here though is that although the app is free, you have to buy the dictionary. But when it works, it’s like magic.

The second app I found was called Fasten Seatbelts and this gives you snippets of information about different cultures both in text format and in the form of short videos. Now this one is completely free. The first edition was a collection of Do’s and Don’ts for European countries and the second edition now covers a range of Asian countries.

The third app I found is called Cultural GPS and allows you to see the different Hofstede profiles for 98 different countries in the free version. In the pro version you can create your own personal cultural profile and compare it to any one of the 98 countries or compare pairs of countries to highlight differences and similarities. This is the one I liked the most and I’d be really interested to find out what you think about it.

All in all I think that this was an interesting little project but I have come to the conclusion that these apps can only help with simplistic culture specifics and don’t really help with the more rewarding culture-general aspects of intercultural communication. But maybe you know of other interesting apps? If so then do tell us about it in a comment here on the blog  or send us an email. We’d also be very happy if you recorded something for us to include in the show. Well that’s it for this show.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 21st January.

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Dino Nogarole

absolutely intercultural 124 +++ Soundcities +++ Korea +++ Kenya +++ TED talks +++

absolutely urban
Recently I came across an intriguing project called Soundcities. The project started in the 90s when an anonymous British artist known as Stanza started making sound recordings in cities all over the world. You can now go to the Soundcities website and choose a city or a mood and hear the sounds associated with it. Of course I went straight to the collection for Aarhus which is my nearest big city and among other things, found the familiar sound that the pedestrian crossing plays when it’s safe to cross the road. The project isn’t over yet so if you fancy going out and making some recordings then Stanza would love you to upload them to the website to add to the database. So what sounds would you record for your city? Well before you decide I’d like you to sit back and relax for three minutes while I play you a medley of sounds from a well-known city. The question is, can you guess which one?  So where did those sounds come from? I’ll be kind and accept answers from the right country. I recommend you go to soundcities.com and play around with the map and the sounds that you can find there. I also recommend the Soundmaps mixer page where you can create your own cacophony using the mixer on the page.  So where did the soundscape come from earlier in the show? I wonder if you guessed Asia? I wonder if you guessed South korea? The sounds in fact came from Seoul. I thought that would be the most appropriate to play for our conversation with Carol.

absolutely delicious
I was delighted when Carol from China contacted us saying she’s be willing to talk to us about her experience as an exchange student in Korea. Carol studies Korean and English at Nanjing Normal University in Jiangsu Province in China. She arrived in Korea in August and we talked about various things including food so this is the absolutely delicious segment but first I couldn’t resist asking how she had heard about our podcast.

absolutely on time
Samuel Osamba has been living in the US for 20 years but is originally from Kenya to which he returns on project work several times a year. He tried to leave a comment on the blog after our piece on the intercultural business webinar in October but there was a technical glitch. That is now solved so thank you Samuel for letting us know about that but also I was curious to find out more so I arranged to ring Samuel to see if he had another perspective on the issue of timekeeping in our segment absolutely on time. Samuel you’re quite right that Africa does not feature often enough in our podcast so if there is anybody out there from Africa who has some interesting stories to tell then please do get in touch.

absolutely critical
I’m not sure that we’ve had recorded critical incidents on this show before but I managed it as I spoke to Carol from China about her year abroad in Korea. Listen as I get it completely wrong not just once but twice in the space of five minutes in absolutely critical!

absolutely back to front
For our last segment I decided to play you one of the shorter sessions from TED talk. If you don’t know TED Talks yet then I strongly recommend that you go over to TED.com and choose one or two from the amazing selection of recorded talks by some amazing people. The TED talks are even starting to have their own superstars such as Sir Kenneth Robinson and Professor Sugata Mitra who both talk about education or Hans Roslin who makes statistics come alive or Jill Bolte Taylor giving a minute by minute account of a massive stroke she had. The TED slogan is ‘Ideas worth Spreading’ and I think they are addictive so watch out. The one I’m going to share with you today is by Derek Sivers’ entitled ‘Weird or just different?’ which is about how what you think may be true may not be true or absolutely back to front! One of our very first podcasts featured South African, Mark Anderson who went to South Korea and specifically mentioned this problem that the streets have no names. So now four years later, problem solved!

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 24th December

So long … stay tuned!

The host of this show is Anne Fox : Editor: Dino Nogarole